And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. "Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you." But Jesus said, "someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."
Two things stick out to me for the first time reading this passage of scripture:
...but no one could heal her
The NKJV says she spent every dime she had on physicians for a cure, for someone to help her, and not one person could. She must have exhausted all resources and became so desperate that when she heard Jesus was coming through her part of town, Someone who performed all kinds of miracles, including lots of healing, it didn’t even occur to her to get in front of Him or speak with Him, all she wanted to do was touch the hem of His garment.
Have you exhausted yourself trying to find a healing, a cure, a solution to what ails you? Have you gone to doctor after doctor only to leave the office with the same diagnosis? Perhaps the doctor is telling you nothing is wrong, but you know without a doubt there is something going on inside because you feel flat out awful. Have you spoke to every friend you have, every family member, your spouse, a mentor, your pastor? Have you exhausted every infomercial with the newest way to lose weight, look great and feel younger? Perhaps you're not done going through everything in your power yet, and that could be the reason you haven’t reached the end of yourself. It took me a long time to get to my end - years. Thus, a possible reason you haven’t become desperate enough to reach out for the hem of His garment in faith.
...Who touched me?
All the people. All the noise. In earlier verses it says the multitude had been waiting for Him and thronged Him. The phrase "waiting for" in this verse is in the present tense and means “looking for; expecting”. The crowds of people didn’t carry on with their lives when Jesus initially departed. They hung around on the edge of the sea looking for and expecting His return. The word thronged means, “to choke utterly; to press round or throng one so as almost to suffocate him”.
I’m imagining Jesus completely surrounded by loud, desperate humans, with absolutely no room to move on His own, any movement He does have is from the wave and momentum of the crowd. Everyone trying to reach Him, and those who were close, reaching out and touching Him from all directions. I'm imagining complete chaos. One of the definitions of multitude or crowd is, “troops of people gathered together without order”. So without any order, Jesus is surrounded by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people, all trying to press in on Him and knocking Him around from all directions.
Yet there is one. There is one woman so desperate that she is able to press through this disorderly crowd surrounding Jesus, come in from behind Him, reach with all her might and touch the hem of His garment. That word touch means - “to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, cling to”. Although we know she did not tear off Jesus’ robe, her faith was so powerful that her touch was the only touch He took note of.
Can you imagine such a faith?
On the one hand, this woman’s faith was so strong it made her desperate enough to believe she only had to touch His cloak and strong enough to get through a wild crowd. On the other hand, her faith was so strong, that out of all the people crowding and knocking Jesus around, her touch was the only touch that stopped Jesus in His tracks and drew power from Him.
Can you imagine such a faith?
Holy is His Name! I want that kind of faith, even more than I have experienced already. I want a faith that catches Jesus’ attention and causes Him to ask, “Who touched Me?” I want to hear, “ Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)
A faith that draws the power of Jesus is a faith that heals.
Are you crowding around Jesus, just pushing and bumping into Him, or are you the one in the crowd with a faith that causes Him to say, “Who touched Me?”