We've heard the story of the woman with an issue of bleeding, found in Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, and Luke 8:43-48. It's an amazing account of how a woman who believed that Jesus could heal her received her healing.
Her story, however, is more than just a story of God's power to heal. It's more than just a story of human suffering alleviated and relieved by God's love. It's more than just a story of faith in Christ.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at how it becomes a story we can all relate to: how we fail to see God's love for us.
A shy, secretive, yet desperate approach
All three accounts tell us that this woman approached the Lord Jesus "from behind." It so happened that at the time, the Lord was on His way to the home of Jairus, a leader of the synagogue in the area, so that He could heal his sick daughter.
While the Lord Jesus was pressing into the crowds, this woman pressed in so that she could at least touch the hem of Jesus' robe, "For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well."" (see Mark 5:28)
This woman had suffered from bleeding for twelve long years. Her bleeding had bled dry her finances because she "had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any" (see Luke 8:43).
And so, in desperation, she went to Jesus from behind to touch His clothes.
Many of us are like that. We're desperate for help. We're desperate for freedom. This woman represents us: her life has been draining away and there's nothing on earth that can save her from her impending doom.
Nothing, except the power of God in Christ. Are desperate enough to run to Him and trust in Him alone?
We then read that as she touched Jesus' clothes, "Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction." (see Mark 5:29). She was healed!
She spent all her fortune on physicians, putting her faith and money in them, but she ended up suffering both loss of blood and money. After spending all that she had without getting healed, she grew worse. (see Mark 5:26) She likely became hopeless.
But when news of Christ passing over her location came to her, she found hope. She believed that she could be healed, even by just a touch of the hem of His robe.
And indeed she was healed.
Many of us need to realize that our faith in Christ will not go unrewarded. The more we believe and trust God, the more excited He is to respond! Think about what 1 John 5:14-15 says:
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
God is glorified
The Lord Jesus, knowing that power had gone out of Him, looked for the person who touched Him. The woman, not knowing the love of God in Christ, was scared of Him.
Realizing that she will not be able to hide what she did, she fell down before Christ trembling, and said the reason why she touched Him and how she was healed.
"And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."" (Mark 5:34)
Christ's response to the woman probably caught her by surprise. She feared His possible response, but He responded with such love that would have dispelled her fears.
Many of us are like that woman. We don't realize just how kind and loving God really is. Because of this, we like to approach Him "from behind," failing to come humbly yet boldly before Him but instead, are too scared or shy to approach Him.
We often forget that as our Father, God is very loving. We often forget that as His children in Christ, He delights in us. We forget that as a merciful God, He opens His arms to us.
Let's ponder the words of 1 John 4:15-19 and realize how good He is.
"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us."