The Master was making His way through the crowd. As she watched, He was intercepted by an important man: Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue. Jairus made an impassioned plea to the Master, and the two of them began to walk away together. With the crowd thronging Him, they made slow progress. She was able to work her way up to the two men. This was it. This was her chance. She didn’t need anything big, I just need one touch of His robe, she thought, surely that would be enough to heal me. Mustering the little strength she had, the woman reached forward and brushed the hem of the Master’s robe with her fingertips. With a gasp, she fell back into the crowd.
It was gone! The pain, the weakness, all the symptoms of her unclean disease had vanished. Her face glowed with joy as she turned to go to the temple and show herself to the priests. Suddenly, she stopped. She’d heard a quiet, gentle voice asking a question: “who touched Me?” A battle instantly broke out in her mind. She could just walk away. No one needed to know it had been her. No harm had been done, right? But it was no good. Her conscience prevailed and she turned back. “Master,” she said quietly, “it was me…” Falling to her knees, she told Him what she had done. Gently lifting her chin, He looked into her eyes, His face filled with compassion. “Daughter,” He said, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction” *
This story always amazes me. Even in the middle of the overarching theme of the healing of Jairus’ daughter, there is an interlude in which Jesus interacts with this woman. The passage tells us she had been afflicted for twelve years, her illness started around the same time the girl was born. Twelve years in the lives of these two women, leading up to the day they would bring glory to the Son of God.
The two seem so similar looking back, but at the time, there were drastic differences. As a leader of the synagogue, Jairus was an important man in the Jewish community. Jesus had been asked to the house of this great man on urgent business, but stopped to talk to a nobody. She was an outcast. Because of her illness, she had not even been a part of Jewish society for twelve years. But He was willing to stop, to talk to her, to minister to those around Him. What a beautiful reminder for believers to be aware of the needs of those around them and to always be ready to reach out in His love!
*adapted from Mark 5 and Luke 8