a new identity

The story of Jesus and the bleeding woman has always intrigued me. At face value, it’s another account of Jesus healing someone from a life-hindering ailment. Which, in itself, is an amazing miracle. It’s crazy how our God can heal. He heals with his words, with his touch, and even from a distance. When people have a healing encounter with Jesus, they are never the same. That’s amazing!

But whenever I read this story, something else strikes me as amazing.

Jesus restores this woman’s identity. 

This woman had been bleeding for years. She was probably known as the “unclean one.” The woman was avoided on the street by others out of a fear of becoming unclean themselves. She wasn’t able to have normal relationship with people or God because of her condition. And when she touches Jesus’ coat, that all changes.

When she touched him, Jesus knew the healing took place, but he took the opportunity to take this healing one step further. He called her out in the middle of a large crowd and declared her healed. She was publicly declared clean. And this woman, who’s entire identity in life was probably “the unclean one,” was given a new name for all to hear. Daughter. Clean.

When we encounter Jesus, when we allow him to transform our hearts and minds into his likeness, we are given a new identity. We are no longer defined by our past mistakes, failures, and short-comings. We are no longer defined by what we do or how we look. We are defined by Christ. Because of his love for us, we are called his sons and daughters. Amazing.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1, NIV)

Check out the healing story – Mark 5:24-34.


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