"Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
I believe the evidence of the things I have stated are here portrayed in this story. You have a woman who is destitute, discouraged and at her wits end. As many who know there is a waning of the will when dealing with long term illness. It taxes not only materially, but emotionally, socially and spiritually. She has used all the resources she has at her disposal and yet she is still ill. She is isolated and alone in a very small world of personal pain and suffering. She hears of this man who is said to be a Prophet and he is in town. But there are certain issues, she can not just walk up to him and touch him.
Firstly, if he is truly a Prophet then the very issue of her being 'unclean' because of the blood makes it a very heinous and punishable offence for her to just touch him.
Secondly, she is a woman and in the culture of the time that came with some very negative social connotations, she was in essence a second class citizen.
And thirdly, there was the issue of touching itself which again culturally had negative ramifications.
If you will allow me imaginative licence, I picture this woman contriving a plan by which she can secretively touch the garment of Jesus. She believes if she could just but reach out and touch even the very bauble at the hem of his cloak, she will be healed. I picture her watching and waiting for opportunity, quite possibly over a period of days. Jesus would have been predictable in certain behaviours, i.e. everyday He would have gone to the synagogue, which meant everyday moving from where He was staying to the Synagogue, quite possibly using the same route. I imagine this woman being astute and desperate, crouching in a doorway or somewhere where the press of the crowd would have been forced to thin out and allow her the chance to simply reach between people and touch His coat.
The chance affords itself and she reaches out .... immediately she is healed ... what feelings must have passed through her, she would have stood, closed her eyes as the healing powers coursed through her body, ... she would have felt strength return to her, she felt whole, she felt new and she would have felt so clean. But in the midst of her reverie a conversation would have broke through to her consciousness, the disciples were heard exclaiming 'How in the press could you have felt someone touch you?' and Jesus responding "I felt the power leave me."
Those words would have struck right to her heart, any chance of furtively sneaking away were now lost, she had been found out. As the woman breaks from her dream and these realizations come home she opens her eyes and sees Jesus looking right at her.
What fear now enters her being, she is awestruck, not only with her healing but now she knows she must give an account of her fearful endeavour, her subterfuge and her faith. She has indeed touched a Prophet and He knows exactly who did it and why.
She falls down before Him, trembling, afraid ...
But the love of God trumps all fear, He merely says, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction."
With the healing came pardon.
With suffering came sympathy.
With pain came peace.
With love comes promise.
With promise comes faith.
"Faith, a confident trust, derives its value not from the one who expresses it, but from the object in which it rests."
Chapter 6: Beyond the Castle Walls