Desperate and Fearful? Brush Up Against Jesus
Inside: Have You Seen a Miracle? Maybe you need one. What we can learn from the desperate, fearful woman who was brave enough to touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment.
In our series on miracles, I am skipping ahead, because I sense that someone out there needs to hear this today. Is it you? You have been on my heart all week.
We have much to learn from the desperate, brave, fearful woman we meet in Mark 5. She is called the “sick woman,” the “woman who had an issue of blood,” and “the woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.”
Jesus calls her “Daughter.”
Who needs to hear this today?
A synagogue ruler named Jairus had pleaded with Jesus to heal His little girl, who was dying. So Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house, and a “large crowd followed and pressed around him” (Mark 5:24 ESV).
Enter our desperate, brave, fearful woman–the woman who had endured a condition of bleeding for twelve years.
We don’t know her exact medical condition. Did she have heavy bleeding from small wounds on her body, or did she have constant vaginal bleeding? Did bloody rags cover her arms and legs, or were her nether regions soaked from bleeding she could not control or excuse? It is not too much information. She had lived with the rags for twelve long years.
This dear woman was considered ceremonially unclean. According to Jewish Law, she would not have been allowed to enter the temple, and if she touched anything or anyone it became unclean as well.
She had lost everything: her dignity, her friends, her community. No girls night out for her. Furthermore, she had spent every last penny on doctors, who had been unable to cure her. In fact, they had only made her condition worse.
Weak, friendless, and penniless, she made one last desperate, brave, fearful attempt at healing.
Risking it all, she made her way through the crowd, making “unclean” everyone she touched. Yes, Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter, but if she could only get near enough to Jesus to touch the fringe of his cloak. She had heard of His power. Oh, please, dear Jesus.
She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”
Oh my goodness. She knew it immediately: Her bleeding had stopped! Now what? Jesus was calling her out. People saw; she would be found out.
But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Daughter. Jesus called her “Daughter.” No longer “the sick woman” or “the woman with the bleeding disease.” And did you catch the two-fold blessing from Jesus?
First, “go in peace.” Second, the physical: “be healed of your disease.” Spiritual healing, then physical healing.
Into God’s presence she was welcomed.
Oh, who needed to hear this promise this week? In your desperation and fearfulness, be brave, too! Press through that crowd. Brush up against Jesus. Touch His garments, and let His presence heal you spiritually, emotionally, physically.
How will you brush up against Jesus this week?
Digging into God’s Word: Desperate and Fearful?
Mark 5 is packed with miracles. I encourage you to read the whole chapter. Starting at verse 21, we see our miracle inside of a miracle. Jesus is on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter, and our desperate, fearful sister touches His cloak. “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” May we walk in such faith today.
Mark 5:21-34 (ESV)
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Digging Deeper: Desperate and Fearful?
Reflect on or journal about the following questions, listening for what God has to say to you.
1. Look back at Mark 5:25-34. What truths about Jesus do you learn from this account? How do they apply to your life today?
2. Is there an area of your life where you want to reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment? Share your desire with the Lord. Talk with Jesus and agree with Him about it. Let Him speak healing and peace to you today.
3. Help others know that God is still at work today! If you have experienced a miracle, share as much as you’re comfortable in the conversation below, or on the Digging Deeper with God Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DiggingDeeperwithGod. (Look for the post with the graphic “Have You Seen a Miracle?”)
4. If you enjoy Bible journaling in the form or artwork, the opportunities abound in Mark 5:25-34. You could focus on the woman’s fingertips touching Jesus’ garment, Jesus speaking peace to her, or the woman’s newfound freedom.
5. Worship with these songs as you reflect on miracles of long ago and even today. Choose one or all of the songs to listen to, or come back to these songs throughout the week.
One Touch (Nicole C Mullen) (This beautiful song recounts the healing of our dear sister in Mark 5.)
Frontiers (Lead Me to the End of Myself; Vertical Church Band)
You might remember this account as the woman touching the hem, fringe, edge, or tassel of Jesus’ cloak. That detail comes from Luke’s recounting of this miracle, in Luke 8:42-48.
Do you find the phrase “Your faith has made you well” perplexing? We will dig into this concept later in this series. There is often a connection between faith and miracles, and yet we must recognize that even our faith comes from God.
Check out this very helpful article at GotQuestions.org: What did Jesus mean when He told people, “Your faith has made you well”? From that article:
In other words, the value of one’s faith does not come from the one who expresses it but from the object in which it rests (Mark 10:52; 11:22). Ultimately, healing is not contingent upon the quality of one’s faith, but upon the Healer. It was through Christ that the woman in Matthew 9 was able to receive a bodily peace as well as a spiritual peace. . . .
Everyone whom Jesus willed to be healed was healed. Sometimes He healed those who expressed their faith in Him, and He made a point of emphasizing the condition of their heart: “Your faith has made you well.” Other times, in His great mercy, He healed those who had no faith and later drew them to Himself.
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