Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
The passage above from the Daily Audio Bible, Bible in a Year, never fails to grab my attention. Here we have a woman whom no doctors or alternative healers had been able to help. She had a chronic disease that she may have been told she had to live with. How many of us are in that situation right now? So many of us suffer from chronic conditions due to environmental toxins and poor nutrition. And some of us suffer due to unconfessed sin.
In the Gospel of Mark, we get a more fleshed-out account of what happened.
Mark 5:25-34 (NIV)
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.”
Jesus Dispels Shame
In a cultural context, this woman was not just sick but was considered unclean. So on top of having been swindled out of all her money by quacks, she had to live isolated and in shame. Of course, as soon as she touched Jesus, He knew all this about her. This is why he stopped and turned around when he could have kept walking. He wanted her to know that he accepted her and in no way condemned her. In fact, his acceptance was so total that he referred to her as ‘daughter.’ According to my NIV Woman’s Study Bible, this is the only time he refers to a woman as ‘daughter’ in the Bible.
While religion through the centuries has heaped shame on women, simply for being women, Jesus never did. He clearly loved women.
I defy any woman to read the New Testament and not totally fall in love with Jesus!