She Touched His Garment
NEWS of Jesus’ return from the Decapolis reaches Capernaum, and a great crowd assembles by the sea to welcome him back. No doubt they have heard that he stilled the storm and cured the demon-possessed men. Now, as he steps ashore, they gather around him, eager and expectant.
One of those anxious to see Jesus is Jairus, a presiding officer of the synagogue. He falls at Jesus’ feet and begs over and over: “My little daughter is in an extreme condition. Would you please come and put your hands upon her that she may get well and live.” Since she is his only child and just 12 years old, she is especially precious to Jairus.
Jesus responds and, accompanied by the crowd, heads for the home of Jairus. We can imagine the excitement of the people as they anticipate another miracle. But the attention of one woman in the crowd is focused on her own severe problem.
For 12 long years, this woman has suffered from a flow of blood. She has been to one doctor after another, spending all her money on treatments. But she has not been helped; rather, her problem has become worse.
As you can probably appreciate, besides weakening her very much, her ailment is also embarrassing and humiliating. One generally does not speak publicly about such an affliction. Moreover, under the Mosaic Law a running discharge of blood makes a woman unclean, and anyone touching her or her blood-stained garments is required to wash and be unclean until the evening.
The woman has heard of Jesus’ miracles and has now sought him out. In view of her uncleanness, she makes her way through the crowd as inconspicuously as possible, saying to herself: “If I touch just his outer garments I shall get well.” When she does so, immediately she senses that her flow of blood has dried up!
“Who was it that touched me?” How those words of Jesus must shock her! How could he know? ‘Instructor,’ Peter protests, ‘the crowds are hemming you in and closely pressing you, and do you say, “Who touched me?”’
Looking around for the woman, Jesus explains: “Someone touched me, for I perceived that power went out of me.” Indeed, it is no ordinary touch, for the healing that results draws on Jesus’ vitality.
Seeing that she has not escaped notice, the woman comes and falls down before Jesus, frightened and trembling. In front of all the people, she tells the whole truth about her illness and how she has just now been cured.
Moved by her full confession, Jesus compassionately comforts her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be in good health from your grievous sickness.” How fine it is to know that the One whom God has chosen to rule the earth is such a warm, compassionate person, who both cares for people and has the power to help them! Matthew 9:18-22; Mark 5:21-34; Luke 8:40-48; Leviticus 15:25-27.
▪ Who is Jairus, and why does he come to Jesus?
▪ What problem does one woman have, and why is coming to Jesus for help so difficult for her?
▪ How is the woman healed, and how does Jesus comfort her?