Jesus (Yeshua) is the greatest man to have ever walked the earth’s surface. His authority and power over nature, diseases, every realm (physical, metaphysical, spiritual, etc.), and tradition was unmatched (and never will be). What Jesus accomplished in His short stint in the Gospel ministry was super-astronomical; He’s said to have accomplished much more than all His apostles combined.
Historians, the Gospel or the Talmudic sources don’t seem to have fully captured His achievements; hence, there’s a lot left to be desired. And Jesus accomplished all these within a three-mile strip of an area around the Sea of Galilee. Yet, Jesus’s miraculous performances are more than meets the eye. Beneath the surface of the miracles, His teachings, wonders, authority and revelation leave nothing to be desired. This article approaches Jesus’s miracles and faith from a Hebrew perspective. Read on.
Going Against the Established Norms, Customs or Traditions
The issue of why the woman from Judea touched Jesus’s garment, and how He treated her as an equal, aroused heated debates. Three things. First off, the Judean tradition forbade men from making physical contact and talking to women who weren’t their wives, mothers or daughters. Second, the Judean society considered the lepers, or people who suffered from contagious diseases, as “ceremoniously unclean”.
And because of that, the lepers were forbidden from making social and physical contacts. The society prevented them from attending social gatherings, such as synagogues or the Temple. Hence, these people suffered pain and distress alone. Third, the Judean society was patriarchal (or male-dominated). Thus, males had a higher social or moral ground than women; hence, the treatment of both genders wasn’t equal.
But why did the woman not allow tradition to hold her back from touching and talking to another male who in this case was Jesus?
While the accounts of her actions can be found in other Gospel books, the book of Mark 5:25-34 most clearly describes them:
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Yeshua [Jesus], she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment; for she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes I shall be made well.’ Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Yeshua, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’ But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”’ And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction’”.
The woman had been living with her hemorrhaging condition for 12 years, and had spent all her money on medication. Meanwhile, her condition was getting worse. Obviously, Jesus wasn’t her husband or son, but she nonetheless made an effort to touch him and converse with him. Considering Jesus’s age in comparison to hers, it was out of the question that He was old enough to be her father. Besides, she was a stranger.
However, her actions and Jesus’s ran contrary to social norms and traditions; they were revolutionary and ‘transgressive’. Did the woman understand the consequences of her actions? Was she aware that touching Jesus’s garment amounted to touching God’s authority? Was she aware that her actions amounted to ‘sin’? What did Jesus mean by calling her ‘daughter’? Could Jesus have been her ‘father’? What did it mean for the woman to touch Jesus’s cloth?
It was clear from the Scriptures that word of Jesus’s miraculous healing reached her. And because a huge crowd surrounded Jesus, it must have taken the woman great effort to muster courage, strength and determination to overcome stigma and many bodies of people around Jesus given that she was sick. In the first place, she wasn’t supposed to be there, but she got there somehow. She must have done this alone, because people like her suffer alone, right? Her efforts and the fact that the crowd held back from preventing her were in and on themselves miraculous.
From Hebrew’s culture, law or tradition, the actions of the Judean woman touching Jesus’s garment were transgressive. In addition, Jesus touched and talked to her, despite the fact that He wasn’t clearly her son, husband or father. This also amounted to transgression. This incident was revolutionary, because it went against the social norms of the Judean society.