Erin Vearncombe: The Woman of Mark 5:25-34 as a “Commander of Power”

Erin Vearncombe, “The Unnamed Woman Miracle-Worker in the Gospel of Mark” (2.22.23)

When we read closely, the woman’s role as her own healer, her own miracle-worker, becomes increasingly clear. This woman knows that Jesus is a source of great power, to the point where she tells herself she need only touch his cloak to heal herself of her twelve years of suffering. She touches Jesus’ cloak and she knows in her body, we are told, that she is healed. The power has transferred from Jesus’ body to her own.

This is not a feeling, it is knowledge. She uses her knowledge to take action on her own behalf. While Jesus’ body may be the source of the power, it is the woman who uses it, bringing about her own transformation.

According to Mark’s story, Jesus does not know what has happened. He looks around trying to figure out where the power he was holding in his body went. The woman, acting from her own awareness, sees his confusion and approaches Jesus again to tell him what she has done. She is a commander of power. She is the miracle-worker.

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