Mark 5:25-34 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she had heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
Alone, sick, and apparently without hope, this woman was looking for a last resort. She was not supposed to be in that crowd that day. She was not to be in public because others night touch her and become unclean themselves. Because of her condition, she was considered unclean by law. No one could touch her nor anything she had touched. She was totally cut off from society and religious worship and had been for 12 years. She had “suffered many things from many physicians.” Don’t you wonder what things she suffered from these men? Yet through all that she didn’t get better, she grew worse. There was nowhere else for her to turn. She had used all of her resources and seen the physicians. But is it not this sense of unworthiness and hopelessness that touches the very heart of Jesus?
She heard that Jesus was coming to town and she knew He could heal her. She elbowed her way through the crowd and came up behind Jesus. She wanted to touch Jesus without being seen or noticed because she was embarrassed and felt unworthy. Her hemorrhaging was a personal, intimate matter for her, something she didn’t want others to know about and discuss. She was unclean; therefore she felt unworthy to approach Jesus. How we struggle to hide certain things in our lives – embarrassing things, personal matters, secret matters – but these are all known and understood by Jesus. He never wishes to cause us embarrassment or shame. He is just waiting for us to approach Him with an understanding of our unworthiness and hopelessness without Him.
She approached Jesus not only with a sense of unworthiness and hopelessness, but with an attitude of expectancy. She had heard of Jesus and believed that He could make her whole again. Look at her thoughts, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” She believed in her thoughts, in her heart, in the place within herself where her innermost being talks with her heart. She believed two things: the gospel (what she had heard about Jesus) and the power of Jesus to make her whole. This same expectant, believing attitude is essential for any of us to come to Jesus, whether we are hopeless or not. We have to believe in the gospel and the power of Jesus to make us whole. Her reaching out and touching His garment of clothing showed the depth of this faith, this attitude of believing expectancy.
As soon as she touched Jesus, the woman was healed. Jesus, of course, knew who had touched Him, but He asked the question, “Who touched my clothes?” so she could show her faith. He made the healing easy for her without embarrassment but she needed to confess Jesus publicly. It’s interesting to me that the healing cost Jesus. Spiritual power had flowed out of Him to the woman. The expenditure took a toll and He felt the power drain from His body. Imagine the enormous amount of power that must have drained from His body from the time of His first miracle to the cross. Then imagine the flow of power that flowed from the cross, covering believers of all generations. He poured out his power for all of us. I don’t think the disciples understood what it cost Jesus to minister. They were insensitive to the spiritual energy he was expending. They were somewhat surprised at his questions about who touched Him. He was in the midst of a crowd – how could He possibly expect not to be touched? They didn’t understand that he was not only taking our infirmities and bearing our sicknesses but was teaching that public confession of Him was essential. The woman confessed – it was difficult and embarrassing but she did it. Then He told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” What a wonderful result. Jesus granted the request of the hopeless. She received peace and was made whole, both physically and spiritually.
What made the woman go to Jesus? Faith that He could do for her what He had done for so many. Her hope was not the kind that says, “Maybe it will happen; I hope so.” Her faith said, “I know He can heal me.” Jesus meets us however we come to Him, with whatever problem. Our hope is in Him; not because we wonder if He will help us, but because we KNOW He will help us. Jesus always responds to those who hope in Him, no matter how great or how small they are. He will always do more than we can imagine.