Jesus performed many miracles during his three-year ministry, from turning water into wine at the beginning to the second miraculous catch of fish towards the end. He also healed people, lots of people, with approximately two-thirds of his recorded miracles involving healing, and that doesn’t include casting out evil spirits or raising from the dead.
So, healing people was important to Jesus, important enough for him to give two-thirds of his supernatural, miraculous, transforming energy to it. But time and time again he used the opportunity to heal someone as a practical way of teaching us something else. Something that is as equally relevant for us today as it was 2,000 years ago.
Reference/read: Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5: 25-34, Luke 8:42-48
Key word/phrase: “Daughter”
Surprise: Jesus called her out in front of everyone.
Key teaching verse: v48
‘Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”’
Did this healing take Jesus by surprise? Maybe… he knew that power had gone out of him and wanted to know who had touched him. At first reading it seems cruel of Jesus to make her come forward, but Jesus knew what he was doing. If she had just crept away would anyone have believed her if she had said that she was well now? She had been considered ‘unclean’ for over 12 years. By calling her out and making her publicly tell her story Jesus didn’t just heal her physically, he restored her socially too. He called her “Daughter” and said her faith had healed her; he declared her healed, whole, belonging.
Being fully restored socially as well as physically, what would this woman now be able to do again?
What does being socially restored mean for a disabled person today?
What is the difference between being included and truly belonging?
Mark Arnold is the Additional Needs Ministry Director for Urban Saints’ pioneering additional needs ministry, including training, consultancy, conference speaking and resourcing: urbansaints.org/additionalneeds
Find out more:
Read Mark’s blog post, ‘What the Woman Healed of Bleeding Teaches Us About Jesus’ to further unpack this story.
See also this mini-series of three blog posts that explore all of Jesus’ 23 recorded healing miracles, and suggests what he was teaching us through each one:
- Jesus Healed People But What Was He Really Teaching Us? (Part 1)
- Jesus Healed People But What Was He Really Teaching Us? (Part 2)
- Jesus Healed People But What Was He Really Teaching Us? (Part 3) – including downloadable resource