She left the outskirts of the city and kept her head down. She heard the stories of healing and she knew she had to come. This woman had been bleeding for 12 years. Her name was forgotten because she was an outcast.
Because of her hemorrhaging, she was considered ceremonially unclean. Anything and everything she touched was “contaminated” according to custom. This meant she lived on the outskirts of society.
She was not permitted to enter the temple, live or care for her family. She had spent every last penny on doctors with the dream of being healed, whole, and normal.
But as the story goes, treatment only made it worse. All her hope evaporated. She had forgotten what it was like to be known for who she was instead of by her sickness.
Still, she pressed through the crowd, bumping into people who likely knew she was an outcast. Yet, she ignored them with one pressing thought in her mind: If only I could touch the hem of his garment, I will be made clean. Healed. Whole. Restored.
When Jesus felt the power leave his body, he stopped to look around. The woman knowing what had happened to her, she came and fell to the ground trembling with fear as she told him everything. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction” (Mark 5:34).
She went from being a rejected outcast living on the fringes of society to being made whole and given a new name: Daughter. Jesus knew she had to “unbecome” everything in order to become whole — to step in her God-given identity.
What Does it Mean to Be a Daughter of Christ?
This story in Mark is just one of many in Scripture that teaches us our true identities. We are the daughters of Christ. What does it mean to be a daughter of God?
Why does it matter whether you belong to God’s family or not? Does this actually hold real weight? Is it worth digging deeper into or is it enough to just know about on the surface?
Yes, it is. Being a daughter of Christ means that you have a forever father in Heaven. Someone who is dependable and strong, someone who will not leave you or forsake you, even if you disappoint him time and time again.
Being a daughter of Christ means that you have the greatest love one could ever provide. Fully. Unconditionally. Forever.
You Used to Be an Outsider
Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:11-13, NLT).
Know this: God chose you. Christ died for you. Before you can truly understand what it means to be a daughter of Christ, you need to understand what it means to be outside of Christ. You were forever separated from God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
You were spiritually without a home and family. You were going to be held accountable for every sin ever committed. And when your time on this earth was done, you were going spend eternity separated from him.
Then each of us chose to accept his invitation as his beloved. We chose to accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to atone for our mistakes and sins. Jesus made the way for you. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus’ death and resurrection mended the broken bridge that separated us from God. He gave us a chance to be a part of his family. We were prodigal daughters, and like the loving Father he is, God saw us from afar and welcomed us back home.
No matter how old you were when you accepted him, he had been waiting. He doesn’t care if you first loved him at five, 15, or even 55. Your past no longer matters. The choices you made no longer matter. He sees you as a brand-new creation without blemish.
Why did Jesus do it? Because he lived a perfectly sinless life as a mere immortal with skin on. He chose to give up his heavenly realm to live a human life as a sacrifice for each of us, which is why he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:16).
In a culture built on shame and family systems, Jesus’ own heritage should have weighed him down. His family line was filled with brazen women, prostitutes, murderers, and prideful men.
When he emerged, God bestowed upon him, before men and all of creation the identity of God’s Son. “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).
Now You Belong to Christ
When you gave your life to Christ, you became a daughter of God and inherited your royal position in his family. You didn’t have to earn it; he simply gave it to you because he loves you. Know this, we’re not illegitimate children (Hebrews 12:7–11). Rather, we’re the rightful heirs of the kingdom of God.
The ramifications of this truth are world-shaking. In the midst of a world that attempts to label us; in a world where we’re constantly discarded; in a world where we are continually degraded; in a world that repeatedly wounds us; in a world filled to the brim with our failures and faults: We’ve been adopted into the family of a Father who declares before heaven and earth his deep love and pride in us.
God has a plan and purpose for your life. As a daughter of the King, you were designed with a purpose. God specifically designed you for his good works, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” (Ephesians 2:10).
You are not just anyone. You did not fall from the sky; God handpicked you and called you out of the world. There are so many lost souls out there who have yet to encounter Jesus Christ. But you have been chosen.
This also means you have several benefits as the child of God based on Romans 8:15-17,
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
1. We have security. We are not to fear but enjoy our status as a child of God (Romans 8:15). An employee or a servant basically obeys out of fear, obligation, or fear of losing their status or position, etc. But a child-parent relationship is not characterized by a fear of losing the relationship.
2. We have authority. As a daughter of Christ, we are given authority over sin and the enemy. We know our authority comes from the King of Kings.
We have confidence and poise in who claims us as his own. Just like children have the honor of the family name, such as a Shaw, Morales, or Johnson, we have the honor in Christ.
3. We have assurance. When we cry out Abba, we have assurance the Holy Spirit comes alongside us. This means he leads our “spirit”— our hearts — to have a measure of confidence that we really are his.
This means we know we can trust Christ. We have his promises. We see our lives changing and growing in him and through him. We know he will never leave us.
4. We have an inheritance. This means we have an incredible future. In more ancient times, the first son was the heir. There may have been many children, and all were loved, but the heir got the largest share of the wealth and carried on the family name.
This was a way for the family wealth to be passed on to future generations. As a daughter of Christ, we are “heirs of God.” This means all of his wealth is passed on to us and we know who we belong to.
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Heather Riggleman is an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor for Crosswalk. She calls Nebraska home with her three kids and a husband of 22 years. She believes Jazzercise, Jesus, and tacos can fix anything and not necessarily in that order! She is author of I Call Him By Name Bible Study, the Bold Truths Prayer Journal, Mama Needs a Time Out, and a contributor to several books. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook.