Listen: Matthew 9:18-22: While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
What tremendous faith we see on the part of the synagogue leader and the women who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. There is one thing that both stories have in common. Touching a dead girl would have made Jesus ceremonially unclean, and so would touching a woman who had an issue of blood. In both cases, Jesus cared enough for their sad circumstances to do something about it. Another comparison between the two stories is this. The synagogue leader asked Jesus to heal his daughter, and Jesus called the woman who touched his cloak “daughter.”
More and more in our culture we are becoming isolated from the people around us. Almost everyone is a stranger unless they are part of your family or inner circle of friends. We care little about the people who work alongside of us other than the fact that they are doing our job and we are doing ours. Neighbors across the street or a few doors down we hardly know at all. So if there is a funeral in their family or a sickness, we will probably never find out, because we didn’t take the time to get to know them.
Jesus really cared about people in the circumstances of their lives, just as he cares about us in the circumstances of our lives. He cares if someone died, and if someone is sick or alone. He is a true Friend in every need. We are blessed to have such a Friend in Jesus. Honor him and be a friend to your neighbors, too.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you were and are a true Friend to all in need. And there is no greater love than this, that you laid down your life for us! Teach me to be a friend in need to those around me. Keep me from being cloistered in my house or circling the wagon with my friends so that I don’t see those who pass me by as my neighbor as well. I ask this in your name. Amen.
Listen: Matthew 9:22-26: 23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.26 News of this spread through all that region.
It seems that funerals in Jesus’ day were quite the noisy ordeal complete with professional mourners and instruments. What is interesting is that Jesus did not play to that crowd. In fact, they laughed at him when he said that she was only asleep. Only after the crowd had been sent out did Jesus go in and raise the girl from the dead.
Critics suggest that perhaps she was only in a coma or something like that. Have you ever held the hand of someone who had died? I have. Within an hour the heat leaves the body and you know that the person has died. Jesus really raised this girl from the dead, just has he really rose from the dead as well.
“She’s only sleeping.” We can say the same thing about the person whom we love who has died, can’t we? They are only sleeping until the last day, when Jesus comes and raises the dead, when he will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Death loses it’s terrible sting in light of the resurrection, doesn’t it?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me confidence and hope in the face of death. I have confidence that when you come, I will be raised first in the resurrection of those who believe you. I have hope that my body will come forth from the grave in its glorious state, that you will wipe away every tear from my eyes, that you will take away every infirmity of body or spirit. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
马太福音 9:27-34: 神迹
Listen: Matthew 9:27-34: 27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region. 32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
Why did Jesus want his miracles to be kept private? You would think that he would want the publicity to reach out to more people. I think it was for two reasons. The more people looked for miracles from Jesus, the more they misunderstood his purpose. They looked for a “bread king,” someone who could provide all their needs and take away all their struggles in this life. The miracles actually became a hindrance to his teaching ministry so that he had to take his disciples off alone and away from the crowds. If you think that Jesus came to take away all your struggles in life, you will be disappointed in him, as many in Israel were in the last year of his ministry.
And then there was the reaction of the Pharisees to his miracles. It enraged them. They saw Jesus as a rival to their position of power and importance among the people. When he raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11, the leaders of the Jews said, “Now he’s done it!” and began to arrange for his arrest and death. Jesus wasn’t going to let his enemies orchestrate his death until he was ready to go to the cross.
What do we get out of this story? We can ask Jesus to heal us of our infirmities. We can even ask for miracles, if we pray according to his will. But there is only one miracles that we really need, and that his his resurrection from the grave on the third day. The miracle of our salvation is enough to sustain us in this life until we reach heaven.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, fill my heart with joy in what I have in you, lest I become disappointed with the troubles and failures of this life. Whom have I in heaven but you? Earth has nothing I desire besides you. My strength and my heart may fail, but you are my Strength and my Portion forever. Amen.