It was a long time since she felt really well. The disease in her body dominated her days and consumed her mind. She tried to function as well as she could, but ultimately, her sickness limited her. The constant loss of blood left her body weak and exhausted. Living with hormones that never balanced themselves affected her mind and emotions. Because Jewish culture deemed women who were menstruating “unclean”, she had to live with that stigma. Her illness was interfering with her marriage, her family, her friendships, and her ability to worship God at the Temple. She was desperate to be free.
Over the past 12 years, she tried everything. She went from doctor to doctor, trying all their cures. They took her money, but nothing helped. She felt so alone. The doctors had no more answers. Most of the people in her life, who started off supporting her, lost interest. She needed help desperately–God was her only hope.
Then Jesus arrived in her town. Everyone in Israel heard about Him. The stories of the miracles He performed were remarkable! She needed Jesus to change her life with a miracle. This hope is what drove her out into the crowds that day–the deep desire for a miracle from Jesus.
Everywhere Jesus went He was surrounded by crowds of people wanting to hear Him speak or experience a miracle. Just as she was making her way toward the crowd, a very important man interrupted. His name was Jarius. He was a ruler in the Jewish synagogue. He came to Jesus with a life and death emergency. His little girl was dying. The entire crowd turned to follow Jesus and Jarius to see what would happen. Would the little girl live or die?
As the crowd hurried toward Jarius’ home, this woman couldn’t believe what was happening. She needed help, too. She desperately wanted Jesus to heal her. She had nowhere else to turn.
That’s when she made the decision to touch Jesus. She thought, “Maybe if I can just touch Him I will be healed. I don’t need His personal attention. The whole crowd doesn’t have to be interrupted. Maybe if I just touched Him, I can be free from my suffering.”
So, she weaved her way through the crowd to get as close to Jesus as possible. Then she reached out and touched the edge of His garment. Immediately, she knew she was healed. For the first time in years, she felt good–really good. She was just about to breathe a sigh of relief when the crowd stopped.
Jesus stopped the crowd and asked, “Who touched Me?”
She was afraid. Would He be angry that she touched Him? Would He embarrass her? Could she lose her miracle? With all these questions racing through her mind, she gathered all of her courage and stepped forward.
As soon as she saw His eyes, she knew she had nothing to fear. They were filled with kindness, compassion, and understanding. He didn’t stop the crowd to embarrass her. He stopped to acknowledge her. You see, Jesus knew who touched Him even before He asked. He knew all about her. He knew that she had suffered for years. He knew that she was desperate for help and today, He helped her.
Jesus treated this woman’s problem like a sickness. He healed her. Most of the people in the crowd were concerned about the life and death crisis of a prominent ruler. To them, nothing could be more important. To Jesus, this woman and her “feminine problem” were important.
I believe He wants each of us to know that women and their unique physical experiences are important to Him. He wants to help each of us. Jesus understands women and their bodies–from PMS, to pregnancy, and menopause. He understands because He created us. He knows how our bodies work. He knows that women experience real physical symptoms that can cause real pain and suffering. Look at how He treated this woman. He spoke tenderly to her and called her “Daughter”. He showed her compassion, concern and understanding. He stopped everything just to help her. He wants to be there for us in the same way.
I have great empathy for the woman in this passage. Over the years, my monthly cycles have been difficult. I have suffered tremendous pain, and even ended up in the emergency room. For years, they were completely irregular which made them more difficult. Some months, my hormones become unbalanced and I am mentally and emotionally crazy. My family calls these “The Big E” periods because my Emotions are so out of whack. I become exhausted and doing anything is hard. My mind gets confused and I can’t make even the simplest decisions. Honestly, I think those months are harder than the painful months.
I sought medical help for these symptoms, but the side effects of their pills made me sick all the time. When medicine didn’t work, I chose to lean on God for help with my monthly cycle. He was there for me and helped me by regulating my cycle. Then He led me to a Christian chiropractor who has helped me. Still, with each new month I to turn to Jesus to help me with the symptoms of PMS. Each month, He is there to help me.
Jesus wants to help each of us as we go through our own personal feminine issues. To Him, women are important and what we go through is important. He wants to show us the same, compassion, concern and understanding He showed her.
So the next time you are struggling, try to take a moment and remember that Jesus wants to help you. Talk to Him. Tell Him how you are feeling. Ask Him for His help to get through this time. Remember, you are so important to Jesus. He loves you and wants to help you just like He did the woman in the Bible. Reach out to Him for help like she did. He will be there for you.
To Read More About Jesus, and how He feels about you, read, "Finding Significance"