So a bleeding woman, known to everyone as unclean, especially after twelve years, works her way through the crowded streets to get to Jesus, and no one seems to notice? No one cries out, no one screams, no one pushes her away, no whisper starts about this unclean woman among them. Nothing.
This society was so invested in clean and unclean, in ritual purity, in following the rules. How does this even happen that no one notices?
Simple, I think:
They were all focused on Jesus.
Every person in that crowd had one thing on their mind: they wanted to see Jesus. They wanted to get closer to Him. They wanted to hear Him speak. They wanted to watch what He would do. They wanted to know where He was going.
They were focused on Him. Period.
Take the story of Zacchaeus as another example. Everyone knew the man; they all hated him. But we're told the reason he climbed that tree is because he couldn't see. Not because everyone was pushing him out. Not because they were telling him to go home. Not because no one wanted him to be there. Just because he was short.
No one seemed to notice Zacchaeus until Jesus did. After Jesus spoke to him, and invited himself to the tax collector's house, everyone seemed to suddenly realize the "wee little man" was there.
So here we have two stories of two persons who, under normal circumstances, would not have been able to hide in a crowd - a hated tax collector and a woman known for twelve years as being unclean. Yet, in neither case does the crowd seem to recognize them or even notice they are there. At the very least, we don't see the kind of reaction that we would expect.
Because everyone is too busy with Jesus.
Everyone is too busy listening for His voice. Everyone is too busy looking for His face. Everyone is too busy trying to get closer to Him. The crowd becomes nothing more to them than a sea of faces all looking in the same direction, everyone trying to be part of this crazy thing that's going on in the streets of Jerusalem.
Some might be there out of a need for their own healing. Some might be there in thankfulness for a healing that's already happened. Some might just be curious about this Man they've been hearing so much about, this Teacher unlike any other teacher they've ever known. Some might be looking to criticize; some might be looking to boast. Some might be looking to find something bigger than themselves. Some might be looking for understanding. Some might be looking for acknowledgement.
Whatever it is, they are all there with this one thing in mind: Jesus. That's it. Nothing else on those streets mattered to them.
Not a wee little tax collector.
Not even an unclean woman.