“And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’” Mark 5:34
As we continue on our journey of faith, today we will take a look at one woman’s incredible faith that led her to the feet of Jesus. Perhaps you are already familiar with this story. Whether you are or aren’t, my prayer today is that God’s Word speaks something new to your heart, something fresh. Join me in Mark 5:21-34. Stop right here, grab your Bible, and take a moment to read the story…
By this point in Jesus’ earthly ministry, He was already sought after by the crowds. He had performed enough miracles that people flocked to Him for healing. They may or may not have believed that Jesus was the Son of God, but one thing we can assume is that they did desire the blessings from His hand. Jairus, a prominent ruler in the synagogue, came to Jesus that day with a desperate need – his daughter was ill and facing death. His plea was urgent and required the immediate attention of Jesus. So, we can see that the story doesn’t even begin with the bleeding woman. Jesus was already on a mission to heal this young girl, the daughter of an important man, yet the beauty of the story unfolds in the patience and kindness Jesus displays to “just another woman in the crowd”.
The text tells us that this woman had suffered from her bleeding for twelve years. Due to the severity of her disease, she had spent all that she had to seek a cure, but her efforts had been in vain. She only grew worse. Not only had her illness cost her all that she had financially, but it had also deemed her an outcast from society. Women were considered to be unclean during their monthly cycle, thus prohibiting them from worshiping in the temple. Not only were they prohibited to participate in corporate worship, but anyone that they came into contact with would also be deemed unclean as well. You can imagine the heavy weight of shame that she carried with her everywhere. She was regarded as unworthy. She had little hope left to cling to, if any. But then, there was Jesus. She had heard of this man who healed the sick, raised the dead, and performed the impossible. Perhaps, just maybe, He could do that for her. So she, among many, joined the crowd that day that pressed in to get close to Jesus. Imagine the courage it took for her to even be in a crowd. Certain that others would recognize her and know her to be the woman who was unclean. Certain that her nearness to others would cause them to be unclean as well. But, she had one hope left to cling to, and that hope was in this man named Jesus. Her faith, whether superstitious or genuine, drew her near to Jesus that day. She knew that if she could but reach out and touch the edge of His robe, she would be healed. So, she pressed in further, desperate for the healing that could only come from Him.
As the crowds pressed in around Jesus, I can only imagine the frustration of Jairus. Knowing that his daughter didn’t have much time left, I assume his impatience was at an all-time high when Jesus stopped to ask who had touched his garments. Naturally, many people had brushed up against Him in the crowd as He sought to make His way through it. Why would He ask such a seemingly ridiculous question? Perhaps to test the faith of the one who pursued Him. Would she stand up and confess that it was her who touched Him? Would she choose to be acknowledged in the crowd for having faith to pursue Him in such a way? The text tells us that although she was trembling in fear, she came forward, confessing the entire truth to Him. Can you even imagine the scene? The crowd at this point centered in on this one woman, a woman who probably dreaded attention more than anything due to the known shame she had carried for so long. Yet, her faith propelled her forward. Her faith drew her near to Him. And it was her faith that made her well.
As I read this story again, there are several truths that I can find within it. First of all, Jesus is powerful, and He is able to heal and to overcome death. We see His power on display so magnificently here in the life of this one woman. Secondly, it is our faith that connects us to that power. This woman’s faith in what she knew Jesus could do for her drew her to Him and brought full healing into her life. Third, our faith can be weak and imperfect, but the object of our faith must be Jesus. Perhaps this woman only sought out Jesus for what He could offer her…at first. Maybe her faith was superstitious. Maybe she thought, “Well, I’ve tried everything else, so why not Jesus too?” Nonetheless, the object of her faith at that moment was Jesus. She knew she had to get to Jesus. She was focused on Jesus. Fourth, Jesus moves at Jesus’ speed, the speed that His sovereignty deems necessary. Perhaps this sudden interruption caused Jairus to doubt Jesus and His ability to heal his daughter. Perhaps the woman had struggled to hold onto any faith at all after suffering and waiting for twelve years. But Jesus is never late. Never. His timing is always perfect. He’s never late. He’s rarely early either, but He’s always on time. Remember that the next time you question Him. He is sovereign, and He knows exactly what He’s doing. Fifth and finally, you will always give and get more than you bargain for when you come to Jesus. After this woman had given all that she had left in this world (materially), she gave all the dignity she might have had left to press in to touch Jesus. He could have shunned her and rejected her for doing such a thing. But He didn’t. Verse 34 tells us that her faith made her well. What’s interesting about that phrase “made her well” is that it refers to more than just a physical wellness or healing. Jesus not only healed her physically but also spiritually. He made her spiritually well. Her faith, small as it may have been, made her well, and her faith in Him flourished that day.
1. In what ways can you relate to the bleeding woman?
2. What fears do you have that cloud vibrant faith in your life?
3. By faith, can you choose to say today that God’s timing is perfect in all things?
4. Journal a prayer of response to the Lord today, confessing your fears and asking Him to increase your faith in Him.