The Bible narrates an incident of a woman who was sick with having a flow of blood for twelve years (Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:24-34, Luke 8:43–48). She had consulted many physicians and had spent all her livelihood in treatments, but could not be healed by any. Instead of improving, her condition only worsened by the day. One day as Jesus walked along, followed by a multitude, this hapless woman decided to walk behind Him. Getting an opportunity, she touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped (Luke 8:44). What could not be healed in twelve years, was healed in an instant!
Are you in a position where you have struggled for years without a breakthrough? May be you have tried all possible options that you could think of and have exhausted them all. You may have knocked on all doors that you could think of, but none yielded a result. You may have even prayed without seeing any results. It may be any area of your life – relationships, finances, physical or mental health, marriage, unwanted addictions, resisting abuse of any form or anything known well to you alone. I want to draw you attention to this woman who got a breakthrough in her life by her touch!
Jesus Christ healed many people who came to Him for healing while He was on earth. He restored the vision of the blind (John 9:1-41), the hearing of the deaf and the speech of the dumb (Mark 7:31-37). He made the lame walk and made withered lifeless hands active and well again (Matthew 12:9-13, Mark 3:1-6, Luke 6:6-11). He healed the paralytics (Mark 2:1-12) and brought the dead back to life (Mark 5:21-43, Luke 7:11-17, John 11:1-45). He healed lepers (Matthew 8:1-3) and demon-possessed people (Luke 4:33-37). Anyone who came to Him for healing or called on His name (Mark 10:46-52) experienced healing.
No doubt people heard of Him and came from far and near to experience wellness and witness His divinity. This particular woman with the issue of blood must have been one of those who had come with the hope of healing. However one stark difference between this woman and all the others whom the Bible mentions being healed by Jesus is that, all the other people were healed by the words or touch of Jesus Christ, but this woman was one who dared to touch Him.
If you have distanced yourself from God thinking that your life is too murky or sinful for you to approach God, you are wrong. If you think that God may not be interested in your ‘type of problem’, you are wrong. If you think that you are too weak to keep God’s tall commands and walk in His principles and so have kept yourself away from Him anyway, you are wrong. Yes, God is holy and there is no sin in Him. But, His holiness doesn’t get diluted by the touch of sinful people like you and me; our sinfulness gets cleansed instead. Jesus said, “. . . Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Mark 2:17).
Jesus Christ being God, came to earth as a man, not to associate with the righteous law-keeping people and give them a pat on their backs, but to lead sinners into the path of righteousness. Even today, He is more concerned about those who are lost in sin and darkness, than those who are able to abide by His commands.
The healing of this sick woman brings before us certain lessons worth pondering upon.
- Desire to be healed – The woman had a desire to be healed. She had her desire alive even after several unsuccessful attempts spanning twelve long years. And that, drew her near the multitude which was walking with Jesus that day. How many times we give up on not seeing immediate results? It’s common at times to adapt to certain seemingly unchangeable circumstances considering it to be adverse fate or ill luck so much so that even when there is a breakthrough close at hand, our eyes are not open to it. Suffering and doom are never God’s plans for human beings. Keep your desire to be healed, alive. That will draw you near to Jesus – the one who promises to heal. He is just a touch away!
- Dare to touch Jesus – The woman with the flow of blood knew that she was not healthy, clean, righteous and in the best of presentable forms to approach a holy God. Yet, she dared to stretch out her hand to touch Jesus. She managed to touch the border of His garment and was cured from her ailment instantly. “For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in herbody that she was healed of the affliction. (Mark 5:28-29) It was a bold thought and a bold action on her part. Dare to approach God today, no matter how your life has been till now!
- Stretch out your hand with faith – The woman stretched out her hand to Jesus with the faith that she would be made well, and her faith was rewarded. “And He said to her, “Daughter,your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5:34) Do not approach God with doubt in your heart. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6) “ . . . The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27) Stretch out your hand with faith and you will notice the change!
- God never intervenes by accident; His intervention is intentional – Even though the multitude was pressing on Him from all sides, the woman did not get healed by an accidental touch. Her touch was intentional. She intended to touch Jesus to experience healing. And Jesus sensed her touch instantly. “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.” (Mark 5:30-33) God intends to intervene in the lives of people. His power is available for all – be intentional in approaching Him!
- God is interested in your specific prayers – How many times we have prayed or heard others pray in general terms – ‘God, be with everyone’, ‘God, bless everyone’, ‘God, take care of everyone’, ‘God, do good to everyone’! Well, God is with everyone because He is omnipresent. He does take care of everyone in His sovereign ways and He is ever so willing to bless everyone who call on His name. However, He expects us to be specific in our prayers. The woman did not have in mind a general blessing – she had a specific desire in her heart which God honoured. Do not hesitate to be specific before God. In fact, He is the only one before whom you can even be dumbly specific!
- Jesus offers hope – Having exhausted all her livelihood over a span of twelve long years, the woman was without any hope of being healed. Jesus Christ offered her hope! The accounts of healing that she must’ve heard and may be even seen herself, offered her the sure hope of healing. Her hope was not in vain. Jesus Christ offers hope to all humanity. In a state of hopelessness with no where to turn to, Jesus is the answer!
The touch of faith releases God’s power. What was there in that woman’s touch which released the power of Jesus? Her touch was a bold touch of faith. She knew whose clothes she was touching. This Physician whose garment she intended to touch was unlike all the physicians of the years before whom she had approached. She knew that her desperate unsuccessful attempts to be cured of her ailment would meet success with Jesus. No matter what be the situation that you are jostling with today, if you stretch out your hand towards the living Lord Jesus Christ with faith, you will experience His power released towards you.
My Prayer for us: Lord, I proclaim Your omnipotence. I stretch out my hand towards You with faith and ask You to intervene in my life. Grant me wellness in my body, spirit and soul. Amen.