Jesus sees our suffering

One of my favourite Biblical characters is the woman who’s been bleeding for 12 years before she meets Jesus.

According to Mosaic Law, women who were ceremonially unclean weren’t allowed to touch anyone. For those long years blood had flowed from this woman’s body, making her physically sick and socially unacceptable. The physicians of her time were unable to relieve her suffering.

We meet her in Mark 5. At the time she appears, Jesus is on his way to the home of Jairus, a man who’d asked Jesus to go and heal his sick, dying daughter. A large crowd is pressing around him. Mark 5:25-29 recounts what happened as Jesus walks through the throng…

“A woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.”

In a beautiful series of events, Jesus engages with the woman, invites her to share her story with him, and tells her that her faith has healed her. His final words to her are: “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”


Go in peace and be freed from your suffering… How we long for Jesus to say these words to us.

But this wasn’t some ‘overnight sensation’, even though it sure was sensational and miraculous. This woman had been suffering for 12 long years… a social outcast, all her money drained by failed ‘quick-fix cures’. All her hopes, seemingly dashed… Until the Son of God shows up – and her faith springs into action.

She battles the crowds, reaches for his cloak – and she is healed. It was totally unacceptable by society’s standards to be doing what she did – leaving her home in her unclean state, pushing through the throng and touching this God-Man. But she did. She was a desperate woman on a mission. And not only is she healed of her sickness, but the God of the Universe steps into her world and hears her story.

Have you ever felt like a social outcast? Perhaps the shame of something that happened long ago still has its grip on you… Maybe you don’t feel worthy of the people in your life… or even  the love and forgiveness of Jesus. Perhaps an ongoing illness has isolated you, or you’re struggling with a daily battle that no-one else around you seems to understand. Maybe you’ve been on your rocky path for more years than you can remember.

We all feel lonely sometimes – abandoned, rejected, blamed, misunderstood…

But when we know that Jesus is not just ‘in town’ but able to take up residence in our lives, we have every reason to run, skirts flying, faith soaring, as desperate people on a mission to discover freedom. Not for freedom’s sake, but for the cause of receiving healing from God himself, and letting others know just how amazing and wonderful and glorious he is.

May our hearts fill up and overflow with faith like this woman’s. May we believe that God can do anything. In fact he’s already done it. Jesus won the victory through dying and coming to life again after death (proving that he is indeed God). He’s shown us that we can be “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). He’s shown us that no problem, no issue, no shame… is too great for him to help us deal with.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

(Lyrics and music by Robert Lowry (1826-1899)



  1. This was a new story for me. Her faith and Jesus’ compassion make this an encouraging story even hundreds of years later.

    Thanks for sharing this story. Your posts leave me with a peaceful feeling 🙂

  2. Thank you for giving us hope, for returning us to Jesus . .so we can reach out and touch Him and let Him touch us. God bless you as you fight your way to Him today, Ali!

  3. An excellent post. Thank you for sharing it with us all. There is such healing power in the name of Jesus if we only truly believe. God bless you and yours.

  4. OH, that sounds intense Sheila – praying you’re kept warm and safe, and that Spring’s warmth will soon be upon you!
    (Here in Australia we’re moving into Autumn (our name for Fall) – warm days are lessening but I’m OK with Winter – Aussie winters are quite undramatic at least!)

  5. I love this story too. Have you ever noticed the amazing “coincidence” in the story? All 3 synoptics record the same event, but Luke (8:40-56) adds a detail that can’t be ignored: the story of the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years, is in the middle of a story about a 12-year old girl who is sick and dies. A significant detail? Indeed!

    1. I hadn’t observed that Richard – thanks for pointing it out! I love the little gems we discover in Scripture – our God truly is amazing 🙂
      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your wisdom,

  6. So, this blog showed up in the suggested sites on my Reader, and I had to come check it out. This song is one my husband sings, with a harmonica part, and I love it! And this passage from the Bible is wonderful! And I noticed Richard L Rice pointed out a very interesting thing…now I gotta share that with my husband!!

    1. So glad you were led here LubbyGirl 🙂 Awesome, that’s lovely that you and your husband sing it together. It is interesting what Richard pointed out isn’t it!
      Hope you’re having a happy Easter.

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