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The Miracles of Jesus Part 14: Jesus Heals a Woman with a Bleeding Disorder
Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:42-48, Numbers 15:37-40 - Jesus is full of compassion again for a suffering woman, who has faith that even His garments can heal.
“And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.”
Matthew 9:20-22 NASB1995
“A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and 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— after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.””
Mark 5:25-34 NASB1995
“And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.””
Luke 8:43-48 NASB1995
Jesus and the disciples have returned to the west side of the Sea after the encounter with the demon-possessed man (or men). This next miracle is an “interruption” of the journey to another miracle that happens immediately afterwards. I’m going to concentrate on each one separately, but I found an interesting correlation between the two in my research that I will include in the next devotional.
In the verses just before this in the three Gospels, a Jewish official named Jairus has come to Jesus to ask Him to go with him to his home because his 12-year-old daughter is gravely ill and he wants Jesus to lay hands on her, believing He can heal her. The group proceeds towards Jairus’s house, surrounded by many people who want to be in the presence of the Lord and to see what He does next.
The journey is interrupted when this poor woman who suffers from constant bleeding and has been considered unclean by Jewish law for 12 years (!), believes fervently that all she has to do is touch the hem or fringe of His garment and she will be healed. She does not want to approach Him, fearful because her condition makes anyone she contacts unclean. Her condition, like a leper’s, could be called a metaphor for how sin can destroy our lives and make us isolated and in darkness. This woman has spent everything she has on worthless cures and is desperate for true healing.
Jesus dressed in the style that was acceptable for Jewish men and wore an outer garment with tassels (fringe) on the corners per the requirements handed down in Numbers 15:37-40:
“The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.”
Numbers 15:37-40 NASB1995
These tassels, known in Hebrew as Tzitzit, showed the devotion of those who wore them and Jesus was no exception. Here is what they look like, from an on-line shop that sells these wares:
In spite of all of the hands that are probably touching Jesus (or elbows or shoulders or nearby feet), Jesus immediately knows that someone has touched Him for healing and He talks about the power going out of Himself. Here is what David Guzik says about this woman’s faith:
Since we have no evidence in the Bible that Jesus healed this way before, it seems that the woman acted at least partially on superstition. Her faith had elements of err and superstition, yet she did believe in the healing power of Jesus, and the border of His garment served as a point of contact for that faith. There were many things that we could find wrong with this woman’s faith. Nevertheless, her faith was in Jesus, and the object of faith is much more important than the quality of faith.
Jesus stops and asks “Who touched my garments?” His disciples, displaying their usual lack of understanding, point out that the crowd is pressing in on Him. Casual contact and “bumping” into Jesus (like maybe bumping into Him at church every Sunday and then getting on with your weekly life) is something totally different than reaching out to Him in true faith. He knows that His remarkable powers have been tapped from someone looking for hope. The woman falls down before Him in fear, telling her whole story, but our compassionate Lord addresses her with beautiful kindness, calling her “daughter” and telling her she has been healed because of her faith and to go in peace.
Here is what Charles Spurgeon has to say about this type of contact with Jesus (from Enduring Word):
“It is not every contact with Christ that saves men; it is the arousing of yourself to come near to him, the determinate, the personal, resolute, believing touch of Jesus Christ which saves.”
So why would Jesus want this woman to confess publicly what she has done? She is healed. She could just slink away and slowly reintegrate herself into social life. I just love what David Guzik says about this in the Mark commentary:
Jesus did it so that she would know she was healed. It is true that Mark tells us she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction, but this woman was like any other person. Soon she would begin to doubt and fear, wondering if she really was healed. She would wonder when the ailment might return. But Jesus told her “Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Jesus called her out so that she would absolutely know that she was healed.
Jesus did it so that others would know she was healed. This woman had an ailment that no one could see and that made her a public outcast. It would sound suspicious to many if she just announced that she was healed. They would think that she made it up just to be considered “clean” again. Jesus called her out so that others would absolutely know that she was healed.
Jesus did it so that she would know why she was healed. When Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well,” it showed the woman that it really wasn’t touching the clothing of Jesus that healed her. Instead, it was her faith in Jesus and what He could do for her.
Jesus did it because He didn’t want her to think she stole a blessing, that she could never look Jesus in the eye again. She didn’t steal anything; she received it by faith and Jesus wanted her to know that.
Jesus did it so that Jairus could see this woman’s faith and be encouraged regarding his daughter. Jesus “called her out” to encourage someone else in faith.
Jesus did it because He wanted to bless her in a special way. He called her “Daughter.” Jesus never called any other person by this name. Jesus wanted her to come forth and hear this special name of tenderness. When Jesus calls us forward, it is because He has something special to give us.
We must come to Jesus and tell Him the whole truth about our sins, about our suffering, about the things we have tried in this life instead of Him as “cures”, and about our hopes. Jesus has done two miracles now (back-to-back) that should make Him an untouchable and unclean per the laws in Leviticus, but He cleanses and purifies those who are possessed with evil or consumed with an illness that makes them unclean.
So what does this miracle tell us?
Jesus heals a woman with a bleeding disorder: Jesus knows when His healing powers are used and, with great love and compassion, tells this daughter of the Kingdom that her faith has made her well. Casual contact with Jesus doesn’t save us. We are saved by coming to Him with everything (sins, sufferings, distractions, hopes, and belief). Jesus cleanses and revives us!
The time spent with this blessed “interruption” is not good news (at least temporarily) for Jairus and his daughter , as we will find in the next devotional, which examines the miracle of the raising of that daughter from the dead, found in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Heaven on Wheels Daily Prayer:
Dear Lord - Your compassion for those who are suffering and Your power to help us come into your Kingdom is beyond my understanding. I love You and am in awe of Your grace and mercy. Amen
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org
Commentary from Enduring Word by David Guzik is used with written permission.
The Miracle List:
Water to wine: Jesus can overcome time, He creates beauty and abundance, and He shares in our joy.
Healing of the official’s son: Jesus can overcome space (distance), He does not need to see the person He heals, He has infinite power, but He also wants us to believe without signs and wonders.
Casting out of the evil spirit in the synagogue: The authority of Jesus is recognized by the demons and He triumphs over evil and silences it.
Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-Law: Jesus does not need crowds to demonstrate His power and He has compassion about the needs of one person, even if those needs seem smaller and only worthy of a couple of verses of scripture.
Healing and casting out demons of many in Capernaum (at Peter’s house): Jesus has compassion on all who come to Him and has no conditions that He places on giving them His mercy. He can heal instantly with a light touch and again demonstrates authority over demons and silences them.
Miraculous catch of fish on the Sea of Galilee: Jesus demonstrates His powers over His creation, He once again brings abundance, and He teaches humble fishermen that their task of bringing souls to Him is the most important thing they can do. They must follow Him.
Cleansing of the Leper: Jesus is willing to heal us, is compassionate towards those who suffer and can instantly cure a dreadful and feared disease. We must have faith when circumstances seem hopeless.
Healing of the Centurion’s Servant: Jesus came so that anyone who believes on His name is saved, Jew or Gentile. One of the most humble and devout persons that He encounters during His ministry is a Roman Centurion who cares and loves a servant who is sick or paralyzed. Jesus has instant authority over this illness, again eliminating space (distance) as a barrier to healing; He also marvels at this man’s faith.
Healing of the paralytic passed through the roof: Jesus demonstrates His ultimate authority as the Son of God to forgive sins and to heal a condition that seems irreversible. He can sense and read the hearts and thoughts of others. He turns a major disruption into a lesson on forgiveness. The friends of the paralytic show tremendous faith in how they solve this problem.
Healing of the withered hand on the Sabbath: Jesus can instantaneously heal a chronic condition, restoring a hand to full function. The man he heals exhibits great faith in His ability to heal and obeys Him. Jesus also challenges the assumptions and rules that have taken the place of faith and wisdom in the hearts of the Pharisees and Scribes. His anger is righteous; their rage is murderous.
Raising of the widow’s son from death: Jesus is filled with compassion for the suffering and grief of others. He has power over death and can restore us to joy and hope in the face of a hopeless situation. His endless grace and the power of His word are sufficient. We are to spring into action, serving Him and bringing His hope to the hopeless.
Taming the storm on the Sea: Jesus has the unlimited power to tame nature and He calms a storm on the Sea of Galilee instantly. His disciples, after seeing one miracle after another before this, are struck with memory loss when this crisis hits and forget that He is the Creator of the Universe and creation will obey Him. Jesus is there in the storms of life for those who believe on His name.
Casting demons into a herd of pigs: Jesus has the ultimate authority over evil and demons must have His permission to even enter into animals that immediately die. Demon possession is a real thing, but is likely rare and would not occur in a believer who is under the power of the Holy Spirit. We should not get so comfortable with evil surrounding us that we are fearful of holiness and good. Jesus wants us to tell others about His power and healing and to be without superstitions.
Healing of a woman with a bleeding disorder: Jesus knows when His healing powers are used and, with great love and compassion, tells this daughter of the Kingdom that her faith has made her well. Casual contact with Jesus doesn’t save us. We are saved by coming to Him with everything (sins, sufferings, distractions, hopes, and belief). Jesus cleanses and revives us!