Faith Revealed: The woman with a hemorrhage

This story has been on my mind lately. I guess as a woman who goes through the discomfort of a monthly cycle, I certainly could not relate to what the woman in Luke 8:42-48. This poor woman had been having her monthly cycle for 12 years straight….you heard me, 12 years with no stoppage of bleeding. I don’t even know how that is possible…how this woman could even be alive losing so much blood is beyond me. The bible doesn’t tell us if it was just a light flow or a heavy flow or what, just that she had “been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.” (Luke 8:43) She spent all of her money that she had on doctors who could not heal her. As the story continues, Jesus was on his way to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter. This woman knew that Jesus was in town and she made her way through the crowd to get to Jesus. This took a huge amount of courage and bravery. This is a woman who was required by Jewish law to yell “UNCLEAN” wherever she went so people could avoid becoming unclean by her. Can you imagine the humiliation of this? This poor woman, I can really feel for her! People probably treated her like she had some deadly disease when she was in public. I cannot imagine the isolation she felt with something she had no control over. But Jesus was here. He could heal her. She had faith that he could. So here she was, among the crowd of people who were pushing and shoving to see a miracle that Jesus was going to do for Jairus. After all, Jairus was a very important man, a leader in the synagogue, so could Jesus really heal his daughter? This brave woman reached her hand through the crowd and touched the edge of Jesus’ cloak and she was immediately healed! But Jesus stopped. He had been touched. He said to his disciples, “Who touched me?” No one would admit it, so Peter said it was just the crowd pressing against him. Jesus said again, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” The woman had to confess. If others who knew her to be unclean saw her in the crowd (where she shouldn’t be), she would be in trouble. So she falls to Jesus’ feet and told him she had done it and why. Uh, oh. She just made our Lord and Savior unclean by touching him! The Law in Leviticus is clear “When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.” (Leviticus 15:19) And Leviticus 15: 27 also says, “Whoever touches them will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.” But he needs to save Jairus’ daughter! He needed to bathe and wash his clothes? Jairus’ daughter might die by then!! Did Jesus get angry? NO!! He had compassion for this woman. She told him why she had touched him and that she had been instantly healed. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48 ) Daughter….he called her daughter.  She belonged to God’s forever family because of her faith!  Her faith in Him caused her to go out amongst the crowds of people who would condemn her to get healed from the Great Healer and the Savior of the world. So beloved, do you have something that is holding you back from your Savior? Take heart, no matter how badly you feel you have messed up, your Abba Father is always waiting to take you back with open arms. Have faith and courage that whatever you may be going through, there is nothing that the blood of Jesus Christ cannot heal.

2 Comments

  1. I have read this story so many times and heard teachings on it so many times. I thought I knew it so well. But then our pastor taught on it a couple of weeks ago and I realized I didn’t know it as well as I thought.

    The fact that she was unclean and the isolation that would have caused really struck me. Like you said, she would have had to yell “unclean” everywhere she went. You also mentioned that everyone who touched her would be unclean until evening. So she would have been isolated publicly and also in her own home. I cannot imagine the physical isolation of not being touched! Everyone who touched her would have had to weigh the cost of touching her. “Do I really want to be unclean until evening or not?” It would be so difficult to not be able to just hug loved ones whenever she wanted a hug. As an unclean person, she also would not have been allowed in the temple to worship the Lord.

    So, before, I just saw this scripture as another healing Jesus performed. She was sick and now she is well. But Jesus gave this woman her life back! She is now healed physically (no more bleeding), socially (no longer humiliated by being required to call out “unclean”), emotionally (able to have that physical contact with loved ones), spiritually (now able to go to worship the Lord in the temple and introduced to her Savior!), and so many other ways. Amazing!

  2. Isn’t it amazing to learn new things about familiar stories? I just love it when I revisit a story in the bible and realize that I learned something new from it. Jesus is amazing, isn’t he?


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