What does Mark 5:34 mean?The woman with an issue of blood reached out to Jesus' cloak for healing, but did so secretly, in fear she would be humiliated and shamed or that she would disgrace Jesus with her touch. He calls her to step forth, anyway, and she responds by telling Him, and the crowd, everything.
"Disease" is from the Greek root word mastix, which gives the idea of being whipped or scourged as a punishment for disobedience. The Jews saw personal tragedy and illness as a reaction from God for personal sinfulness. The woman is destitute and most likely in pain because of her disease (Mark 5:26). But to add insult to injury, she has also spent the last twelve years unclean, unable to go to the temple or even be around other people without passing her uncleanness to them.
Jesus does not shame her. Instead, He gives her more gifts than she could have imagined.
First, Jesus calls her "daughter." She is the only person in the New Testament to be called daughter by Jesus. Moments before, a respected synagogue leader had prostrated himself before Jesus, begging Him to save his deathly ill daughter. This woman apparently has no champion to speak for her. So, Jesus stops what He is doing and takes the time to make sure she realizes: He is her champion. She is now under His care and protection. He will not cheat her like the "healers" who pointlessly took her money (Mark 5:26). He will not abase her, like she expects. He will claim her as His own.
Next, He affirms and commends her faith to the crowd. We don't know how much of her confidence in Jesus' power was tainted by pagan magical beliefs, but Jesus doesn't care. Her faith might not have been perfect, but it was aimed at the right target: God and His promises. She sees Jesus, she knows she needs Him, and she has the boldness to claim Him.
Although the woman is healed—she feels it in her body (Mark 5:29)—Jesus relieves her of the burden of having to prove her health. He announces it to the crowd so that everyone will know. He also uses her as an example. Many people are pushing Him, trying to touch Him and receive healing. Jesus clearly states that it is the woman's faith that healed her, not her touch.
Finally, He gives her peace. The phrase "go in peace" is used often in the Old Testament as a blessing on another's actions and intent (Exodus 4:18; Judges 18:6; 1 Samuel 1:17; 20:42). Peace is from the Greek root word eirene and means harmony, security, safety, prosperity, and the tranquility of being right with God. He blesses and affirms the action that has left her in fear. Not only is she right that she will be healed, she is right for seeking healing despite her dishonor.
The woman with the issue of blood shows us that no matter what we need healing from, Jesus is not ashamed to respond. The length of our suffering, the social pariah we may have become because of it, the indignity of our physical condition—Jesus doesn't care. He may not heal us physically, but if we reach out to Him in faith, He is always willing to claim us as His own.