15 Jesus’ Encounter with the Woman with the Issue of Blood


In our last study we look at how Jesus encountered the man with the unclean spirit. And because of the loss of the 2000 pigs, the townsfolk were afraid and asked for Him to leave. So Jesus got into the boat and left. So we pick it up from there.

Mark 5:21-23
21 And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. 22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, 23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

  • As usual, great crowds gathered around Christ! He was famous! But a man, Jairus by name, comes up to Him to ask for help. His daughter is about to die. He’s begging that Jesus would come and heal his daughter by just laying His hands on her.
  • That really was one of the main reasons why Jesus was so famous. Many people were in need. And Jesus never turned anyone away. And so Jesus went on His way with this man.

Mark 5:24
And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

  • As Jesus followed Jairus, many people were following. The Bible says that they were thronging Him! It was a slow crawl through all the people. As Jesus was going along though, someone unsuspectingly comes up to Him.

Let’s continue.

  • Mark 5:25-26
    25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
  • A woman who had been sick for 12 years came up to Christ. She had been sick for 12 years! We’re not sure what sickness, but she had an issue of blood. Not only that, what we know is that she had gone to all sorts of doctors and physicians and they couldn’t help her. And not only could they NOT help her, she got worse. Gave her all sorts of drugs to try and cure her. And to make matters worse, she had spent all that she had. We don’t know how wealthy she was at the beginning, but she was now a very poor woman. She had nothing left.
  • Look, the moral of the lesson here is not that we should not go to doctors at all OK? To be a Christian is not just to bring all your sickness to Christ and not see any doctor or physician and all you do is pray. Definitely pray about it. That is an absolute MUST! But we should do all in our power to go and check to see what it is. We shouldn’t be just taking any medication all the time without thinking.
  • Enough said about health though. But I just want to be clear here that what the bible is NOT trying to teach is that all doctors and physicians are bad!
  • But coming back to this woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, she had run out of money, and her condition was getting even worse. The physicians had not helped in the slightest degree.

Mark 5:27-28
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

  • So this woman had heard about Jesus. He was her last resort. Her only hope. There was nothing left that she could pin her faith to.
  • Isn’t it often that Jesus is our last resort? We try everything within our human power first before we bring ourselves to come to Christ. Granted, 12 years earlier Jesus was not in active ministry. But for us, many of us refuse to come to Christ first. We would rather take a pill than come to Christ and find out that we need to change our diet or any of our habits in our life. We don’t want to know what the Bible says because many of us already know what it says and that it probably does not approve of our activities, or lifestyle choices.
  • But this woman was desperate. She had tried everything. All her money had been spent. All her hope was now centered on this one last thing, this one last person – Jesus.
  • When she came to Christ, what did she say? She was too shy to talk to Him face to face. She just said to herself, if I can just touch His clothes, I will be whole. He doesn’t need to touch me, I just need to touch him.
  • We’re not sure where she got those thoughts from. You know, we don’t have any record in the gospels where someone just reached out to touch Jesus and they were whole. So far, all that we have studied, it’s just touching people. Touching the leper to make them whole. Touching the blind man to make them to see. Touching a boy to bring him back to life. But this is the first time that we see someone reaching out to touch Jesus’ clothes.

Where on Christ’s garment did the woman actually touch though?

  • We don’t read it here in Mark 5. Let’s go to a parallel passage.
  • Luke 8:44
    Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
  • She actually touched the border of his garment. It’s what we call the hem today. Like the bottom of a woman’s skirt is the border of the garment. It was literally just His clothes. She didn’t even dare touch His arm or His leg.
  • What is the significance of touching the hem, the border of the garment? What does the Bible talk about the border of the garment?
  • Numbers 15:38-39
    38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
  • On the borders of the garment there was a ribband of blue which was a reminder to the children of Israel of the commandments of God and to do them.
  • This woman represents those that are reaching out in faith who are willing to obey all the commandments of God! This represents true conversion. They represent even God’s last day people as well.
  • Revelation 14:12
    Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
  • If we want to be part of God’s people in the last days, keeping of the commandments is one of the characteristics that is pointed out.

Let’s continue.

  • Mark 5:29-30
    29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
  • So straight away this woman is healed. Jesus immediately senses it, stop, and turns around and asks, “Who touched my clothes?” Of course the ever ready Peter looks at Christ weirdly and responds quickly!
  • Luke 8:45-46
    45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
  • Jesus was walking through the crowds. It was a slow process to go and heal Jairus’ daughter. Jesus was famous. And people were probably jostling him on all sides! In constant contact with him. So it was natural for Peter to ask that question. But Jesus could sense the difference between a casual touch, and a touch of faith.
  • There is a big difference between just simply coming to church week in and week out, and coming with faith – with a hunger and desire for Jesus. There is a big difference between just doing the form of reading your Bible and really coming with a desire to want to know Jesus and to want to know the truth.
  • It’s possible to be in church all your life and miss out on all the blessings that God wishes to pour out upon us. Not all come with a longing desire. Some come for the food. Others for the fellowship. Others, because they like a certain girl or guy.
  • Look, I’m not saying don’t come at all. But just make sure that you re-adjust. When you come, you’re not coming for people. You’re coming for Jesus. To be in His presence.
  • You know I’ve preached before and I’ve seen people talking with each other throughout the whole sermon. Others are browsing on their phones. Others are drawing away on their tablets. Others just can’t sit still once the preacher gets up – they have ants in their pants. What do I mean by that? All of a sudden they have to go to the toilet, they need to drink water, they need to do everything except to sit still and listen to the sermon.
  • Many were touching Jesus, but only one woman was healed. Many others didn’t feel their need, and this is often the case in our present generation. Maybe they were there just to look for a miracle, to see a show – like a magic trick! But this woman, she came for a purpose. She realized her need. She reached out to touch Jesus with faith! She was the only one benefitted by coming in contact with Jesus. No one else received that benefit.
  • Friends, it’s not enough just to come to church. We can be in the very presence of Jesus but receive no blessing. We are not blessed because the Holy Spirit came down on the person sitting next to me. He has to come down on each of us personally! There is a need for coming together in a corporate way to worship together. But the blessing is an individual experience.

Mark 5:32-33
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

  • Jesus turned around to look at this woman. He wanted her to confess. He wanted her to testify. He wanted her to share about the blessing that she had received. Not because Jesus wanted to be more famous or to simply take all the credit. But friends, it is important to share God’s goodness upon each of our lives. It’s not good enough to receive the blessings of God and yet be silent about it. Jesus wanted the woman to make a public confession of God’s goodness for the sake of everyone else as well.

Mark 5:34
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

  • Christ also wanted to speak a word of comfort to her as well. It was her faith that made her whole. And He also wanted to make it clear that there was nothing special about his clothes. Christ’s clothes had nothing in them of any supernatural power. He didn’t want to give anyone any idea that the material in His clothes was of a holy or heavenly origin, that there was some special healing virtue in His clothes. But that it was her faith that took hold of the blessing from Christ and that was brought down to her to heal her at that instant.

After healing the woman, Jesus wanted her to acknowledge the blessing that she had received.

  • The gifts that the gospel offers are not to be enjoyed in secret. God calls us to confess His goodness.
  • Isaiah 43:12
    I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed,when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.
  • It is through our confession of God’s goodness that we are to reveal Christ to the world. There is only so much that preaching from the Bible does. But what is most effectual is our personal testimonies and experiences. Every person has a life that is distinct from everyone else’s. Even if you live in the same house. And so God desires that our praises would rise up to Him marked by our own individuality.
  • And it is these praises, when it is supported by a Christ-like life, that has an irresistible power that works for the salvation of others! This is why you MUST testify. You must share your praises! Maybe you think you’re not that sort of person. But you must be! Christ is looking at you today and waiting for you to share about His goodness.

What will it be? If we keep silent, maybe the stones will begin to cry out. I hope it doesn’t get to that point that God will pass us by. But we must never underestimate the power of our own stories. Not that we are anything. We must be careful to give all the honor and glory and praise back to God. And when we do that, people will see that we serve a living God.

Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego served a living God, and Daniel served a living God. He was so real to them! The apostle John served a living God. He’s got to be real to us today. And if He is, surely we must have a story to share. So what is it? I hope before you go to sleep tonight, that you will share with someone about God’s goodness.

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