Have you ever for once thought deeply about the woman with the issue of blood, one of the unnamed women in the bible ? Beyond her rare display of bold faith, courage and her conversation with Jesus. Do you ever wonder how this unnamed woman in the bible was able to live through the ordeal of bleeding continuously for twelve years?
Arghhh! It’s that time of the month. Your emotions are all over the place and you must deal with some days of constant flow of blood. I bet you can relate with this feeling. For some women, their periods come with no pain and discomfort. While for some others, the thought of their period coming puts them in a state of fear and emotional discomfort. Their periods always leave them in severe pain, tears and horrible emotions.
But what about the woman with the issue of blood? Did her bleeding come with severe pain and discomfort? What was her emotional state like?
Every woman knows how it is at that time of the month when you get to deal with a few days of bleeding. You get to deal with mood swings, regular change of sanitary pads/tampons and not to forget being stained sometimes from the heavy flow of blood. But, this woman had been in this state and condition for twelve long years. Let us look at her story.
Who was the Woman with the Issue of Blood?
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. – Mark 5:25-26
The bible in Mark chapter 5 introduces us to the woman with the issue of blood, one of the unnamed women in the bible. Her story is rightly recorded in three of the gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke’s account of the woman with the issue of blood helps us look at her story from different perspectives.
And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. – Matthew 9:20-22
“Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her. She came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. Then Jesus asked, ‘Who touched me?’ – Luke 8:43-48
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. – Mark 5: 25-29
We will always remember this unnamed woman in the bible for her uncommon faith. Nothing is written about her heritage, family, age or occupation. What we know her for is her physical affliction and how she went all out to get her miracle.
Imagine bleeding continuously for twelve years. This was her story and dilemma. It looked like she may have had this condition for a good part of her life. And this may also have made marriage and motherhood a far-fetched dream for her. The bible also says that she had suffered much under many physicians. Moreover, her condition grew worse with each new day.
She may have grown weak and emaciated from the endless bleeding. No notes in sight about family and friends to help ease her burden. And despite all the medications given, nothing seemed to work. I hear her cry out, “Please somebody help me out of this dilemma. This burden is too heavy to bear.”
Jesus And the Woman with the Issue of Blood
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?” – Mark 5:27-30
Here was a woman who was lonely not by choice but by the challenge life had thrown at her. Her mind had become her best friend. She had conversations with herself so she could feel alive in a world that had abandoned and shown her no love.
She was labelled an outcast by virtue of the laws of land. Everyone she came close to became unclean because of her condition. (Leviticus 15:25-27). But, in a moment of desperation for change, she broke out of status quo and stepped out in faith for her miracle. She settled her miracle in her heart and acted out her faith by pushing through the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment.
“For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” – Mark 5:28
Nobody was going to help her get her miracle. She had to take a risk and she did not care. She would defy the laws of the land and go after this Rabbi. She may be caught and stoned to death, but she was determined to be free.
And so, she pressed through the crowd until she was close enough. I can picture her entire body laid out flat on the floor, as she stretches her hands to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment. Was this the moment she had been waiting for all her life?
And straightaway the fountain of her blood was dried up and she felt in her body she was healed of that plague – Mark 5:29
Something had changed. She could feel it. Her cry for deliverance had been heard. She was now free. But who was this stranger? He had healed her of this affliction, and she would like to thank him. But fear gripped her heart and she hid for fear of being seen until she heard a voice say, who touched me?
And Jesus immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, thou seest the multitude thronging and sayest thou, who touched me? And he looked roundabout to see her that had done this thing. – Mark 5:30-32
Jesus was on his way to save the life of a young girl when he was interrupted by this woman’s act of faith. In this very story, we see how that Jesus did not consciously set out to heal this woman. Rather, he voiced out that healing power had left him.
There was a desperate call from someone, and Jesus heard it inside him. “Someone touched me”, he said again. I felt life leave me and enter another. His disciples wondered at what he was saying.
This was a different kind of touch, and he kept looking until their eyes found each other. The woman trembled as many gazed at her.
But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell before him and told him the whole truth. – Mark 5:33
Afraid and trembling before Jesus, I can picture her telling Jesus about the last 12 years of her life. How her family abandoned her. How her community castigated her? How her friends betrayed her. How she lost everything in her search for a solution to her affliction. How she almost gave up. How she heard about him and her decision to touch the hem of his garment for a healing miracle.
And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.” – Mark 5:34
Go in shalom and be restored back from the setback experienced as a result of this circumstance. (Paraphrase)
One woman’s faith and a chance encounter with Jesus brought about restoration. Faith can be seen. Faith can be activated. Faith can birth extraordinary miracles in your life today.
By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword.
Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. – Hebrews 11:33-35
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1
3 Powerful Lessons from the Woman with the Issue of Blood
What makes the story of the woman with the issue of blood stand out amongst many in the bible? Before we look at the lessons, let us pick out some unique qualities in her life.
1. She was faith-driven and went all out to act on her faith.
2. She was persistent in her quest for change and healing.
3. She was courageous and was willing to take a risk by defying the laws.
4. She persevered through her affliction and through the huge crowd to get her breakthrough.
5. She heard the right information and filled her thoughts with positive images of her healing.
6. She was imperfect but had hope for restoration and new beginnings.
7. She had a story buried within her that could change and transform lives forever.
Here are some powerful lessons we can learn from the story of the woman with the issue of blood:
1. God is in the Story
This woman had lived through a harrowing experience for twelve long years. It seemed like there was no end to her problems. Yet amid it all, we see God show up in her story. Jesus was on his way to heal a little girl, but this woman’s faith interrupted his journey, and his presence gave her a new story filled with hope and restoration.
God is in your story. He always has been there to restore you back to him even in the broken and weakest parts of our lives. And when it looks like he is nowhere close, remember that he is walking through and putting the pieces of your story back together. Will you trust him today?
2. Fight for your Faith
She pressed through a large crowd to get her miracle. Many voices within her and around the crowd could have discouraged her. She may even have fallen as she struggled in her weak state to press through the crowd. But there was no turning back now.
Faith is the evidence of things we do not see. It is our response to the efficacy of God’s word and the power in his name with unwavering hope and trust. Sometimes faith will compel you to step out and act even when it does not make sense.
This woman had to fight her way through the mental, emotional and physical stronghold in her life to get her freedom. Her faith eventually won because Jesus acknowledged it. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.” – Mark 5:34
3. Do Not Give Up.
This woman suffered under many physicians and had spent all she had in search of a solution to her problem. Imagine her many hospital visits, procedures, and tests and still no solution in view. Regardless of this, she still held on in faith trusting that she would be healed and free one day.
She did not give up but kept trying after many failed attempts at securing her healing. And when she heard about Jesus, she decided to try again and this time, she got her healing. What is that challenge in your life that you are about to give up on? Are you about to give up on that straying child? Remember that even when you fall flat or fail, you can always get up and try again. Do not give up.
Lord, I release my spirit, body and soul to you today. Heal my broken parts and restore healing to my mind and body. Help me to always stand firm in unwavering faith to you and your word.
I will trust you Lord even when I don’t understand and when it does not make sense. I will seek you out consciously in this crowded world to always experience your presence, love and glory. Lord, help me to stand strong and never give up. Amen!