Is there some significance to the fact that the woman with a hemorrhage touched the hem of Jesus' garment to be healed?
Luke 8:43 - 48
ESV - 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.
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I humbly submit for your consideration a few significances contained within this scripture, one is a partial fulfillment of a prophecy given some four hundred years earlier in the last old testament book Malachi speaking of the coming messiah. (Malachi 4:1-3) Is a reference to both the first and second coming of messiah. (Malachi 4:2) But for you who revere my name, the Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves from the stall.(KJB) (Malachi 4:2) But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in it’s wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.(ESV) The “Sun of righteousness” is the coming Messiah and “his wings” references the four corners of a Jewish prayer shawl, worn by Jewish men after their Bar Mitzvah 13th birthday, prior to their exile and dispersion from the land of Israel, they were worn daily and raised over their head as a mobile prayer closet. (2 Samuel 23:4; Isaiah 60:1-3; Isaiah 60:19-20; Ruth 2:12; Psalms 91:4; Matthew 23:37) The tallit itself is a white rectangular piece of fabric and is sometimes translated as tent. The four corners are known as wings, on these corners of the tallit there are hanging threads “fringe” with special knots called tassels (tzitzit) interwoven with a blue thread knotted together used to remember and count the commandments. (Numbers 15:38; Numbers 15:39) The new testament significance (Luke 8:43-48; Mark 5:27-34) (Luke 8:43; Mark 5:27) Under the law this unnamed women with an issue of blood was unclean and as such an outcast of society prohibited from any interaction with it, and yet she was in public broke and seeking after hearing of this Jesus. (Luke 8;44; Mark 5:27-28) Traveling in 911 mode to the house of Jairus a ruler of the synagogue to save his child, this unclean outcast women breaks the law again by touching Jesus thus making Him unclean and making herself a dead man walking. (Luke 8:47; Mark 5:33) This daughter of Israel knew the requirements of both the Torah and Tanakh in regards to her prior condition and her actions before both Jairus and Jesus hence the fear and trembling for what might come next. Mark gives us a bit more insight with this “told him the WHOLE truth” as recorded in (Mark 5:33). (Luke 8:48; Mark 5:34) I humbly submit my opinion that in this new testament story sandwiched between a very busy time period. Jesus took the time to heal and acknowledge an unnamed walking dead outcast from society, who bet her life that He was the promised Messiah. The Lord blessed her for knowing the scripture and then second acting on the promised prophecy "bring healing in His wings" by grabbing the tassel, which is what lays on His thigh. (Malachi 4:2; Revelation 19:16) (Luke 8:48) “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” (Mark 5:34) “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” Bottom Line The significance for us is that Jesus is never too busy to stop and help when even society’s nameless outcasts no matter their condition are willing to reach out and touch Him in faith. The earthly limits of proper form and decorum political correctness did not stop Him from doing the will of the Father, now always remember we’re in sales and He’s the management. In the Lord’s freedom working to set any captive free….warrior on
In my personal opinion, the healing of the woman in this passage is the greatest example of the power of faith found in the gospels. Not only did the woman believe that Jesus had the ability to heal her, but she had such faith and humility that she was certain that it was not necessary to put her request into words, or even to make her identity known to Jesus. Undoubtedly, many people touched Jesus' garments during his ministry, in light of the crowds that always surrounded Him. But this is the only time (to my knowledge) when the gospels specifically record healing power going out from Him as the result of such a touch, and it was the woman's faith that made this happen. Skeptics sometimes use Jesus' question ("Who touched me?") to dispute His omniscience, and, by implication, His identity as God. But, in my view, He was not indicating ignorance by doing so, nor was He wanting to point the woman out just as an example of His own healing power, but He was specifically seeking to commend her for her faith and humility. He therefore called attention to her act for that purpose. He was thus giving a concrete example of His later advice to His listeners (Luke 14:7-11) to choose the lowest place when invited to a feast, so that the host might then say, "Friend, come up higher", and would honor them in the sight of all those present, just as the humility and faith of the anonymous woman in this account is still honored thousands of years later.
Good question, Scott Many! The “hem” refers to the special tassels that the Jews wore on their garments to remind them they were God’s people (Num. 15:37-41; Deut. 22:12). -- "The hem of his garment" specifically and probably refers to the fringes or tassels at the corners of Christ's mantle. These, Charles Ryrie says, were "religious reminders to the wearer to observe the commandments (Num. 15:37-39)." Ryrie Study Bible Obviously, then, it was not the garment that healed, but Christ. Neither was it the touch but faith (Mark 5:34). The well-known Sankey gospel hymn recalls and applies the story of the nameless woman whom Jesus healed— She only touched the hem of His garment, As to His side, she stole, Amid the crowd that gathered around Him, And straightway she was whole. It is encouraging to know that His saving power this very hour can give new life to all who by faith take hold of His skirt (Zechariah 8:23).
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