A Dying Girl and
(Matthew 9.18-26; Luke 8.40-56)
21Once again Jesus got into the boat and crossed Lake Galilee. Then as he stood on the shore, a large crowd gathered around him. 22The person in charge of the synagogue was also there. His name was Jairus, and when he saw Jesus, he went over to him. He knelt at Jesus' feet 23and started begging him for help. He said, “My little daughter is about to die! Please come and touch her, so she will get well and live.” 24Jesus went with Jairus. Many people followed along and kept crowding around.
25In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had gone to many doctors, and they had not done anything except cause her a lot of pain. She had paid them all the money she had. But instead of getting better, she only got worse.
27The woman had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him in the crowd and barely touched his clothes. 28She had said to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29As soon as she touched them, her bleeding stopped, and she knew she was healed.
30At that moment Jesus felt power go out from him. He turned to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31His disciples said to him, “Look at all these people crowding around you! How can you ask who touched you?” 32But Jesus turned to see who had touched him.
33The woman knew what had happened to her. So she came trembling with fear and knelt down in front of Jesus. Then she told him the whole story.
34Jesus said to the woman, “You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace! You are healed, and you will no longer be in pain.”
This is a passage full of healing. First Jairus, whose daughter is dying. Jesus is on his way to see her, presumably to heal her, when their journey is briefly interrupted. A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years—a humiliating and socially ostracizing condition, touches his garment. “If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well,” she says. And that is exactly what happened.
Much has been written about what condition the woman might have suffered from; what part of Jesus’ attire she actually touched; and the fact that Jesus felt “power go out from him.” This passage is in fact, probably one of the best-remembered stories of Jesus’ healing power, perhaps because we feel such compassion for the woman, and such wonder that she is “well now because of your faith.”
But Jesus wishes even more for her than healing. “May God give you peace!” he says to her. And surely she deserves peace after spending years and all of her resources looking for medical help.
We probably all know friends and family who have not been physically healed by God in a manner that we can see, despite seemingly endless prayers and bottomless faith. Clearly, there is both mystery and divine wisdom in how God’s will is worked out in a broken world.
What is available to every Christ-follower though, is the peace that God freely gives.
It is a peace that follows our declaration of faith in Jesus Christ. It is a gift. Philippians 4:7 puts it this way: “Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.”
Typically, people don’t understand the peace a Christ-follower may exhibit, because of the situations in which they might be practicing it: situations that may be full of danger, disaster, intense sadness, disease, financial ruin, marital breakdown, heartbreak or any other number of situations that we will find ourselves in during our lifetime. That peace, in the end, may mean more to us than even a dramatic physical healing.
Dear God, thank you that you can heal us, inside and out. We pray for a soul healing that brings with it the incomparable gift of your peace. Amen.