When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
We play the “if” and “then” game a lot. Based on how often we do it, we must really, really like it. We spend so much time and energy thinking about all the different “if’s” that might be out there. We’re so creative when it comes to all the potential “if’s” that might be possible.
After the “if’s”, we try just as hard to come up with all the possible “then’s.” For each “if” we’ll come up with a bunch of possible “then’s” that could happen. No matter how remote the odds of the “if,” we’ll explore more and more “then’s” until we just fall down, exhausted.
This poor woman, having heard all the different stories about Jesus, decided to seek him out. After all, she’d been all over the place. She’d visited all those different doctors.
And now, there was nothing left to lose. She’d lost her health. Lost her money. Lost her hope. What did she have left to lose? In a word, nothing.
So, she comes up with a plan. If she came towards Jesus’ face, someone might recognize her. Might figure out her problem and stop her from getting near Jesus. So, she came up with Plan B: to come up from behind. Why? To avoid being seen. If anyone knew her condition, they would stop her from getting near, much less touching Jesus.
As she started out, she kept saying, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” As she traveled to Jesus, she repeated her hope. She approached Jesus from behind, repeating her hope to herself. As she passed through the crowd, she repeated her hope. Getting closer and closer to Jesus, she kept repeating her hope. As she reached out to Jesus, she said one last time, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”
She could’ve been just rolling these words over and over inside her head. She could’ve been whispering them under her breadth. She could’ve been speaking them quietly to herself, building her courage and faith.
Repetition didn’t change her broken condition. Repetition didn’t get God’s attention. Repetition didn’t earn her brownie-points towards healing. Repetition didn’t heal her. But repetition did help her. To reassure her and her fragile faith.
Her desire was clear. Her goal was very simple. To be healed. Period. To be made whole again. To be saved. And not just some temporary fix, but a one-time, permanent, lifetime cure that would last all her days.
And that’s exactly what she got. A complete, permanent cure. It wasn’t slowing it down, like partially turning off a faucet. But this was a total shutdown. The spigot was turned closed with such force that no one could open it ever again. She’d been healed. She’d been delivered. She’d been saved.
She was delivered from the daily, hourly beating that tortured her. It did so much more than just eat her lunch. It was a constant torment that filled every minute of every day.
And how did she know that there was a change? A healing? She felt it in her body. She personally, physically experienced that her bleeding had stopped. There was no flash from above. No angelic visitation or speech. No visible miracle like the Red Sea opening. But she knew it. Deep down inside, at the very center of her soul, she knew it. She knew that she was different. And that life would never be the same again.
Looking back at the day I received Jesus as my savior. I’d said lots of prayers. Done lots of confessing. Did lots of things to pay for my sins. But none of it worked. Every time I knew that it was still there.
I remember getting down on my knees in a church boiler room. I can still hear the words in my head that I repeated with tears and sobbing. I admitted that I was a sinner and was unable to save myself. I asked Jesus to pay for my sins with his precious blood on the cross, and to renew me to life eternal through his resurrection.
As I got up, I knew I was forgiven. For the first time in my life, I knew I was clean before God. Deep down inside, I knew that God had made me into a different person. That God had done a work of forgiving my sin, once and for all. And nothing has been the same since.
If we confess our sins, (then) he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
Without a doubt, the greatest “if, then” in all the world.
 Leviticus 15:19-27 has rules about touching someone with her condition, or touching something she touched