In the Fulness of Time/Part 50

By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2007
Jesus demonstrates his authority over natural forces when he heals the woman with the hemorrhage. Was she healed simply by touching His robe, or was more involved?

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Authority Over Physical Forces. Matthew 9:18-34

Jesus continues manifesting His Authority as the rightful King/Messiah of Israel, by performing four marvelous miracles. He healed a woman with a blood disease, restored a young woman from death to life, caused two blind men to see and cast out a demon, re­storing speech to a dumb man. It is significant that, at the end of these demonstrations of authority, verse 35 informs us, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Once again, this shows that He was offering a kingdom in which there would be miraculous changes, with Jesus Himself as King; which message they rejected, but which is certain to come to pass “in the fulness of time!”

Power over Disease: A Woman Healed. 9:18-22

The Occasion: The request of the Ruler. 9:18-19

Matthew 9:18-19 “While he spoke these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler and worshiped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead, but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose and followed him, and so did his disciples.”

Immediately after the conversation with John’s disciples, a ruler came to Jesus on behalf of his daughter who had died. Matthew gives the shortest of the three Gospel accounts. From Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-56 these other facts are available:

  1. Jairus was the supervisor of synagogue worship (archon sunagoge Luke 8:41).
  2. His 12-year-old daughter was an only child (monogenes Luke 8:42).
  3. She was at the point of death when Jairus came (Mark 5:23) but while they were on the way, she died (Mark 5:35).

The Interruption: The Touching of Christ’s Tassel. 9:20-21

Matthew 9:20 “And behold, a woman, who had been diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment.”

This interruption on the way to Jairus’ house occurred suddenly, while the people were crowding and pressing against Jesus. It was a diseased woman who touched the tassel (kraspedon) of Jesus’ garment. The Jews were instructed in Deuteronomy 22:12 to make “fringes upon the four quarters of thy vestures wherewith thou coverest thyself” and “that they put upon the fringe a cord of blue” (Numbers 15:38). Various commentators say that this was the outer garment, a square piece of cloth which was flung over the shoulder and then extended down the back. This is the part of the garment she touched.

The woman’s disease is called haimorro-ousa, which is probably a form of hemorrhage, which made her “unclean” Leviticus 15:25, until it cleared up. Such ceremonial unclean­ness would have had severe social implications for this woman, including prohibition from synagogue services, and would even affect the marital relations if she was married. Twelve years (the time identical with the lifespan of Jairus’ daughter) was a long time for any disease, but for one so debilitating it would be extremely embarrassing, and costly as well. Mark and Luke reveal that it did indeed cost all that she had, at the hands of many physi­cians, and that the only result was that she got worse! It is no wonder that she jostled through the crowd and got close enough to Jesus so she could touch His robe, even though she knew she was unclean.

Matthew 9:21 “For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be well.”

Just why, and how she came to this faith is not revealed; perhaps she had followed Jesus and had seen Him perform healings on others, or had heard Him preach, and this had energized her faith. It came forth from “within herself,” and she was convinced that a touch of His garment would result in “I shall be well” (sothesomai). This verb, from sodzo very often is used of salvation, though here it definitely refers to physical healing. No doubt the healing confirmed her faith in Jesus as Savior as well.

The Restoration: The Curing of the Incurable. 9:22

Matthew 9:22 “But Jesus turned about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter. Be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee well. And the woman was made well from that hour.”

Details of how the woman’s touching the tassel was felt by Jesus, (showing His omni­science) and how the “power(dunamis) went out from Him (showing His omnipotence) are given in Mark and Luke. Jesus then singled out the woman and she “declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately” (Luke 8:47). Jesus spoke to her as He did to the paralytic in verse nine, “Daughter, be of good cheer,” and then the word sesoke (perfect tense of sodzo) indicating that her faith had healed her and that the healing was permanent! Finally, at the end of the verse the statement, “and she was healed (esothe, aorist tense) immedi­ately” indicates that the healing was complete. What a demonstration of the Deity and Messiahship of Jesus!

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