And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.  And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,  and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.  She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.  For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”  And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.  And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”  And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’”  And he looked around to see who had done it.  But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.  And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
This section of Mark’s gospel says something amazing about Jesus.
Jesus is on his way to Jarius’s house. His daughter has fallen ill and is about to die. So, Jesus has been beckoned to his house for help. He’s surrounded by tons of people, all around. One woman who had suffered for a very long time comes to him and touches his garment. She thinks doing so will cure her disease and restore her lost life of health. She has no idea what else she’s about to receive.
The amazing thing about this story is more than just the healing of the woman – it’s Jesus’ reaction to her touching his garment. I’d never noticed this before in reading this account. It’s so personal. It’s so meaningful. It says a lot about our Savior. He loves us personally, non-theoretically, intensely.
Jesus stops in the middle of his journey to ask who touched him. Mark says that he perceived that power had gone out from him. Power. I love that. The power of Jesus went from him to this woman. So, Jesus asks who touched him. The apostles are baffled. I mean, they are busy already. Surely Jesus isn’t worried about one person touching him in this large crowd. Many people probably touched him as they walked together.
But this was a different kind of touch. This was no accidental, flippant, pat-you-on-the-back kind of touch. This was the touch of faith, and Jesus knew it. So, he stopped and asked who touched him and looked around to see who would answer.
The woman came to him, fearing and trembling. This woman was already healed. She’d suffered immensely as we know from verse 26 and perhaps she was thinking this was just one more layer of suffering. Moments before she had watched her blood dry up and felt healing for the first time in many years. Jesus had noticed her touching. What would his response be?
He looks down at her, lying there before him trembling in fear, and says something amazing to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” He called her daughter. He didn’t insult her for touching him. He didn’t ridicule her for trying to get in the way of his very important journey. And, he didn’t ignore her. He looked at her and called her daughter. He made it personal. He identified himself with her. He then commends her faith and tells her to go in peace. She is healed physically but I believe she was healed spiritually as well. Imagine the pain she must have suffered being an unclean woman in those days. She would not have had rights to anything. She would have been a disgrace and most likely people had told her for many years that it was her sin that made her ill. Her life was a mess. She knew Jesus was the answer. So she touched his garment. That changed her life.
Jesus loved this woman. He loved her personally. He stopped his journey. He entered into her life. He forgave her. He set her free.
Oh, how different the church would be if we would just look to Jesus as the answer to our ills. Oh, what a difference it would make to touch his garments. Oh, how free we would be to have him look at us, pronounce us as healed, and set us free to go in peace! The gospel gives us this. We can’t touch him as he’s walking by but we grab hold of him through faith, just as this woman, and when we do, he bends down in mercy and grace and sets us free.
This woman’s blood was dried up at the touch of his garment because later on, Jesus’ blood would run like a river down a cross at the touch of a spear in his side. What he gave this woman that day he now freely gives to all who would look upon him. The Lamb slain for us.
When we look to him in faith, he doesn’t look back in condemnation. No, he looks down and says to our hearts, “Your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”