This woman, whose name we do not know, had an issue all right! According to Hebrew law, when a woman had a discharge of blood , she was considered unclean. Not just her, but anything she touched. Any bed she had lain on, and any chair she sat on was deemed unclean. Whoever touched her, her bed, or a chair she had sat on was unclean and would have to wash his clothes and take a bath, and even then, he would be considered unclean until that night!
This woman had spent everything she had, trying to get herself clean, to make herself “normal,” but no one could help her. She was incurable. There was virtually no hope that she could be healed. No one wanted to be near her.
How desperate she must’ve been as she pushed through the madness and the huge crowd that surrounded Jesus. How sure she must have been that if she could just touch the hem of His garment, she would be made whole again.
And when she touched His garment, she must’ve done it sneakily, because she knew that she was unclean. Maybe she thought that she would be healed, and Jesus wouldn’t be the wiser. Maybe she thought she could simply run away once she was healed. But she knew in her heart that she would indeed be healed.
And as she finally got close enough to touch Him, she did, and immediately, the bleeding stopped, and she knew that she was healed. Perhaps she thought it was temporary. Or maybe she thought it was a trick of her mind.
But Jesus stopped in his tracks when she touched his clothing and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” He looked around the crowd, to see who had touched him.
She was afraid. Maybe because she felt that she had made Him unclean. Maybe because she had “snuck” the healing. Either way, she fell to the ground in front of Him and, trembling, admitted that she was the one who touched him.
And He said, in His gentle, compassionate fashion, “Daughter, your faith has made you whole. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
And with that, she was assured that her healing was real and it was permanent; that she could go back to living a life without her misery and isolation.
He had called her “Daughter.” She was right then and there not only healed, not only restored, but she now had a relationship with Him. She was part of His family.
Another word for “faith” is “trust.” This woman was healed by the simple fact that she trusted Jesus.
For 12 years, this woman lived her life isolated and alone. She was not able to even worship in public. She could not even hug or be hugged.
Maybe you can imagine that, sort of. I know I can.
For many years, I had an issue. My issue was my sin. I wallowed in it, and because of my sin, I was separated from my family and from “normal” people.
Nicole C. Mullen’s song “One Touch (Press)” is about this encounter with the Lord, and she sings something important about it. In her words:
I know that my faith has made me whole. And my own madness rivaled the madness of the crowd that surrounded Jesus that day, yet he reached through it to heal me, and He does the same for all who trust in Him.