"She said to herself, 'If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.'"
- Matthew 9:21
This is one of my favorite stories in the entire Bible. It shows what happens when we believe in Jesus and His love for us. The world wants us to exhaust ourselves seeking everything except Jesus, to make us well. Nothing in this world makes us well and it never will.
The woman in the story had a medical condition that the Bible described as, "an issue of blood for twelve years." (Luke 8:43)
Many scholars believe she suffered from abnormal uterine bleeding, called Menorrhagia. She would have been considered as "unclean" in 1st century Israel.
She had done everything she could to be healed, she even "spent all her living on physicians, but could not be healed by any."(Luke 8:43) Imagine her shame and her sorrow. Suffering alone and being looked down upon for 12 years. She would have been seen as undesirable by men and ridiculed by other woman.
Then, she hears an name that will change her life forever. She hears about a traveling preacher who heals disease and casts out demons. She hears about a young Rabbi who loves the poor and adores children. She is told about the leper He touched and healed. She hears the name...Jesus.
She decides to put her faith in Him and His power. She gathers up her strength and sets out to find Him. When she finds a crowd on their way to the house of Jairus, she sees Him. Without hesitation, "she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole." (Matthew 9:21)
Jesus was surrounded by people and yet knew at once the woman had reached out for Him. “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” he declares in Luke 8:46. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”(Luke 8:48) You are God's child!
Our faith is what makes us well and whole, both physically and spiritually! You don't have to be perfect and polished to reach out for a Savior.
So many people are suffering from their own heavy bleeding. Sin is like a dagger that goes deep into our lives. The Devil twists it so the wound won't heal. Things like drug abuse, pornography, infidelity, and greed bleed our lives of strength and vitality. Too often we try everything this world offers as an escape from our wretched state.
How many people repeatedly try to break destructive habits without success? How many Christians bargain with God? There are countless dramatic declarations and actions.
People fall right back into their habitual sin and rebellion. How many Christians are bleeding out, too weak to answer Christ's call? Why does it seem like nothing we do works? We don't reach out to Jesus in faith, like the woman who bled did.
We go to church and get good jobs. We appear on the outside like we are happy and fulfilled. Inside we are dry and lifeless. Our lives are based around our intellectual information about God. We refuse to touch Jesus in full faith of who He is and how much He loves us.
There can be great difficulty accepting and applying this story. We know that people we love will suffer and die. We will pray and beg God for a miracle. Yet sometimes, God's glory is not in the healing of a disease, or keeping someone alive.
We need to remember, that at some point this woman, even though her bleeding stopped, she eventually died. The grief and pain of losing loved ones is very, very real. The real miracle is eternal life in Jesus, through faith in Him. That is why we need to pray for and express God's love to everyone we meet.
You must to believe and choose that Jesus is all you need to stop the bleeding in your life. It's never too late, as long as you are alive. Reach for His robes, and be made well by full faith in Jesus Christ!