And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. (Mark 5:25–27 ESV)
The woman in this story had a seemingly incurable condition causing her to bleed constantly. According to the law it would have made her ritually unclean (Leviticus 15:25-27) and excluded her from most social contact.
She desperately wanted Jesus to heal her, but she knew that her bleeding would also cause Jesus to be unclean if she touched him.
As I was thinking about this incident, a couple of things occurred to me.
First of all, we often feel that our problems will keep us from God. We may have had a bad morning losing our temper with the kids, impatiently cutting up another driver on the way to work, and spent the day gossiping about our work colleagues. How could we ever come to God after a day like that?
What we need to remember is when we come to God in prayer, study or meditation, he is not going to be contaminated and become unclean by all the problems we have. Rather he is always ready to help and heal no matter how bad the problem seems to us.
We should never allow our current condition to keep us from approaching him.
This woman had suffered this problem for 12 years. She had seen many different doctors, had spent all her money on trying to get better, but was getting worse.
She had, no doubt, given up the hope of finding a cure a long time ago.
But something happened to cause her to hope again.
Something drove her to get out of bed, put her clothes on, and although she would have been regarded as unclean, get outside, mingle with the crowd and walk towards Jesus.
What caused her hope to come alive?
Verse 27 says,
‘She had heard the reports about Jesus’. She came to Jesus with expectations: she thought, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” (v.28)
This woman had heard the reports that Jesus, in his mercy and grace heals and restores people.
The second thing that crossed mind as I read this passage is: I know that Jesus heals and restores people, but have I told anybody?
This woman came because of the reports she had heard about Jesus.
Have I impacted anyone with reports of Jesus?
Food for thought!
Maybe it’s time to start a report that anyone can come to Jesus whatever their condition and receive grace – What do you think?
Father, thank you that we can come to Jesus just as we are. Forgive me for the times I have not shared report of Jesus with anyone. Place in me a heart to spread good reports about Jesus and the marvellous things he continues to do.
Have a good week preparing your report.