The woman’s story is recorded in Luke 8 and Mark 5. It is a story of a woman with faith who was desperate for healing. It is a story of divine power and love. It is a story of a blessing freely given.
For twelve years the woman bled without relief. For twelve years she visited physicians who took her money but did little to help. For twelve years this woman suffered not only from the physical effects of her condition, but also the societal effects from a people who labeled her unclean.
As someone labeled unclean, the woman was not allowed inside the Temple. She was not supposed to be around anyone without loudly announcing, “Unclean. Unclean.” She was not supposed to be in crowds of people. And she especially was not to touch a male who wasn’t a relative; let alone a Rabbi.
Yet, in her desperation to have her weakened body healed, she risked everything, including her life, to approach Jesus in the crowd.
Ostracized for her condition, she didn’t want to draw attention to herself. She knew Jesus was her only hope. If she could just sneak in and touch the tassel on the hem of his garment, she knew her bleeding would stop. Once she touched Jesus’ garment, her plan was to leave unnoticed.
As soon as the woman’s hand touched Jesus’ cloak, healing the woman desperately sought and believed she had to steal was freely given. When Jesus felt power leave him, he asked who touched him.
In the crowd, lots of people touched Jesus, but only this woman was healed. Jesus could have gone on his way without requesting the woman show herself, but he didn’t. He refused to move until the woman presented herself to him.
We need to remember, Jesus knew who touched him. In fact, he knew since the beginning of time she would. His asking who touched the tassel on the hem of his cloak was for the woman’s benefit, not his.
What the woman hoped to keep private was now made public. Luke says, “In front of everyone.” Her very personal problem/issue/concern was out there for everyone to weigh in on. Plus the fact her failure to announce “unclean” put her in a position to be stoned. All because she was desperate for healing.
Even though all this happened as Jesus was on his way to bring Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter back to life, he would not budge until he spoke to the woman face to face. He would not dismiss her as others in her life had done. He wanted to make sure she understood he saw her and valued her.
This woman had worth in Christ’s eyes. She was not merely a nameless face in the crowd. She mattered greatly to the Son of God. By refusing to move until the woman came before him, Jesus offered her something more than physical healing. Something important. He offered her spiritual healing. By talking to her face to face, Jesus showed he cared for the woman and her concerns.
The woman with the issue of blood was desperate for healing. Healing Jesus gave freely. After the woman fell before Jesus, he told her to go in peace. Her suffering was over.
Oh my goodness gracious. That brings tears to my eyes. After twelve long years of suffering on so many levels, Jesus told this precious woman to go in peace. Her suffering was over.
As the Great Physician, Jesus heals all our hurts. His blessings are freely given when we seek him out, come humbly before him, and acknowledge he alone is able.
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Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” Mark 5:33-34 (NLT)
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