In January 2015, Prophet Holly Sharp of Ohio spoke to us in our monthly fellowship meeting about “The Woman With The Issue of Blood”. Here we want to address this special woman who has stood out to us all over the ages with her faith in Jesus.
And behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him ad touched the hem of his garment. Matthew 9:20
When we go back to the beginning, we read the terrible curse that came due to disobedience back in Paradise when God said “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.” If you think about it, this has a deeper significance than just the actual delivery of children. It also reflects that some women will have terrible suffering even though no childbirth actually takes place, while others suffer terribly because of prolonged consequences of child birth. The quantity of suffering in each woman’s cup varies. Some are compelled to drink only a few, hasty drops of it while others has cups filled to the brim. The suffering that women bear is excruciating, be it while they are delivering or afterwards. It is a suffering made more intense by the fact that much pain is kept in secret.
For that reason it pleases me to notice that the gospel also includes comfort for those who suffer in this way. It tells us how a woman who suffered from this secret pain also came into direct contact with Jesus. That woman’s name is unknown, and has perhaps for refinement’s sake been withheld from us. She is, therefore generally designated as the woman “with an issue of blood” she had gone through a period of intense pain. For twelve long years nothing had been found which could stop the flow of blood. We are not told whether or not she had retained the disease as the result of child-birth. That makes no difference. The important fact is that she was a woman whose energy had flowed from her, not for months, but for a period of years. Hence, you can imagine how pale, and haggard she must have looked. And you can get a conception too, of how energetic her faith must have been. It if had not been so, she would not have dared to mingle with the crowd in public.
And yet she did not dare to go to Jesus to talk to Him about it openly. She felt ashamed of herself. Hence, she determined to creep up behind Jesus, and if it should prove possible, to touch the hem of his coat. Because of that act of faith, energy passed out of Jesus, and for that reason He noticed it At once the courageous woman was healed. The blood ceased flowing.
That woman’s faith was all the more remarkable, because of the repeated disappointments with which she had met in those many years. First she must have gone to the doctors. That was the perfectly appropriate thing to do, for these are a gift of God to suffering humanity. Whenever we are afflicted by diseases we should gratefully make use of their services. But the gift of medicine, like so many others, is quite imperfect, and frequently becomes distorted because of sin. In the case of this woman, the physicians had not only been unable to help her, but we read, besides that they caused her much pain, and that her illness became worse at their hands. Perhaps they were not responsible for that. But they were, at least, guilty of robbing her of her means of livelihood, and of depriving her of the means of getting nourishing food for her weakened body. Indeed, it could have been easily understood if this woman had despaired of all hope, and had surrendered herself murmuring and complaining to her fate.
But faith prevented despair from mastering her. A higher grace had accomplished that faith in her heart. Accordingly, she went to Jesus. She did not ask Him for medicine, nor did she burden Him with a long story of her suffering She went there merely to touch the hem of His garment. Her faith told her that would suffice to heal her She was right; she returned to her home completely recovered.
Faith can accomplish such stupendous things Jesus Himself said to her, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” Her faith had not rejected the assistance of physicians simple because these were imperfect and because they were often greedy. Her faith induced her to make use of every gift which God had given for the alleviation of suffering; she left no stone unturned to find grace in God’s sight through ordinary means which He had appointed. Because of faith, however, she did not lose hope when medical aid had failed, but kept on extending her hands to the Omnipotence of the Lord The Mediator rewards such faith not by healing everyone who suffers, but by preventing despair. He rewards it by holding before sufferers a vision of the compassion of our God.
QUESTIONS FOR YOU
1. What trait in this woman led her to touch Jesus’ garment?
2. Have you ever been sick with some form of disease? If so, what trait in you pushed you to Jesus?