27She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe. 28For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed.” 29Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel that she had been healed! (Mark 5:27-29)
How wonderful it is that God responds to faith. This woman’s faith was born out of desperation. Matthew in his gospel (9:20), tells us that she had internal bleeding for 12 years. What would it have been like to be in her situation? Her condition was one where it was illegal for her to be in a public place, for fear of contaminating anyone else. Leviticus 15:25 says, “When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period.” She would never have been able to enter Church or fellowship with others. Her condition excluded her from the social structure of the day. Mark further tells us that she had spent her all on the doctors (Mark 5:26) and was no better but rather grew worse. This poor woman was completely broke and more than likely had not slept in a bed for some time, what hotel would have her! What friend would let her stay at their house? Everything she touched would be ceremonially unclean.
How scared she must have been as she was mingling with the crowd trying not to be seen and recognized, desperately trying to reach Jesus, her only hope. She was desperate. Mark goes on to say that when she touched him and was instantly healed, Jesus asked “who touched me?” (v.31). Her response was one of fear, she “fell at his feet, and trembling with fear,” (v.33) told him of her illegal act of touching a rabbi. Why would she be trembling? She took a huge risk. Jesus is well known as a Rabbi in who is the Spirit of God. She would have thought that she would contaminate him with her own uncleanness and render him not able to heal the Ruler of the Synagogue’s daughter. I am sure that she expected to be severely told off.
I love Him for His response to her, “daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Her history over the last 12 years of having this condition was one of rejection by people. How beautiful to see grace, acceptance, understanding and joy in the face of our Savior. Doesn’t grace and kindness win your heart? Hasn’t He been like that with you? I long to be accepting of the poor and hurting like Him.
Prayer: Oh God, make me more like Jesus, full of grace and truth.