Healing the Hemorrhaging Woman

In Luke 8:41-56 we encounter Christ performing two healing miracles: the healing of the hemorrhaging woman and the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead.

Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying. As he went, the crowds pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. Then Jesus asked, “Who touched me?’’ When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and press in on you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me.” When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” While he was still speaking, someone came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.” When Jesus heard this, he replied, “Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.” When he came to the house, he did not allow anyone to enter with him, except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother. They were all weeping and wailing for her; but he said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he directed them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astounded; but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened.

Marianne Sawicki comments on the Gospel lesson: 

“Besides family-relations law, Jesus also takes aim at laws that have to do with the practice of Israel’s worship, the cultic laws. These defined who was ‘clean’ enough to join in the official worship of God, and when. We have already seen that Jesus’ cure of the woman with the hemorrhage relieved her of the burden of being in constant danger of making her husband, or any other man whom she chanced to touch, ritually unclean or unfit to pray. Jesus does not allow the cure to happen surreptitiously, as the woman wished. Instead, he causes her no little embarrassment by calling attention to what has happened. He permits and endorses the touch that has passed between himself and this ‘unclean’ woman. Christians see this story as Jesus’ lifting of the blood taboo which men had connected with menstruation in many religions.” ( The Gospel in History, pg. 51)