This week at South Side we continue our sermon series entitled “The Miracles of Jesus” by looking at the miracle of the woman with the blood disease found in Mark 5:25-34. A miracle is a phenomenal or supernatural event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers, and cannot be explained by the laws of nature. The four Gospels record thirty-seven miracles that Jesus performed, with Mark’s Gospel recording the most (“37 Miracles of Jesus in Chronological Order). Of course, these thirty-seven recorded miracles are only a small number of the multitudes of people who were healed by Jesus.
This week’s miracle is about a woman who had suffered for twelve years from bleeding. Mark 5:25-34 offers the most details of the instantaneous healing of a woman, unnamed, but significant in the Bible because of her determination and faith. She had a continuous bleeding condition, and “had been to many physicians.” She had spent all of her money on what medical care was available, as Luke 8:43 adds, but no one could help her, and she actually got worse. Unfortunately, during the time she lived according to the Law as stated in Leviticus 15:19-30, if her bleeding issue went longer than normal, all the days of her impurity would make her unclean. In this case, it had been a total of twelve years. She was desperate, and likely very lonely. She couldn’t touch anyone, and no one could touch her. She would have been shunned by everyone, including her family. She was not welcome in the synagogue or in any public place. Her life was filled with embarrassment, exclusion, and illness but she had one last hope.
She heard of a man they called Jesus, and decided that she was willing to break the social restrictions of her day. She was convinced, “If only I can touch his garment, I will be made well.” So that day as Jesus moved through the crowd she pursued him, and breaking through the crowd she made it to Jesus. Finally, she came behind Jesus and touched His garment. Instantly, she knew she was healed. She could feel it inside. But something happened that she didn’t anticipate. Jesus stopped, turned around and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples thought His question was odd. Peter said, “Teacher, the crowds are pressed against You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, I felt the power going out from Me.”(Luke 8:45, 46) Jesus knew by revelation that something had happened and He looked around to see who had touched Him. Afraid and trembling, but undoubtedly excited about her miracle, she came and laid herself in front of Jesus telling Him the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. It was then that Jesus responded to her by saying, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
For twelve years she was an outcast, rejected by everyone. All of her money was gone, and all of her efforts had failed. But her perseverance and her faith had paid off with a miracle. We need to understand that when Jesus called her “daughter,” He was fully accepting her back among the people of God. She was restored. Her decision to reach for Jesus brought her a long awaited victory. This Sunday at South Side we will unpack further applications of this incredible miracle that can impact our lives today. Worship begins at 10:45, and we have classes for all ages of children. Be sure to come early, and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee at “Café Connect.” We hope to see you then!
Barry Pettit is lead minister at South Side Church of Christ in Washington Court House.