If you are like me, you sometimes wonder if God, with the cares and concerns of the whole world being brought before Him, really has time for you. Why would He take the time to focus on my small (in the grand scheme of things) problems? I am an unclean sinner, not worth the effort when there are so many more important people around to care about. In this way, I’m probably very much like the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5:21-43.
According to Leviticus 15:25-30, she is unclean. Not only is she unclean, everything she touches becomes unclean. Not only that, but everyone she touches and everyone who touches anything she touches becomes unclean. Imagine the isolation this poor woman has felt for the twelve years of her infirmity. If married, she and her husband are unable to even sleep in the same bed. Her family cannot touch her, hold her, hug her. Like a leper, she is likely shunned because of her uncleanness.
She has sought remedy after remedy, going after each new cure and physician that promised help. Each time she came up short. She has gone through whatever finances she had and has only gotten worse. Then she heard about Jesus, the rabbi who teaches with authority and to whom spirits and sickness submit. Can you see her on the edge of the crowd? I can only imagine she has a shawl covering her head and face. If anyone sees her, they might recognize her as the unclean woman. All those people between her and Jesus. If they figure out who she is, they will be livid. Yet, she needs that healing.
She doesn’t call out to Him or try to attract His attention. Why? Likely for the very reason mentioned above. Surely, this important and powerful rabbi has no time or inclination to deal with the struggles of an unclean woman. Look at the crowds following Him. His time is taken with them. Besides, isn’t that one of the rulers of the synagogue seeking Jesus’s attention? Why would Jesus ever put a ruler of the synagogue on hold to listen to the request of one unclean woman?
So she sneaks up behind. I can imagine she is careful to sneak through the crowd, trying not to attract attention or to touch people as she approaches. There He is. She reaches out, touches His garment, and she can immediately tell the difference. She is healed. Praise the Lord!
She tries to sneak away, but Jesus Himself stops and calls attention to what has just happened. Jesus, with all the crowds pressing in, with the synagogue ruler wringing his hands, stops and calls out to discover who has touched Him (not that He needed to learn, but His disciples, the crowds, and Jairus needed to learn). In fear, she admits what she has done, surely expecting a rebuke. Yet, she receives only encouragement.
I can see Jairus to the side fretting. His mind is racing. “We don’t have time for this woman. Let’s hurry and get to my daughter.” Then the worst is reported. It is too late. The daughter has died. Jesus couldn’t be in two places at once. He couldn’t heal the woman and the daughter both. Or could He? He calmed the father, went to the house, and brought the little girl back to life. Jesus indeed has time for the 12 –year-old girl and the woman with the 12-year-old disease.
Praise the Lord, Jesus has time for you too. Do you need to respond to Him today?