The healing of the sick woman is the main subject of this passage found in Mark 5:25-34. Jesus is on His way to Jairus’ home when He is intercepted by a lady who had suffered with an illness for twelve years. We will come back to verses 21 to 24 in our next study.
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse” (Mark 5:25-26).
This woman had been a haemorrhaging for about twelve years. Though she had sought medical treatment from various doctors, she became poorer as well as sicker. She must have hoped and prayed for a cure, but her hope had all but gone until someone told her about Jesus. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).
Adam’s sin was the reason why this woman was in this condition, for it is the cause of all the pain and suffering in the world.
“When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole” (Mark 5:27-28).
Many people were following Jesus as He was making His way to the home of Jairus, so there must have been much shoving and pushing. The crowd did not seem to put the sick woman off, for she fought her way through until she came into contact with the Lord. She believed that if she could just touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. She may have come this way because she was embarrassed about her problem, especially since she was considered to be unclean. According to the Mosaic Law, a woman suffering from menstrual disorders was to be considered ceremonially unclean, “If a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean” (Leviticus 15:25). Hundreds must have touched Him, but only one derived benefit from doing so, because only one sought Jesus with a deep longing in her soul.
We should not be surprised to learn that many follow the Lord today for the wrong reason, just as they did when He walked the earth. It is only those few who faithfully trust Him that receive the blessings, while those who come along for the excitement and entertainment always go away empty.
“And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:29-30).
As soon as she touched the hem of His garment she was made completely whole. In an instant she felt that something wonderful had taken place in her body. No doctor could have done what the Lord had done that day. Only the Great Physician can say, “I am the LORD that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26).
Only by coming to Christ can a sinner find rest and peace for his soul. The answer for all of man’s problems can be found only in the Saviour. One touch of real faith cleanses the soul of its sin-sickness and relieves him of the heavy burden of condemnation. The Lord knows when someone touches Him with real faith in their heart, He hears the prayer of the righteous amongst the millions of words people pray. “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29) … “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
“And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth” (Mark 5:31-33).
Jesus is the Sovereign Lord so He must have known who touched Him, but He was drawing a confession of faith from the one who did. Because the disciples were unaware of what had taken place, they could not understand why Jesus said what He did. The woman could have simply slipped away in the crowd, because if she owned up to even being there she might come in for harsh treatment from the bystanders. The Lord wanted her to receive a word of confirmation and encouragement as well as the healing of her body. Her public confession of faith in Jesus was a testimony to those around about.
Heart belief is good, but we cannot keep the greatest miracle of all a secret. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).
“And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:34).
In faith she reached out to Jesus. It was her faith that the Lord commended that day. Her faith was simple yet effective. Faith of all the Christian graces, is the most mentioned in Scripture. It is this grace that brings great glory to God. It is faith that enables us to live for God. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), and makes us overcomers, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). The faith that moves mountains must not be shallow but genuine (Matthew 17:20).
The Lord has never changed. His grace is still sufficient, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9), and He is still “Mighty to save” (Isaiah 63:1). If we had an ounce of the faith the woman in our study had we would do great things for the Lord. It all depends if we are willing to reach out and touch Him!