Day 26 – A Word for Women (and Men) That Can Change Everything

Mark 5:30–36 ESV

And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Consider This

Remember, Jesus didn’t see people as the sum of their problems but rather as the sons and daughters of the Father. Today’s text provides us another great example. If I’m honest, I’ve always labeled this woman who had been bleeding for twelve years and who was trying to reach out and touch Jesus to be healed as just that, a sick woman who had suffered greatly and spent all her money on doctors who couldn’t heal her. I summed her up according to her problems.

She did, in fact, manage to find her way through the pressing crowd to reach out and touch his clothes. Instantly, she was healed. Now here’s the fascinating part. How is it that Jesus could, on the one hand, know that power had gone out from him (a major phenomenon in itself) and, on the other hand, not know where the power went. His disciples went in the other direction, asking how on earth he could possibly know who touched him with all these people crowding around him. For my money, Jesus knew exactly who touched him. I mean, anyone who has the supernatural sensitivity to know that power had gone out from him knows where it went, right?

This was a setup. And he looked around to see who had done it. He was on an urgent mission to the home of a little girl who was at death’s door. Why did it matter so much to Jesus to know? Here’s my theory and I think the text bears it out.

Jesus knew who she was and he wanted her to identify herself because a much deeper and richer and even more powerful healing was needed. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. Here’s a woman who, from the get-go, was like every other woman in the first century, a person without status. Beyond that, she was perpetually unclean because of her bleeding, which kept her from being able to relate like even a normal woman in the community. She was a very, very marginal person in the world. Beyond that, she was interrupting a Rabbi (a.k.a., Jesus) who was en route to help a man of high status, Jairus the synagogue leader, on a desperate 9-1-1 mission. Is it any wonder she fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth?

I am convinced this was a setup to create this unprecedented opportunity for Jesus, the Son of God, to speak the gospel to her in a single word: daughter. Of all the things she likely thought of herself—like how she probably deserved this plague of a condition for something she had done somewhere in her past, or how ashamed her family must be of her for all these years, or how she might rather just disappear and die than be exposed publicly like this’she wasn’t likely thinking of herself as the beloved daughter of a loving father. Daughter. There are a lot of women reading this who need to hear this word spoken into the depths of your being: daughter. You are the beloved daughter of a perfect Father who sees beyond the shame you may have suffered. You are the beloved daughter of a divine Father who can hold you and speak into you and heal you from all the brokenness that may have been caused by your own broken earthly father. Daughter.

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Two days ago it was a son being freed from his suffering. Today we behold freedom for a beloved daughter. I think there’s also a word tucked in here for those of us who are fathers if we’re listening.

The good news: one daughter is healed. The bad news: another daughter is dead.

While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

The worst four words a parent could hear: “Your daughter is dead.” Jesus counters with the five most hopeful words: “Do not fear, only believe.”

God is not only better than we think, he’s better than we can possibly imagine.

Most days, many of us have occasion and opportunity to speak these words to someone who needs to hear them. Commit those five words to memory and ask the Spirit to bring them to mind when needed.

The Prayer

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

The Questions

  • Which is the deeper healing here’the healing of her sickness or the healing of her identity? How might these two things have been related?
  • Do you see any parallels in your life and community today? How does your identity need deep healing?