Chapter 19

Brushing by Jesus or touching Him in faith?
Mark 5:25-34 (NASB)


25 And a woman who had had a haemorrhage for twelve years, 26 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, 27 after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind Him, and touched His cloak. 28 For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I shall get well.” 29 And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31 And His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 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. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”


Mark 5:25-26
Sensing the need for Jesus

A needy woman with a twelve year long haemorrhage approaches Jesus, en route with Jairus to see his dying daughter. She has spent all her money on many doctors and ‘quacks’, yet without cure. Her health has deteriorated. She gets older, sicker and nearer death.

Mark 5:27-28
Putting personal faith in Jesus

Others told her about Jesus. (It’s important to tell others that Christ can save.[1]) The woman is in the crowd.  She really believes Jesus can meet her need. She says to herself, If I just touch His garments, I will get well. But believing Jesus can heal falls short of asking Him to do it.

She now touches His cloak in a deliberate act of personal faith. She knows her need, believes Jesus can meet it, and effectively asks Him to do so by touching His cloak. While many brush by Jesus, her touch is like a direct personal prayer to Him.

Mark 5:29-34
Restoration, challenge, assurance and peace

Remember that Mark’s Gospel often deals with things happening immediately. Three cases of immediately follow! Jesus meets her need for restoration immediately. She knows immediately that Jesus heals her. Jesus knows immediately that power from Him heals her. When any guilty sinner places personal faith in Christ’s atoning death on Calvary, immediately that person is saved and receives eternal life.[2]

Now Jesus challenges: Who touched My garments? He knows the answer but encourages her to confess to others that she is trusting Him. The disciples cannot distinguish between the crowd’s brushing by Jesus and the needy woman’s personal trusting Him through her touch. Many brush by Jesus in history, religion, paintings, poems, and even by observing today’s date, testifying that Jesus split time into ‘BC’ and ‘AD’. But knowing about Jesus is different from coming to know Him by receiving Him within as personal risen and living Lord and Saviour.

The woman meets Christ’s challenge, though fearing and trembling. She publicly declares to Jesus before everyone that she touched His cloak as her personal act of faith. Jesus assures her that He really has restored her, and calls this new child of God ‘Daughter’. He says Daughter, your faith has made you well. His promise of peace follows: go in peace and be healed of your affliction.

You can also cease to brush by Jesus superficially. Recognise Jesus’ death on the cross is for you. He carried God’s judgement for your sins and rose again to become your Saviour. Then ask Him to forgive you and enter your life. Two wonderful things follow: first, you can be certain of having eternal life; [3] second you receive peace with God through Christ’s shed blood. [4] His peace increasingly rules your heart through your indwelling Saviour [5] and by the Holy Spirit’s work in you.



[1]   .  Romans 10:14.
[2]   .  1 John 5:12-13.
[3]   .  1 John 5:13.
[4]   .  Colossians 1:20.
[5]   .  Colossians 3:15.


Questions on Chapter 19
Mark 5:25-34 Brushing by Jesus or touching Him in faith?

A. Why can the woman with the haemorrhage be optimistic? But what may hinder her from coming to Jesus?   Mark 3:7-11    Mark 5:20    Mark 5:24-26.

B. In how many ways can you see that Jesus is in control?   Mark 5: 3-34

C. What is the difference between the woman’s touching Jesus’ cloak and the people’s just brushing past Him? What does the woman’s trust in Jesus produce?   Mark 5:27-28    Mark 5:31    Hebrews 11:6

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