She was living but dying quickly in a strict religious community dominated by rabbis who thought it was better to be born a dog than to be born a woman. Physicians had taken all her money but hadn’t cured her.
Her disease isolated her. The daily blood loss drained her of iron and vitamins and she was frail. Even worse was the teaching of the rabbis who said her impurity was transferred to whatever she touched, including her house and its contents.
She was cut off from her husband and family. She longed to feel their touch and to touch their faces. She was unclean! What a terrible word especially for a woman. Unclean. She knew her death was approaching. At times she could feel the chill of death’s clammy touch, especially when the blood loss was heavy. The rabbis would have special purification ceremony for her dead body. When I’m dead they will make me clean and pure, but living there is no hope she must have thought.
She heard about a new rabbi, his name was Jesus. He was different, he taught with authority and healed the sick. And he was coming to her village. It was a bit frightening and risky, but she knew she would have to go to him. If she could disguise herself, cover her face and just touch his garment, surely she would be healed. The doctor’s treatments had failed, the rabbis had failed, if she was going to die, it was worth risking even further isolation. Besides, Jesus had a reputation for compassion, some even said he was the Messiah, the Son of God.
On that day, with her heart beating fast. Would she be discovered and attacked for making everyone unclean that bumped into her? Would her husband and children be disgraced if she was discovered. They could stone me, you know. Would her legs hold out to make the journey through the crowds? Would she be disappointed or healed? She pressed through the crowd, while Jesus was on his way to heal someone else’s daughter. There he was, just ahead. Please, please God let me touch him, please heal me.
Then she was there, would Jesus be unclean if she touched him? No, he was different, compassionate, a teacher with authority over unclean spirits and a healer of the sick. She extended her frail hand and in faith touched just the hem of his garment. Healing power suddenly surged through her body. She felt it! She was strengthened, she was whole. She was clean, she knew it. Joy! Joy! Joy! All in a flash! Now if she could just slip out of the crowd, but wait, he was stopping, what was that he said?
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” ” (Luke 8:45, NLT)
How could he know? She had to flee. But he wouldn’t stop asking about who touched him.
But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.”
When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:46-48, NLT)
Jesus not only healed the woman but he made her well and sent her away in peace. She under estimated who she touched. Her fears that her impurity could be transferred to Christ had been overcome. She had touched the One whose holiness was blazing and even the touch of his garment purified her from all impurity. He was the Holy Son of God! Who would dare defy him? Of whom should she be afraid, now. Certainly not the rabbis.
He sent her away in peace. What was it that Proverbs said, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. (Proverbs 14:30, NLT)
Peace comes to us in Christ and the gift of salvation he brings. He saved us from our sins. Sin robs us of our peace, health and separates us from God. The Hebrew word for peace Jesus used was Shalom. Shalom or God’s peace conveys the meaning of healthy, fulfilled, wholeness, sound, prosperous, and harmony. The genesis of this healing peace in your life is when you accept God’s gift of salvation in Christ. Your new life is clean, sins are washed away, you experience peace and harmony with God, you receive a wonderful new family of people who like you have been touched by Christ. It’s why Jesus described it as being born again!
He loves you and I pray that you will risk it all and invite him into your life!
Peace and Joy!