Updated: Feb 26, 2018
That which was then, may serve as a lesson to the desiring hearts today and testament for the ages to come.
The place of our text is Capernaum, a name familiar to the readers of the Bible and familiar to the historians. A rather small village, spanning the bronze period to the Hellenistic period, into the time of Christ and beyond.
History records the woman with the issue of blood as Veronica, a woman of wealth and repute. But where sin abound and its works of agony, social status is of no value. The scripture relates the account as follows:
When Jesus was passed over again (from the country of Gadara, after healing the man with a demon, now to Capernaum) by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him (Jesus), he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, (she) came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
Touching the Lord is reaching out to God from Whom our power comes from. In our failure to see God in a bleak situation (like this lady) she had an issue of blood, referring to a menstrual period, but for every month for 12 years. Due to this and according to the standard of that time frame; she was not allowed to be in a public gathering. Therefore, she was to be separated and isolated. A cruel reality, but the perfect illustration of sin. Was her illness of continual bleeding, a sin? The answer is no. However, one of the lessons to be learned from this illustration is the likeness of an illness as sin, metaphorically speaking.
Before going any further, let us examine the effects of sin on the sinner.
Sin empowered the sinner blinding them into the path of self-destruction. This was the case of the previous happening before Capernaum, where Jesus healed the demoniac. A madman living among the tombs, and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: For that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
His strength did not better his situation, instead we are told; throughout, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. He was empowered to break fetters and chains, but the power of sin could not set him free, but led him to a place of sadness, pain and self-destruction. Then Jesus came, and He set the captive of sin free.
Next, we are told of the account of a ruler of the synagogue, Jairus by name. A religious leader in charge of the Jews place of worship, as well as some community matters. His supplication was for his daughter at the point of death. Here we see another effect of sin. It did not empower the strong in an attempt to destroy, as it was with the demoniac. Instead, it ruthlessly, sought the destruction of the feeble, a child.
Now back to our text, the lady with the issue of blood, despite her social status as a woman of wealth and repute; slowly she was dying from within. She suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. Due to her illness she could not be in the midst of others, but Christ is never too far if we reach out to Him, by faith.
As the Lord and His disciples were in routs to the house of Jairus for the healing of Jairus’ sick daughter; without a doubt the news has spread of the works of Jesus through the little village of Capernaum, with multiple leaving their places of business and homes in hope to see the one who has healed a Man with a Demon; and the many accounts of Christ’s miracle, this causes the crowd to grow anxious and larger, no longer were His disciples able to form a barrier around Him, they too became the crowd. Making it even harder for the lady with the issue of blood to be touch by the Lord. Jimmy Swaggart once said, if the Lord can’t touch you, reach out to Him, and touch Him.
Although her situation seems all but bleak, but by faith she continues to push forward. For she said, If I may but touch His garments, I will be cured.
The implication of the touching of Jesus garments, should not be seen from a western mind set. The word clothes or garments used here, referred to a customary garment known as a tallit, it was worn on the shoulders, usually it was blue in color, signifying the heavens or heavenly provision. Therefore, as men of the earth walk this earth, the burden should not be the physical necessity of this life, but let us be under God’s heavenly provision. On the tallit were knotted fringes known as tzitzit; attached to its four corners. The four represented the dominion of God throughout the earth; North, South, East and West. Therefore, wherever we are, we can reassure His presence is there. Even if it is in the crowd of multiple. True faith is from God and it will connect with Him. Immediately as she touches the tip of the tzitzit she was healed. Instantly the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she knew in her body that she was healed of the plague. The response of Jesus should give us two lessons to behold. He asked who touch me, despite being thronged by the crowd.
Immediately Jesus having known in himself that out of him power had gone forth, having turned about in the multitude and said, `Who did touch my garments?'
First, we understand the healing power was not from His garments, but the power came from Jesus. Too often the believer puts his or her focus on the means of contact and not the One being contact. Note, the Scripture said out of Him power went forth. The lesson here is the means in which we reach out to the Lord, should not be our focus. This could be a prayer, if so the power is not in our prayer, but the one we pray to. If we fast and restrain from food; the power is not in the fasting, but the one we desire to be closer to; the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatsoever the means we used to reach out to the Lord; it is initiated by faith. Like the lady of our text, she was one of the multitude; there were many, but through faith, she touched Him. Many were gathered around Him, but one touch Him.
The second lesson from the Lord’s reaction is to establish accountability in the believer, to openly proclaim the works of God among men. Therefore, his question as to `Who did touch my garments?' Is not a lack of knowing on his part, but a means to willingly bring her out that she may proclaim the wondrous work of God in her life. Certainly not to bring attention to himself, but to commend her faith Through this, others will be inspired and blessed. And He looked around to see the one who had done this. Without knowing his intention, she was scared, and literally shaking all over.
According to the Leviticus Law of that time, a woman in her situation with blood issue, was forbidden to public gathering, moreover, she touched him … The woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell before him, and told him all the truth . . . However, the love of Jesus is greater than the deepest fear we feel. She threw herself down at his feet, signifying she was at his mercy. Looking down upon her, His words to her without a doubt stunned her being; eradicating her fear with great joy to look upon him, as she slowly lifts her head looking up at him with gratitude in her heart. For his first word to her was; Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
No longer was she the woman with the issue of blood; She became a member of the family God.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty,
For more check, Names and their significance