When she had heard¹ of Jesus,
came in the press behind,
and touched his garment.
¹) The used word also includes considering what has been said, and understanding it, perceiving the sense of what is said.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, [AMP] She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. [ESV] had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. [MSB] When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. [KJV] When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, [NIV] She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe. [NLT] When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. [NKJV]
Some further information:
When she had heard of Jesus, [she] came
The name Jesus means “Yahweh is salvation”, as a Jew she probably would have known that, and she possibly also would have heard people say of this Jesus that He is the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind, God incarnate.
What had she further heard of Jesus?
No doubt she had heard of the marvellous cures people had received from Him.
And the hearing of these, in connection with her bitter experience of the vanity of applying to any other, had been blessed to the kindling in her soul of a firm confidence that He who had so willingly wrought such cures on others was able and would not refuse to heal her also. This was the right experiment at last.
In the press behind
shrinking, yet seeking.
Touched His garment
According to the ceremonial law, the touch of anyone having the disease, which this woman had, would have defiled the person touched, and maybe even give the sickness to the one touched.
Some think that the recollection of this may account for her stealthily approaching Him in the crowd behind, and touching but the hem of His garment.
But there was an instinct in the faith which brought her to Jesus, which taught her, that if that touch could set her free from the defiling disease itself, it was impossible to communicate defilement to Him, and that this wondrous Healer must be above such laws.
The ordinary outer Jewish garment was a square or oblong piece of cloth, worn something like an Indian blanket.
Among the many that applied themselves to him here is another, that comes clandestinely to steal a cure for herself (if I may say so); and she got the relief she came for. This cure was wrought by the way, as he was going to raise the ruler’s daughter, and was followed by a crowd.
See how the Christ improved his time, and lost none of the precious moments of it. Many of his discourses, and some of his miracles, are dates by the way-side; we should be doing good, not only when we sit in the house, but when we walk by the way too (Deuteronomy 6:7).
Observe the pitiful case of this poor woman. She had a constant issue of blood upon her, for twelve years,
▪︎ which had thrown her, no doubt, into great weakness,
▪︎ which had embittered the comfort of her life,
▪︎ and which threatened to be her death in a little time.
She had had the best advice of physicians, that she could get, and had made use of the many medicines and methods they prescribed: as long as she had any thing to give them, they had kept her in hopes that they could cure her; but now that she had spent all she had among them, they gave her up as incurable.
- See here that all that a man has, will be given for life and health; she spent all she had upon physicians.
- See here that it is ill with those patients whose physicians are their worst disease; who suffer by their physicians, instead of being relieved by them.
- See here that those that are not bettered by medication, commonly grow worse, and the disease gets the more ground.
- See here that it is usual with people not to apply themselves to Christ, till they have tried in vain all other helpers, and find them, as certainly they will, physicians of no value. And He will be found a sure refuge, even to those who make Him their last refuge.
Now let us reflect on this
In her hopeless situation, the woman has heard of Jesus. And what she heard about Him had effect.
Would there still be a cure for her?
But no, don’t be fooled.
Jesus may be powerful enough, but there is no place for her with Him.
After all, the law forbids her all contact with fellow humans because of her permanent impurity.
No, she sees no opportunity to take her case to Jesus.
There is an insurmountable objection.
An objection laid there by God’s own law.
Yet what she has been told about Jesus does not let go of her.
God does not allow her to forget it.
He occupies her with that message.
He also gives her faith in that message.
And that faith continues to seek, despite the objections, to find a way to get to Jesus.
She has heard the message about Jesus.
And what she’s heard is nothing less than the Gospel.
▪︎ What a miracle if a person gets an ear for it.
▪︎ What a miracle if we can no longer live beyond that.
▪︎ What a miracle when that message takes hold of our hearts.
▪︎ And what a miracle if we discover that this is exactly what we need.
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