Shame is an insatiable beast.
To step out of it's cruel grip, we have to understand and partner with what Jesus has done to set us free from it.
The woman with the issue of blood exemplifies a beautiful picture of what a life set free from chronic shame can look like. In an excerpt from my book, She Is Free: Learning The Truth About The Lies That Hold You Captive, I break down the power of reaching out for Jesus in the midst of crippling shame.
Reach Out for Jesus
"Maybe like the woman with the issue of blood, who was separated from society and isolated from God’s presence, you feel isolated and alone in your shame. The loss of blood and the repercussions of her condition would have left her exhausted, weak, anemic, and spiritually dry. The long sickness could have made her feel overwhelmed and alone on her journey, and the same could be true for you in what you’re facing.
She had spent all her money trying to find healing. The passage (Mark 5:21-34) also says she “suffered” at the hands of many doctors and only grew worse. So not only was she broke, but she also got sicker as each year passed. In the area where you need to be freed from shame, are you going from person to person “spending” all that you have but receiving only Band-Aid solutions that aren’t fixing the problem? Maybe you’ve been let down so many times by people that you find it hard to push through the throng of voices and trust God, The only thing that can bring you true healing is to reach out and receive from Jesus.
The touching of the hem of Jesus’s garment is significant.
The part of the fabric the woman touched is known as the tallit, or prayer shawl. Fringes or tassels were to be sewn on the four corners of all clothing of Jewish men in accordance with God’s instruction:
The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.’” (Num. 15:37–41)
The tassels were to remind the Jewish people of God’s commandments. They were tied into 613 knots to remind them of the 613 laws of Moses: 365 “thou shalt not” laws and 248 “thou shalt” laws. The tassels were in full view for everyone to see as a constant reminder to walk in God’s ways, to stay on His path of righteousness.
When Jewish men were deep in prayer, they would wear this prayer shawl over their heads to be covered in the presence of God. The shawls were white and blue. The white represents heaven—the dwelling place of the Lord—and the blue represents the Holy Spirit.
The tallit also represents authority. King David was known as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), but before he became king, the reigning King Saul wanted to murder him. David had an opportunity for revenge in a cave. David’s cohorts, also known as his “Mighty Men,” encouraged him to kill King Saul (1 Sam. 24:1–7). Instead, he snuck up behind Saul and cut the hem of his garment, yet was “conscience stricken” for doing so because it was an act that represented him cutting off the authority of his king. When Ruth laid down at Boaz’s feet, she placed herself under his tallit or his authority to submit herself to him (Ruth 3:1–9).
When this woman who had lived a life of shame and reproach for twelve years reached out to touch Jesus, she didn’t grab just what happened to be at arm’s length. She was going to make this count if she was going to go out into the crowd and risk making others unclean by physically touching them as she pushed through to her Healer. She also risked making a rabbi (Jesus) unclean. As I read this account, I wonder if she knew the significance of touching His tallit. I’d like to think she did, because when she reached out to touch the hem of His garment, she reached out for all it represented—all the promises and commandments from the Word of God, God’s covering and His presence, and all the authority of heaven and earth that Jesus was given as God’s Son. The tallit or the hem of His garment represents God’s commandments, the presence of God, and God’s authority!
When you reach out to God for your healing and deliverance, realize that you are touching all the promises of the Word of God—every commandment He has given. And that Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us—you are touching Him! Realize that you’re touching the covering of His presence and all of the authority that is in heaven and earth through the power of Jesus Christ.
When she touched Jesus, immediately He felt power go out of Him. When you reach out and touch Him, it doesn’t just affect your life in miraculous ways; He feels your touch too. He turns his face to you, acknowledges and adores you in your public shame, heals you, and commends your faith in Him. He says to you, “Daughter, your faith has made you well” (Mark 5:34), or in other words, “Your trust in me has made you well.”
The heart of Father God is that you would understand that through your faith (the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen [Heb. 11:1]) in Jesus, you are healed and brought into the family—you are God’s daughter! As a daughter, you are an heir to all Jesus has—healing, love, freedom, eternal life, redemption, restoration of all that was lost, and so much more.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and your faith, trust, and hope in Him heals you and connects you to all that He is and has."
For more of this chapter, Freedom From Shame, and the rest of the She Is Free book, click here or the link below to get your copy today.