In our daily devotional, we continue to think about the supernatural acts of Jesus. Let's look now at The Woman with the Issue of Blood:
25A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— 27after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” 29Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction” (Mark 5:25-34).
How wonderful it is that God responds to faith. This woman’s faith in Christ was born out of desperation, for her internal bleeding had been getting worse (v. 26). What would it have been like to be in her situation? Her condition was one where it was illegal for her to be in a public place for fear of contaminating anyone else. Leviticus 15:25 says, “When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period.” She could never enter the Temple, Synagogue, or fellowship with others. Her condition excluded her from the social structure of the day. Mark further tells us she had spent all her money on doctors (Mark 5:26), but was no better, but rather grew worse. This poor woman was financially at the end of herself and probably not slept in a bed for some time; after all, what hotel would have her in her condition. What friend would let her stay at their house? Everything she touched was ceremonially unclean.
How scared she must have been as she mixed with the crowd trying not to be seen and recognized, desperately trying to reach Jesus, her only hope. A thought arose within her mind that if she could get close enough to Jesus and touch the hem of His garment, she would be healed. Mark tells us that she responded to the thought out of her desperation and faith, pushed through the crowd and touched Him, and was instantly healed. Jesus turned and looked at the crowd, saying, “Who touched my garments?” (v. 31). She fell at His feet, trembling with fear (v. 33). Why was the woman shaking with fear? She took a considerable risk. Jesus was well known as a Rabbi in whom is the Spirit of God. She perhaps thought she would contaminate Him with her uncleanness and render him unable to heal the Synagogue's daughter's ruler. We can assume she expected to be severely told off and brought to court for touching a person while unclean.
I love the Lord’s response to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Her history of over 12 years of having this condition was one of rejection by people. How beautiful to see grace, acceptance, understanding, and joy in the face of our Savior. Doesn't grace and kindness capture your heart? Hasn't He been like that with you? I long to be accepting of the poor and hurting like Him.
Prayer: Oh God, make us more like Jesus, full of grace and truth. Keith Thomas
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