There was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone (Luke 8:43-48).
Not only was her “discharge of blood” physically crippling, for a Jewish woman it was also socially devastating. Bodily discharge was considered “unclean” under the law (Leviticus 15) – a pesky inconvenience for women facing their monthly menstruation; completely catastrophic for a chronically diseased woman.
I’m sure she longed for physical relief. How exhausted she must have been! There was likely a great deal of pain involved, as well.
I can only imagine how her physical ailments were compounded exponentially by her social isolation.
Those who might have offered comfort had it been any other illness were compelled by the law to stay away.
There was no one to comfort her. No one to assist her.
Greedy doctors had likely taken advantage of her desperation. Offering hope in exchange for more of her money, not stopping until they had drained her pockets dry.
Mark’s description (5:25-34) of her treatment is even more telling: she “had suffered much under many physicians…and was no better but rather grew worse.”
I’m sure painful treatments would have been well worth it, had they been effective. But to endure such treatments and remain unhealed, only growing worse with time?
And what about another kind of suffering at their hands?
A new treatment.
A new cure.
A possible solution.
Just a few more coins.
And a lot more pain.
But it just might work.
Her hope surged.
But her hope inevitably came crashing down around her slumped, defeated frame.
Twelve long years. Four thousand, three hundred and eighty days of physical and emotional agony.
Can you sense her despair?
But then, one day…
a day that probably started just like all the others before them…
Remarkable Faith & Miraculous Healing
She came up behind Him in the midst of a throng of people, saying to herself, “If I touch even His garments, I will be made well.”
She had endured one failed treatment after another for twelve long years at the hands of many crooked men who claimed healing power, and yet she didn’t hesitate to approach this Man for healing?
What sort of Man is this?
Not only that, but she stated with such confidence that she would be made well?
What sort of faith is this?
No “perhaps.” No “maybe.” No “hopefully.” No “it’s-worth-a-shot.”
How is that even possible?
Really, I kind of think it’s not surprising at all.
Because of who she was.
You see, she wasn’t just a woman with an issue of blood. That’s how the text describes her. But when we read between the lines and fit together all the puzzle pieces we also see that she was a woman of strong faith.
How do I know? Well, other than her own powerful statement of faith, let’s consider a couple of other clues.
First of all, she was alive and in her right mind. I don’t say this lightly. I simply don’t think someone without a strong faith in God could endure what she did as long as she did with no end in sight, without committing suicide or going insane. We have every reason to believe her physical and emotional agony were that intense. The fact that she had persevered for so long is evidence of her strong faith.
Secondly, she was immediately healed. Scripture is clear that miraculous healing is reserved for the faithful and denied to the unfaithful (Matthew 13:58, Mark 10:52, Luke 17:19). Her immediate healing (I love that we’re told it was immediate…how good our God is to share these details with us!) is proof of her faith.
And what was Jesus’ response to this woman of strong faith with the debilitating disease? This unclean woman who dared to secretly approach and even covertly touch God-made-flesh Himself?
What compassion from our Lord! This simple word moves me to tears as I sit here wondering how long it had been since that word had fallen on her ears so lovingly. Daughter — a word of acceptance. Approval. Belonging.
Don’t you just adore this Jesus who didn’t rebuke her for breaking the law? Who didn’t snub her or look at her with contempt?
No, not my Jesus. Not only did He not reject her. He intentionally received her and affirmed her and praised her. Do you see what this reveals about our Savior?
He wasn’t content to heal her body and leave her shattered heart in pieces. He was tenderly healing her broken heart, and binding up her wounds (Psalm 34:18).
Oh, my friends, how blessed we are to know and love and participate in a relationship with this same Jesus!
No matter how many defilements you bear. No matter how many disappointments you’ve faced. No matter how many times your hopes have been dashed. No matter how many people have rejected you as though you’re less than.
Will you approach Jesus in faith today? Reach out to Him and claim His power! Dare to believe that He can change everything.
Would you like to read more about God’s power, His character, and His care for you? Check out these posts!