Church of Christ
at
Locks Cross Roads
4) Matthew 9 - Two Healings
Two healings

Behold, there came a ruler, named Jairus, one of the Jewish elders, responsible for the administration of the
synagogue (Mark 5:22), a pillar of Jewish orthodoxy in Capernaum.

Wealth and position mean nothing when death visits the home.  Standing helpless before the tragedy that is at this
moment threatening to strike his little girl, he comes to Jesus.

This homage is deeply significant, not because somebody falls at the feet of Jesus, but because this leader in
religious matters, does it.  As a man of position high in Jewish society, he stands to be disgraced if Jesus could not
do exactly what he now asks, If he is trusting his cause to a Nazarene Rabbi, with whose views his unbelieving
colleagues violently differed, he has more than personal pride to forfeit.

When the father left his child, she was at the latest gasp; he knew life was ebbing so fast when he left her side, that
she could scarcely be living still; and yet, having no certain notices of her death, he did not know whether to speak
of her as departed or not.

How many times had this ruler of the synagogue seen Jesus heal just this way, but putting His hands upon the sick?  
She shall live:  he asks for more than the common rabbi's blessing; he asks for life!

Matthew 9:20 and behold, a woman, who had an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him.  Here was one
person in that vast crowd that was not the least bit curious about what would happen at Jairus' home.  Her
desperation and determination drove all other considerations from her mind:  she was concentrating on her one last
chance to be well after years of failure.

Her hemorrhage must be seen from the Jewish legal standpoint to be able to appreciate the measures she adopted
for her healing here.  She was
1) Banned in a practical way from worship of God in the temple, since the hemorrhage rendered her Levitically
unclean (Leviticus 15:19-31) and contaminating to all she touched (Numbers 19:22).  So she dared not venture into
the Temple with the other worshippers (Numbers 19:20, Leviticus 15:31, see God's symbolic use of exactly this
woman's situation as an expression of His deep disgust for Israel, Ezekiel 36:17).
2) Practically excluded from normal marriage relations (Leviticus 16:24).
3) She should not even have been in this crowd, for she brought ceremonial uncleanness upon all she touched.
4) Practically penniless (Mark 5:26) having spent more on medicines and doctors than on essentials.  Until medicine
was developed into a science, its practice in those days bordered more upon witchcraft, ignorance and superstition
than upon knowledge.
5) Decidedly incurable and growing worse (Mark 5:26, Luke 8:43).
6) Unbelievably desperate after waging this futile battle for twelve years against an illness that left her without her
strength, her social intercourse, her worship.

What a strong faith to expect that even contact with Him, the bare touch of His garment, would carry such Divine
Power.  She believed so much in Him, that she felt as if it needed no personal appeal to Him.

Jesus asks for information, why, in which case His personal knowledge and will were not involved in the healing, how
then was the woman healed?  It is answered by some that God the Father in His absolute omniscience knew the
woman's intention and approach, and so healed her by power from Jesus, whose human attention was deliberately
concentrated elsewhere, i.e. upon Jairus and his needs.

Jesus wanted to prevent the misconception that there might be some magic power in His garments.  It was the grasp
of her faith, not of her hand, that made the cure.  It was her confidence in Him that healed her, not magic or
superstitious reverence for a garment!

Matthew 9:22 your faith has made you whole.

Her subjective trust in an objective supernatural power caused her to bring herself into contact with that power.  
Many had touched Jesus that day (Mark 5:31), but nothing happened to them, even though many had diseases just
as obstinate and needing miraculous help as hers.

Jesus' journey, interrupted by the healing of the woman, was filled with delay that must have been agonizing to this
father who "just knew" that every second counted.

When Jesus came into the ruler's house, He saw the flute-players and the crowd making a noise.  The funeral
began the same day as the death.  The flute-players and tumult represents a different custom of mourning the dead
than ours.  Our custom demands silence of respect for the dead; theirs calls for release of pent-up emotions
through loud mourning.

They laughed Him to scorn.  This sentence has the greatest value as circumstantial evidence for the reality of the
miracle that follows, since they showed the true reaction of a qualified group of people sure both of the purpose of
their wailing and of the apparent inappropriateness of Jesus' claim that the damsel was not dead.  They were all
more than sure that she was dead (Luke 8:53).

The maid arose when Jesus took her by the hand and called to her, just as He would if He were waking her up from
sleep.  But this was not sleep:  "her spirit returned" (Luke 8:55).

Let's not miss that this is a major event.  Too many want to skip this and move to a moral issue where they feel more
comfortable.  But this is here that we might believe.
Back to Matthew 9 Study Index Page