Mark 5 recounts the tale of the “Woman with the Issue of Blood.” We are told that she had some unspecified medical condition, described “a flow of blood for twelve years” (Mark 5:25). She had spent all the money she had to visit the best doctors money could buy, but only grew worse.
Finally, when she heard about Jesus, she declared in faith, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well” (Mark 5:28). Sure enough, she gets exactly what she said: As she reaches out to touch the men of his garment, she was immediately healed, and Jesus commends her for her faith, saying “Your faith has made you well” (Mark 5:34).
Much could be said about this story: her faith, her words, her salvation (the same word used to describe our salvation is used by Jesus to describe her healing). But there is one verse in this story that is oft overlooked.
When she heard about Jesus…” (Mark 5:27)
This woman was ritualistically unclean. She had a rather unpleasant ailment, and would have been an outcast of society, rarely leaving the comfort of her home. And yet, she somehow inexplicably heard about Jesus.
Someone left his comfort zone to tell this diseased and destitute woman about the long-awaited Messiah.
We know nothing of this mysterious someone. He (or she) isn’t even mentioned directly in this passage. But this someone is the hero of the tale. For if someone hadn’t delivered the message, this woman wouldn’t have been healed, this chapter wouldn’t have been written, and countless believers wouldn’t have been blessed by this story of faith and salvation.
We need more someone’s in the church today. We need men and women who are willing to visit people like this woman, people who aren’t welcome in society, people who aren’t visited, people who frankly smell bad or look unseemly or aren’t a joy to be around.
We need believers like the four friends of the paralytic, who, refusing to take “no” for an answer, stormed Jesus’ house with their crippled friend in tow, going so far as to bust a hole in the roof of a stranger to get their friend to Jesus (Mark 2:1-4).
Too many sick people are more like the 38-year paralyzed man in John 5:
“Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up.” (John 5:7)
It might be unpleasant. It will be inconvenient. But it’s necessary. And it’s our call as followers of Christ:
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14)
So next time you see someone with a runny nose, or a broken leg or an incurable blood disease, tell them about our Healer. Tell them about our Great Physician. Tell them about the God who does all things well. How else will they be saved?