Thoughts from a Familiar Healing

Matthew 9:20-22

20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.

It’s been too long. Nothing can be done. You just have to live with it. How many of those are the thoughts that the woman of the verse above thought and heard day after day?

Matthew 8 and 9 are chapters that include the Savior just being Jesus, just healing, just showing kindness. Even the particular event above is tucked into the middle of Jesus going to do the impossible. While the Savior is walking to a man’s home to raise his daughter from the dead, his path is interrupted by a woman who did not want any attention. All she wanted was relief. She believed that Jesus had the power to heal her. So she reached out, touched his garment, and found wholeness.

The woman who was healed had been suffering for twelve years. Stop and hear that again, twelve years! For more than a decade she bled. I get upset if a cold lasts for more than a few days. The suffering of this lady had to feel like a lifetime’s worth and then some.

And Jesus had the power to heal her. When she touched his garment, she was immediately and completely made well. No brokenness of this world is too much for Jesus. No disease is so big he cannot heal it. No problem is so huge he cannot solve it. No struggle is so great he cannot overcome it. He is the God who made the world. Nothing in the world can overcome him.

And take note of the fact that, in some people’s minds, the action of the woman could have made Jesus ceremonially unclean. In the Jewish religious system, one was not to touch a woman who was bleeding. One might assume that many of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day would have shunned the woman out of fear that her sickness would corrupt them and prevent them from being able to enter the sacred spaces in the temple. Not Jesus. This is the same Jesus who reached out and touched a leper to heal him. Jesus could never be made unclean. He is holy. And Jesus was not afraid to be touched by a person in pain.

One of my joys in doing this read through the gospels is seeing Jesus. Jesus is wonderful. Sinners wanted to be around him. This was not because Jesus compromised with them. But Something about the Savior made even the lost want to be his friend, to know him, to hear his words. Jesus helped. Jesus healed. Jesus loved the unlovely. Jesus also showed kindness to those society thought was strong—the man he was walking with was a somebody, not a nobody, in society. . Christian, for all of our doctrine, truth that we love and most certainly should teach and protect, let us not stop marveling at the Savior himself.