“As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said,“Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.”And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people 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.”
If the crowd saw her as a wretch of a woman, she would likely agree. She does not have the privilege of self-delusion – this is a woman at the end of her rope, caked in blood and drenched in shame. Perhaps she could feel the hot breath of the crowd whispering:
Who is this woman?
Moments before, she felt the sting of condemnation as she heard Jesus call out for whoever touched his garment. Peter tries to do crowd control and warns Jesus that there is no time to quibble with this small matter. Jesus will not relent. Someone touched him and he wants to see her, or rather, he wants her to be seen.
What does the crowd think of her? What does she think of herself? All of these worries are cast aside as Jesus looks upon her and says:
“Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
The crowd is stunned. All they see is a pitiful creature; a blood-stained, poverty-stricken, sobbing mess of contrition, yet Christ sees infinitely more. He sees a sinner coming to repentance and all of heaven rejoices. He sees amidst her tears and brokenness a woman of great faith.
And here on the dusty floor of 1st century Palestine, this woman finds herself welcome into the most peculiar of kingdoms: one where the poor inherit a kingdom, the mourning find comfort, and weakness leads to strength.
Who is this woman?
She is a daughter.