Mark 5:25-34; Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48 – A Woman is Healed by Touching Yeshua’s Garment

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POSTED 04 NOVEMBER, 2017

“A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse—after hearing about Yeshua, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, ‘If I just touch His garments, I will get well.’ Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Immediately Yeshua, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My garments?’ And His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”’ And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction’” (Mark 5:25-34).

“And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, ‘If I only touch His garment, I will get well.’ But Yeshua turning and seeing her said, ‘Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.’ At once the woman was made well” (Matthew 9:20-22).

“And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Yeshua said, ‘Who is the one who touched Me?’ And while they were all denying it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.’ But Yeshua said, ‘Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.’ When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace’” (Luke 8:43-48).

reproduced from Salvation on the Line, Volume I

Within today’s Messianic movement, the scene of the woman with the hemorrhage of blood is typically invoked as evidence that Yeshua the Messiah was faithful to observe the Torah command (Numbers 15:37-41; Deuteronomy 22:12) to wear fringes or tzitzityot on the corners of His garments (Matthew 9:20; Luke 8:44).[1] When the woman actually touched the hem of the Messiah’s garment, “the tzitzit on his robe” (Matthew 9:20, CJB; also Luke 8:44, CJB), she was healed of her ailment. But what cannot escape our attention, is how, in the record of both Mark 5:30-33 and Luke 8:45-47, Yeshua publicly inquires about who it was who touched Him:

“At once Yeshua, knowing in Himself that power had gone out from Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’ His disciples responded, ‘You see the crowd pressing upon You and you say, “Who touched Me?”’ But He kept looking around to see who had done this. But the woman, scared and shaking, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth” (Mark 5:30-33, TLV).

“Yeshua said, ‘Who touched Me?’ When everyone denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the crowds are surrounding You and pressing in!’ But Yeshua said, ‘Someone touched Me, for I recognized power going out from Me.’ Then seeing that she did not escape notice, the woman came trembling and fell prostrate before Him. In the presence of all the people, she confessed why she had touched Him and how she had been healed immediately” (Luke 8:45-47, TLV).

While Yeshua certainly possessed the ability for someone to be healed, by only touching the tzitzit of His garment or robe, this does not necessarily imply that Yeshua is God. A created, supernatural agent, a messenger or angel, manifest in human form, could presumably be empowered with various healing qualities.

More importantly, though, is why Yeshua asked—when touched by the woman with the blood hemorrhage—“Who is the one who touched Me?” (Luke 8:45). Some supporters of a low Christology may claim that this is evidence of Yeshua not being God. Why? Because God, who is omniscient and aware of everything going on, intrinsically knows when a mortal human being performs various actions. Why did Yeshua apparently not know of the woman’s actions?

What is the intention of the narrative in Mark 5:30-33 and Luke 8:45-47? While supernatural beings such as various angels or demons, are not omnipotent, they certainly have a much wider array of perceptive abilities than humans. It is not unreasonable to suggest that if an angel or a demon, manifest in human form, were touched by a mortal human, that such an angel or demon would probably know who that person was. Those who hold to a low Christology of Yeshua not being God, are probably going to concede that the Messiah certainly has more abilities and greater power than most angels or demons.

The actual purpose, of Yeshua asking who touched Him, was not for Yeshua to make a statement on His healing abilities or perception. In asking, “Who touched My garments?” (Mark 5:30), the Messiah, in a large crowd of people gathered around Him, was calling on the woman with the hemorrhage of blood to publicly identify herself before all present. Luke 8:47 makes clear that this was the intention: “Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.” (NIV). This woman was not going to be permitted to just touch Yeshua, be healed, never have a personal encounter with Yeshua, and certainly not have a corporate encounter with the crowd surrounding Yeshua.


NOTES

[1] Consult the FAQ on the Messianic Apologetics website, “Tzitzits.”