Some Notes: the other side. The land of Israel was described in two parts, the Holy Land and the Unholy Land, i.e., the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Today we would say Israel and the West Bank. The ‘other side’ is the scene of many events in Mark’s Gospel.
The two miracles are examples of great faith. The woman had been sick for years. Note that Luke in telling this story leaves out the jab at the doctors!! (Perhaps Luke was a doctor!). Also note that the woman knew well she was not to touch Jesus when her body was in such a state! The touch healed her instantly and she knew it. Her ‘coming forward’ to Jesus completed the spiritual healing and she ‘went in peace and free from the complaint’. We also know that the “Listen Israel” prayer from Deuteronomy 6 was sown in the hem of a Hebrew garment!
The story is a story of desperation. After long years of suffering and expense without any improvement, she heard about Jesus and came to Him and touched Him. And she was healed.
The second miracle is about the great faith of the official. Note that Peter and James and John are singled out to be the witnesses. We are reminded of Tabor and Gethsemane when the same three were chosen!
Perhaps it is too much in a Sunday Sermon to consider the two miracles. It is certainly a long reading. Each miracle would make a wonderful homily by itself. But both miracles are reflections on the power of Jesus, the shyness of the woman, the brashness of the official and the faith of each.