Thank you so much for all your messages on FB, the blog, and email messages concerning the start of this Bible Study. I’m so excited to share with you from one of my favorite Bible stories.
The Study starts below! Be sure to read through both Bible passages of the story before you start reading through the study itself. I love it when we have different Bible passages, especially in the Gospels, where the account is from different viewpoints and authors. It’s like we get to take a peek in through different camera angles. This story is one of those.
With a Touch-Part 1
To Prepare: Read through Mark 5:24-34 and Luke 8:43-48
I went ahead and placed both Scripture passages below. I have a thing about Bible Studies not having any Bible with them, so I thought I’d better add it in so we can just read along together.
“And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Mark 5:24-34 (KJV)
“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” Luke 8:43-48 (KJV)
Okay, have you gotten acquainted with this woman in Mark 5 and Luke 8 yet? I want you to get to know her. Pretend she’s there in front of you and you are welcoming her to your circle of friends. What do you notice about her? What do you think is behind her eyes? Try to find out everything you can about her, just like you’d do with someone with whom you’d like to make a friend. You might want to read and re-read the main Bible passages a few times as we go along.
I love this story. Here she is, a woman who starts out with a large struggle in her life, and in the end she isn’t held back by what lot in life she was given. If you’ve read the passages, you know that this woman had to carry a heavy health burden.
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered
many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing
bettered,but rather grew worse.” Mark 5:25,26
I’ve known many ladies over the years who have had health struggles, and I think it just wears you out when you have a persistent health issue to go through. I know dealing with the Degenerative Arthritis in my knees is a daily struggle, so I always feel I have a kind of a kinship with this lady in Mark 5. I feel she’s someone I could sit and have a cup of coffee with. I’m sure I’d enjoy chatting with her.
This is a lady without a name. The Bible just calls her a “certain woman“ (Mark 5:25). The passage in Luke just calls her “a woman“ (Luke 8:43) This lady is just someone in the crowd. It could be your neighbor. It could be the person you sit next to in church. It could be me or you. Just a woman with a story behind her face.
Everybody has a story. Working with women’s ministry over the years I’ve had the pleasure of hearing a lot of life stories. I am humbled and just struck in awe by what some women go through on a daily basis and no one around the wiser. To those around them, they are just a face. Just women without names like this woman in our Bible story. Everybody has struggles in their lives. They all vary at different degrees, but we all have them and there is always a story in the background of those we come in contact with.
I challenge you to not look at those women around you and in your church and women’s group as just another face or another body. Life happens to each of them on a daily basis. I think we sometimes get so caught up on what is happening in our own lives that we forget that other people are out there living day to day just like we are. We just don’t know what kind of life is behind all the hair, smiles, and makeup of other women we know or meet. On the surface we might think someone has a wonderful life, but we just don’t know what story they carry with them every single day.
The Bible gives us a glimpse of the story of this “certain woman“. It says this lady had an “issue of blood” (Mark 5:25), so she basically had prolonged menstrual bleeding. The Bible doesn’t give a whole lot of details. We basically know it was some type of hemorrhage. We don’t know how old she was when it started. We don’t know if it was perimenopausal, postmenopausal, or whatever. We just know she had it and that not only that she had it but that she had it “twelve years“. And oh by the way, above that we do know that it got worse. Not better.
“…and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse…” Mark 5:26
I know we woman grumble about our monthly cycles. I think these passages can be humbling to read when we are busy grumbling about anything. I don’t think most of us can even fathom what this woman suffered. This woman was hurting and her hurt was real. All she wanted was relieved of what ailed her. She had tried all the doctors and spent all of her money on what they could do for her, which was nothing.
“And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that
she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.” Mark 5:26
I don’t even want to think about the “many” (Mark 5;26) treatments that those physicians had this women in our story endure. It makes me cringe to even dwell on it. I am a lover of modern medicine and all the modern miracles of science where health is concerned. My mind can’t even wrap around all the things that have been tried on healing people over the centuries, especially when it comes to blood disorders.
Did you catch the next detail in our story? Just from a few verses in Scripture we are still finding things out about this woman. The next thing we learn is that this woman is broke along with having a heavy health burden to bear. We see in Mark 5:26 that she “had spent all that she had“.
As we’ve already seen, the Bible doesn’t say what type of woman she was, what her occupation was, or what type of family she was from. It doesn’t say how much money she had made in her lifetime, but we do know that all of her money was gone. It could have been her savings. It could have been she had to sell everything she owned. We just know this “certain woman“ spent everything she had on doctors and everything was gone for her. Financial woes can sure make our world come crashing down and this woman’s financial predicament wasn’t pretty.
We will go on to find out even more about this woman but for now we will stop here in our story. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading along. I’ll leave you with a few questions.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
What details have you noticed about this woman so far?
Do you ever feel like no one understands you because they don’t know your circumstances and what is taking place in your personal life?
Do you think you judge people too quickly before you even know them well?
How do you deal with adversity in your life?
Please Leave a Comment!
If you have comments on the study or the Bible passage itself, be sure to leave a comment under this blog post (comments on the blog need approved first so it might be a few minutes before yours shows up), or you may post over on our Facebook Page. By the way, I’ll have this all ready with all the parts in a printable version at the end of the week.