The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) contain four stories in the same order. I blogged about the first one Calming of the Storm and the second the Healing of the Demon Possessed Man. The third is the Healing of the Woman with a Flow of Blood. This story is wrapped into another story about a synagogue ruler’s daughter who dies. But we will consider that story separately. This woman’s story (being sick with a long illness) is the storm that many people, maybe even most people, will face. Here is her story:
And a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years and could not be healed by any one, came up behind him, and touched the fringe of his garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the multitudes surround you and press upon you!” But Jesus said, “Some one touched me; for I perceive that power has gone forth from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace. Luke 8:43-48
When this story is told in the other gospels we learn that this woman has suffered for 12 years from an issue of blood which long medical treatment and all her money had been unable to alleviate. She touches Jesus and is healed. 12-years-sick. She has weathered a very long storm.
Saint John Chrysostom asked the question, “Why did the women with the flow of blood not approach him openly?” Was she ashamed? Did she consider herself unclean, she surely would have had reservations. For this reason she kept herself concealed. She would not have understood his ministry; otherwise she would not have thought it necessary to remain concealed. So what did the Messiah do? He did not let her go unnoticed but led her into the center of attention and made her visible. He had many reasons for doing this.
- Jesus puts an end to her fear. He does not want her to remain trapped in dread. He gives no cause for her conscience to be harmed, as if she had stolen a gift.
- He corrects her assumption that she has no right to be seen.
- He makes her faith an exhibit to all. He encourages the others to emulate her faith.”
5 minutes before she is healed she is fearful, trapped, alone, broke and certainly not the poster child of faith. 1 second after encountering the Lord Jesus Christ she is restored. The storm is over, the waters are calm.