In the crowd was a woman who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years.
Sin is chronic. This kind of uncleanness makes mankind impure to man and God. If she were to touch others, or if they touched her or anything she touched they would be impure, also. Sin, from the beginning of time when Satan was hurled to earth, everything unconnected to the Truth, is saturating, intrusive, insidious, yeasty…catchy. Just ask the first man and woman, Adam and Eve.
Although she had been under the care of many doctors…
There may be healing, but there is no real cure here on earth. Other men had not only tried to cure her, but they themselves had spread there sin to her in ways God’s Word leaves to the imagination.
…and had spent all her money,…
Money, a controlling god in and of itself. Sometimes God takes away our idols so that all we have left is Him.
…she had not been helped at all.
This world by itself can’t even help itself. How can it help others?
Actually, she had become worse.
Sometimes, God in His ultimate providence and sovereignty allows time and circumstance to pass and wax worse and worse. Be patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. This too will pass at the appointed time and in the appointed place, for suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character and character produces hope, and hope will NOT disappoint us. Her hope was standing right in front of her.
Since she had heard about Jesus…
Faith comes by hearing. How can one hear unless Jesus is preached to them? So if someone tells you you’re too religious, too preachy, too focused, too hedged in, too religious crazy, or you talk too much about God ask them, How much is too much? How religious is too religious?” How much truth is too much truth?
…she came from behind in the crowd…
She risked everything…EVERYTHING! Her name, her reputation….what was left of it…as she pushed through from behind that crowd she knew that according to the law she was making everyone around her unclean with her uncleanness, but that didn’t stop her. Maybe she recognized that everyone has their own form of uncleanness and she knew that Jesus was the only One who could…who would…
…and touched his clothes….
Oh! Those white robes! Those pure white robes of righteousness! Oh! How Holy! How Pure! How Perfect! If only I can reach them. I stretch! I reach! Do I perceive that my Savior is slowing His pace? Lagging back a little bit? Waiting? Why does this feel so much like perfect timing?
She said, “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll get well.”
She was so desperate she didn’t care about anything else around her. Her eyes were fixed ahead of her. Her eyes were fixed on Him. Jesus. God in human flesh! It was a risk worth taking! Maybe there is a measured amount of desperation we must experience before we finally discover the answer! Answers almost always seem to come when we get to a point of surrender to the desperateness. That moment when we stand on the brink of ready to give up. Jesus is a cusp-of-the-chasm-tight-rope-walking-nail-biting-edge-of-your-seat kind of God.
Her bleeding stopped immediately.
Instantaneously! She was healed! The harassment had stopped! The uncleanness had passed! She was clean! She was cured! She was healed! She was FREE! He didn’t even have to say a word because He was
is and always will be The Word! Can you imagine her relief? It is a relief that can never be forgotten!
She felt cured from her illness.
If someone ever tells you that you can’t ever “feel” God’s power at work inside of you, from now on you’ll know better! God’s word is living, active, and powerful!
At that moment…
Jesus connects with us directly at those most precious moments of healing….of faith! Minute little moments are important to God.
…Jesus felt power had gone out of him.
The woman “felt” cured and Jesus “felt” power go out from him. He is the vine we are the branches. The rooted vine knows when Its power is at work in the branches. He is actively at work within us. His Word is power! It demolishes strongholds and everything that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. It demolishes every kind of sin, disease, uncleanness, shame, blood guilt, unforgiveness, leprosy, lies, pain, sorrow, flesh…the enemy…most of all the enemy!
He turned around in the crowd…
Sometimes He lets others in on His wonder working power. The crowd doesn’t know what happened. They are blind to what had just transpired between God and this woman of faith, but His work is active in front of the crowd…of even unbelieving harassed and helpless people. Even if they can’t see it or perceive it. Newness surrounds us unseen everywhere, everyday. Jesus makes all things new.
…and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
His disciples said to him, “How can you ask, ‘Who touched me,’ when you see the crowd pressing you on all sides?”
But he kept looking around to see the woman who had done this.
He persists. He pursues. He never gives up on those He chooses. He sees with His eyes. He knows in His heart…in His soul…He knows.
The woman trembled with fear.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. “Ah!” I can just hear Jesus sigh with delight at her beautiful fear. He is awe inspiring! He is amazing! He works wonders and miracles too beautiful to behold with mere human intellect! He is God!
She knew what had happened to her.
She knew. She had felt it! She knew His power. She knew Him!
So she quickly bowed in front of him…
She recognized His deity.
…and told him the whole truth.
He already knew. He didn’t need to hear it, but Truth begets truth. God in His sovereign judicious power illicits a response of confession. It is in his character (The Word) to be confessed to and it is in ours (The Witness) to confess.
Jesus told her, “Daughter,…
Daughter! Did you hear that? Daughter! Oh what a beautiful word of belonging! The Great Physician had just called her daughter! He had just met her deepest need with one word! She belonged to Him! Oh what beautiful possession!
…your faith has made you well.
Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that this faith is something we do. It is a gift of God! What a wonderful beautiful gift, for it is God who works and wills in us. We are His treasured possession and He is ours.
Go in peace!
He is the Prince of Peace, isn’t He? Again, He had met her at her deepest need. She was trembling with fear and He speaks, “Peace.” The wind and the waves of this world stopped immediately at His rebuke. He commands everything physical AND spiritual. He commands peace be in our life and at His rebuke it is.
Be cured from your illness.”
Jesus always has the final word because He is the Word. She was cured from this plaguing illness. And like her, we too are cured of the plaguing illness of sin because of the faith we have been given in Jesus Christ. He is our healing! He is our cure! He is our forgiveness! He is our life! He is our all!
Jesus, as I meditated on this passage I saw the parallels between the first Adam, Your cross and our promise of eternal life in heaven because You are the Last Adam. You are our peace and in our baptism we have been raised up and seated with You in heaven safe from harm. Grant us faith to believe that all of our sicknesses, diseases, and sins have been vanquished in Your death and resurrection. Though we may have to suffer a little while, let us know that sorrow may remain for the night but JOY comes with the morning! In Your name, Lord. Amen.