7 August 2015

Luke 8:41-56

“When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed.” (v. 47)

Psalm: Psalm 63:1-8


As if the poor woman in this story has not already suffered enough, even at the moment of her healing she has to come forward and tell Jesus and all the people in the crowd why she needed to touch him and how she was healed.

This unnamed woman had been haemorrhaging for 12 years. In all that time the woman, anything she touched and anyone who touched her was regarded as unclean. No one was going to make a path through the crowds to allow her to speak with Jesus.

The woman weakened by her many years of illness and blood loss was determined to get to Jesus, just to touch him would be enough, so she pressed through the crowd until with the tip of her finger she touched the hem of his robe, "and immediately her haemorrhage stopped" (v. 44).

Then came the shameful moment when she identified herself and told her story to Jesus and to the crowd. Her relief at being healed after so many years gave her the strength and confidence to speak up. In a moment, the embarrassment and shame fell away as Jesus' voice echoed in her ears, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace" (v. 48). "Daughter"-  a woman who had been an outcast for so long is affirmed in her special and close relationship with Jesus. He claims her as a daughter.

Jesus paused on his way to heal Jairus' daughter in order to restore to full life his own 'daughter'. Her faith healed her, but Jesus' words gave her back her humanity.

To Ponder

  • What is your reaction to these two stories? What do you notice happening inside of you as you read?
  • What do these stories tell you about God?

Bible notes author

The Revd Diane Clutterbuck

Diane is an ordained presbyter in the Methodist Church. She works as as a coach, supervisor and trainer mainly in the public and voluntary sectors with people and organisations who are committed to growth and development.