Matthew 9:20-22 (ESV) And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
We can read several accounts in the Gospels of this poor woman and her encounter with Jesus. Mark 5 goes into greater detail than the others. In verses 21-35 we read that Jesus is on his way to the house of a ruler in the Synagogue to heal the ruler’s daughter. A great throng of people surrounded Jesus and pressed into him, hoping to get his attention. It is at this point that the woman enters. She has been bleeding for twelve years. We can imagine what she was suffering; she was anemic, pale, weak. She probably had an odor and maybe even struggled to keep people from seeing her situation on her clothing. She had sought advice from doctors, and they could do nothing for her. It is likely that all of her neighbors and certainly this ruler of the synagogue knew what was going on in her life.
According to the Law of Moses, she was unclean as long as she was bleeding. This means that for twelve years, she could not touch anyone or they would also be unclean. She could not go where people were - she certainly could not go to the synagogue and worship the Lord with her neighbors. It is likely she lead a pretty lonely life.
So the fact that she dared to enter the throng of people is quite extraordinary! She risked their glares, their avoidance, their outright disdain and anger at her presence. She risked defiling Jesus by touching him. It is entirely possible that she would be called out and embarrassed right there in front of the entire crowd.
But she pressed in anyway.
Her faith made her move despite the crowd, despite the situation.
She knew that she really wasn’t supposed to touch Jesus. He might get angry. The ruler might get angry. But she knew that if she could touch Jesus, she would be healed.
And you know what? Jesus said that it was this faith that brought her healing! She was healed that moment! She didn’t have to wait another second. Jesus didn’t have to do anything for her. She was healed! Her faith had made her well!
I pray for that kind of faith!
I am like the woman in this story. I have suffered and it seems like the doctors can do nothing for me. But I will press in to you. And as I press in to you, you will heal me. All I need to do is touch the hem of your garments, and I will be healed. I praise you that my faith has made me well!