While Jesus was speaking to them, a ruler came and knelt in front of him, saying, “My daughter has just died. But come and place your hand on her, and she’ll live.” So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. Then a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the hem of his clothes. She thought, If I only touch his robe I’ll be healed. When Jesus turned and saw her, he said, “Be encouraged, daughter. Your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that time on. When Jesus went into the ruler’s house, he saw the flute players and the distressed crowd. He said, “Go away, because the little girl isn’t dead but is asleep”; but they laughed at him. After he had sent the crowd away, Jesus went in and touched her hand, and the little girl rose up. News about this spread throughout that whole region (Matthew 9:18-26, Common English Bible).
This lesson contains two miracles. Just as important, this lesson contains two great displays of faith. I think that sometimes we get so caught up in the miracle, and the miracle is extremely important, but so much of the time, Jesus places the ability to heal on the faith of the people involved. There is a lot of faith here.
First of all, the ruler comes to Jesus, not asking for a miracle to heal his daughter of some grave disease, the girl is dead. She is dead with a capital “D.” She isn’t asleep (despite what Jesus said to the crowd at the ruler’s home). If our loved one was dead, most of us would take the inevitable and move on. We would be hurting, of that there is no doubt, but we would also figure there was nothing more to be done. That the ruler would come to Jesus and not ask for healing of a disease but actually resurrection is truly a remarkable demonstration of faith.
This story is often called “The Miracle on the Way to a Miracle.” Jesus is on his way to the ruler’s home to bring his daughter back to life when a woman who suffers from a chronic illness comes to him. She can see he is moving quickly. She sees the ruler talking to him and them moving away together. This woman decides to reach out and touch Jesus’ robe. She thinks, “If only I can touch his robe I will be healed.” She does so. Again, that is great faith. Jesus doesn’t actually have to do anything to her way of thinking. His power is so great, she thinks, that it exudes from him into his clothes!!! What faith. I don’t even need to touch Jesus, just his cloths and I will be well. Of course, when we read the lesson, we can see that she was right! Jesus says something interesting. It isn’t Jesus who heals her, but her faith has made her well.
When Jesus and the ruler come to the ruler’s home, he tells the crowd to leave. There wasn’t anything to see there as the little girl wasn’t dead but asleep. Everybody laughed at Jesus. It isn’t hard to see why. If someone said that to one of us we might respond in the same way. Jesus goes into the house, finds the girl and with one touch she is healed and rises from her bed.
Faith is crucial to healing. Whether we seek healing of our bodies or healing of our spirits, Faith is important. We can go see every doctor on the planet but if we do not have faith that we will find healing, we probably will not.
So, where do you need healing in your life? Do you have faith God can heal you?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved