INTRO: This poem is based on the story of The Woman with the Bleeding Issue which is found in the Bible in Mark Chapter 5 verses 21-33. Some stories of women in the Bible touch on sensitive women’s health issues and this story is one of them. In these modern days, women in the developed world have access to many medical solutions and products to alleviate bleeding issues like menstrual periods, haemorrhages, fibroids, and menopause to name a common few. But not so today in third world or war-torn countries and neither were they available back in the first century when Jesus was ministering on earth.
In our modern world, women in the developed world have access to many medical solutions and products to alleviate bleeding issues like menstrual periods, haemorrhages, fibroids, and menopause to name a common few. But not so today in third world or war-torn countries and neither were they available back in the first century when Jesus was ministering on earth.
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She not only faced the physical effects but also Jewish religious beliefs around women’s bleeding listed in Leviticus Chapter 15 verses 19-30. Moses initiated these health regulations, to establish the Israelite’s community life, following the exodus of over three million Jews from Egypt. Instructions around hygiene and health issues were important to follow carefully to prevent illness from spreading throughout their community. These community rules continued throughout the 40 years they lived in the desert and continued after they settled in Israel.
But when Jesus was ministering on earth, the religious leaders were using these same hygiene regulations as punishment for women, rather than to care for women. Jesus preached not only the Old Testament Commandment, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, but also, just as important was the New Commandment, to love your neighbour as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39. This story tells of the love and care Jesus has toward women.
Jesus had just healed a demon-possessed man
When the people told Him to “Leave our town”
“Leave in your boat, we don’t want you around”
They didn’t want Jesus or His healing power.
When Jesus arrived on the other side
A large crowd was waiting for Him on the beach
A church leader fell at his feet begging him
To come to his home to heal his sick child.
As Jesus walked, the crowd pressed close
Bumping into him, jostling to get near
A woman from the village, sick for twelve years
Heard about Jesus and His healing power.
She could not throw herself at His feet
Like the church leader did down on the beach
If she could just touch him, then slip away
He wouldn’t notice, he’d not be delayed.
Her haemorrhaging was feared in public
Believed to defile others and transmit
Unsuitable for marriage, discarded
She was unable to bear children.
She was banned from going to the temple
Banned from sitting and mixing with people
Single and alone, rejected and poor
For she’d spent all her money on many doctors.
They were unable to heal her
Their remedies were hurtful
The medicines expensive
Her condition worsened.
She joined the crowd; she edged her way closer
Hiding her face so no one would know her
Because she was sick, she was deemed unclean
Her illness was shameful and embarrassing.
Suddenly, the crowd in front of her parted
It was the break she needed; her arm darted
Through the opening, stretching, desperate
Her fingers brushed the hem of His garment.
She felt a warm tingle through her body
She knew her haemorrhage had stopped bleeding
The crowd moved on, she stood still, stunned
Silently praising God for her miracle.
Jesus blocked her escape, He silenced the crowd
He turned and asked, “Who touched my gown?”
His disciples were confused by His request
“Everyone’s pushing and shoving to get near.”
Jesus wanted to draw her out of the crowd
Like God called Adam out from the bushes
And drew Isaiah from out of the cave
And called Zacchaeus down from the tree.
She knew she has been healed
And Jesus knew His power had healed
He wanted more than just to heal her
He would declare her clean in public.
Jesus looked into the crowd for the woman
She came forward and fell at his feet
Fearful, she told the whole true story
“I knew if I touched you, I would be healed.”
“Daughter, your faith has healed you
Go in peace and be cured of the disease.”
She arose into new life and health
Free of shame, full of praise for her Lord.
Many people touched Jesus that day
Only she was touched by Jesus’ power
Her faith as small as a mustard seed
Her touch of faith did not escape Him.
Beverley Joy © 2022 of Simply Story Poetry. All Rights Reserved
You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here
Read or listen to my poems of Women of the Bible: It Takes Two To Tango The Adulterous Woman of John 8:1-11, She Gave From Her Heart The Woman and the Two Coins Luke 21:1-4, Sweet Temptation Eve Genesis 3, Feast or Famine Ruth and I Am Ruth, ‘Thirst Quenching’ The Woman at the Well, Mary – The Christmas Story Part 2 Four Unusual Women, Part 4 Mary, The Christmas Story Part 5 Mary and Elizabeth, The Busyness Excuse Mary and Martha, Her Touch of Simple Faith The women with the bleeding issue,
Women of the Bible 2007 Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan
All the women of the Bible Herbert Lockyer 1967 Zondervan
Alistair Begg One Woman’s Faith Truth For Life
John McArthur The Power and The Pity of Jesus Part 1 Grace To You