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A Healing Touch

While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district.
Matthew 9:18-26

It probably took a lot of courage for the two people involved in this Sunday’s Gospel text to approach Jesus. They had to be desperate at that point to reach out to him.

The first man was a leader of the synagogue. He could get in big trouble for even talking to Jesus, and asking him to heal his daughter was an even bigger risk. Healing was supposed to be done by God, not from someone who the Pharisees thought was a hoax. When Jesus finally gets to the man’s house, he is mocked. Yet, he proves the naysayers wrong and heals the girl who they all thought to be dead.

The second request for healing came directly from a woman. In that society, a woman was not allowed to talk to a man unless it was her husband, and even then she was not supposed to talk to him unless she was spoken to first. The mere act of speaking to Jesus, let alone asking for healing, could cause a lot of trouble for her. She was considered unclean due to her bleeding and was supposed to avoid public contact. She risked being exiled and even death by speaking to Jesus. Yet, she, too, believed in Jesus and his healing power and was healed.

Faith requires believing in something you can’t see, believing in something that can be against the culture of the day, as it was in Biblical times. The two people in this week’s Gospel reading risked their lives, knowing that Jesus would heal them. They believed he would; they had faith in him. As Jesus said, “your faith has made you well.”

Shari Van Baale
Salem Communications Coordinator

Tags: Weekly Word