Jobina: An Unclean Woman

My name is Jobina. My home is in Capernaum. I have a physical infirmity that began twelve years ago when I was twelve years old. It was then that I first began to have a continual slow discharge of blood. The doctor told my mother and father that I would outgrow my problem. The months grew into years, and still the problem did not go away.

By my sixteenth birthday, most of the other girls my age had been promised in marriage by their fathers. But my father could not offer me in marriage because he knew I remained unclean. As this reality began to sink in, I began to wish that I could just die. Eventually, however, I accepted the fact that I would never marry and have children.

From the time I was a small girl, my mother had taught me how to weave cloth from the wool of our sheep, so I began my own business in woolen materials. In a very short time, I became wealthy as people sought out my quality workmanship. Inside me, there was still a flicker of hope that the doctors would come up with a new discovery and that I would be able to marry and have children. So I spent all of my wealth on doctors in an attempt to find a cure for my uncontrolled bleeding. I even traveled to other cities across Galilee, Samaria, and Judea seeking help. With each new doctor, my hope grew. But eventually they too would tell me that there was nothing they could do, and I would plummet into deep depression.

One morning when I was returning from the synagogue, a trusted friend of mine told me that her friend, Hannah, had been sick with a fever and was healed by a man named Jesus. If He could heal Hannah, I reasoned, then He could heal me. My hope began to soar and immediately I knew what I must do. I would search out Jesus for my healing.

My friend had said that Jesus was scheduled to speak this coming Sabbath in the synagogue and should be arriving any day now. Three days came and went, then one morning, when I was busy weaving wool, an older boy passed along my street telling everyone that Jesus' boat had come in from the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Immediately I put down the cloth I was weaving and rushed to join the crowd that was quickly forming and following after the boy.

When we finally found Jesus, people were pressing in on Him from all sides. Some came out of curiosity, but many were there seeking healing. Because of the size of the crowd, I didn't see how I could possibly talk with Jesus. "If only I can touch Him," I thought, "I will be healed." I held my head cover across my face so the townspeople would not know an unclean woman was amongst them. I leaned over and pushed my way toward Jesus. Though buffeted by the crowd I pressed on until I reached Him. I then fell to my knees, and reaching out my clutching fingers found the hem of His garment. Immediately a warmth flooded all of my insides, and in that moment, I knew I was cured. Then I released my hold as quickly as I had grasped it.

Just then Jesus stopped abruptly, looked around at the crowd, and asked, "Who touched me?"

Haltingly, I began to stand, but I kept silent. I was a bit relieved when a large man in the crowd spoke up and said, "Master, the multitudes surround you and press you on every side."

But Jesus shook His head and said, "It was more than a touch. I felt the healing power go out from me."

It was then that I pulled away my head covering and saw Jesus clearly for the first time. He was taller than those who gathered around Him, and His weathered face shone with a gentle smile. With this my courage returned, and I spoke up and said, "Lord, it was I."

Then with kind eyes He turned to me and said, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

Based on Mark 5:25-34; Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48.

Copyright 1997 by John C. Westervelt

Return to Table of Contents