Bible Character: Woman with Issue of Blood

The woman with the “issue of blood” thought that if she simply touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed. Jesus was on his way to a synagogue leader’s house to heal his dying daughter (Mark 5:21–24) when this unnamed woman interrupts His progress. Here is that story:

A large crowd followed and pressed around him (Jesus). And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

In this age of Jewish law, this woman’s “bleeding” condition meant she was ceremonially unclean. She was forbidden from entering the temple for Jewish religious events. The law also outlined that anything she physically touched would have been unclean as well. So she had spent 12 years in seclusion. Yet she had an amazing faith that Jesus could heal her.

This story finds her in the most forbidden place of all – within a crowd, bumping into people which made them unclean immediately! Maybe this is why she felt she had to sneak to touch Jesus. When her healing was accomplished by touching Jesus, she was freed from her suffering and healed. Jesus knew what happened and wanted the woman to confess to her healing.

I find it interesting that she was already healed yet Jesus worked to get her to make a public confession. I believe Jesus knew that it was important that she acknowledge herself not only to Him but also to the crowd. While it was daring to touch him for healing, it was even more difficult to admit the truth in public because in simply getting close to him, she broke the Jewish law.

Yet her confession of being healed in front of Jesus was very important to the rest of her life. Her confession to Jesus allowed her to be welcomed back into society and receive help and acceptance from the other believers who had witnessed her confession. She was quickly accepted and embraced by the crowd then!

Post-abortive people are a lot like this woman! Many try to receive healing through secret channels. Being public with anyone is risky. Few of us feel able to be a full part of Christian society because of the shame of our sins and the potential for rejection. Yet God has a purpose in pushing us to come forward to acknowledge our sins. The power of our testimonies, and the additional healing God has in store, is strong in helping others understand the redeeming love of God.

Take a few minutes to consider what that woman’s life must have been like after that! She was immediately welcomed back into society and likely may have been a celebrity of sorts due to the miracle of her simply touching the hem of Jesus’s garment.  God knows whose heart He heals. He has many reasons for healing that we may not understand right now. In His time, He will show us why our healing is important to this world.

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