Faith Shines Through a Touch of the Hem

By Becky Perkins

When I think of women of faith, I immediately think of Mother Teresa and Corrie Ten Boom. There have been many books written, movies made, and interviews given about these two women of faith. In their lives, they suffered much for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and directed other people toward Jesus through their faith. But there is a small, lonely, woman of meager means in scripture who shows a terrific amount of faith. We find her story in three Gospel books, and what happened to her was a miracle because of her faith in Jesus.


In Matthew 9, we see Jesus answering a question, which the disciples of John the Baptist had asked, concerning why Jesus’ disciples do not fast. I am sure Jesus was in a deep conversation when Jairus, a leader in the synagogue, comes in and disrupts his teaching. Jairus’ daughter had died and he wanted Jesus to come heal her and raise her to life. So, Jesus leaves the conversation and walks with Jairus to his home. Jesus’ disciples are following behind. I can imagine the scene of the busy street, people chattering, the marketplace filled with people, and Jairus is filling in all the details as he walks alongside Jesus to his home. I am sure Jairus was in a hurry to get there, so he is walking, almost jogging, while Jesus calmly walks along at an unhurried pace with the disciples following behind. The disciples are probably talking and wondering how a leader of the synagogue could know about Jesus and had the faith to believe that if only Jesus would come home with him, his daughter would be healed.


As they were walking along, a small, lonely woman steps up from the crowd of people and says to herself, “If only I may touch his garment, I shall be made well.” This woman had an issue of bleeding for 12 years. She was probably shunned by most people around her, because Jewish people were not to touch anything with blood because it was believed they would be defiled. I imagine she was lonely, hungry, afraid, and trying to live day by day. She had to be tired just from the loss of blood. Where and how did this woman come to know about Jesus? How did she have the faith to come so boldly? Did she realize when she touched the hem of his garment that Jesus would know someone touched him? Jesus did see her, and he looked at her and said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed right at that moment. See Matthew 9:20-22.


This scripture leaves me with more questions, and I would love to know the backstory of this woman and her story after her healing. I believe these three little verses about this woman are pretty powerful. She did not get attention from others like Corrie Ten Boom or Mother Teresa, but there is much boldness and power in these three verses. She must have had much love and hope in her heart to acquire the faith to step up and know that Jesus could heal her. I also love the fact that Jesus, although interrupted by Jairus and then interrupted by this woman on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter, stopped to notice this woman and heal her. The woman’s needs were important to Jesus, the death of the daughter was important to Jesus, and showing his disciples and John’s disciples what was most important was all met in a short time in the middle of a busy day by Jesus. People will always be the priority to Jesus, and I believe that is still the ultimate priority today for Jesus. All we have to do is have faith to reach out and touch the hem of his garment to know his power and his love. All we have to do is have the faith and do something.