Even before she was born, laws were put in place to tag her unclean for a disease she didn’t think existed, till it became her fate. We have no record of her name, but she was called, “woman with the issue of blood,” because of her condition.
She was starved of community relationships for 12 years. She probably forgot how a hug felt. People avoided her for fear of also becoming unclean. (Leviticus 15:25) The doctors she chose were outside Israel, because those of same community were obliged by law to avoid her. She spent her life’s earnings on her health, but her torment continued.
One day, she heard of a different kind of healer in town. This man didn’t care about people’s opinions, and wasn’t afraid of self-righteous religious rulers. She heard that he had healed all kinds of people condemned by society. She may have lost hope and strength before then, but hearing the news of the one she hoped to be her Messiah, probably made her decide to take another shot.
This was an option she never knew could exist, and she had nothing to lose. Who knows? Maybe she muttered, “if I perish, I perish,” to herself as she chose her next step without looking back. She decided, then put her thoughts to action. She went round town to find a large crowd. She knew he’d be in the middle, teaching, healing…. This time he was on his way to heal a 12-year old.
*Emunah, as I’d like to call her, (because at this time, she wasn’t just the “woman with the issue of blood,” but one who chose to put her faith to work) had a plan. Her plan was to touch his garment and receive healing without notice. As she made her way through the crowd, those who knew her probably gave way because of their fear of becoming contaminated.
When she reached her healer, she touched the hem of his garment. Immediately, her 12 years old suffering ceased, as if it never happened. Her healing didn’t go unnoticed as she had planned because Jesus knew that virtue had left him. “Who touched me?” He asked, making her know that He was aware of her presence and healing. Emunah confessed her actions when she knew there was no way to hide. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Jesus, being God in the flesh, who is wisdom personified, knew exactly what had happened even before He asked, “who touched me?” The question was intended to reveal the woman and give her the opportunity to tell her story. That those around, and even generations to come, would hear of her great faith and learn from her.
Because of what she did, Jairus, who was informed of his daughter’s death while all of that was happening, remained unshaken because he had not only heard of stories of Jesus’ work, but had just witnessed first-hand how a woman–who he probably knew, since he was a religious leader–with illness as old as his daughter, was made whole. We have this story today because a woman decided to put faith to work. What story will others have because of you?
Inspired by Luke 8:48.
*Emunah is the Hebrew word for Faith.
Author: Dr. Joy Marie Oviomaigho.