I have been reading this story for months, I’m intrigued by it and decided at one point I would try and write some biblical fiction around how I believed her life would have looked in the day. So I’ve been looking and reading and thinking.
Today I read an account written by Max Lucado in Cast of Characters, and was surprised to read what his account held. But it spurred me then to re read the story and learn from it all over again!
I think this story reveals a lot of Jesus character, he is a man who is not bowled over by the rich or by the famous, by the one who could pay for his help, he is not a man who will turn down the outcast or heavy laden in favour of the rich and distraught. The story opens with a synagogue leader requesting Jesus help in healing his little girl who Luke tells us was about 12, this man was clearly a family man concerned for the welfare of his child and his pleading caught Jesus attention. He was on his way to make the girl well, when all of a sudden power left him.
Mark states in chapter 5 verse 31 that he then turns to ask ‘who touched me?’
And coming forth was a woman who should not have been there. This lady has been haemorrhaging for 12 years, 12 YEARS! In today’s terms that would have been bad enough in relation to fatigue, anemia, hygiene purposes, but 2000 years ago this was not only a medical issue but it would have affected her spiritual life, her inability to be clean according to the Leviticus law meant she could not go to places of worship, anything she touched would have become unclean, any one she touched would have been unclean.
In this moment Jesus had just passed back from the lake after healing a demon possessed man, the people of her village were surrounding Jesus, all wanting to be with him, intrigued by his nature, though not fully understanding what he was capable of, and yet she knowing her uncleanliness pushed through this crowd in order to get To him. Mark 5:28 reads that she knew she just had to touch the hem of his garment and healing would be available for her. At this point this woman would have tried 11 cures according to the Talmud, and that doesn’t include the superstitions she will have dabbled in, in order to have a normal life again. She lived with no husband, couldn’t bear children, she couldn’t do normal life activities, hold down a job, none of this was open to her. But she had faith to believe that this man Jesus could heal her if he chose.
Phenomenally and no where else in scripture is it noted that this woman was healed before Jesus realised it was done. Mark quotes “Jesus realised that power had gone out from him”
Max Lucado writes that ‘It’s as if the father short-circuited the system and the divinity of Christ was a step ahead of the humanity of Christ’.
This is fascinating for me, to think this woman’s faith drew the attention of Father God, in a crowd of people who didn’t want to be near her, in a crowd of women and men who would have chastised and pushed her aside, the Father looked down from heaven and bless her. He chose to heal her. Aside of the business his son had set his mind to, aside of the leader before Jesus. The father decided this woman’s pain had been bore long enough.
For me this is a hope passage, hope that even when the world looks prettier, cleaner, tidier, more spiritual, or they seem like they have it all together, when I feel as though I am unwelcome in the crowd my burdens, my heart thoughts, my faith moments, my life’s trials are found in the eye of the father.