The Compassion Of Christ

Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’ ” (v. 30).

- Mark 5:30-34

As Jesus made His way with a great crowd of people to the house of Jairus, a woman who suffered from continual bleeding reached out to touch Christ’s garment, believing that the touch could make her well (Mark 5:21–29). But her healing was not the end of her story, for today’s passage tells us that she met Jesus face-to-face.

Interestingly, Jesus did not know at first who had touched His clothing. The text says that He felt “that power had gone out from him” (v. 30), which is a reference to the divine power He exercised during His ministry. Jesus knew someone had been healed, but He did not know who. Here we see a manifestation of the two natures of our Lord. As Scripture indicates, Christ unites in His one person a human nature and the divine nature such that the properties of each remain peculiar to each nature and there is no mixing or confusing of humanity and deity. Some things that Jesus does, He does according to His divine nature. For instance, the person of Jesus performed miracles according to His deity. Other things He does according to His human nature. Human beings have to eat, so His eating was done according to His humanity. In the healing of this woman, we see His divine nature (His power goes out to heal her) and His human nature (He did not know according to His humanity who touched Him).

We noted in our study on Mark 5:24b–29 that the faith of this woman was likely mixed with some superstitious notions. That helps explain, as one commentator notes, why Jesus stopped to find out who touched Him. Although her faith was genuine, Christ could not let her believe that His clothing had some kind of supernatural healing power. Thus, He told her that her faith had made her well (v. 34). But that does not mean the faith in itself had power—after all, it was mixed with false beliefs; rather, her faith could heal her because of the object in whom it rested, namely, Jesus Himself. Christ’s garments had no power, but He did, and the woman was healed because of her faith in the all-powerful Savior. In other words, Jesus wanted to make sure she understood that it was He who had healed her. It was a statement of instruction.

Jesus’ interaction also shows His compassion toward this woman. He addressed her with the intimate familial term daughter. She had feared Him, and He wanted her not to be afraid (vv. 33–34).

Coram Deo

Scripture reveals to us that God is all-powerful, but it also shows us that this power is tempered with tenderness toward those who trust Him. If we have been reconciled to the Lord through Christ, we discover that God is not only a powerful being but also a loving Father. He will discipline us, but that is because He loves us, and His discipline is always informed by His tender care for His children.

Passages for Further Study

Deuteronomy 32:36
Psalm 103:13
Lamentations 3:31–33
Luke 1:76–79

For permissions, please see our Copyright Policy.