Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” (Luke 8:43-46)
It was not uncommon for multitudes to throng around Jesus. During His days of popularity, thousands would come to hear him preach. Five thousand men (not counting women and children) came from surrounding cities to listen to the words of the man from Nazareth. When Jesus returned from the country of the Gadarenes, a great multitude gathered to Him by the seashore. A ruler of the synagogue met Jesus, begging Him to heal his dying daughter. Jesus followed Jairus to his home as crowds thronged Jesus. The people were so thick around Jesus that they pressed Him so that He could hardly move. Everyone was touching Jesus. As Jesus walked, He felt the power of the Holy Spirit leave Him, and Jesus demanded to know who had touched Him. It was puzzling as Peter said to Jesus that everyone was touching Him. The apostle could not imagine what Jesus was asking as the crowds pressed so tightly around Jesus.
A lone figure was standing outside the thronging crowd that no one noticed. A woman who had suffered from a blood condition for twelve long years watched the crowds press around Jesus. She had spent all her livelihood seeking a cure but found no relief. Hearing Jesus of Nazareth was nearby; the unnamed woman took a leap of faith. She believed if she was able but to touch the garments of Jesus without Him or anyone knowing; she would be healed. According to the law, she was an unclean woman, and anyone she touched would be unclean. This presented a conflict with her decision to touch the garments of Jesus. The crowd was so tightly surrounding Jesus she would have to nearly fight her way through the crowd to reach Jesus, touching many people in her pursuit of healing. Nothing would deter her from seeking relief. Her faith moved her with great courage to ignore the crowd and seek only to touch the clothing of Jesus.
The faith of the woman did not ask for a private audience with Jesus so that she could explain her condition. She did not wait until a more convenient time. Her courage moved her to make a bold and decisive decision to accept the impossible. Medical knowledge at that time had failed to heal her, and there was no answer to her condition. Jesus was in the midst of a thronging crowd, and the woman believed the power of God was so great she would have only to touch the garment of Jesus to be healed. Casting aside her fears of retribution by those she touched along the way, the Holy Spirit watched her weave through the crowd and steal a touch from the garment of Jesus. Immediately she was healed. God blessed her body with immediate relief, and she could feel the healing – and so did Jesus.
There were many people thronging Jesus so tightly He could hardly move. It is likely among all those touching Jesus; there were people with various degrees of physical sickness and disease, some known and some unknown. Out of all the crowd, none were healed but the woman with an issue of blood. Was the woman healed because she touched Jesus? No, she was healed because she believed in what the touch of Jesus would do for her life, and she acted on that faith. Touching Jesus (characterized by the crowd) did not save. Obedient faith with courage is how the woman was healed. Many people today thronging Jesus tightly have never enjoyed the healing power of faith and obedience. The only person healed that day was the woman who acted on her faith and, through courage, denied herself and the world to accept the impossible. That is true healing today. When a person’s heart acts on their faith with courage and determination to seek the power of Jesus to change their lives.
The woman who touched Jesus suffered from a blood disorder but what people need to see today is the disorder of sin. Touching Jesus will not take away sin. Coming to Jesus believing that only He can take away sin and facing the pressure of the world with courage in obedience is where healing comes. There are many obstacles between the woman and Jesus. She overcame, ignored, and conquered those obstacles and found relief in obedient faith. Sin will never leave those who press in on Jesus but have no faith in how He can change their lives. They remain as they are. Those who come to Jesus with obedient faith will find healing.