Jesus Heals A Woman With Bleeding Problems


‘A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 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. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ ‘You see the people crowding against you,’ his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’ Mark 5:24-34

As Jesus was journeying to Jairus’ house, a desperate woman in the multitude touched the Lord. She had been bleeding for 12 years, Leviticus 15:25, had gone to many doctors, and spent all of her money, Mark 5:26, but had only worsened.

She thought that by touching Jesus she could be healed, Mark 5:28. Sure enough, when she touched Jesus’ coat, she could sense that the flow of blood immediately dried up and she was well, Mark 5:29.

Mark and Luke record that Jesus insisted on being told who touched Him. The woman subsequently came forward in fear and trembling, Mark 5:33.

1. Physically she has suffered from a debilitating haemorrhage for 12 years, as long as the daughter of Jairus has been alive, and all the doctors have been unable to help her, she was physically exhausted.

No doubt the doctors tried all they knew, which by our standards wasn’t very much, but they had done their best.

They had probably recommended such medication as ‘locust eggs’, ‘powdered eggs of grasshoppers’ or ‘the fingernail of a man who had been hanged’.

All of which were expensive medicines in those days! Indeed, she had spent all the money she possessed, and Mark doesn’t speak very flatteringly of the doctors when he says, ‘instead of getting better she grew worse’, Mark 5:24-34.

2. That wasn’t the only effect of her illness, according to Jewish Law, this illness rendered her unclean so that she was banned from entering the temple or the synagogue. She was cut off from her religion and the support it should have given her.

3. And it didn’t stop there, there would have been a domestic consequence, maybe she was now divorced, Deuteronomy 24, at some point in those twelve years she would have lost her husband and according to Jewish Law, her husband had the right to divorce her and considering the fact that if he had continued to live with her, he would also have contracted uncleanness and the consequences of it, I have no doubt this is what had happened.

4. Think about the social consequences, she had lost all her friends and relatives, because they also wouldn’t dare to associate with her lest they became unclean.

According to Leviticus 15, anything with which the woman came into contact with was unclean, and anyone who had contact with her also became unclean. Indeed, they wouldn’t sit on a chair that she had sat on.

Think about this woman for a moment, she’s a widow, a woman with an incurable disease.

1. She was unclean.

2. This would give her husband the right to divorce her.

3. She was penniless. Spent all she had on doctors looking for a cure. Locust eggs were given, and the nail of a dead thief was another remedy but these all cost lots of money.

4. Ex-communicated from her religion.

5. Ex-communicated from society.

Put all this together and you see the terrible consequences of her sickness, we can understand how desperate she was. There was no one to help her, it seemed no one cared, nobody wanted to know her, and she was a ‘nobody’.

She’s a nobody at this moment in time but when she heard that Jesus was back in Capernaum, this appeared to her, to be her only hope of a cure and she is determined to reach him.

Mark 5:27 in the Greek says, ‘if she could get to ‘The Jesus’. As Jesus was a common name, she knew ‘the Jesus’ she was seeking, the Jesus who had the power to cure her.

I don’t think that she expected to be able to have a conversation or a consultation with the great Teacher, but she told herself, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’

Now, like all male Jews, the outer garment of Jesus, something like a shawl, had tassels of Blue on its corners. They were there to serve to remind the wearer to keep the Law, and they were regarded as holy.

Not surprisingly, this poor woman thought that, with such a holy person as the Teacher, they would be especially holy, if only she could manage to reach Him.

Of course, the problem she faced was immense! Weak and frail and fragile as she was, what chance of reaching Him did she stand, when faced with such a crowd of pushing, jostling, excited, noisy healthy people, milling around Jesus?

But she persisted and somehow managed to reach Jesus and she touched Him, and immediately she was healed. She not only knew it, but she felt it and so did Jesus.

Now, she would then have quietly gone away, but Jesus stopped and said, ‘who touched me?’ Not surprisingly His disciples were astonished! ‘Master, you see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’

Well, I believe that Jesus already knew who touched Him, and He was giving this poor woman the opportunity of coming forward and declaring herself! In any case, Jesus knew the difference between the touch of the jostling crowd and the touch of faith, and He said, ‘somebody touched me.’

Do you see what has happened? The ‘nobody’ has become a ‘somebody’! Luke records this story in Luke 8:43-48. She’s gone from being a nobody, ‘who’ to a ‘someone’, to a ‘daughter’.

And the woman came forward and told Him everything. No doubt she was apprehensive as she had broken the law by deliberately touching Jesus and furthermore, in Jewish society of that time, you didn’t touch such people as Priests or any religious leader! They were looked upon as holy men, and they liked it that way!

She probably expected a rebuke from Jesus, but, there was no rebuke, there was the compassion about which Jesus knew that the heart of that woman was beating fast.

She was afraid of the consequences and she may even have feared that Jairus, the ruler, would speak sharply to her for having touched the Teacher.

But Jesus looked at her and gently spoke some of the tender words of His ministry record, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering!’ Luke 7:50 / Luke 8:48 / Luke 17:19 / Luke 18:42.

Notice again what Jesus called her, ‘daughter’! She came to Jesus a ‘nobody’, for whom nobody cared.

She heard Jesus refer to her as a ‘somebody’, but her status has now changed and now she hears Jesus call her ‘daughter’, she is everybody.

This is the change that occurs when we come into faith in Jesus.

This poor woman had been cut off from the Jewish faith, but she was received into the faith of heaven.

She was rejected by her family but was received into the family of the Son of God.

She was excluded from the fellowship of human society but was received into the fellowship of those who believe.

She was reconciled back into society and her religion.

And Jesus still changes people and many of those who have done the most good in the world started as ‘nobodies’ but they learned through the Gospel of Christ that they really are a ‘somebody’ for whom God declares, that they realised that in the eyes of God they are ‘everybody’, the most important people on earth.