Ground black pepper and holy robes

Liam Thatcher

I’ve recently spoken on Luke 8:40-56, the healing of a lady who had suffered bleeding for twelve years, and the raising of Jairus’ daughter. The whole talk is available here, should you be interested.

One of the things I love about these interwoven stories is what they show us about Jesus and impurity laws. There are two things that happened in this passage, that should have made Jesus ceremonially impure according to the Levitical law.

Firstly, his robe was touched by a woman who had been bleeding for many years. According to Leviticus 15:19-31 when a woman experiences bleeding, she and everything she touches are considered ritually impure, and anyone who touches her is also considered impure; them and their clothing. (Note, there is a difference between ritual impurity and moral impurity. The woman is not deemed to have done anything sinful, she is simply considered ritually impure, and…

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