Freedom from shame
by Jennifer Adams
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 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 (Luke 8:42b-43).
Imagine the scene: Jesus is traveling from place to place, and though there are no cell phones, word travels fast. It’s hard to keep news of a disease-healing, demon-controlling carpenter’s son from passing from well to well. The crowds wanted in and they would follow him to see him in action.
On this day, a day like most, the crowd was “pressed around him.” A woman who was well acquainted with pain and shame made her way through the crowd to Jesus. However, we will not find her coming to stand in front of Jesus, but rather coming from behind.
This woman would not be welcomed in the crowd. She was a woman who had for twelve long years bled continuously. In this time in history she would have been considered unclean. Those closest to her, just by touching her, could also become ceremonially unclean for a certain period of time. She likely did not expect Jesus to touch her, but she did expect him to heal her. She reached from behind and touched the hem of his robe (v. 44). The Bible says she was immediately healed.
This is where the story gets good!
And Jesus said, ‘Who was it that touched me?’ When all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me’ (v. 45-46).
Peter who is always ready to speak up and I imagine a little frustrated by Jesus’ question, responded, “the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you.” Poor Peter! You would think he would have understood Jesus a little better at this point. Jesus knowing who had touched him (he knew her from the beginning) still asked the question, “Who was it that touched me.” It seems that Jesus had another healing moment planned, and this healing was more than physical.
And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed (v. 47).
I believe Jesus in this moment called the woman out, not to embarrass her, but to heal her of her shame. He did not allow her to stay hidden. Just as he does not allow us to stay hidden. The woman had been healed physically, but there was more that needed to be accomplished here. Shame is a crippling disease. Some can argue shame is more crippling than the issue of blood. The humbling truth is that when Jesus calls us out of hiding, he is freeing us of our shame.
And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace’ (v. 48).
The tenderness of Jesus should be enough to lead us to worship Him. This woman had risked a lot and now she was face to face with Jesus. She came in faith, knowing that one simple touch was all it would take for her to be healed. Her faith said, “even if he does not see me or speak to me, his power is enough that I can reach out and receive.” She reached out to Jesus in faith and she got more than she dared to imagine. Jesus’ words to her are the same words he offers us, “Daughter (Son) your faith has made you well; go in peace (v. 48).”
Whether you are a birth parent, adoptive parent, or friend of Covenant Care, this message is for you. Jesus knows you and he wants to heal you! Reach out in faith, even if you have to come from behind; he will meet you there.
Jennifer graduated from Brewton Parker College in 2010 with a degree in Human Services. She serves pregnant clients considering adoption and walks with them through the adoption process. Jennifer travels to wherever clients are in the Central Georgia area and counsels them about the adoption process and their life circumstances. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone or text at 478-731-4565.