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The Woman with the Issue of Blood

The Woman with the Issue of Blood

hem-garmentThe woman with an issue of blood is one of the most heartrending of all Bible stories.

“If I can but touch the Hem of his Garment . . .” These words of desperation formed an axis of faith which brought a miracle into the life of a dying woman when she reached out and accessed the power resident in Jesus the Messiah. But, it was also a key to healing and deliverance for many others who came in faith because “all who touched the hem of his garment” were healed.

What was this material object which caused faith to rise in the hearts of citizens of first-century Israel? A Hebrew perspective reveals more to the story. She touched the tzitzit – braids or tassels – of Yeshua’s tallit (prayer shawl). Unlike a mere “hem” tzitzit have major significance.

My problems with hemorrhage, blood transfusions, and weekly blood infusions have brought this story close to home.

Blood loss is but one of many things that leave us physically and spiritually weak frail, anemic, haggard, overwhelmed, and fragile. Heartbreak, unforgiveness, bitterness, infirmities, and sins all result in exhaustion and despair.

This story reveals a healing from all kinds of desperate situations.

“A large crowd followed and pressed around Him. And 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.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ ‘You see the people crowding against you,’ His disciples answered, ‘and yet you can ask, “Who touched Me?”‘ But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.

Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and knelt at His feet, and trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering'” (Mark 5:25-34).

An Unclean Issue

According to (Lev. 12:1-8; 15:19-30) the bleeding woman was unclean. To be ceremonially unclean was not “sin,” but she was unpure. {One can become unclean by several methods such as touching a dead person or animal)

Being unpure meant that one was barred from their regular fellowship (a bleeding woman is not allowed to have relations with her husband) with and worship of God, and their fellowship with God’s people, until they were made clean. An unclean person needed purification by washing to correct their unclean condition.

Because she was unclean she was isolated. In the same way, sin separates us from God and from others. Christ’s blood is our only hope for cleansing from impurity of sin

Jesus washing the feet of the disciples ( John 13:5-11) relates to this theme. Feet become unclean in the day to day cares of this world. We have to permit Jesus “wash” us to abide in Him.

The Root of the Problem

The woman was devastated mentally, physically, and financially. She spent all of her money time and efforts seeking a solution.

I went to doctor after doctor for years looking for a physical healing with my issue of blood. But for years the doctors treated the symptoms instead of the root that caused that bleeding. The symptoms only got worse and eventually effected heart problems. The medications for heart problems caused more bleeding. It was a vicious cycle.

In the same way the ways of the world (pop culture, positive thinking, self help, etc) only offer to treat symptoms-something to make you feel better temporally–the world’s way doesn’t address the root problems.

God–our Great Physician– knows that only when the core issue -sinfulness– is addressed, there can be true healing. We receive the root healing from Christ when we are born again.

What Would Jesus Do?

The woman “reached out to Christ” “came and fell at His feet and, trembling with fear…” (Mar 5:33).Why was she in fear? Was she afraid of rebuke?

It can be fearful to open up to our brothers and sisters and to be vulnerable before them– transparent. But these are opportunities to practice koinonia – deep spiritual intimacy.

I have reached out to Christians in fear because I’ve asked for help or forgiveness only to receive judgmental condemnation, hash criticism or become the victim of false accusations of vicious gossip. What love is this?

People will fail you. But when we reach out for Jesus we will never receive condemnation. Jesus is approachable in every circumstance. God sometimes allows circumstances to enter our lives that reduce us to desperation so that we will reach out for Him.

Jesus lovingly reassured the unclean woman with the words, “Take heart” and affectionately addressed her as “daughter,” Jesus healed her-washed he pure-and assured her that the torment would not return with the words, “Be freed from your suffering.”

Jesus compassionately told the woman “Your faith has made you well”. The Greek word “well” in this passage means to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue. to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance.

Charles Colsen said,

“True faith depends not upon mysterious signs, celestial fireworks, or grandiose dispensations from a God who is seen as a rich, benevolent uncle; true faith, as Job understood, rests on the assurance that GOD IS WHO HE IS.”

Do People Reach Out to You for Help? How do You Respond?

This story is a reminder of how we need to treat brothers and sisters in the body.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:3)

There is too much haughty pride in the body of believers. Never forget, we all revert to a sin nature daily not worthy to contact God except through Christ.

Those who reach out, with faith, to touch Him are made worthy though Him and then can boldly stand before God accepting His grace and forgiveness. If Christ won’t condemn those who reach out how can we?

Are You Hurting? Feeling Unloved?

Because of Christ’s redemption, the healed woman became a new creation of infinite worth, deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted by God, absolutely complete in Christ. Praise God!

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)


514+VDogMWL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_More on the Hebraic Perspective

The Hem of His Garment by Dr John Garr gives a comprehensive study of the long and interesting Jewish tallit tradition, which required that the four-cornered garment commonly worn in Bible days have tzitzit (fringes) appended to each corner as a means of calling both the wearer and the observer to remember all the Word of God (commandments). You will simply be amazed at the extent of this tradition and its continuing impact upon the Jewish people to this day in the form of the “prayer shawl” that they wear at specific times of devotion and interaction with the Divine Presence.

Click to Read an Excerpt from A Hem of His Garment (PDF)

Table of Contents:

  • A Healing Touch
  • The Hem of the Garment
  • A Mark of Remembrance
  • A Ribband of Blue
  • Tzitzit and Tekhelet
  • A Symbol of Authority
  • The Mantle Passes
  • A Prayer Closet
  • A Blessing Covering
  • Talitha Cumi
  • Your People, My People
  • God Is With You
  • Under His WingsHealing Wings
  • A Rich Tradition
  • Epilogue: Living Emblems

About Dr. John Garr

Dr. Garr’s teaching ministry is unique in that it combines excellency in scholarship with intense spirituality and personal integrity. An Academician with a pastor’s heart, Dr. Garr explains great theological truths in terms all Christians can understand and incorporate in their lives. He challenges and inspires believers to pursue a biblically sound faith rooted in the Hebraic heritage of Jesus and the apostles.


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About Robin Sampson


  1. Dear Robin,
    What an awesome post, also the song by Nicole C Mullen – “One Touch” is so annointed, it goes with your post….Ive been praying for you and know God is going to heal you. Please get some rest. Love you!!!

  2. Robin,

    Once again…transparent…moving…insightful…not to mention (but I will:), selfless, in the way you use your own life’s experience (trials) to encourage and strengthen those around you. Someone else hit the nail on the head the other day, when they said that you are a true Titus 2 woman. A rare treasure in the church world today, that’s for sure.:o)

    Bless you, my sister…


  3. Robin, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight, along with the grace of Jesus! I was so blessed to read this. Thank you…


  4. Thank you again, Robin! Your words are anointed. (On a personal note, I have an issue of “blood”, too, that I am working through. ) You are in my prayers. Lord bless you!

    Pure and Sensible’s last blog post..If I were President?

  5. Kathleen

    Wow, Robin, all that time you were dealing with an “issue of blood” and this biblical account never once crossed my mind. I suppose I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. It really is amazing how your experiences all have such profound spiritual implications. Thanks for this. Love you, Kathleen

  6. That IS one of the most touching stories in the Bible, if you could make such a choice. It’s beautiful to know there is healing in His wings.

    You are still in my prayers, sister.

    Bobbie-Jo’s last blog post..Brave, brave Brodie

  7. This post is so inspiring and beautiful Robin.

    Angela’s last blog post..Sensory Integration Disorder II

  8. Just thought I would say HI found you on my dear friend Miras BLOG…..
    I am a Christian with a heart for ISRAEL…
    At the moment I DON’T HAVE MY OWN COMPUTER….due to immune system am still inpain lot’s of days but slowly
    getting my energy back!
    I enclose my blog
    I have three one is poetry
    the other two are general….
    You can leave a comment on one of my blogs if you wish…
    and remember HIS name is also LOVE……

  9. Robin, thanks for sharing this! The woman with an issue of blood’s story is one that I always see myself in. I am the woman with an issue of blood that only Jesus can heal! I’m so glad He turned to see who was touching Him! I’m so thankful for His unashamed love of me!

    Praying for you daily!

    Sheila’s last blog post..Join me for Tuesdays for Timothy Moms

  10. Robin,

    I wanted to take a minute to thank you for sharing this message. The part where you talked about reaching out to Christians around us for support, and instead we receive judgement. Thank you!
    You are in my prayers.

  11. Stanley Arumugam

    In my reflection of this story, I wrote this poem which captures for me in some ways the woman’s desperation:

    My Place of Desperation

    My despair drives me to daily desperation
    All escape barred -imprisoned by my scourge
    Is twelve years not sufficient penance for my sin?
    Why must I continue living the outcaste reject?

    Today I have my last penny clutched crazy
    After thousands spent in futile- frantic search
    What can it buy – my healing elusive as the day?
    Can it buy lost companionship and affection?

    My mind why do you trouble-torment me so
    Knowing that I seek the solace of peace and hope
    Why plague my memory with cancerous thoughts?
    How can I block out your demons of dread?

    And God where are you in all of this pain
    I seek your face daily too weak to walk in faith
    Why does your silence deafen my broken heart?
    Who will rescue me from this deep bondage?

    You’ve brought me to my place of desperation
    Devoid of options – all alternative hope firmly buried
    I have only you now -stripped barren and naked
    My brokenness rests firmly in the palm of your hand

    S. Arumugam

  12. I am a 32 year old man from Dallas. As part of my quiet time today, I was reading the passage in Mark 5 where this healing incident is recorded about the woman with the issue of blood. After meditating on it for a while, I simply searched in google for more insights about this incident and I came across your article. The insights you shared here, especially as a woman who went through very similar problems was very, well, insightful. 🙂 God bless you.

  13. Rosieblabla

    Robin, thank you so much for all you have written. I have been hearing this parable over and over and over (from numerous sources) and have been trying to figure out what it means to me personally. What is God trying to tell me? I have over-analyzed it so much. I now feel that the message is faith – If I can have the type of faith that this woman had, my suffering will be over. Thank you!

  14. seth ampadu

    thank you very much for your wisdom concerning this woman.

  15. An alternative reading, and one which always made more sense to me from the time I was very young, is that Jesus is setting her straight. Notice: Jesus disclaims any responsibility for it. She thinks touching Jesus made her well. In reality (he tells her), it was her faith in G-d’s healing power.

    My personal story is identical to this woman’s. Previously, I was precluded from either observing niddah rules or being faithful to my husband. I was logically precluded from keeping one or the other set of commandments.

    I don’t know how to explain it, but there is a difference between ASKING G-d for something, versus KNOWING that he will do it.

    At age 29, this finally clicked for me. KNOWING that he is a just G-d, I KNEW he would not continue to cause me to violate his law. I brought this to his attention.

    Almost immediately this problem was resolved for me, and have been free of this problem for two full weeks (after about 15 years of suffering?). Without going into detail, several times a day, I am reminded of this and I thank him for being a just G-d, and one who keeps his word.

    I wish the same for you.

  16. angela devlin

    I can relate to this woman. I have suffered with TMAU or Trimethylaminuria for over 25 years. TMAU sufferers are missing at the FMO3 in their body and can’t break down protein, choline, etc and it causes a fishy or fecal odor in the body, bad breath and during menstrual cycles. It causes rejection, isolation, ridicule, loneliness, depression and some even comtemplate suicide. According to medical research, there is not a cure. I pray for a divine healing for me and the other sufferers of the demonic condition.

  17. I think I have TMAU too, so I know how Angela feels. It is a very lonely life. I do know that Jesus loves me and I pray every day for him to show me how He wants me to use this problem for Him…although I am like a timid mouse at times I hope to be strong with His love and help someone else cope with their health problem..

  18. jeff elohim

    the blood disorders mentioned are ‘easy’ to help naturally and inexpensively(25yrs experience, 2000yrs history, hundreds of references still available).
    first of all, praying always in Yahshua! YES! He “might”? do something…. ,
    let’s recount….
    Who, willingly, suffered stoning, crucifixion, whipping, mocking, spitting, death… ???
    Who IS Resurrected and very much ALIVE ???
    ALL to give everyone who calls on HIM healing !
    YES, YAHSHUA (YAH(Creator)-SHUA(Heals))
    HIS NAME, for G_d’s Sake.
    being said, I realize that in many towns and countries and chruches there is so little faith that HE cannot do much there.
    Well, there is a natural cleansing ‘cure'(i.e. help) that almost always makes a big difference. It is free, but cannot be published, you’ll have to email.
    (notice how many sites that did/used to publish the cures for diseases have simply been shut down by the druglords/fda/ama/gov ?..over 1200 sites)… they just don’t like the cures to be known. at yahoo dot com,
    signed, in the GOSPEL,FREELY announcing the GOOD NEWS of YHVH to everyone who trusts HIM, j.elohim

  19. jeff elohim

    Yahshua, JESUS, said “FAITH”
    you in
    “FAITH” believe?
    your doctor??????
    your parents?????
    your preacher????
    your teachers????
    your self????????(worst of all!!)
    do not trust anyone in the flesh.(anyone visible to the eye)
    IF you trust any flesh, any one mentioned, then the word of the creator, the bible, says that he says he curses you. yes! he, the creator says that he, the creator, curses you if you trust in the flesh. you won’t be able to resist the enemy of CHRIST THE MESSIAH unless you trust in daddy the creator who loves you and who holds your life in his hands now and for eternity. not at all like any feeble faulty wicked daddy in the flesh, no!, not at all like anyone sinful and wrong and hurtful.(too many of you readers have had evil wicked sinful hurtful parents so a distinction must CLEARLY be made – daddy the creator is NOT like any frail faulty human being who has hurt you, no!. daddy the creator cannot cause nor desire your harm. he sent his only son yahshua to suffer greatly and DIE IN YOUR PLACE if you will turn to HIM to obey HIM totally and joyfully. (IF you will not obey him, then he will sorrowfully let you go your own way. you cannot be healed if you chose not to obey him- this is abundantly clear all throughout the whole SCRIPTURE, yet manflesh always denies it.). manflesh is totally corrupted and cannot ever be trusted. only daddy the creator can be and should be trusted. he alone cares truly for you and he alone is totally able to care for you, and he IS WILLING to heal your soul if you are willing to do what he says, just as it has always been, just as it has always been written – he never changed, no!, rather manflesh has transgressed his word and twisted his word to get others to DISOBEY also. that is why manflesh cannot be trusted. only daddy creator can be trusted.

  20. Leonardo

    I wondered has there been any study on the state of medicine in Israel 2000 years ago?

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