TEXT: Matthew 9:18-26
18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.
20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
23 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,
24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.
William Burkitt said, “Feeble faith oft-times meets with a sweeter outcome than it could expect. This poor woman came to Christ trembling, but went away triumphing; Christ bids her good comfort, and by her faith makes her whole.”
By way of introduction, the FaithLife Study Bible reads, “Jesus has already displayed His authority over sickness, nature, evil spiritual powers, and sin; now He demonstrates authority over death. All three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) report this episode, and all three interrupt it with the report of Jesus healing a woman. Depending on the nature of her ailment, the woman might have been ceremonially unclean during the entire 12-year span. In this case, her condition was not only a physical problem, but a social and religious problem as well. Anyone who associated closely with her would have become unclean, too. She believed that even Jesus’ clothes contained some of His miraculous powers. Jesus called her ‘daughter’ as a term of endearment. He also said ‘Your faith has healed you.’ Jesus often cites a person’s faith as the impetus for healing.”
While Jesus was on His way to handle one man’s dire crisis — the death of his daughter — His progress is interrupted by a woman who takes action to claim healing for a condition that she had lived with for twelve years. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, this woman’s “issue of blood” was “a bodily discharge” of some type or “a hemorrhage [an escape of blood from a ruptured blood vessel], either natural or the consequence of disease.” Matthew skips a lot of the details that we are familiar with from this story in the other gospels. Instead, he tells us directly what this woman did and what she was thinking while doing it: “Behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Jesus, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.”
We have to understand the extraordinary faith that this woman must have had in order to undertake what, to some, may seem like a small act. In the gospels, we read of Jesus touching people in order to heal them; but only here do we read of someone touching Jesus in order to be healed. Somehow this woman who has been sick for twelve years has got it into her head that, if she could just touch — not Jesus — but the hem, the very edge, of His clothes, she would be healed.
David Guzik said, “To the best of our knowledge, there was no promise or pattern that touching the garment of Jesus would bring healing. It seems that the woman believed this in a somewhat superstitious way. Yet even though her faith had elements of error and superstition, she believed in the healing power of Jesus and His garment served as a point of contact for that faith. There are many things that we could find wrong with this woman’s faith. Yet her faith was in Jesus; and the object of faith is much more important than the quality or even quantity of faith.”
Jesus, of course, knew what was happening and knew what the woman was thinking. He calls her out of the crowd saying, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” Why did He offer her comfort? Because she was ashamed of her condition and because she was nervous about being rejected since she was coming as a ritually unclean person in close contact with the public — two things the religious leaders would have condemned her for. Then, Jesus commends her faith, letting her know that her faith, not her touching His garment, is the reason why she received healing.
What this passage teaches us is that God honors true faith wherever and however it is found. Whether it is found in the desperate but bold pleading of Jairus for the resurrection of his daughter, or the timid, quiet faith of a woman so ashamed that she doesn’t think herself worthy to command Jesus’ attention. Jesus taught that faith is like a mustard seed, and this woman certainly had at least mustard seed-sized faith. But her faith received a great reward with her complete deliverance from that which had tormented her for so long.
Edgar Stites wrote:
‘Tis simple faith that breaks the power
And sets us free from sin,
‘Tis simple faith unlocks the gate
Of Heav’n and lets us in.
Just simple faith in Christ will save
The humblest trembling soul;
There’s none so poor, and none so sick,
But He will make them whole.
By simple faith we bring to Him,
Not wondrous words of prayer,
But humbly bring a contrite heart,
And trust, and leave it there.
Thus simple faith and perfect love
Shall lift my soul so high,
‘Twill give a crown the stars above,
A home beyond the sky.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.