And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, And who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse. She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up
behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health. And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment. And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes? And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me? Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though
alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from you [distressing bodily] disease. (Mark 5:25-34 AMP)
I have read this story before and my attention was always drawn to the portion where Jesus tells the woman "your faith has made you well." Case closed, story over, point taken. I was sitting in my bed this late morning and reading through Mark chapter five as part of my daily devotions when I came across this story once again. Only this time I noticed something different.
The verses say that the woman believed if she could simply touch the hem of His garments that she would be made whole. The story continues that she does touch the hem of His garments and she is made whole because of her faith. This got me thinking. What if she had the same belief, the same faith that all she needed to do was touch the hem of His garments and she would be made whole. The crowd begins to walk past her. The streets are filled with people surrounding Jesus. The woman presses closer and closer trying to simply touch the hem of His garments. Instead, she is pushed from behind, falls forward towards Jesus' direction and touches His shoulder instead. Will she still be made whole? According to the story she didn't believe that she needed to touch His shoulder to be made whole, she believed that she needed to touch the hem of His garments. So what would have happened? The woman had faith in Jesus and His power for healing but she focused on the point that all she needed to do was touch the hem of His garments. Because she believed that's what she needed to do and acted out her belief, Jesus said her faith has made her whole.
I think it's reasonable to believe that if she touched the hem of His garments and was healed, in similar fashion, if she had touched His shoulder she would have also been healed. But this woman didn't have faith that touching His shoulder would heal her. She only had faith that touching the hem of His garment would bring healing. Had she touched His shoulder I believe she would have walked away broken, sad, and still sick. Not because the healing power of Jesus was only located in the hem of His garments, but because this woman only believed that touching the hem would bring healing.
I'm amazed at how often I tell God how I want Him to move in my life. How I want Him to speak to me, bless me, heal me, etc. When He doesn't work the way I expect Him to work,I lose sight of everything else He is doing in my life. If I only expect to be healed by touching the hem of His garments, when I touch his shoulder I wont receive anything because that's not what I expected. It's not what I had faith in. Please don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say. I am NOT saying that God is ALWAYS confined to what we believe. If He were than peter would have never gone to speak to the gentiles, paul would have never had the encounter with Jesus on the road. My point is that we can miss a lot of what God is doing in our lives because we refuse to imagine Him as being anything other than what we have created Him to be inside our minds.
Obviously the woman with this issue of blood was healed. She believed that all she needed to do was touch the hem of His garment and she didn't stop until she did just that. Her faith partnered with the compassion and healing power of Jesus made her whole.
As with everything I write, these are my thoughts and sometimes they can be extra-biblical.
The words are me, externally processing my thoughts as I read through the bible and experience God. It's okay if you don't agree with what I have to say, you should judge these words and see if they are true for your life.
I pray the blessings of our heavenly Father would rest upon your life today, and may love be spoken through your lips all the days of your life.