In our day, doctors have a high income and a high social status. In the New Testament era, it was quite the opposite. Doctors often had few remedies that would actually help anything, they dealt with unpleasant bodily fluids, among other things, and generally were avoided. Nevertheless, Luke, a Gentile and a physician, brings that fascinating background to his gospel. It shows up in the most unexpected ways.

For example, Luke is the only one who tells us of the pregnancies of Elizabeth and Mary. Only Luke tells us that Jesus grew and developed as a normal human being (see Luke 2:52). So one might think that Luke would give us a unique perspective on the Bleeding Woman. She had an unusual medical condition, and he was a medic. How does that influence his telling of her story? Let’s take a look. Will do the same thing with Luke’s account we did with the other two.

Scene 1

40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. 

Setting; “Jesus returned” from “the region of the Gerasenes,[b] which is across the lake from Galilee.” (v. 26)

Characters: Jesus, a crowd, synagogue leader named Jairus,

Conflict: daughter of Jairus is dying; father wants Jesus to heal her

Resolution: None in this scene.

Question(s)/Point(s) of interest:   So far, Luke’s account is substantially identical to Mark’s.

 Scene 2

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

Setting: On the way to Jairus’ house.

Characters: bleeding woman, Jesus.

Conflict: woman with chronic affliction touches Jesus’ garment

Resolution: She is healed

Question(s)/Point(s) of interest: The main  difference between this and Mark’s account consists of what Luke omits. While Mark tells us “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse,” Luke, a physician himself, merely says “no one could heal her.”

Scene 3

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” ”

Setting: On the way to Jairus’ house.

Characters: Jesus, his disciples,” bleeding woman.

Conflict:  Jesus’ apparent confusion, puzzlement of the disciples, woman trembling in fear.

Resolution: Jesus declares her faith had healed her, tells her to “go in peace.”

 Question(s)/Point(s) of interest:  While in Mark’s account “his disciples” point out the pressing crowd, in Luke it is “Peter.”

Scene 4

49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

Setting: On the way to Jairus’ house.

Characters: Some people from the house of Jairus, Jesus, Peter, James, and John.

Conflict: News that girl has died, no reason to bother Jesus.

Resolution: Tells father not to be afraid, only believe.

Question(s)/Point(s) of interest:  Why was a crowd there? What was the significance of some “playing pipes.”

Scene 5

51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

Setting: At Jairus’ house.

Characters: Jesus; Peter, James, John; girl’s father and mother; mourners

Conflict: Jesus tells crowd girl is not dead but asleep. Crowd laughs.

Resolution: Jesus raises child, instructs that she be fed, and tells parents not to tell anyone.

Question(s)/Point(s) of interest:  Once again, substantially the same as Mark’s account.

Now that we’ve analyzed all three, we can see

1) Mark’s account, while substantially the same as Luke’s, contains more detail, especially concerning the bleeding woman.

2)Matthew’s treatment of both the Bleeding Woman and the resurrection of the synagogue leader’s daughter, is so brief that it amounts to a sort of list of miracles, just detailed enough to distinguish them from other miracles.

3) As mentioned previously, Mark usually gives the briefest account of events; his gospel is considerably shorter than the others, yet he gives us both a longer account and more detail in this case. There must be a reason, and what that reason is will shed light on both this episode, and his entire gospel.

This all may seem quite involved, but remember the example of driving a manual transmission automobile. The more you do it, the easier and more effortless it becomes. And the ability to go very interesting places makes it all worthwhile. We’re nearing our destination, and may well find new treasures there.