The Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56

Real Faith Healings

We continue with more miracles of Jesus as he relentlessly binds Satan and plunders his house. Today are two miracle accounts bound up into one.  Upon returning from the other side of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus is accosted by a ruler of a synagogue; that is, a layman of some importance, perhaps a Pharisee, but not necessarily.  Jairus was his name.  His daughter is dying; we are not told why.  The man expresses faith in Jesus saying, “Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.”  So Jesus follows the man to his house.

Now along the way, there is another person with a disease, a poor woman, with a woman’s sickness, that no physician was able to cure, and she only grew worse.  She was in a desperate situation; after all, it had been twelve years.  Moreover, her disease rendered her ceremonially unclean according to the Law.  Anything she touched was rendered unclean.  But it is to touch that she came following close behind Jesus.  “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well,” she said.  Even his garments!  She had heard the reports about Jesus and her heart was stirred and her faith made strong: “If I may only touch.”  How great was her faith, but even greater her humility.  She would not bother Jesus, if she could help it – just let me touch his garments.  And she did!  Two things happened immediately: she perceived that she was healed, and Jesus perceived that someone had touched him, for power had gone out from him.  “Who touched me,” a seemingly ridiculous question given that the crowd was pressing in on him from all sides.  But she took courage and came forward and told the whole truth, and in doing so gave testimony to whom the man was who healed her.  She did not make Jesus unclean; he made her clean.  And her faith was the link between them.

In the middle of this came people from the ruler’s house with the sad news.  But Jesus is undeterred.  He tells the ruler, “Do not fear; only believe.”  He tells the mourners, “The child is not dead but sleeping,” and they laughed at him.  Jesus enters the house, takes the girl by the hand, says, “Little girl, I say to you, arise,” and the little girl obeyed.

Faith made the woman whole, and the faith of the girl’s father made the girl whole.  I don’t know why God doesn’t heal everybody, but I do know that faith in Jesus always heals.  Please note that part, in Jesus.  It is faith in him that carries us through the most sorrowful times of life.  Reach out and touch just the hem of his garment; he will heal (and cleanse) you as well.

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