Not just surrounded by the crowds, but walking shoulder-to-shoulder with people, Jesus encountered another faithful woman:
Matthew 9:20-20 Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him.
We’re told in Luke that she hadn’t been able to find a cure, and in Mark:
Mark 5:26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse.
She would have been desperate, desperate enough to believe this:
Matthew 9:21 She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’
Luke 8:44Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
And Jesus knew. He literally felt the healing power go from him to the woman, so He asked who touched Him.
Luke 8:45-46 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.’
Even now, with modern medicine, there are still conditions that are regarded as untreatable. Not just cancer, but conditions like chronic fatigue, mental illness, IBS, autism, extreme (or even mild) allergies, dementia, and the list goes on and on and on. The sufferers and their families are often left to endure a life without hope of reprieve.
The internet is full of stories of people going from one doctor to another, spending money, trying medications, being told there’s nothing that can be done, or even worse, that there’s nothing wrong with them and it’s all in their head, or even worse than that, that the obvious medical pathology isn’t causing the well-documented symptoms that are crippling a person’s life.
It is this situation that this woman found herself in.
This is where Jesus offers hope.
Even if you have to pray and keep praying, or you need to do stuff (and sometimes the answer to prayer is that the medication actually works this time), the hope is still on offer. Even if you need to push through a crowd of stuff, and even a dozen Disciples, or even 72 of them, or more, the hope is still on offer.