40 When Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Just then, a man named Jairus came. He was a leader of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus’s feet and pleaded with him to come to his house, 42 because he had an only daughter about twelve years old, and she was dying. While he was going, the crowds were nearly crushing him. 43 A woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years, who had spent all she had on doctors and yet could not be healed by any, 44 approached from behind and touched the end of his robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you.” 46 “Someone did touch me,” said Jesus. “I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched him and how she was instantly healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
In a year fraught with dialogue about sickness and cure, this story tucked into Luke’s Gospel can easily be informed by our cultural context. It is a story about healing and faith—but what strikes me most about this story is what it tells me about the character of Jesus.
First, let’s look closer at the woman who reached out to Him.
She desperately needed physical healing. She’d tried everything and was financially broken—she was a social outcast (Mark 5), and even the religious viewed her as unclean (Leviticus 15:19-31). She was also determined. Mark 5:28 says she’d decided in her heart if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes, she’d be healed. She wouldn’t dare confront Him—but she was desperate for His touch. So, she immersed herself in the crowds that scorned her, and grasped Jesus’ cloak as He passed by.
And Jesus stopped.
The irony is that although dozens of people were crushing against him, He singled out one particular touch. He asked who touched Him, and the disciples thought the question bizarre. But the woman knew.
Of course, Jesus knew who touched Him…He was God. I believe the question the disciples found so bizarre was actually the greatest gift He gave to the woman that day.
Who touched me? With those words, Jesus gave her opportunity she’d lacked for so long. He created for her a safe place in a city where she’d been cast down. He did so much more than merely heal her; He redeemed her. He gave her a new name in front of those who’d called her unclean. He gave her a restored place in society and told her to go in peace.
What must she have felt when Jesus stopped? Was it anything like the moment when we realized Jesus saw us, and died for us? When we, who lived in the shadows, were called into the light and given a new name?
What kind of a Savior is this? The woman may have wondered. Or she may have already known, deep in her soul: He is Christ, the Lord. The same One who came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10); who cares for sparrows and numbers the stars (Matthew 10:29; Psalm 147:4); who heals us and makes us whole. His name is Jesus.
And He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- When did you first realize that Jesus stopped for you? He notices you, loves you, and chose to die so you could be reconciled to God? Take a minute to reflect on that time and thank Jesus.
- Is there someone in your life who is desperate for a healing touch? How can you pray for them today or stop and help them in their state of need? Are you the one who needs His touch? Talk to Him about it now.