Bible Society of South Africa

A woman’s touch – Day 9

Bible text(s)

26even though she had been treated by many doctors. She had spent all her money, but instead of getting better she got worse all the time. 27She had heard about Jesus, so she came in the crowd behind him, 28saying to herself, “If I just touch his clothes, I will get well.”

29She touched his cloak, and her bleeding stopped at once; and she had the feeling inside herself that she was healed of her trouble. 30At once Jesus knew that power had gone out of him, so he turned round in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31His disciples answered, “You see how the people are crowding you; why do you ask who touched you?”

32But Jesus kept looking round to see who had done it. 33The woman realized what had happened to her, so she came, trembling with fear, knelt at his feet, and told him the whole truth. 34Jesus said to her, “My daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your trouble.”

Mark 5:26-34GNBOpen in Bible reader

1. In this text there are two intercalated healing stories: Jesus is on his way to save a twelve-year old girl from dying when he was ‘touched’ by a woman suffering “the issue of blood” for twelve years – most probably vaginal bleeding. Having a very long menstrual period is not uncommon in women about to enter menopause. But to bleed continuously (whether intermittent or not) would have been a heavy burden on a woman in a culture where she was deemed to be impure/ unclean when menstruating. In fact, she was not to touch anyone or handle any eating utensil that anyone else might use, because the belief was that, that person too would be made unclean. So important was this story in the early church, that it is recorded in all three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 9:18–22, Mark 5:21–34, Luke 8:40–48).
(a) The woman must have been sure that Jesus himself would not be defiled by her touching him. See Mark 1:40-42 for what she might have based her decision to touch Jesus on.
(b) Jesus was responding to a request from a synagogue leader to save his daughter from dying. What, for you, is significant about Jesus’ action when he stopped to speak to someone in the crowd?

2. What, if any, parallels can be drawn from:
(a) The woman’s twelve 12 years of bleeding and the young girl’s age?
(b) Jarius’ faith and the woman’s faith in Jesus’ power to heal? (See verses 23b and 28).

3. “Daughter, your faith has healed you, Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
(a) If the woman could “feel in her body that she was freed from her suffering” (Mk
5:29), what suffering is it she still has to be freed from when she goes back to her family/ community? (Mk 5:34).

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
Find us on