Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Some Information on the Woman with the Issue of Blood and "Touching the Edge of His Garment"

43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. 45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’" 46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. 48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:43-48)
Thoughts from my friend, Kurt: (who I hope will one day post on his blog):
One of the things that I find extremely interesting here is that the woman went for the edge of his garment. You have to ask yourself “why is it recorded in such detail”? Why did the author (as well as in the other Gospels) point out this fact….she touched the edge of the cloak/garment? Is it significant?….does it tell us something about this woman and her faith?...the faith that Christ commends? Is there a link between her reaching out to the edge of his garment and to Christ calling her “Daughter” (which is the only woman recorded in scripture as being called Daughter by Christ)?

Malachi 4:2 “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”
This is a prophecy of the coming Messiah. The Jews knew this well. The Messiah would come with healing in his wings. The Hebrew word for wing here is Kanaph which can be translated: wing, extremity, edge, winged, border, corner, shirt wing, extremity skirt, corner (of garment)
The Jews looked forward to the Messiah who would have healing in his Kanaph, his wings, in the corners of his garment. The woman here was demonstrating her belief and faith in Jesus as that Messiah who had come with healing in his wings. Jesus recognized her faith. He called her Daughter... that is a pretty endearing, relational term for Jesus to use of a stranger... but he knew that her action was one of faith in him as Messiah.

Here is summary on this from this site: http://www.mfrbc.org/thisthat.html

HEALING IN HIS WINGS
In Jesus' day, Jewish men wore a simple tunic both at home and at work. The tunic (tallit) served as protection from cold and rain. Hanging from the end of each of its four corners (‘wings’ or ‘Kanaph’ in Hebrew) was a tzitzit in obedience to the biblical command. Through the centuries, during times of persecution, Jews were often forbidden to wear the tzitzit on the outside of their garments. This forced them to wear a small four-cornered tallit under their shirts. This is a thin garment rectangular shaped with a large hole in the center. When the 'mini-tallit' was under the clothes it served the same purpose as was originally prescribed-as a reminder of the laws of God. During the first century there were a few Messianic concepts and scriptures associated with the tzitzit concerning the Messiah. One was that these knotted fringes possessed healing powers. The tunic was worn and when in prayer it would be draped over the head as if under the 'Lord's Wings.' This made for the thought that the corners of the tallit (tunic) were 'wings.' This tradition has its roots in the prophecy of Malachi 4:2 where the Messiah is said to be coming with healing in His wings. Certainly the woman with the issue of blood knew of these traditions, which would explain why she sought to touch the corner (the wings) of Jesus' prayer garment. The same word used in Numbers 15:38 for corner is used in Malachi 4:2 for wings (Kanaph). With this understanding in mind, an ancient Jew under the prayer shawl could be said to be dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:1-4). When one realized the significance of this concept to the first-century Hebraic mind, it becomes clear why this woman was instantly healed. She was expressing her faith in Jesus as the Son of Righteousness with healing in His wings and declaring her faith in God's prophetic Word.

25 Comments:

  • I always wondered why the Bible referred to God as having "wings".

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/31/2008 10:09 AM  

  • Interesting thought.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 1/31/2008 10:13 AM  

  • Yes, very interesting.

    By Blogger Earl, at 1/31/2008 10:55 AM  

  • I find great beauty in these thoughts. Thank you for sharing them, Rose. I hope you are feeling "under His wings" today. :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/31/2008 11:38 AM  

  • Good Post!

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at 1/31/2008 12:36 PM  

  • that was beautiful, Rose.
    I love the imagery. I thought it was interesting when I searched for "wings" in the ESV, the passage about Ruth and Boaz was included.

    Ruth 3:9
    He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings[1] over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
    [1]Compare 2:12; the word for wings can also mean corners of a garment

    I heard an interesting story about mother eagles teaching their babies to fly. They carry them on their wing then let them do a free fall to teach them how to fly, then swoop down under them and catch them before they can fall to the ground!

    Exodus 19:4
    You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.

    Deut 32;11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
    that flutters over its young,
    spreading out its wings, catching them,
    bearing them on its pinions,
    12 the Lord alone guided him,
    no foreign god was with him.
    13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
    and he ate the produce of the field,
    and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
    and oil out of the flinty rock.

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 1/31/2008 3:40 PM  

  • Rose,

    to be quite honest with you, this kind of speculation and fanciful stoking of the imagination should be used sparingly.

    Has anyone considered that she did not wish to be detected?

    Your soggy popcorn brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/31/2008 5:11 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    "44...she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him"

    What was that reason?

    I think that Christ's response to her gives evidence that this "Daughter's" "faith" was more than just a belief that he could heal her physically.

    Antonio,

    I respect your viewpoints and agree with you on many of your comments. But I wonder how you get to the statement that this is imagination? I don't think that God puts details in Scripture (especially when that detail is repeated by several authors) without reason.

    I think that too many people look at the New Testament in a silo and do not take into consideration the whole of scripture. When one reads the NT in light of the OT Messianic prophecies, one has to ask these questions.

    I don't consider it "fanciful stoking of imagination" to try to gain a fuller understanding in light of the whole Bible.

    I believe there is a reason for her to reach specifically for the kanaph, the edge of his garment.

    I think there is a reason for Christ to call her "Daughter"... the only woman to be referred to as such.

    Why is that detail recorded?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 1/31/2008 5:57 PM  

  • Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

    Antonio,
    I had always thought that she was trying to be discreet. Maybe that is true as well as the fact that she was reaching for the kanaph because she knew of the prohecy. Why couldn't both be true?

    So I will look forward to your answer to Kurt - he wants to know why you think that that detail is recorded. :~)

    Hi Kurt!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/31/2008 10:22 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I'm going to shock you and agree with Antonio on this one. Although I won't whole-heartedly agree, because I do think there are some interesting things about this story. Even what you pointed out in your post.

    But it is a lot of conjecture. It could be true that she was thinking about the Messiah and the healing in His wings, but it's not revealed to us if that's what she was thinking. And it's not revealed to us whether or not her faith was a saving faith, or only a faith from which she received physical healing.

    I do think you run into some problems if you were to say that this was the point at which she believed in Christ and was spiritually regenerated. Because her faith in Him would've had to have been well before the point of her touching His garment. She had this planned out. She thought, "If I touch his garment I will be healed." And she was thinking about physical healing. So before she touched His garment, she had believed in Him.

    But it wasn't until she touched Him that she was healed. So if this was a conversion experience, there was a lapse between her faith and her conversion. That doesn't seem right to me.

    I would think that what Antonio is afraid of is that if this woman is now a child of God as a result of her faith, then she believed in Jesus and received eternal life instead of believing in Jesus FOR eternal life. Which is a big difference.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 2/01/2008 9:51 AM  

  • Very enjoyable reading Rose.

    By Blogger Todd, at 2/01/2008 9:57 AM  

  • Thanks for visiting, Todd. :~)

    Ten Cent,
    You agree with Antonio? wow, when has that ever happened? Well, I think it is an interesting little tid bit and regardless of anyone's fears over the implications, I have taken this information under advisement. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/01/2008 10:39 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I am sitting here in Daytona Beach looking out of my hotel room at the ocean waves and sand.....and warm weather.....reading your blog....tough life.

    Ten Cent,

    Where is it stated that her touching the edge of his garment is THE conversion experience? It was stated that her reaching out to the kanaph was a demonstration of or an expression of her faith, which implies that her faith already exists.

    Her faith already existed. I believe it was her faith in him as Messiah, which is why she touched that exact place, the edge of his garment, the kanaph.

    Did she believe in him as a healer...yes, but I believe that she knew his reputation, put the facts together as they relate to the Messianic prophecies and saw him for who he really is, Messiah. She knew that the Messiah would have healing in his kanaph.

    Her faith in him as a healer ONLY is a possiblility, but I find the detail of Christ's relational, endearing response to her to be troubling if she only sought him out for physical healing without a profession of him as her Messiah.

    But....if the post only served to bring you and Antonio together....well, maybe it was worth it :)

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/01/2008 10:44 AM  

  • Kurt,
    You! I am just about to fire up the snowblower and go deal with the 6 inches of snow here at home... and you have escaped to FLA!

    Must be nice! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/01/2008 10:48 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said: "Well, I think it is an interesting little tid bit and regardless of anyone's fears over the implications, I have taken this information under advisement. :~)"

    And I agree, as I said in my previous comment, it is an interesting little tidbit. I don't discount it's plausibility. It's just that the text doesn't say what she was thinking, or what she believed other than that if she touched His garment she would be healed.

    Hi Kurt,
    You said:"Where is it stated that her touching the edge of his garment is THE conversion experience?"

    Sorry about that, I was importing information for the post Rose did about this passage on the Unashamed of Grace site. She was using this as an argument for faith preceding regeneration.

    You said:Her faith already existed. I believe it was her faith in him as Messiah, which is why she touched that exact place, the edge of his garment, the kanaph."

    If you'll look at the other accounts in Mark and Matthew, it says that she thought if she touched His garments she would be healed. She believed that Christ had the power to do it and that He would heal her if she could just touch His garments. And you'll notice that she thinks "garments", not the edge of His garment. The writer of the Gospels informs us that it was the edge of the garment that she touched. That detail may be there for our benefit so that we would see that He is indeed the Messiah and had come with healing in the edge of His garment, but I'm not convinced that's what she was thinking. From the context, it would appear that she had one thing on her mind, to be healed of her affliction. She sought relief from her affliction and found in Christ through faith.

    So you see, on one hand, I agree with you. One other, I have to kindly disagree. I agree that there are implications, insights about Christ in this passage, but I don't agree that we can say what the woman was thinking other than what we are told she was thinking.

    You said: "But....if the post only served to bring you and Antonio together....well, maybe it was worth it :)"

    I think serves to do more than that. The post points us to the Messiah and the healing that He gives that goes far beyond the body. And that's good. Hopefully, I didn't give the impression that your comments are heresy or anything, because they're far from it.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 2/01/2008 1:04 PM  

  • Rose,

    I am heading for the airport to come back to the snow and cold.....uggghhh. But I can't wait to see my family, so it is OK.

    Ten Cent,

    Thanks for kindly disagreeing. It is nice to have civil and respectful discourse.

    I like to look at the Messianic prophecies from the OT and then look to see where they were fulfilled in the NT. If we see that the Messiah would have healing in the edges of his garment, then we look to see where that prophecy was shown to be fulfilled. It was fulfilled in the Gospels. The fact that 2 of the 4 do not mention the detail does not mean that that detail is not significant (just look at the Gospel accounts of Christ's last words on the Cross....we have to read all of the Gospel accounts to get the full picture of his last moments...but each detail and word is still significant).

    I believe that the Messiah prophesied in Malachi 4:2 was revealed in this woman's story. I agree that she wanted healing. She had been bleeding for 12 years. But I also believe that she knew where to touch to recieve that healing. Yes, it is recorded that she stated "garment", but her actions demonstrated that she knew exactly where to touch the Messiah to recieve the healing she so desperately desired. It was her faith that healed her....and her actions demonstrated her faith in him as Messiah.

    So, let's agree on this (and I know we do)....Christ is the Messiah!!!! and he perfectly fulfilled ALL the prophecies!!!!

    I have to leave for the airport. Take care Brother.

    See you Sunday Rose, if your household is healthy....I pray you will be.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/01/2008 2:37 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I am back home from Florida....back to the snow....is Spring coming soon????????

    I would like to hear someone comment on Christ calling her "Daughter". As I said before, that is a very relational and endearing term that I don't believe he would use in relation to someone who denies him and is not one of His.

    Does this not give clear evidence as to her heart? Does it not speak to the fact that Christ recognized her faith in him as Messiah and so he responded by calling her who she really is, a Daughter?

    What do y'all believe regarding her being called "Daughter"?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/02/2008 3:07 PM  

  • Hi there Rose.

    The more I think on this, the more sense it makes. I was under the impression that Jesus called the Syro-Phoenician woman in Mt.15 whose faith impressed Him "daughter" as well, but when I checked it out I found that He simply called her "Woman" which I'm sure was a term of respect, not disdain. I believe this is significant. I do love this account. Our wonderful Lord Jesus certainly does have healing in His wings, the healing of sinsickness! God Bless y'all.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 2/02/2008 9:45 PM  

  • I think this is interesting, but I don't think we can conclusively make the case that this was Luke's intention. It would be interesting to see what text Luke followed when he quotes or alludes to Old Testament passages in his Gospel -- i.e.the Hebrew Masoretic Text or the Greek LXX (Septuagint). And maybe, maybe if it can be established that Luke follows the Septuagint more often; and further, if the Septuagint uses the same word for wing as Luke does for "hem" then maybe there could be some plausibility to this.

    But I am skeptical, it seems that the broader context is clearly establishing who Jesus is, i.e. Messiah. Anyway, this is interesting.

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 2/03/2008 1:41 AM  

  • She is called "daughter" because she is a part of covenant people of Israel. Israel is the "daughter of Zion" and she was a "daughter of Abraham" , c.f.:

    Luke 13:18
    16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound -- think of it -- for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?"
    NKJV

    It was used as a term of endearment.

    Speculations such as are given like this lead to amillenialism. Be careful!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 2/04/2008 2:13 PM  

  • Speculations such as are given like this lead to amillenialism. Be careful!

    It's a slippery slope. Go that direction and you'll become an amillennial apostate like me.

    Although I have some doubts about the approach you took Rose, take heed on the warning. :o)

    I couldn't resist. It's that total depravity in me. It makes my humor sick too.

    By Blogger Earl, at 2/04/2008 2:28 PM  

  • Good Afternoon Rose,

    It was good to see both you and John Sunday....

    Antonio,

    "Speculations such as are given like this lead to amillenialism"

    Wow, that was a leap....or dare I say a fanciful stoking of imagination.....who said that I am even entertaining amillenialism?????

    Please connect the dots for me. I don't get the argument you are making....or I don't get your sarcasm....either way, I don't follow you.

    Also, Antonio, the woman you are refering to in Luke 13 is not the same one, not the same situation, and not the same reference of Daughter. She was a woman who Christ picked out and healed, not a woman who reached out in faith and touched him in a very specific location. Being a daughter of Abraham does not make you a "Daughter" as Christ refered to. A daughter of Abraham meant that she was in the lineage, not a woman with faith in Christ as Messiah.

    Anyway, at least I can say thanks for responding to my question with more than just a general disagreement.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/04/2008 3:24 PM  

  • Kurt,
    Thanks for the note. I did not engage this conversation for a couple of days because I was busy reading all the lack of understanding in the previous post. I wish I would not have wasted my time.

    I do think there is something to this "wings." I also appreciate the warnings about speculation... but I have no idea what this particular one would have to do with Amillenialism! haha

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/06/2008 9:43 AM  

  • I think when Christ said "daughter" he was accepting her in a very real way as a child of God. I can't imagine any other explanation.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/06/2008 9:44 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Yes, you were pushing 400 comments in that other post....that'll keep you busy.

    I guess we could state that her faith as a demonstration of her belief in Christ as Messiah is evidence of either "regeneration preceding faith or faith as a gift" and get that debate going...that should be good for 50+ comments... :). Just kiddin'.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/06/2008 2:32 PM  

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