And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house; for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him.And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” -Luke 8:40-48 [NASB] (This story is only found in Luke) A woman who was having what is believed to be a menstrual issue that causing her to bleed endlessly can not be helped by any nearby doctors. Her issue is one that current medicine did not understand. I wonder if today we do or if this is something that we’ve solved with modern medicine. Anyways, she approaches Jesus with faith, having already heard of the great things Jesus has done. Immediately upon touching Jesus’ robe she is completely healed. Jesus wants her to be singled out so that everyone can see precisely who had been healed. She approaches Jesus and Jesus lets her know that although she is a stranger, her faith in Him is good enough. Hopefully she kept that faith and went on to be a useful christ-follower. We don’t know, we never hear of her again after this story, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she went on to tell many people about the amazing thing that just happened to her. But during this endeavor Peter became worried. Here is an early sign of Peter’s tendency to be easily worried. The crowd was getting so big and starting to really push on Jesus. Peter, seemingly in the moment, forgets how amazing Jesus is and what his power can do. Maybe it was because Peter had not yet seen Jesus do more than heal and catch fish, that maybe he thought Jesus’ powers were limited. But Jesus controlled the crowd enough to give the bleeding woman room to bow down in front of him. It’s hard to know what I would have done in that woman’s position for many reasons. First of all I don’t live in a time where Jesus was doing amazing things in his humanly form and where the word of such events was being spread around town. Also, I’m not a woman and have no idea how terrible it would be to have an endless period. However I believe truly that if I was in this situation I would have done the same thing. The word on Jesus must have been spreading far and wide, these crowds were intense. To get a chance to touch the guy everyone is saying has the power to heal, would be great. At least I would hope I would do the same. The woman had to have felt like there was no doubt she just touched God. For however long she was suffering it was embarrassing and terrible. But now, as Jesus put it she could “go in peace”. With the crowd being so intense and pushing in on all sides, Peter must have been so confused when Jesus said “who touched me”. But Jesus had to single out this lady. Everyone must have known about her issue. Singling her out would have put everyone in awe of a real significant healing. If someone was healed of a stomach ache for the flu, that could easily have been played down. But this lady was bleeding day in and day out, probably making a real mess all day everyday. No doctor could figure it out, but Jesus could. Everyone would know by her healing that Jesus is the messiah. At least, it should have confirmed it, but people are too selfish sometimes. I’m sure some people probably decided to follow in faith, but there were most likely people out to get him too, watching and hoping he slips up. We have probably been in situations like this, whether in Peter’s shoes or the woman. Thinking about how Peter reacted is an all too familiar feeling. We see him do this more as time goes on, but thinking God is doing something dangerous, or worried he might not know what he’s doing and we know better. We may never explicitly voice these opinions, but it typically comes in the form of trying to take God’s work into our own hands. We must learn to let God do what God is going to do, and not be worried that it won’t work out. We don’t know what God is up to at all times, just like Peter in this story. But he will reveal to us what needs revealed. As for the woman and her problems, how cool it is to take what our struggles with to God and know he can help. We may never have had a problem quite like hers, but we do have problems. She reached out in faith and was healed. We too, if we can come in that same humility and need, can be healed by God of the things we have struggled with. It may not be immediate like in this story, but just know, God is good.
I’m a happily married Christ-following web developer who loves to run, write, read, draw, and pet my cat. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of solving complex programming problems and doing so in a creative way.