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The Hem of His Garment

Matt 9:20; And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak;
Matt 9:21; for she was saying to herself, "If I only touch His garment, I will get well."
Matt 9:22; But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." At once the woman was made well.

Matthew doesn't say a lot about this woman. But Jesus tells her ... "your faith" has made you well.
It seems Jesus tells people pretty often. It says she "came up behind Him". I suppose there could be a number
of reason for this. Was she afraid to approach Him from the front? Was she running after Him trying to catch up? Either way, she made the effort "to touch His garment".

Luke 8:43; And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone,
Luke 8:44; came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.
Luke 8:45; 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."
Luke 8:46; But Jesus said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me."
Luke 8:47; 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.
Luke 8:48; And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace."

There are a few more details in Luke about this event. This woman had this bleeding problem for 12 years, and "could not be healed by anyone". It seems she went to physicians and priests and tried to be healed before.
again in verse 44, it specifically says "came up behind Him". Now Jesus doesn't initially know who touched Him.
He asks... "who touched Me" and "everyone was denying it".

When I read Peter's comment "Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You." I picture a large crowd around Jesus. Perhaps it was like Walmart on black Friday. It was so crowded that many people were touching Jesus and "pressing in" on Him.

But yet there was one person who touched Jesus differently. Somehow Jesus knew the difference.. "for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.: Now I don't think this means Jesus's batteries died. No, this was simply
a transference of power into this woman.

Now in verse 47 we gain a little insight... "the woman saw that she had not escaped notice". It seems she hoping to to touch Jesus and be healed by Him without Him noticing. When I first read that, I chuckled to myself a little. But then I wondered, do we do that sometimes? Are we afraid to reach out to Jesus sometimes? Do we feel unworthy to touch Him sometimes?

Now it's amazing to me that this woman had the faith to believe that simply by touching His clothing, she would be healed. ... and of course she was healed... but that wasn't the end of the story.

"she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him"

Why was she trembling? It seems she was afraid. Yet she fell down before Him and "declared in the presence of all the people". She tells Jesus she knew that He healed her. Nothing else. She doesn't do this secretly, but in the presence of all the people. When Jesus heals us, we shouldn't hide it or be afraid to tell people. We shouldn't be afraid to acknowledge Jesus in front of a crowd. ( Matt 10:33; )

Once she makes this confession.... I've always felt that Jesus already knew who it was, but He wanted to see if she was willing to come forward and face not only Him, but the crowd...

Jesus says... "Your faith" has made you well. Without faith it is impossible to please God. ( Heb 11:6; )
But it isn't talking about God's faith here, it's talking about our faith. If we never have faith, we will never please God. and finally He says... "go in peace".

I believe this was His way of telling the woman, it's OK, don't be afraid. You don't have anything to worry about, be at peace.

When Jesus heals us... we should be at peace.
This story is also in Mark.

Mark 5:24; And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him.
Mark 5:25; A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,
Mark 5:26; and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse—
Mark 5:27; after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak.
Mark 5:28; For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well."
Mark 5:29; Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Mark 5:30; Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?"
Mark 5:31; And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'"
Mark 5:32; And He looked around to see the woman who had done this.
Mark 5:33; But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
Mark 5:34; And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

This version probably has the most detail. This woman had "endured much" of the hands of many physicians. She "spent all that she had" but none of it helped.
She was at the end of her rope so to speak. Many Christians I know have similar stories... they've tried this and tried that, and spent this much money until the insurance wouldn't pay anymore. For some people that's what it takes before they will ask Jesus.

I've done this on occasion also, but why do wait until there are no more options left before we ask Jesus? But also in this version, like the other two... Jesus says...
"your faith" has made you well.
This is a very interesting passage. It makes me think of this line in James 5:16 The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

A very touchy subject as many love the Lord, have faith and are not healed. But I don't believe the passage was ever meant to be the A-Z on healing. This passage in Mark 5 speaks to other truths in their entirety. Such as 1. God is always available. He never keeps Himself from us. We need to make the effort to touch Him. 2. He does not hold His power back. He gives it freely. In this instance it was healing. 3. There is touching Him and then there is touching Him.
It seems to me some peoples faith is misplaced. Their faith is in themselves, not in Jesus.
If I just touch HIS garment, I will get well.

This is a simple faith.

Many people make it more complicated than it really is. They will think...God must heal me cos Im good. Why isnt he healing me. Why is God afflicting me. Many are like Naaman who wont do a simple thing like wash in the Jordan when asked for healing his leprosy, and demand others come to them. This is wrong we are the ones that need to go to Him.

Many ask God for healing but forget to go through Jesus. Some people do blame God if they arent well too. I have seem this in some christians if things arent going their way, they, like Job, complain. Sometimes patience is required. This woman waited 12 years. She had spent all she had.

The thing is, illness isnt God's fault. It is a consequence of sin, whether ourselves or other people or just living in a fallen world. Healing is available but many people are too proud to accept it. Another thing is we must glorify God when we are healed. Remember the ten lepers, only one came back to Jesus and thanked Him.
Good, good.

I've been thinking about this passage too. Reading Mark's version of the story.

Mark structures the story to highlight the differences between Jairus and the unnamed woman. Both are desperate, both approach Jesus, and both have their requests satisfied. Jairus is one of the synagogue leaders, indicating that he was held in high esteem in his community as a man of faith and righteousness. He approaches Jesus in full sight of the crowd and falls in front of Jesus, at his feet, humbling himself and begging for his daughter to be healed.

The woman's approach is completely different. She comes to Jesus from behind, hidden and in secret, not daring to make her request openly. She shrinks back into the crowd as soon as she is able.

Why the difference?

According to the Torah (Leviticus 15) she was unclean for the past 12 years. That would mean she was not able to touch anyone, participate in worship, or take a meaningful part in community life. It's 2017 now. Imagine being isolated from everyone around you since 2005. Her shame was so complete that it was impossible for her to approach Jesus publicly.

That's why it was important for Jesus to pause from the important task of saving a young girls life in order to bring the woman from the edge of the crowd back into the centre, and publicly restore her back into the life of the community.

This leaves me with the question - who is it today that is so downtrodden and humiliated that they are unable to make a direct approach to Jesus. And what can I do to help them on their journey?
It seems apparent that she was healed immediately, before Jesus recognized her, just by touching the helm of his garment and, as Jesus sensed the power flowing through him. While here it was recorded in the Bible many times that Jesus acknowledge a persons faith healed and or saved them. Abraham was created to have faith, surely the "thief on the cross" must have revealed his faith in Jesus... faith must have been and is still very important to him! Just a few verse on Faith:
  • Mark 10:52 "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
  • Mark 5 :34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
  • Luke 17:19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
  • Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
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