She trails behind the crowd, uncertain if she should approach. The mass of people overwhelms her; she can’t see what he’s doing, where he’s going, let alone hear him speak.
She’s heard the reports about Jesus, amazing reports. Of healings, exorcisms, miracles. And she needs a miracle. It’s been 12 years—12 long years of her very lifeblood draining from her. And not only that, but her savings, her possessions, her strength, her hope that anything will ever change.
Here, standing before her, is the one they say is a miracle-worker, a change-maker, the one who can make the impossible happen—and stop it from happening.
A man says Jesus is on his way to heal someone’s daughter. So I have this one chance, she thinks. If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.
Though Jesus is the one she’s been waiting for, she hasn’t known it until now. And she refuses to miss her chance.
Mustering all her courage and strength, she picks up the pace and squeezes through the crowd. Finally she reaches him, extending her arm to touch his robe.
Does He Want to Heal Me?
We love this Bible story. It’s one of faith, boldness, and power. It reminds us nothing is impossible for God, no one is outside the realm of Jesus’s love and care—that Jesus heals.
But if we’re honest, stories of Jesus healing the sick, blind, and lame can cause us to wonder, Why hasn’t Jesus healed me? We all have ailments, even if they’re not physical—broken relationships, broken promises, broken dreams. We feel like the hesitant woman on the outskirts of the crowd rather than the one cured by a touch of his garment.
We wonder if Jesus wants to heal us. And since he hasn’t, we figure we have our answer.
But there’s more to this account than meets the eye. Does Jesus want to heal you? Read the story again, and see.
Healing Is a Picture
Jesus says to the woman, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34). His answer to us is the same, if we’ll come to him by faith—though our deepest “disease” is different than we may think.
We need healing for a sin-sick soul.
This woman’s physical healing illustrates the spiritual healing Jesus performs in all who trust and follow him. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,” David writes in Psalm 103. Jesus’s miraculous healings are physical realities portraying a spiritual one: the forgiveness of sins for those who would otherwise perish.
Does Jesus want to heal you? Yes, and it’s assured: By his wounds you’ve been healed (1 Pet. 2:24).
Healing Is a Promise
Jesus’s response to the woman also previews our eternal future—a final healing through the perfect restoration of body, mind, and soul, when Jesus returns and renews all things. What God has done through miracles past, he will do in our heavenly future.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Rev. 21:4). Neither shall there be sickness, nor any need for healing. The woman touched Jesus’s garment, but we will be clothed in his robe of righteousness forever (Rev. 7:9; cf. Isa. 61:10).
Does Jesus want to heal you? Yes. And he will. For those who fear his name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings (Mal. 4:2). A new day is coming. Your healing is a promise.
Healing Is a Possibility
Jesus chooses to heal the sick woman, and Jesus can choose to heal you. Right now, tomorrow, in several years, Jesus has the ability and freedom to declare: “Be healed of your disease.” He can heal, and he does heal: Cancer cells vanish without logical explanation. Lifeless marriages are restored. An infertile wife bears a child. Just like the hemorrhaging woman reached out to touch Jesus, we can reach out to him today.
Will we come to him boldly as she did? Will we trust him for such things? Will we trust him to do what’s best—according to his wisdom and timing, not ours? And for his glory to be displayed in us—whether or not our requests are granted?
No Matter What
About a blind man, Jesus said, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (Luke 9:3). The “works of God” may include physical healing now—but they assuredly include healing from sin and, eventually, healing from a broken body forever.
Does Jesus want to heal you? In this lifetime, it’s possible he does. Like the woman from our story, we’re free to come to him with fearful expectancy, believing he can, knowing he ultimately will, and peacefully trusting him, no matter the outcome.
Editors’ note: Register for our upcoming 2017 National Conference, April 3 to 5 in Indianapolis, where Kristen Wetherell will be leading a workshop (along with Sarah Walton) on “Hope When It Hurts: Biblical Reflections that Help You Grasp God’s Purpose in Your Suffering.” This article originally appeared at Unlocking the Bible.