The Story of the Woman Who Had ‘a Flow of Blood’: Principles Demonstrating the Transformation of Her Soul

From the Bible, Luke 8: But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 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.”

Stories in the Bible contain wondrous principles of life and truth to live by. When the woman touched His robe, Jesus knew it for he felt ‘power go out of Him’. Jesus has perception of the natural and spiritual world at the same time.  To touch is to connect, and because of her yearning and belief His power was received and healed her. Jesus is power. His power is entirely from good, which is the greatest and true power. God, the soul of Jesus, is in the midst of the spiritual sun which radiates love and wisdom and sustains all the universe and life. The soul of us human beings are receptacles of life from him. The woman yearned for him in her suffering, she loved him. She was beginning to know who He is, and all this made her receptive to Him. So she received according to her faith; power flowed into her. The relationship between Jesus and man is reciprocal, and to the degree there is mutual love and understanding a bond is formed, if  there is no reception, then there is no bond. People like the pharisees can’t receive, ‘their sin remains’, because they think they know better, and hate Him for being the real thing. This closes the internals of their soul and they can not receive. 

     Swedenborg often writes, ‘For on the lowest levels of good and truth which spring from the Divine there is might and power’. By lowest level he means the material world. The material or natural world is a container and foundation of good and truth so in its expression at the point of touch it comes into its full power, because the point of touch is where it is transferred, given and received. It is like water traveling through a large pipe, but when the pipe narrows it gains more pressure and shoots out strong. To this point Swedenborg further explains; ‘the external holds all the interior things in their order, and in their form and connection, insomuch that if the external were removed, the internal things would be dispersed; for internal things not only cease in the external, but they are also together in it”. This is a function of the universal principle that life springs from the union of the natural and the spiritual, and this is no more profoundly found than in the fact God became human in the physical world and through the course of his life made His human divine. For humans, like the woman who touched the hem of his robe ,the moment of union is an epiphany.

    The miracles Jesus performed for the ‘poor’ (this word is meant more in the sense of the spiritually poor, those who don’t have truth but yearn for it), are of course wondrous and involve this internal process, but in terms of faith miracles are an external measure. The greatest miracle is the transformation of one’s soul. Jesus admonished the people for always wanting signs and miracles because He wanted internal transformation, not external, but He knew it was a step. To any one with any reason the miracles show that Jesus is divine, but most still did not accept that He was the Messiah, much less God. The miraculous healing of the body was a great mercy for those that had a measure of belief, but for those observing they were a sensational measure that did not necessarily change a persons heart. Miracles compelled people to believe and for this reason miracles are usually not allowed. They were used to seed a people who had become very external in nature. They were allowed in the time of Jesus and after for a while, for the  very reason Jesus came was that evil had overrun heaven and the earth and caused a disequilibrium between heaven and hell. In the disequilibrium evil could compel people and spirits to hell, which is the most awful of things. Miracles were a counter-balance to this in that miracles compelled people to faith. Evil had accumulated in the world and in the spiritual world to the point it would have overrun the universe if it were not corrected. God, as Jesus, suffered himself to be born on earth to defeat all the forces of evil that had run out of control, to teach the people how to be in genuine faith and love again, and to restore the integrity of heaven. 

The verse, ‘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’, is very important. The woman was seen by Jesus into her whole soul, and thought it was frightening she accepted it and loved it. ‘Trembling’ indicates a change of being, and so it is an intense and seminal experience. In this it is important for the change that one speak from their own self and bear the truth honestly so that there is complete transfer and ownership. It is also significant that there were witnesses to hear it and see it. This is similar to the purpose of witnessing in weddings where the parties declare their consent in the presence of witnesses. This confirms in community and in the world the change of state in the woman’s soul, and thus establishes it. All of these verses speak to the transformation of her soul – the greatest miracle of all – for it leads to salvation in heaven, which is God’s end purpose for all.

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