What does Mark 5:25 mean?
ESV: And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,
NIV: And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.
NASB: A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,
CSB: Now a woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years
NLT: A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.
KJV: And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
NKJV: Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,
Verse Commentary:
The Bible is not specific about the woman's ailment, but based on the Greek wording it is generally thought to be menorrhagia: a heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding often caused by issues such as uterine cysts. The word "discharge" is from the Greek root word rhusis which indicates flowing blood. Though it does not mean a traumatic, "pouring" bleeding, women who have experienced extremely heavy menstruation know that it can be both uncomfortable and unsettling. In this woman's case, her condition is likely heavy enough to cause chronic anemia and severe pain.

In Judaism, menstrual blood and unused semen were seen as life lost, akin to death. Socially, the woman's bleeding causes her to be treated very like the leper in Mark 1:40–42. She is perpetually ceremonially unclean. Everything and everyone she touches is unclean. Even if she stops bleeding, she will have to wait seven days to be ritually clean again (Leviticus 15:19–23), which for this poor woman might never have happened. Josephus recorded that menstruating women weren't allowed in the temple.

This woman has had this issue for twelve years—the same amount of time the synagogue's daughter has been alive (Mark 5:42). But her life has been very different. Instead of being the beloved daughter of a respected official, she is destitute (Mark 5:26) and most likely a social pariah, even within her own family, thanks to her illness.

Even today, some medical conditions are seen as more honorable than others. A broken arm is less socially embarrassing than hemorrhoids, for instance. In the same vein, women are taught from a very early age to hide any hint of menstruation. Once again, Jesus shows that He doesn't care about social convention. He doesn't care if it's an injury, an illness, something we're born with, or even something that would make us ritually unclean if we were still under the Mosaic Law. In fact, sometimes God will even use the ignoble physical conditions to bring us closer to Him—to help us in our journey toward spiritual maturity.

When faced with a debilitating, embarrassing disease, we should remember we can always take it to God. He may not heal our physical condition, but the spiritual blessing He will give us will outweigh any pain or discomfort.
Verse Context:
Mark 5:25–34 interrupts a depiction of Jesus healing a synagogue leader's daughter. Before He can get through the crowd, He feels power flowing out of Him. A woman who has been hemorrhaging for twelve years touches His robe and God heals her. This passage shows that God is sovereign over our distractions; He will sometimes give us important work in the midst of other tasks. It also shows that we are not a nuisance to Him. He always has time for us. This account is also found in Matthew 9:20–22 and Luke 8:43–48.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus arrives on the other side of the Sea of Galilee and heals a man afflicted by a ''legion'' of demons. In the aftermath of this event, Jesus once again crosses the waters within this region, known as the Decapolis. There, He is approached by a synagogue leader, begging Him to come and save a dying girl. In the midst of this trip, Jesus stops the crowd to identify a woman who attempted to covertly touch his robes; her faithful act results in healing. Jesus then continues on to the home of the synagogue leader and resurrects his recently-deceased child.
Chapter Context:
Mark 4:35—5:43 sees an increase in the scope of Jesus' miracles. He has just calmed a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. Now, He expels a legion of demons, heals a woman without overtly acting, and brings a girl back to life. All three situations—related to tombs, blood, and death—show Jesus bringing healing to unclean circumstances. In chapter 6, the tone of His ministry will develop. He will be rejected by those who should know Him best, He will send out His followers to do His work, and His direct link to the Old Testament prophets will be explained.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/29/2024 2:12:33 PM
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