The fifth chapter of Mark is one of my favorites! Three miracles, back-to-back-to-back are recorded in the chapter’s forty-three verses. The Gadarene Demoniac is liberated and the lifeless twelve-year-old daughter of the synagogue leader, Jairus, is raised to live again! And… on the road to Jairus’s home, Jesus performed the miracle on the way to the miracle.
As Jesus pushed and pressed His way through the teaming crowd, a frail woman watched. She was older than her years. Stooped and wrinkled, her eyes were rimmed in darkness. Pain and stress and taken their toll.
She was alone. “A woman…” (Matthew 9:20). “A woman…” (Mark 5:25). “A woman…” (Luke 8:43). There’s no mention of family. A husband isn’t at her elbow, supporting her and leading the way to the Great Physician. She’s unaccompanied, unaided, alone.
The weak and weary woman had been “suffering from bleeding for twelve years” (Mark 5:25). For one hundred, forty-four months, a relentless trickle of blood had hemorrhaged from her body, leaving her skin a ghostly grey and her body racked with pain.
She’d tried everything. Doctor Luke recorded: she had “spent all she had on doctors and yet could not be healed by any”(Luke 8:43). Mark added: “She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse” (Mark 5:26).
Her suffering was both physical and emotional. Everything and everyone she touched was instantly infected with her “uncleanness” (Leviticus 15:25-27). Like the leper, she was excluded from the community, excommunicated from the temple and synagogue, exiled in her own home. Her neighbors looked at her and whispered, “unclean… unclean!”
She’d heard the stories about Jesus’ miraculous healing ministry. She’s heard about the leper that was cleansed and about the lame and the blind who were restored. Could she be healed too? She hoped… she believed. “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be made well” (Mark 5:28).
She bobbed and weaved, angling through the crowd. With every ounce of strength, she pressed her way toward the Healer. As Jesus and His entourage moved steadily forward, she strained and stretched, and with the tips of her extended fingers, “she touched the end of his robe” (Matthew 9:20).
“Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction” (Mark 5:29). When the leper was healed, his skin turned soft and pink. When the lame were healed, their limbs became strong. When the blind were touched by the Master, they looked into the lovely face of Jesus. When the faithful woman brushed the hem of his coat, the weight of the world was lifted from her shoulders. Her shackles fell away. She was set free! “Instantly her bleeding stopped” (Luke 8:44).
With kindness and compassion, Jesus spoke. “Daughter … your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction” (Mark 5:34).