“Woman with the Issue of Blood”
A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
— Luke 8:43-48 (NLT)
I felt an overwhelming desire to run and hide as laughter rang out boisterously from my family. Every time we got together as a family there was almost surely to come up a story about “remember that time when Cyndi….” My family often retells stories of things I did that were rebellious when I was younger. I mean, to be fair, I gave them a lot of material. I was a bit of a wild child. In fact, if I am honest, I still have a streak of the wild & adventurous in me. But thankfully, I have also changed and grown not just older but wiser over the years. However, it doesn’t seem to matter how I have changed, they only seem to want to “remember when…”. While I’ve come to accept it, I certainly don’t enjoy feeling like I am known by my “issues” or worst moments in life.
Every time I read this story in Luke my heart hurts. The title alone is certainly cringe-worthy. In my Bible it blinks almost neon – “Woman With the Issue of Blood”. I mean we all have issues – was it necessary to point hers out so blatantly and then leave it there on the pages of the Bible for all to see FOREVER? I find it a bit unsettling to think this woman is known (& labeled!) by her issues? Maybe because I have so many issues of my own that I am trying to free myself from mentally & emotionally so I can sit fully in my new creation status. What’s worse is sometimes we hold ourselves in that prison by not letting go of the past or shedding the labels we or others have placed on us. Thankfully, as is frequently the case with God, there’s more to the story.
In every Gospel account of this story we see Jesus not only heal her issue but restore her value. Jesus first brings our sweet sister “out of hiding”. We are told “she realized she couldn’t stay hidden”. We often want to cruise through life with our issues, and sometimes ourselves, unnoticed. On the contrary, Jesus wants us to walk free and come boldly to His throne. And often that means bringing into His light those things lurking in the darkness.
My hope is stirred by the fact that Jesus ends this passage by calling her “Daughter”. While it’s not her “name”, I do believe Jesus wanted her (& us) to know He saw her, He knew her, and this label was the one that should truly define her. He was simply reminding her of the name she had always had. She had just forgotten, as we often do, that she was a Daughter of the King and that her status as Daughter of the King supercedes all other names and labels – even the name given by our parents at birth. We remain a Daughter (or son) of the King even when we stray or sin – we never lose our salvation or our status as His child.
I also love that we are told here that the “whole crowd” heard this exchange between her and Jesus. Because I am sure the “whole crowd” knew of her circumstances and may have had a hand in reminding her of her unclean status. They would have certainly avoided her, not spoken to her or acknowledged her, and would never have touched her. But Jesus did all of these. And He will do this for us too if we come to Him boldly and reach out for Him in faith. Our minds have a hard time forgetting our issues and failures and others may make it a habit of reminding us of our issues and failures, but our God does not. He puts them “as far as the East is from the West” and we need to learn to do that too. Because when we do, we can walk fully and confidently into our future as a new creation in Christ and child of the Most High God.
What issues or failures are you trying to keep hidden that God wants you to lay at his feet today?
Loving Lord, thank you for looking beyond our failures and infirmities to see us, truly SEE us. When our nature is to want to hide our face & cover our flaws we are encouraged that you seek to remind us our true value and worth is found in You. Help us remember that when the world wants to label us repeatedly, You, instead, love us recklessly. Let us pursue You with abandon knowing that in Your presence is where we encounter acceptance, secure our salvation and receive restoration to step fully into our position of royalty as Daughters and Sons of the King. In the mighty name of Jesus we ask this, Amen.
Walking the Walk Ministries LLC · 2022