March 11

Text: Matthew 9:20-22

And behold, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, "If I only touch His garment, I shall get well."  But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." And at once the woman was made well. (NASB)

This woman had a faith that provided her enormous personal courage.  She had two strikes against her.  First strike, she was a woman in a society that had for centuries been a man’s world.  For her to be in a crowd where she would touch a man who was not her husband or relative was at least inappropriate.  Second strike, her physical condition made her “unclean” and her mere touch could spiritually defile others (see Numbers 5:2, 3; Leviticus 15:1-7).

Yet, she had enormous confidence in Jesus’ ability to destroy her problem.  She did not want to attract attention or have Jesus verify her worth.  All she wanted was touch his clothes!  She was not even desirous of a prominent touch!  All she wished to touch was his fringes on the hem behind him.  The fringes were the tassels spoken about in Numbers 15:38-40.   

Again, note a long-standing, significant problem did not defile Jesus, but Jesus destroyed the problem.  The magnitude of her problem did not exceed Jesus’ ability.  Her need was great and entrenched by 12 years of inability to end it.  However, Jesus addressed what nothing else addressed.

Second, note the basis of Jesus’ response was her willingness to trust him.  It was not the size of her problem but the size of her faith that impressed Jesus.  He responded to her trust, not her problem.

Third, note the fact that her faith moved her to act courageously.  She did not say, “After 12 years, what is the use!”  She did not say, “I will never get through all those people around him!”  She did not say, “I need to stop fooling myself—who do I think I am?”  She said, “He can end my problem!”  Because she trusted Jesus, she acted though the circumstances were extremely difficult!

Remember our faith must not be determined by the size of our problem but by the size of Jesus’ ability.

Suggestion for reflection: Think about your faith actions.  (Read Ephesians 3:14-21.)

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