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There Are No Barriers to Jesus

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace."

Luke 8:48
There Are No Barriers to Jesus Book Cover

Yesterday we discussed Jesus and his miraculous healing of Jairus’s daughter. On the way to Jairus’s house, a woman in desperate need of a healing interrupted their journey. Today, we focus on that interrupted moment.

As Jesus walked with his disciples and Jairus through the crowd, he felt healing power being extracted from him. Turning around, he asked, “Who touched me?” Finally, a woman stepped forward, timid and afraid (Luke 8:47).

Unlike Jairus’s daughter, this woman was well into adulthood and had been bleeding for twelve years. This was more than an irregular menstrual cycle. Scholars suggest that this disease could have been endometriosis or even uterine cancer. We remember that number twelve, right? It’s the age of Jairus’s daughter. Luke doesn’t want us to miss this. This woman had been dealing with a disease for as long as Jairus’s daughter had been alive.

Because the symptoms of her disease included a continual discharge of blood, she was deemed ceremonially unclean and made anyone she touched unclean. This meant that she could not go into the temple or be around people at social events. For twelve years! What must life have looked like for this poor woman, who had to endure seclusion in a society where community was the cornerstone of the culture? It is scary to have to deal with a disease; it’s even more daunting to have to do it alone.

the presence of jesus

Notice the difference between Jairus’s family and this woman. Jairus was a leader of the synagogue, making him a man of status and perhaps one with an abundance of financial resources. This woman was a social outcast, and she was poor—she’d spent all of her money on doctors, hoping they would find a cure. She was as desperate as Jairus and reasoned that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’s garment, she would be healed. When Jairus came to Jesus, he knelt in front of him to get his attention. However, this bleeding woman initially came behind Jesus, planning to obtain her healing and then fade back into obscurity. Jesus had other plans.

“Who touched me?” he asked (Luke 8:45).

The woman, healed, came forward and confessed (v. 47). Obviously, Jesus knew who had touched him in that special way. Why would he make her come forward?

By bringing her to the public eye, he validated her healing, putting an end to her public embarrassment and shame. He also served as the ultimate witness that she was no longer ceremonially unclean. Remember that little tidbit that Luke gave us about Jairus? He wasn’t just any kind of leader—he was a leader of the synagogue. So Jesus declared her ceremonially clean in front of a religious leader. Coincidence? We know better.

The interconnected stories involving the bleeding woman and Jairus’s daughter show us that Jesus is concerned about all women, no matter what our age or station in life. He wants to lovingly heal us and restore us to himself first, and then restore us to fellowship with our communities.

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What the Women Saw

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Jesus Heals the Wounded

Daily Question

In what ways do you identify with the bleeding woman? Have there been issues or circumstances that have caused separation between you and your communities? These could be your spiritual community or even your family. How do you think God wants to repair those barriers? What steps do you think he wants you to take?

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Comments (21)

I am still living in such a separation environment right now, I’ve never seen God using channels in my life like I have during this season. It’s daunting to go through it because I can’t help myself in any way. Because I’m still living and learning to live through it, I have seen God coming through like the way He’s worked with the bleeding woman ”putting an end to her public harassment and shame ”, the peace that I have is unexplainable. God wants me to grow in Him. Believe, Trust and Rest on His Promises.

I stopped this study before because I started one with friends and also got stomped at this discussion. I couldn’t think of anything that I could use to answer this question during that time, but his is no longer the case. Not only have we all been separated from our communities due to the pandemic, separation has also been caused by race in America today. I am an American citizen. I am a black woman. I am a Christian. These are all my communities. There are barriers here that I didn’t put up. I attend a multi-cultural church. I have friends of all races. I don’t know how to repair a barrier that I didn’t create, but I have chosen to lean in. I have answered questions. I have tried to let others into my space to share in the hurt that I feel and to understand the deep pain. I am called to be a fence and a door. This is the step that I am called to take during this time. This is what He wants me to do.

I identify with the bleeding women because I know what it’s like to feel ashamed of yourself for things you can’t control. There have been times where I chose to stay away from other people, including my family, and I would hide out by myself/be alone all day. I’m still trying to recover from toxic relationships and some slight ptsd that came with those relationships, but God is helping me to realize I do need to lean on the good people in my life that actually care about me and are trustworthy.

To be honest, I struggle with hiding from relationships because of fear. I have lost too much time to fear of relationships.

To try to finish my thought, relationships are sometimes unusually painful for me. I know it is caused by childhood abuse that I should be well past by now, but I still manage to avoid any family and friends that I fear may possibly hurt me. Seems that everything I have done: jobs, school, rearing my children, caring for my husband has all been to prove to myself that I am fulfilling my responsibilities well enough. This can get really heavy, but Jesus! He is my life, I would be nothing without Him. This lesson reminds me that His love is everlasting and not based at all on my confidence, my performance, or perceptions of my worth.

What steps should I take?

Go and be with people even when I am uncomfortable.
Be honest about my feelings when “loved ones” take advantage of me (can’t do this one yet).
Go ahead and make decisions to do things and go places for myself, without fear of letting someone down. (Can’t do this one either.)

So sorry to hear that you have been hurt by others. But who hasn’t right? May I suggest that you join some on-line groups that offer support and understanding. You will find that some people struggle much more than you do but others are further along in their healing. Sounds like you are dealing with anxiety and possibly depression – Here is a Facebook I recommend. I am also a part of it. https://www.facebook.com/groups/566803110113961/?sorting_setting=CHRONOLOGICAL or search on Facebook for: Christians with Depression and Anxiety

I lived with the shame of sexual assault for a lot longer than 12 years. I had this recurring dream about people being able to see my monthly flow all the time. Then Jesus delivered me from the bondage of shame and the dream stopped. Part of my healing, a huge part, was telling my sisters "Me, too". They already knew! I wept so hard that night. One of them had been in contact with the assailant! That confirmed for me that he had(maybe still is) been in the Corrections system. This is long. The shame is gone. The sting is long gone. I am now alive.

I’ve gone through a divorce over the past year — from a Southern Baptist minister in a small town in the Bible belt. I knew the loss of community would be devastating, and I prepared myself for it as best I could, but nothing prepares you for the loss of people and the drawing of lines. Jesus has walked with me, held me, UPheld me, comforted me, rocked me, held my hand, dried my tears. And, at all the right times, HE has sent messages to me like this one. The world is going to refuse me because of choices — things I know; things they don’t know; things they don’t need to know. HE is better. The world is always harsh and judgmental where Jesus is gentle and forgiving. I still struggle with truly believing that He is for me, and that He really does accept me with all my flaws and rough edges, but I’m trying and moving closer to that realization and acceptance. Thank you for this study. It’s a great lesson that Jesus holds women dear and draws them near to Himself.

I think about the 7 year period of time when my marriage wasn’t doing so well, I was isolated and away from my family. I was religious but not surrendered. I had no church community just a lot of religion. I searched and searched for help, but no help came. I finally asked the question, what about Jesus? My heart cried out for the truth and the truth set me free. Jesus pulled me out of an isolated pit, and began to heal and restore me. As I prayed he led me to other Christians, a wonderful church, and to a woman’s bible study. Healed and restored, I live free from my sin because of what Jesus did on the cross. I still cling to the hem of His robe, as I surrender each day and follow Him.

I identify with the bleeding woman because I have been suffering from long bouts of depression and anxiety for the past 31/2 Years. It has isolated and separated me from my whole community–church, family, friends. This past year I have drawn closer to God in His word, praying for my wholeness and healing. In this season of my life God is restoring me to Himself first, and then to my community. He wants me to share my story and my truth with others and let go of the shameful feelings I had around my depression. He is showing me a new way to use my gifts to help others and bring glory to Him!

Regina – I’m a part of a group on Facebook – you might want to join us – search for Christians with Depression and Anxiety

Surrendered to Seeds- A Secret Lament

The battles and questions do not give way

When hope is spoken come what may

Years of prayer and faithful trust

Leave us in waiting, ashes and dust

With lifted eyes we’ve hoped to see

Our desires answered, binds set free

Betrayals and sickness, cancer and loss

Seemingly drowning like leaves under moss

We find a comfort in secret lament

Rich in darkness, soil prayers are sent

Surrendered to seeds despairing to grow

Silently pressed into earth below

Quieted language and resting in dirt

We learn of sweetness being honest in hurt

Sadness and tears soften the ground

Water and salt clears sight and sound

We listen for breathing and look for light

In passionate peace grows strength and might

Husks of hope will break open in time

We wait together holding, yours, ours, mine.

https://sharetostrengthen.com/2018/08/15/surrendered-to-seeds-a-secret-lament/

Thank you. I did write this 🙂 I have a personal blog where I share my thoughts and poems in response to God’s word. Sharetostrengthen.com if you want to read. The title says it all, I share to strengthen they way God strengthens me. I am grateful He touched you through the words He gave me.

when my husband and I wanted to marry, after living together for 5 years, because we’d both had failed marriages, there was a lot of judgement and disappointment , both expressed and silent, from our then – church congregation and especially pastor. He refused to marry us, and I felt what he was saying was that we were "unclean". We sought out a different minister, who did marry us, and we moved on with the support of a new church family. The persecution and judgement that we felt from that situation took a long time to heal from spiritually and emotionally……looking back over 21 years ago, God has led us to and surrounded us with supportive fellow Christ followers. He continues to encourage us to take steps to keep our faith strong. WE are stronger in our faith now, than ever.

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