In the Biblical account of Mark 5:25.34, there is a woman mentioned who had been suffering from a twelve year ailment. The narrative does not mention this woman by name; however, she will be very familiar to us all because of her unique faith of an historic proportion. The physicians of that day had tried to make her physically whole, but unfortunately, the things they did try only made her worsen by the day. For twelve painful years, she had suffered under this horrible disease and now the author of Mark tells us she spent her entire life savings to obtain freedom from this curse she had. The importance of the background reveals to us in verse 24 that a large crowd had been following Jesus and His disciples, and the crowds of people were literally pressing in on Him. In addition to verse 24, it shows how needful the people were and how desperate they had become for their healing to begin through their Jehovah Rapha. That day there were many people following Adonai, and while they were pressing in on Him to get a physical touch by their God, Jesus Christ felt His power had gone forth from Him. Then the Messiah had said, “Who touched Me.” Moreover, while Jesus was looking for the person that touched Him, the disciples responded back to their Master, “You see the crowd pressing in on you how can you say, ‘Who touched me’.” This very statement has given us an important clue on what is going to happen next.
Before we venture further into the mystery of the woman with the issue of blood there is another factor the Western minds need to consider, mainly surrounding the episode on Eastern culture. During the Old Testament period, God had commanded Moses, in Numbers chapter 15:37-41, to tell the Israelites to make fringes onto their garments. “The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make tzitzit (fringes) on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord on the tzitzit (fringe) at each corner. You have the tzitzit (fringe) so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and not follow the lust of your own heart and your own eyes. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and you shall be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God”. The important aspect of this unique tradition is to be practiced throughout all generations, for when God commands an action, it is always an eternal decree to be carried out on earth. Our Western thoughts conceptually are not in tune with Eastern ancient customs. In addition, most congregations have not been equipped to teach the Hebraic roots of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Therefore, we are as Paul the Apostle mentions in First Corinthians chapter 3:2. “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh.”
The important significance of the Hebrew people making a Tallit (prayer shawl) and adding the blue fringes (tzitzit in the Hebrew) on the garment is astounding. The very prayer shawl Jesus Christ wore connects with Malachi chapter 4:2. As Jehovah Rapha was wearing the Tallit (prayer shawl), a miraculous event occurred when the woman with the issue of blood had touched the fringes of His prayer shawl. As we go to Malachi, the writer mentions “But for you who revere My name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.” This mystery woman could have possibly heard Malachi chapter 4:2. It may have been spoken in the synagogues or perhaps her family had this manuscript in their possession it is obvious she had heard of Malachi 4:2, just for the fact that this miraculous event occurred once she had touched the fringes on His prayer shawl. She knew the Hebraic impact it would have on her once she did touch Jehovah Rapha’s prayer shawl, or else she would not have acted on her faith.
Is the phrase in Malachi 4:2, with healing in its wings, referring to Jesus Christ as having actual feathery wings like that of a bird? The answer would be a resounding no. The author of Malachi was speaking metaphorically. However, if we take it at face value in its literalism, this would cause injustice to the text. Jesus the Messiah did come to earth in the flesh. The woman with the issue of blood knew the Hebraic and ancient customs connected with the word tzitzit (fringe.) She knew that the word fringe in Hebrew is “wings.” Therefore, when she was reaching out at the prayer shawl that Jesus Christ was wearing she had found healing in His wings. Verses 28 and 29 said she had acted out on her faith it says, “For she said, if I but touch His clothes I will be made well. Immediately her hemorrhage stopped and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.”
This story similarly parallels that of John chapter 9:1, 41. As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.” The woman had not sinned, nor had her parents sinned to cause her issue of blood. Similarly with the blind man, Jesus Christ commanded him to go to the pool of Siloam (which means sent) to be fully healed. After touching the fringes of his Tallit (prayer shawl), and after speaking to Jehovah Rapha, the woman most likely reflected on Psalms 91:1. “You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress my God in whom I trust.”
By Michael Jones