24 So Jesus went with him. A large group of people followed. They crowded around him. 25 A woman was there who had a sickness that made her bleed. It had lasted for 12 years. 26 She had suffered a great deal, even though she had gone to many doctors. She had spent all the money she had. But she was getting worse, not better. 27 Then she heard about Jesus. She came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes. 28 She thought, “I just need to touch his clothes. Then I will be healed.” 29 Right away her bleeding stopped. She felt in her body that her suffering was over. 30 At once Jesus knew that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd. He asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people,” his disciples answered. “They are crowding against you. And you still ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around. He wanted to see who had touched him. 33 Then the woman came and fell at his feet. She knew what had happened to her. She was shaking with fear. But she told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Dear woman, your faith has healed you. Go in peace. You are free from your suffering.”
I love this well known story of life changing miraculous healing. It speaks to me on so many levels – courage, faith, God’s power and forgiveness.
Forgiveness? Yes. My NIV study bible says the Greek word for “healed’ actually means “saved”. She is blessed by Jesus to “Go in peace (spiritual healing) and be freed from your suffering “(physical healing). God wants us to be fully restored.
I am challenged by the vulnerability displayed by the sick woman. Her public display of faith meant she was vulnerable to religious and cultural condemnation, at a time when it was believed she was ceremonially “unclean” and therefore those in contact with her were likewise. This is why she was trembling with fear when Jesus sought her out (v33). She risked much when she reached out in faith to touch Jesus’s cloak.
Through her faithful actions the power of God is displayed – for all those present and the generations afterwards who have read her story. God’s power was flowing through Jesus for her, right at that moment, in her moment of need and faith.
Her example makes me reflect on my attitude when I face seemingly insurmountable problems. My options are my own strength or activating my faith. Self reliance or reliance on God. Acknowledging I need God’s power to transform my situation may make me feel vulnerable, others may see I don’t have all the answers. That is a great moment when God comes alongside and restores me, and my relationship with him.
Thank you God that when I am vulnerable in my faith your power is displayed. I want to testify to your power in my life whenever I can. Give me the words to say. Amen
Written by Claire Moore