September 18, 2020
Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." At once the woman was made well (Matthew 9:22; this event is also recorded, with some added detail, in Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48).
Have you ever suffered a health issue that kept you quarantined from others for a long period of time? Do you know someone like that? The Covid pandemic is just a tiny taste of what the woman in this story experienced for 12 years - and we’ve been quarantined for only 6-7 months! We know people who have cancer, MRSA, hepatitis, emphysema, etc. and can’t be around people for fear their problem would get worse. Such conditions are debilitating physically, emotionally, mentally, and sometimes spiritually.
This woman’s disease had no name, though some speculate what it might have been. The Jews considered her ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 15:25). Since the disease was incurable, and the blood flow persistent, she was confined to her home like a leper in a leper colony. She was alone. No one wanted to be around her. She couldn’t go out in public. She couldn’t be touched by her family. She couldn’t attend worship at the synagogue.
She had spent everything she had on cures that didn’t work. According to the Talmud, there were at least eleven possible cures for her disease. I’m sure this poor woman had tried all of them. Nothing worked, and she even got worse! But Jesus was in town. She believed He could heal her, so she got out of her house and found Jesus in the crowd. She didn’t care what other people thought of her. She wanted to be well.
Many people whom Jesus healed demonstrated great faith and determination, so much so they were persistent in meeting Jesus. That kind of faith gets His attention. Jesus isn’t afraid of the ‘uncleanness’ that disease may bring. He knew people with physical ailments need help and mercy, not isolation and condemnation.
In faith the woman touched the hem of His garment and was healed. It wasn’t the cloth that healed her - it was her faith in Jesus that healed her. Physical healing doesn’t always happen - it has to be within God’s will. But even if healing is not in His will, His grace will sustain us in spite of the issue (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
“Father, help me remember the faith this woman demonstrated. Remind me that You are always aware of what’s going on in my life and what affects me day by day, and that I can come to You with faith and confidence for healing - physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. Remind me that there are people all around me who are isolated for one reason or another, and that I can minister to them on Your behalf; that I can help relieve their burden by praying for them and with them in their time of need. To the honor and glory of Jesus Christ, Amen.”