24 A great multitude followed him, and they pressed upon him on all sides. 25 A certain woman, who had an issue of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things by many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better, but rather grew worse, 27 having heard the things concerning Jesus, came up behind him in the crowd, and touched his clothes. 28 For she said, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd, and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 His disciples said to him, “You see the multitude pressing against you, and you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had been done to her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be cured of your disease.” (Mk 5:25-34)
This healing story is the only one which describes what Jesus felt or what was going on, when Jesus healed people: “Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power had gone out from him…” what makes this story so authentic and is for me a proof that Jesus’ miracles weren’t only thought of by the writers of the New Testament as modern theology often assumed.
A woman who had an “issue with blood” was seen in the Jewish religion as impure and had to stay away from the temple. Usually Jesus touched the sick humans to heal them. But here it is the other way around. The woman by herself takes the initiative and touches Jesus. Is that because she is so self-confident and courageous that she dares to touch Jesus? Yes indeed she is courageous. Therefore because she dares to hope. She risks to be disappointed. She trusts and believes in Jesus who is her last chance. If he can’t help me who else can? She put all her confidence, all her trust not in herself but in Jesus, who doesn’t let her down.
Another word for such an unconditional trust is faith. Later she isn’t fearing and trembling because she has broken a taboo or because of Jesus but she has experienced God’s power which hasn’t only cured her illness but has healed her as whole person. She is well again and can live from now on in peace. The main emphasis is in the penultimate sentence mentioned at first: “Your faith has made you well.” Peace for you and at last “be cured of your disease.”
We hardly have as Christians the healing power of Jesus to heal the bodily diseases nowadays. But we can show people their own value what makes them whole and well inside. We can’t only clarify other humans with words that they are accepted and loved, words are the weakest means in that case, but we can value people by listening to their issues. And we can touch people with our hands. We can show other humans that hands not only injure and hurt but also can be tender.
We know from own experiences how well we feel when we get a friendly and hearty hug without any sexual connotation, without force and without clinging.
I know by own experience how important it is for a wounded soul to be touched. You are appreciated, God’s peace may be with you!