The Woman and the Crowd

The woman slunk through the crowd, knowing full well her uncleanliness made her a pariah. What if a neighbor noticed and raised a ruckus? What if she brushed against someone else, passing her uncleanliness on to unsuspecting spectators in the jostling crowd.

Physician after physician had prescribed their questionable remedies. Eat this. Don’t eat that. Purge your heart of unrepented sins and offer sacrifices in the temple. Nothing helped. If only she could quietly reach out and touch the hem of the Healer’s robe.

She knew her place, but wanted desperately to feel healing power. Jesus cared about everyone, it seemed. Even now he spoke with a wealthy man who desperately wanted healing for his daughter. A man who loved children and treated women with respect wouldn’t mind helping a sick woman like her.

Surely, he wouldn’t notice. There! He turned to walk away with the man, and she reached forward and clasped the hem of his robe for a butterfly second. Instantly, strength coursed through her.

The twelve-year fog lifted. She stumbled back, shocked that no one around her had felt the jolt of power she’d experienced. Freedom! Maybe not.

“Who touched me?” Jesus stopped and his voice rang out over the crowd.

She could hear his disciples muttering amongst themselves, and gently chiding Jesus, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know power has gone out from me.”

Confessing to a Crowd

Have you ever wondered why Jesus made the woman with the bleeding problem confess to the crowd? Me, too. #Jesus, #healing, #confession, #womanWhen the brain-fog lifted, so did the black clouds of disappointment, withered dreams, and hollow hopes. Courage coursed through her. She stumbled forward, this time in eagerness. She poured out her story without shame or remorse in front of the now silent crowd.

Men stroked their beards and gazed skyward. She could feel their condemnation as she spoke of issues only women have. Sandals shuffled, kicking up dirt where she lay at Jesus’ feet. But the dust of a million sandals couldn’t make her feel dirty. Never again would she feel less than, unclean, or ostracized.

The condemnation and censure of the learned and sophisticated didn’t dampen the good news that coursed through her veins. Jesus didn’t just offer physical healing—he wanted to hear her story, too. And in asking for her story, he healed the deepest wounds of all.

He listened. His feet didn’t shuffle, and he didn’t tug his beard in impatience. He took the time to hear her story—all of it. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Jesus wants to hear your story, too. Never be afraid to tell him. #story Click To Tweet

Jesus wants to hear your story, too. He knows it already, but he wants you to tell him because he knows the power of story to heal. Maybe he’ll even encourage you to share it with a friend…or a crowd of strangers.

What would you tell him?

(You can read the woman’s story in Luke 8:40-48)


    1. Tell him your story, dear heart, and the healing will come from the inside–if only it’s the assurance that you are exactly what God wanted when he created you. He can do powerful things through broken and weak humans.

  1. I love this! This is definitely one of my favourite Bible stories and I love that Jesus not only healed the woman physically but that he did an even deeper work of healing and honoured her before the crowd. It is encouraging to know that even with all the people in the world he knows and cares about our individual stories!

    1. I’d never thought about the internal healing until last night as I wrote :). Jesus cares about us as whole people–because he knows that wholeness allows us to serve him fully.

  2. This is so beautiful, Anita! I’m including the woman at the well at a teaching I’ll do in October. You’ve enhanced my vision of the scene and the conversation between Jesus and the woman. Thank you!

  3. I really like your writing voice. Thank you for sharing this. Through a season of illness, I learned the healing power of being heard. I pray I’m able to extend that same grace and ministry to others well.

  4. This story made its way into my post today, as well. And even some others. Such a powerful story…that just continues to impact us. Over and over. I am awed. And to think – any of our stories have the same potential.

  5. I love this story and the one where Jesus calls the bent woman forward and heals her when He’s not “supposed to.” All of Scripture testifies to His goodness and the fact that He notices – our sin, yes, but also our pain. And He responds. Every time.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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