Mark 5:24-34 (the Voice)
24 Jesus began traveling with Jairus toward his home. In the crowd pressing around Jesus, 25 there was a woman who had suffered continuous bleeding for 12 years, bleeding that made her ritually unclean and an outcast according to the purity laws. 26 She had suffered greatly; and although she spent all her money on her medical care, she had only gotten worse. 27 She had heard of this Miracle-Man, Jesus, so she snuck up behind Him in the crowd and reached out her hand to touch His cloak.
Woman (to herself): 28 Even if all I touch are His clothes, I know I will be healed.
29 As soon as her fingers brushed His cloak, the bleeding stopped. She could feel that she was whole again.30 Lots of people were pressed against Jesus at that moment, but He immediately felt her touch; He felt healing power flow out of Him. He stopped. Everyone stopped. He looked around.
Jesus: Who just touched My robe?
31 His disciples broke the uneasy silence. Disciples: Jesus, the crowd is so thick that everyone is touching You. Why do You ask, “Who touched Me?” 32 But Jesus waited. His gaze swept across the crowd to see who had done it. 33 At last, the woman—knowing He was talking about her—pushed forward and dropped to her knees. She was shaking with fear and amazement.
Woman: I touched You.
Then she told Him the reason why. 34 Jesus listened to her story.
Jesus: Daughter, you are well because you dared to believe. Go in peace, and stay well.
In Mark 5 we read one of the three accounts of Jesus’ interaction with this woman with the issue of blood. When I read this I am taken aback and humbled by this woman because… TWELVE YEARS! Twelve years is a long time to deal with anything, especially a physical ailment. She had her issue of blood but I believe we can safely assume that it wasn’t her only issue.
Imagine the constant disappointment after every failed doctor visit and supposed “treatment” or “healing.” Imagine the hurt and loneliness of being classified unclean and outcasted by your religion and community. That along with the daily frustrations of dealing with this issue, all of the other requirements of life and on top of it all she’s broke because of her efforts to seek treatment. She had a physical issue but probably many more emotional, relational and even spiritual issues.
This woman had a whole lot of issues.
She also had a whole lot of faith.
I learned some rather interesting things from this…Notice this woman allowed nothing to hold her back. Just the sight of the crowd could have discouraged her. Instead this woman who is probably very tired and spent pushes through a crowd of people to get to Jesus. She allowed no obstacle or excuse.
So she pushes through the crowd but she doesn’t stop there; She reaches out and touches Jesus. Often just showing up, just being in the crowd and having Jesus pass by you (Key- He is always close) isn’t going to do much. She somehow knew the healing would come when she connected herself to Him. So she reached out and touched His robe.
And she does all this with faith; She was intentional and believed. She had made up her mind beforehand. Notice there were people all around pressing against Jesus but when she just touched His clothes Jesus stops and asks who touched him… Awkward silence and the confused disciples are like: “What?” But Jesus felt healing power leave Him at her touch… Let that sink in.
Here is the most interesting part to me though… The scriptures don’t explicitly state this but I imagine that to push through a large crowd, then to reach out and touch Jesus she had to have empty hands. She had already spent all she had, and after twelve years of trying and failing she knew she had no other option. Jesus was her only answer, so she came with empty hands to receive what Jesus had; What she needed, wanted and only He could give.
So the outcast, unclean, broke woman with all the issues stops Jesus in His tracks (as He is on His way to help a dying girl - no big deal) and is commended for her faith.
There is no denying we all have issues, problems and needs of all kinds and sorts, but here what is God taught me and I’d simply like to encourage you with:
- In Jesus there is everything you will ever need or desire. Whatever your issue is He is your solution. So don’t lose hope or let any obstacles keep you from Him (because there will be obstacles).
- Don’t stop short: Reach out and reach with some faith. Connect yourself to Him!
- Empty your hands: Surrender and let it all go to receive what He has for you.
- Also there is no shame and no condemnation. He is able and He is willing; So don’t miss your miracle.