“Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, pleading fervently with him. ‘My little daughter is dying,’ he said. ‘Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.’
Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’ Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my robe?’
His disciples said to him, ‘Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’’
But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.’” – Mark 5:21-34
To have been this woman or to have even observed this healing. . . I can only begin to fathom what this may have looked like.
Here was a woman stepping up to touch Jesus as He made His way to the home of one of the synagogue rulers with the intention of healing the man’s daughter. In the crowd, there is this unnamed woman who had spent all she had in trying to find healing and had found no relief. She is physically and financially drained. As per the rabbinical laws, because she was bleeding she was also considered unclean. Weigh that on the scales – a male ruler of the religious authority versus a ceremonially unclean, destitute woman. Who would someone with a world view prioritize? Yet Jesus, on the way to heal the synagogue ruler’s daughter, stops in His tracks and asks who had touched Him.
There is a crowd around Jesus. The disciples are shocked at Jesus’ question because, of course with a crowd around Him, someone, probably many “someones,” had touched Jesus. But, somewhere in the midst of all that touching, Jesus could identify this woman’s touch.
What made her touch so special? She was “unclean,” but my guess would be hers was not the only unclean hand that touched Him as He was walking. But, in this record, she is the only one that we know of who believed that even just touching Jesus’ garment would heal her. Those other unclean hands were vying to get close enough to get His attention. I see her doing anything but. She was desperate but incredibly discrete, knowing that even a touch from the furthest edge of His garment could bring healing.
And Jesus calls her out. I see her quietly rejoicing, maybe even crying tears of joy and relief. She probably does not even hear Jesus the first time He asks, “Who touched Me?” She is absolutely engrossed in her private celebration. But when she suddenly realizes that the crowd has stopped moving, she hears a murmur through the crowd about who Jesus is referring to that may have touched Him. Her first response may have been a desire to get out of there as quickly as possible. But she doesn’t. Something propels her to step forward, fall at Jesus’ feet and admit what she had done. Her fear in doing this is evident in her trembling. What were the thoughts going through her head? Maybe she was thinking, “If Jesus could heal me, He could also take away that healing. Will He?” But He doesn’t. Jesus acknowledges her faith and its impact on her healing and sends her on her way. I can almost hear her sigh of relief mixed with awe.
What if we followed the posture of this woman and in every prayer we boldly approached His throne with the understanding that we are unclean people reaching out to touch Him so that He can heal us – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally? And, what if when we prayed, we envisioned being bold enough to reach out to touch Jesus and KNEW with every part of our being that that would be ENOUGH for the healing that we seek!?! Lord, lead us all into a prayer life with that depth of belief and boldness!