Summary: When we finally have had enough of brokenness, marginalization, or irrelevance, we will find that making our way through the crowds to reach Jesus can give us victory.

“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. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, “Who touched me?”’ And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling 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 disease.’” [1]

She has no name, at least none of us in this day know her name. However, this woman had a problem—a serious problem. She had “a discharge of blood.” We aren’t told whether she had a vaginal discharge or whether she suffered with an open wound that would not heal. It is not important what the hemorrhage might have been, what is important for us today is that this woman was ceremonially unclean. Her condition meant that she could not go to the Temple to worship. There were no holy days for her, nor even a day of worship in the synagogue. It was even worse than we imagine. Because she was ceremonially unclean, not even her family could spend time with her.

For twelve long years she had been excluded from worship. If she tried to go to the Temple, she would be debarred from entering into the Temple precincts. She would be kept outside, roughly pushed away so that she was kept from coming before the LORD. That was terrible, but even worse was the fact that she was excluded from intimacy, shunned even by her family. She had not been hugged for twelve long years! Not even her children had given her a hug throughout those years. She had not received a kiss from her husband, her mother or father; she hadn’t even been greeted by a close friend.

As the years had passed, friends that had once spoken with her or who had even entertained her in their home saw her less frequently, until at last they stopped speaking with her at all. She wasn’t really welcome to sit with the family for a meal, and she had not been included at dinner parties hosted by people she had known from years past. Strangers, when they were informed of her situation, would turn and walk away without speaking. In short, this poor woman was socially isolated, excluded by everyone.

Family members still cooked meals for her, but like someone unvaxxed at a Christmas party she ate alone. There would be no pleasant conversation over a meal. For years she had not heard anyone ask about her day—everyone knew her days consisted of dreary sameness. She woke up, dressed, spent the day alone with limited conversation until darkness at last arrived sending her once again to the confines of her bed until she would awaken the next day only to begin the same, dull, maddening routine of isolation.

She had consulted physicians—multiple physicians, spending everything she had in a futile search for a cure. She was desperate to be cured, and the physicians promised so much, and delivered so little. One after another they had promised relief, promised healing, but all that was ever accomplished was to lighten her purse and make the physicians richer. I suppose friends had promised to pray for her. But as time passed and she was not healed, the promises of prayer dropped off and she saw them less frequently.

What is important for our study this day is that she appears to have come to the conclusion that enough was enough. A report concerning the Prophet from Galilee reached her ears. Perhaps by chance she had overheard an excited conversation; however it had happened, she learned the Jesus of Nazareth was soon to pass through her town. She had heard about Him. The reports sounded almost too good to be true. People claimed to have been healed. There were wonderful reports of people who were born blind receiving their sight, reports of deaf people hearing the sound of their children’s voices for the first time, marvellous reports of crippled people walking without so much as a limp. The reports were so fantastic that they were hard to believe. And yet…

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