Bible Society of South Africa

Twenty-two people in the Bible who had to be more patient than you: the woman with chronic bleeding - 28 August 2023

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

25There was a woman who had suffered terribly from severe bleeding for twelve years, 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.”

Mark 5:25-28GNBOpen in Bible reader

We cannot know for sure what illness the woman in Mark 5 suffered from, but we can be sure her struggle extended beyond her physical ailment. Her condition rendered her ceremonially unclean according to Jewish law and anyone who touched her, or anything she had touched, would also be considered unclean. Imagine the isolation and stigma she endured – cut off from normal life, contact with her loved ones, and the comfort of communal gatherings. Yet, her unclean status did not deter her from seeking healing, even in a crowd of people.

Amidst the bustling crowd that gathered around Jesus, the woman resolved to press through and touch the hem of his garment. Her act of faith was extraordinary, as she believed that even this indirect touch would be enough to bring about her healing. Her patience in waiting for the right moment to approach Jesus and her unwavering faith in his healing power set her apart.

The moment of her touch was a pivotal one. Jesus felt power flow from him and turned to acknowledge the woman’s faith. He said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5:34). In that instant, her patient faith was rewarded with healing and restoration.

We often face challenges that threaten to isolate us or define us by our struggles. Yet, like the woman with the bleeding, we can choose to press forward with patience and faith. Despite the obstacles and setbacks, we can trust that Jesus sees our faith and is willing and able to bring healing and transformation to our lives.

Prayer: Gracious Father, teach us to approach you with unwavering trust, believing in your power to bring healing and transformation. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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