The woman who touched Jesus’s robe in the crowd was ceremonially unclean. No doctors had been able to heal her and the priests were not allowed to cleanse her. This woman was lost on all levels. She was ill, she was unclean, she was untouchable and alone. But she believed in Jesus. Why? Perhaps because he spoke of forgiveness, and showed love, compassion and healing when all others in her world showed disgust, contempt and condemnation. She feared her state of uncleanness would harm Jesus. She thought if she could make the smallest contact with Jesus then maybe nobody would notice, she could be healed and Jesus would not need to know an unclean woman had contaminated him. But a relationship with Jesus is a two way thing. Jesus can never not know those he heals. He required the woman to acknowledge him so he could acknowledge her. He healed her and accepted her because of her faith in him and her concern for his well being. It was an exchange, a relationship.
Mark 5:25-34 NLT
A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. Jesus realised at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realisation of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
This story is similar to the one about the men who dug a hole through the roof of the building where Jesus was because they couldn’t carry their paralysed friend through the crowd to get to Jesus. The similarity is that on both occasions they knew that if they could reach Jesus they would be healed. The difference is, that the woman in the crowd tried to be remain anonymous and hidden. Jesus healed her instantly but he wanted her to acknowledge her faith publicly. He also wanted to acknowledge his faithful follower and share her faith and her healing with the crowd. My goal is to try to resist the urge to remain anonymous as a faithful follower of Jesus. My goal is to find the courage to share my faith with the crowd.
Leviticus: 11:1-12:8, Mark 5:21-43, Psalms 38:1-22, Proverbs 10:8-9