One of my favorite testimonies in the Bible is found in Luke 8:42-48 (NIV)
As Jesus was on His way, the crowds almost crushed Him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched Me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing You.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched Me; I know that power has gone out from Me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
This woman was marked as unclean and untouchable because she bled for over a decade. Set apart from the clean men and women in her community.
Then she heard that Jesus, the Miracle Maker, was coming to her town. That morning she dressed with the belief that it was her day. Clothed in bravery, she stepped outside of her home and beyond the boundaries that had been set for her. She walked into forbidden territory with one mission in mind: healing.
She had nothing to exchange for healing but her faith. In Mark 5:26 it says She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
But before today she had never sought help from Jesus.
Mark 5:27-28 says When she heard about Jesus, she came up from behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.”
Just hearing about Him gave her the guts to leave her home and she left hand in hand with faith. Faith guided her through the crowd to her Healer, but it was not easy for her.
It says the crowd almost crushed Jesus, so she had much resistance to fight through to get to Him. I’m sure she probably felt frustrated, maybe depressed, but had she stopped walking toward Jesus, her helpless suffering would have continued. Instead, she pressed in against the odds past the obstacles that were in between her and Jesus.
When she got to Him and touched just His clothes, she had immediate healing. She got what she came for after 12 years of suffering. She wasn’t leaving the same way she arrived. How her heart must have been racing as she turned away from the crowd. A smile had to be pressing into her cheeks until the crowd stopped walking and Jesus asked a question only she could answer.
He knew who had touched Him. Before He set foot in her town He was thinking about her. He knew the pain, shame, embarrassment and loneliness she had endured and He had healing available for her. Her smile must have vanished, the pounding in her chest probably flipped from excitement to fear when He kept asking who touched Him.
But this is my favorite part…
Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed.
In the presence of the people. The same people who had shunned her for 12 years were the same ones the Man of Miracles let witness as He acknowledged that the power they desired from Him, had gone out to her and for the first time, they wanted what she had.
Seeing that she could not go unnoticed. In Mark 5:32 after Jesus asked the crowd who touched Him, it says But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. I imagine, not only Jesus, but everyone’s head in the crowd was on a swivel looking around for who touched Him. Finally, she turned and fell at His feet. Her once broken body crumpled in a trembling heap at His feet all because He refused to let her leave unnoticed and unchanged.
For 12 years she had sought treatment with no success, so why should this be different. There had to be doubters in the crowd.
Until she opened her mouth and shared her story. Not only did she tell what Jesus had done for her, she shared with the crowd her why. Why she did what she did. Why she woke up that morning believing that if anyone could heal her it was Jesus. Why perseverance shoved her through the crowd until she was close enough to claim her miracle.
But Jesus wasn’t done letting her have her healing moment…
Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
How many other hearts were healed that day from her testimony?
There are so many women living in seclusion, just as she did. Not to the point of being separated from society, but living within their own private hell of shame and guilt. Women who don’t believe they deserve Jesus’ healing…
Women who have cheated or are cheating on their husbands.
Women who have aborted their baby or babies.
Women who are addicted to street drugs or prescription meds.
Women who have been raped or molested.
Something has caused them to hide and believe that the healing Jesus offers is not for them. What they did or what has happened to them is too big for Him and they don’t deserve it. The truth is though that all it takes is faith.
The woman in the Bible was clearly defeated. She lived in shame. And yet that did not stop her from trying Jesus and seeing if what she had heard about Him was true. She heard what He had done for someone else and instead of thinking there’s no way He could or would do that for me, she was filled with hope and a determined faith.
She heard what he did for HER and it gave her hope. Then others heard what He did for HER and they too were filled with hope.
When we put our trust in Jesus and believe that He is capable of healing our hurts, then we give others hope when we share our story. Lives are changed and women walk in a new freedom they have never experienced.
It won’t be easy, but He’ll make sure it’s worth it.