After healing the demon-possessed man, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee once again. As usual, upon Jesus’ arrival, a crowd gathered around Him. One of the rulers of the synagogue came to Jesus, fell at His feet, and begged Jesus to heal his daughter who was close to death. Jesus agreed to go with the man. As they were going, an unnamed woman had an encounter with Jesus, and he would defy all social mores to change her life.
This woman had never met Jesus, but she’d heard about Him through the reports of others. She probably heard about His miraculous power and His care for people. So she believed that if she could just touch his clothes, she would be healed. This woman had been bleeding for twelve years. She had been to doctor after doctor, spent all of her money, and had only became worse. Not only this, but she was also considered ritually unclean due to the bleeding (Leviticus 15:25–27). Being ritually unclean, the woman was not allowed to socially interact with others, because then they would also be considered unclean. Try to imagine what this woman’s life had been like for the past twelve years. The physical pain, the isolation, the shame, the longing for community, and the many doctors’ visits searching for healing. She knew that if she wanted to get near Him, she would have to sneak her way through the crowd and discreetly touch Jesus’ garments because she could not publicly address Him due to being ritually unclean.
Imagine the desperation she must have felt—for healing, for the release of shame, for friends, for a new life. In that desperation, and based on the reports of others, she believed she could be healed if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes. What faith! Even before the woman encountered Jesus, the stories she had heard about Him helped give her the faith to believe that He could make her well.
The unnamed woman finally made her way through the crowd and drew close enough to reach Jesus’ garments. She touched Him, the Savior, Jesus, the Son of God. Immediately, the bleeding stopped, and the woman felt in her body that she had been healed of her disease. In an instant, she was healed! Do you think the past twelve years flashed through her mind? All the doctors’ visits, all of the money spent, all the lonely nights with no change, still sick, still bleeding, still unclean. And in a moment, an encounter with Jesus, she was healed, clean. Forever.
Do you long to touch Jesus? We might not be able to physically touch Him, but followers of Christ can personally interact with Him at any moment through the Holy Spirit who lives within all believers (Romans 8:11). What a gift! People who lived during Old Testament times were waiting for the Savior to come and only had access to God through a priest. Now that Jesus has come, we long for His return. In the meantime, we can encounter Jesus each day, in every moment. We have access to God the Father at all times through prayer, reading His words in the Bible, and experiencing Him through the Holy Spirit, nature, and even other believers.
This woman touched Jesus’ clothes and was healed. Jesus realized that something had happened and asked who touched Him. The woman came to Jesus in fear, falling down before Him and relaying all that had happened. She must have been worried about how Jesus might react. His response to her explanation: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34). Jesus called her daughter! This was the one and only recorded time when Jesus used the term daughter. He did not care that she was considered ritually unclean, because of His deep fatherly love for her. Even though Jesus was on a mission to heal the synagogue ruler’s daughter, He did not let that mission distract him from a woman who was in need. He healed her and called her His own daughter.
This woman was finally healed—in an instant—due to her faith. Do you believe Jesus can heal you on all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually? Not only was this woman healed, but she was also given new life. She was no longer considered ritually unclean and could once again interact with family and friends. Everything changed for this woman as she touched Jesus’ garment. What a moment! A completely new outlook. Daily living a healed life full of hope, joy, and people.
How could Jesus provide physical, emotional, mental & spiritual healing in your life? In what ways can He offer you new life?
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