”Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” Matthew 9.20-22
“A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5.24-34
The miracle of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years is listed in Gospels of Mathew, Mark and Luke. I’ve given the passages for the first two here. Matthew’s account is much shorter. It has the woman touching Jesus and him turning, seeing her, and saying, “your faith has healed you.”
Yet the Mark account is more detailed in it’s description. Like the Matthew account it is also a miracle within a miracle. Jesus is going to heal Jairus’ daughter when the woman touches his cloak, or clothes. It’s at that moment, when Jesus feels the slightest touch from this woman, deep in need, and full of faith, that he stops everything. Time seems to stand still. The crowd is still pushing, jostling for position and trying to get near Jesus, but he has stopped dead in his tracks.
This is where I appreciate the details of Marks gospel because in this Jesus “realized power had gone out from him,” which must be an amazing feeling into itself! He turns to ask to no one in particular, “Who touched my clothes?” Now the disciples think this is ridiculous because dozens if not hundreds of people had been reaching out, touching him, hoping to get the attention of this rabbi. But there is one who touches them cloak of Jesus with faith. And that’s the difference.
As Jesus is looking around the woman comes forward, “falling at his feet, trembling with fear” and tells Jesus ‘the whole truth.” Maybe she told him her life story, her twelve years of bleeding, the money spent, the failed attempts, the family on hold and the desperation by which she comes to Jesus, presses through the crowds and is final able to touch the hem of his garment. And Just like that she is healed.
Not too often have I been that faithful, that desperate in my need for healing, that I’ve come before the Lord with this type of need. A few times, perhaps, but not often. This woman came, she had to have a miracle, and Jesus was her key to healing.
He is our key as well. In the midst of our brokenness Jesus is all we need. And our faith is all he requires. Will you come to him today? Reach out, touch his garment, and find the hope you’re waiting for?
“O Lord God, this miracle was more about the woman’s faith than your initiation. This tells me that we can also come to you, broken and needy, hurting and hopeful and find strength and grace in our time of need. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and might. Bring your healing to our land that we might see your face and come into your Kingdom. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen