Day 10 - The Bleeding Woman

Day 10 - The Bleeding Woman

Written By: Wendy Alligood

Matthew 9:20-22
And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him (Jesus) and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.”  

It is easy to miss this great miracle. Matthew only uses three verses to describe it. However, it is also included in Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-48 where we get many more details.

The woman had suffered from a bleeding disorder for twelve years. According to Jewish Law, she was ceremonially unclean. This meant she was totally isolated from society. She could not go to the temple. She could not touch other people; she could not hug her husband, children. mother, father or any relatives she may have had. Anything she touched was considered unclean. Anyone who touched anything she had touched would be unclean. These people and things would be declared clean again at sundown. However, she could never be clean until she had stopped bleeding for seven days. Imagine being in total quarantine for twelve straight years! COVID has given us a small glimpse of the isolation this woman must have felt.

She had been to see many doctors and spent all she had seeking cures, but nothing worked. At the time Jesus was passing through her town, she was desperate. Desperation can bring us to a place where we no longer care what others think. This was the case with the bleeding woman. She was willing to do anything to get close to Jesus and be cured. She plunged through the crowd to get to Jesus, not caring that she was not supposed to touch them or that they would be disgusted if they knew who she was. She was desperate but she also had hope, determination and faith. She had not given up despite the fact that nothing in THIS world had worked. She was ready to try something out of this world. Are you?

When she reached Jesus, she thought, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” Some translations say the hem of His garment or the fringe of His garment. These indicate that she only believed she needed to touch the smallest bit of fabric. A small bit of Jesus’ power can totally transform our lives!

In Luke’s account, we learn that she immediately felt that she was healed and that Jesus knew power had gone out of His body. He looked around and asked who had touched Him. The disciples answered that the crowd was pushing in from all sides and that many people had touched HIm, but Jesus was referring to the one who had received His power. The woman came forward and explained what she had done and why. It is important to share when Jesus has worked in your life. It can be a great encouragement to others.

This passage has great implications for us today. Perhaps you suffer from a physical ailment as the bleeding woman did. It is more likely, that you have a spiritual or emotional need for healing. If you have never been saved, this story is a picture of salvation.  When we approach Jesus in faith, we are immediately healed from sin and are reconciled with God through the power of Jesus. It is only then that we are able to draw close enough to touch His garment. Yet, many Christians stop right there. Our walk should be a continual movement closer and closer to Jesus.  If you have been saved you know that you felt different after you encountered Jesus’ power, just as the woman did. After salvation although our sins are completely forgiven, we may still have need for healing whether the issue be spiritual, physical or emotional. In each case, we should approach Jesus as the bleeding woman did, in faith that He will heal us. The only way we can be made well, is to draw as close to Jesus as we can get. This is done through prayer and Bible study. We must be intimate with our Savior. In this way, we can be healed of spiritual and emotional issues. This may be instantaneous or it may take time. We may also be healed of physical issues. However, Jesus does not always heal physical ailments here on Earth, yet we are assured of complete healing in heaven.

On a personal note: this passage has been of particular significance to me since I was diagnosed with cancer. It has been my desire to draw as close to Jesus, the Great Physician, as I could during this time, close enough to figuratively touch His garment. I do not know if He has healed me of my cancer yet. I will have scans in a few months to see if the cancer is gone. I do know that I have experienced miraculous peace throughout the past 4 months. I also know that I have experienced fewer and less severe side effects from my treatments than the doctors predicted I would. I have been blessed as I have grown closer to Jesus and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will be healed either here or in heaven. I have been encouraged by many of you who have made sure I knew I was not alone.

If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, that is your first step. You simply need to go to Him in faith. Then just as the woman did in Mark’s account, you must tell someone. (Please talk to someone such as one of our staff members who can walk you through this simple but miraculous transformation and give you more information about becoming a follower of Jesus.)
If you already know Jesus, think about what you need to do to draw closer to HIm. What kind of obstacles stand in your way? The woman pushed her way through a hostile crowd. We are more likely to need to carve out time in our schedules to be intimate with Jesus. What are you desperate enough about in your life and what are you willing to do in order to get close enough to touch Jesus’ garment?
Do you know someone who needs healing? They may be feeling very isolated and could use a reminder that they are not alone. You can pray for them and reach out through cards, texts, phone calls, etc.
As we approach Easter, let us all purpose and plan to grow closer to Jesus in the coming days so that we may more fully appreciate His death, burial, and resurrection this year!

Dear Lord, Help me to remember the great faith that the woman with the issue of blood showed. And to boldly come to you when I need healing of any kind—physical, emotional, or spiritual—knowing that you will always help me. I can also draw near to other people who are sick instead of distancing myself from them. I can pray boldly for their healing as well. I can offer compassion and show them that they are not alone. Amen.*
*This prayer is from “What can we Learn from the Woman with the Issue of Blood?” by Jennifer Heeren. Click here for her Original article