‘And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 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.” ‘ Mark 5:24b-34
Have you ever watched a movie or TV show that had three or four parallel storylines going at the same time? This section of Mark is like that. This interaction between Jesus and this woman takes place while he is headed to help another girl. If you look closer there is yet another parallel story within this story. Notice the very last statement Jesus makes to the woman. Jesus says, “…Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” She has already been healed, why did Jesus need to say that?
This woman had just touched the end of Jesus’ garment and been physically healed but she is still full of shame and fear. During her 12-year illness she had been a social outcast, seen as unclean. When Jesus unexpectedly senses power going out from him and stops, her heart runs back to the patterns of fear she has learned. Notice how she approaches Jesus. She, “came in fear and trembling” before Jesus. Jesus then performs a different and deeper healing for her. He heals her wounded heart by the gentle way he speaks to her. He tells her to go in peace and be healed, not only of her physical ailment, but of her soul sorrow.
Jesus sees our entire need. He doesn’t just see your external wound, he sees the deeper wounds that we carry. He doesn’t just see and forgive our sin, he also knows the shame and pain that causes our sins. I love this about God!
Take a few minutes to listen to this new song by Cory Asbury called “The Father’s House”. Remember that you are always in the Father’s house and shame has no place there. After listening, pray a simple prayer of gratitude for the healing of your shame.
By Aaron Bjorklund