Recommended Reading: Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48
My article on June 26, 2022 was titled “Just A Touch”. Part of it referenced the story of the woman that was healed as the result of touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. (You might want to look back at that article.) This morning my daily devotional was about that story.
The woman had been bleeding for 12 years and that physical issue caused her to be considered “unclean”. A person declared to be unclean could not be part of their congregation and it often meant they had to live outside of the community and were untouchable. Her chances of getting married were ruined, or if she was already married it basically ended that relationship. It meant that she was separated from family, friends and neighbors. It is likely that she was lonely and depressed, yearning for someone to just give her a hug and tell her that everything would be okay – 12 years is a long time to be quarantined from everyone.
She had seen doctors and spent a lot of money trying to have her issue resolved, but to no avail. One source I read said that there were at least eleven possible cures for her physical issue – surely they had all been tried – but nothing worked. It must have been a very hopeless and helpless feeling.
I believe this story portrays her likely at the end of her rope, because for her to go out into a crowd seeking Jesus was very bold and she would not want anyone to really notice her. If anyone recognized her as the “unclean” woman it would not have been a pleasant interaction.
Mark 5:27a (TLB) says: “She had heard all about the wonderful miracles Jesus did…” I am certain that the stories had spread like wildfire about the way Jesus would touch those considered unclean without reserve and they would be healed. That had to be an encouragement to her. So when she heard that He was going to be near where she was, she was emboldened and made the decision to approach Jesus, believing she would be healed. She was so confident she believed that all she had to do was simply touch Him.
“Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.” (Luke 8:44 NLT) “Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my robe?’” (Mark 5:30 NLT) His disciples were amazed that He would ask such a question because the large crowd was pressing in around Him and everyone denied having done it. “But Jesus said, ‘Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.’” (Luke 8:46 NLT)
I am certain that Jesus already knew exactly who had touched Him, but He wanted that person to be bold enough to speak up and share their story to help build the faith of all that would hear it. “Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization 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.’” (Mark 5:33-34 NLT)
She had faith, she was bold, she took action and her desire was fulfilled – immediately. Jesus wants us all to reach out and touch Him – His power will flow to those that are bold. We need to be deliberate in our desire to touch Jesus – we need to be strong in our faith – we need to be bold.
Obviously Jesus is not longer here on earth physically, so how can we reach out and touch Him? Through faith. He is still present with us spiritually and the way we communicate with Him is in prayer. We need to have a robust prayer life, first praising Him for all His blessings, then unashamedly bringing our needs before Him. We need to be full of hope, faith and determination just as the woman in that story. “But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 AMP)
Be deliberate and know that boldness wins.
[All emphasis is mine]
Written by Karran Martin – September 12, 2022