In the book of Matthew we get a whopping two lines about a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and she basically sneaks up behind Jesus to touch His cloak, saying to herself that she knew she would be healed if she could just touch that darn cloak!
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:20-21
If you do your homework, you will find that this was a HUGE no-no in this day and time. Leviticus Chapter 15 tells us that she was considered to be ceremonially unclean because she had been bleeding. This would be like our kids smelling up the bathroom and then coming to the dinner table without washing their hands – but times 100! It was shocking! It was outrageous! It was despicable!
Not only that, but in Mark 5:26 we find out that she had literally sold all she had to go to physicians to be healed and yet she was still bleeding. And not only did she not get better, she actually grew worse. She was DESPERATE, y’all. Desperate. For. Healing.
I’ve been there. I’ve been to see this doctor and that doctor and rearranged some savings to try this therapy or that therapy. I wasn’t a societal outcast like this woman though. I wonder what would be our modern-day equivalent — maybe someone with AIDs or herpes? A cancer patient who tries chemo but only gets worse and starts to lose control of their bodily functions?
If we keep reading in Mark 5:26, we see that she even came up behind Him, like she was scared of Him or ashamed for Him to see her.
Then she does it.
She touches his garment.
Now it’s time to flee!
But instead, at that very instant He knows and she knows that something has changed. Some kind of exchange has happened.
Can you imagine? Think of your absolute worst day. You don’t want anyone to see you, but you’re desperate for healing. You hear that Jesus is coming and you think to yourself “this is my chance, if only I can TOUCH HIS CLOTHES I know that He can heal me!” So you sneak up behind him, crouching down because you don’t want anyone to see you. You reach out and you do it. You actually touch his garment! And then you know — you can feel it. YOU ARE HEALED! But then… the unspeakable happens. He knows too. He knows that you touched Him AND He knows that He healed you. Your cover is blown.
Luke 8:45: “WHO TOUCHED ME?,” Jesus asked.
Awwwww man! Seriously?!?! This isn’t a drive-thru healing?
After each of the disciples all say “not it”, and Peter tries to tell Jesus he is nuts because they are in a CROWD and of course people are touching Him…. she does it. She finds the courage to tell Him it was her, and she literally does it in front of God and country.
Is your heart beating fast? Mine is.
Jesus then assures her that it wasn’t even her touch that healed her. There was no magic there. Her faith is what healed her.
And so Jesus says in Luke 8:48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
This woman went from unclean and outcast to trembling before Christ to declare her actions in-front of a CROWD of strangers. And then she was healed. And not only that, but He told her to “go in peace.”
What He did for her right then and there, He did for ALL of us when He was on that cross. While we might not experience drastic and immediate healing physically like she did, we most certainly can experience spiritual healing. I do. Every time I call on His name. And on some days, that is my entire prayer. “Jesus.”