In Mark 5, we meet a woman who had struggled for twelve years with an issue of blood. She had gone to doctors again and again, without relief. Finally, she heard that Jesus was nearby. Verses 27-29 tell us what she did:
“She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’ Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.”
First, this woman heard and believed in Jesus. She believed that one word from God changes everything. Secondly, she didn’t let excuses get in the way of getting to Jesus. She broke cultural custom by leaving her home, entering the crowd, and not shouting, “Unclean!” Yet, so great was her desire to reach Jesus that she kept going.
This lady had backbone—not just wishbone. And it caused Jesus to take notice:
“But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.’”
What amazes me about this story is not the woman’s righteousness. After all, she was ceremonially unclean, and, according to the customs of that time, she had sinned all the way to Jesus. She didn’t do everything right. The issue wasn’t her perfection—the real answer lay in Jesus’s perfection. She didn’t have faith in herself to be good enough; she had faith in who Jesus was.
Are we placing more faith in our own efforts, or in Jesus Christ? If it’s the former, we’ll be continually stressed out and disappointed, trying to be good enough. But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus already made a way for us! We can trust fully in His finished work, knowing that He will provide everything that we lack.
Dr. Derek Grier