Take a moment to ask yourself this question: How far would you be willing to go to get to Jesus?
What would you be willing to endure to reach Him? Would you suffer embarrassment to get to Him? What if you were weak, sick or hurt? Would you struggle through your suffering to meet, see or touch Him? If you were sure He could heal you, would you endure pain or humiliation to be healed?
A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse (Mark 5:25-26).
Jesus was in a town on His way to heal Jairus’s daughter, who was dying.
And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him (Mark 5:24).
Most of the time, Jesus was surrounded by large crowds of people. Everyone wanted to see Him, touch Him, hear Him, so they crowded around Him as closely as they could. It would be like the crowds right in front of the stage at a major concert. It would’ve been hard to move within the crowd and nearly impossible to push through it to get to Jesus.
That was the first hurdle this woman had to face. How could she get to Jesus to be healed?
There’s more. According to Old Testament law, a bleeding woman was considered unclean. Everything and everyone this woman touched would’ve become ceremonially unclean for 24 hours, which means that she could’ve caused quite a stir and made several people unhappy if she’d simply pushed her way through the crowd to get to Jesus.
How would she get to Him? She’d been bleeding for 12 years, and she just wanted it to stop. Her bleeding probably left her weak, and the ceremonial uncleanness probably caused her great shame. She had no money left–she’d spent every penny she had on doctors and not only did they not heal her, they actually made it worse! No one could help her, and many didn’t want to. How far was she willing to go to make it stop?
And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped (Luke 8:43-44).
The word translated in most Bibles as “fringe” actually is a Greek word meaning “extreme edge or skirt of a garment;” for us, this translates to the hem of Jesus’ robe. Where do you find the hem of a garment? At the bottom, right? I’m sure this woman didn’t sneak up behind Jesus and lift up His robe to reach the hem, which means that she must’ve reached Him by crawling.
Have you ever seen a soldier in a combat crawl? They lie flat on their stomachs and use their arm and leg movements to creep forward on the ground. That’s what this woman would’ve had to do to reach Jesus, to get through the crowd, avoid having people see her touching them, and get close enough to stretch out her hand to grasp Jesus’ robe.
But she knew if she did, she’d be healed.
And Jesus said, ‘Who is the one who touched Me?’ And while they were all denying it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me’ (Luke 2:45-46).
It wasn’t just that someone touched Jesus. It was that someone with faith in His power had touched Him. I’m sure as the crowd pressed in, people were touching Him. However, the faith of the woman had drawn power out of Him, and He felt it.
I’m sure the woman was trying to get away unnoticed, but Luke says that when she couldn’t, she fell at His feet and declared in front of everyone the reason she’d touched Him. She shared her embarrassing problem with the entire crowd–the problem that made her unclean for 12 years–then told how she’d been immediately healed.
This woman crawled through dirt to get to Jesus. She crawled around people with dirty (and probably smelly!) feet. She endured her shame and the fear that she’d be noticed because He was all she needed.
How far would you go to get to Jesus?
And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace’ (Luke 8:48).
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