And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind Jesus 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)
Twelve years of abnormal bleeding is a long, long time. Do you ever get used to it? I suppose. After a while, it’s just a part of who you are. You do what you have to do to get through the day. You adapt.
But then Jesus comes along. Word is spreading throughout Galilee that he can heal lepers, paralytics and the possessed. “If I can just get close to him. I’m not going to beg. I just need to touch his clothes. If I can just do that, I know I’ll be made well.” Just a thread. Just a few threads at the edge of Jesus’ robe. That’s all it will take. Do you hear the faith in her words?
I wonder if she felt anything. Was there some kind of sensation when she touched his clothes? Did she feel something inside as the bleeding stopped? Or in that moment did she notice that she no longer felt the blood flowing?
In any case, I’m sure she never forgot that moment when the bleeding stopped. And she never forgot Jesus’ words of assurance, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.”
Of course, we know it was Jesus who made her well. He stopped the bleeding. But she was right. Her confidence – her faith – led her to the only one who could make her well.
Jesus’ own bleeding wouldn’t begin for another few years. When the soldiers flogged him, put the crown of thorns on his head, and drove the nails into his hands and feet, blood would flow. Jesus would not stop that bleeding. Instead he would willingly give up his life. And he would powerfully take it up again on the third day. Yes, we too can be confident that he is the one who can make us well and give us eternal life!
Thank you, Lord, for life today and life that lasts forever. Amen.