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Matthew: Heals the Sick and Raise the Dead

Jesus has conquered death. ‘Death, your power to hurt has ended’ (Hosea 13:14 and 1 Corinthians 15:55) We now have freedom over death because of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Matthew 9:18–26

18 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.

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.

Jesus healed someone who was nearly dead. He brought back to life someone who was dead. Jesus has defeated death.

Another series of miracles began here. First, Jesus healed two people. There was a woman who had been ill for many years. Second, there was a sick girl. (Read verses 18–26.) These were great miracles. They help us to understand about Jesus’ kingdom.

There was a reason why Matthew included these stories. Maybe, he was thinking about Isaiah 35:4–6. Their illness was a sign. Death was a sign too. These things showed the state of certain men and women. It was about all those who were outside of God’s kingdom. Salvation had a special meaning too. Those who had salvation were part of God’s kingdom.

A ‘ruler’ or ‘elder’ came to Jesus. His name was Jairus. A group of ‘elders’ ruled a synagogue. (This was the Jews’ special building in which they worshipped God.) They were responsible for its daily management. They must also keep order in the meetings. These rulers were usually enemies of Jesus. But Jairus was different. Maybe he was just desperate. His little girl was dying. But he was probably a secret disciple. He came and worshiped Jesus. (Read 2:11.) He believed that Jesus could bring his daughter back to life. This was the first record of a miracle like this.

Jesus said immediately that he would go with Jairus. (Read verse 19.) But something happened on his way to Jairus’ home. A woman had been losing blood for 12 years. In the Old Testament, blood was the source of life. The woman would be ‘dirty’. People must not touch her. If they did, they would be ‘dirty’ too. Then they would not be able to take part in religious ceremonies either. This was probably why she came to Jesus in secret.

The woman thought that Jesus’ power was a sort of magic. She must just touch him. Then she would be well. It was not necessary for Jesus even to know about it. But Jesus knew her need. He healed her. Then He told her that it was trust, not magic, that had healed her. (Read verse 22.)

This woman was like the man in verses 1–9. Her illness made her aware of her sin. Jesus told the woman that He had saved (or healed) her. He comforted her when He called her ‘daughter’. (Compare 9:2.) Now Jesus had healed her completely.

Jesus emphasized her faith. He did this for three reasons.

1. Give her a reward. She expected Him to heal her. She expected it to happen immediately. She expected Him to heal her completely.

2. Show that He was dealing with her personally. She had personal trust in Him. And that was what healed her.

3. Encourage her. He wanted her to take part in the religious life again. He wanted her to join with God’s people.

Jesus then went on to Jairus’ house. There was much noise. This was usual for a funeral in ancient Israel. (Read verse 23.) Jesus stopped the noise with some words. ‘The girl is not dead. She is asleep’, He said. [Note: He said this about Lazarus too. (Read John 11, especially verse 11.) Yet, Lazarus had been dead for 4 days!] Maybe Jesus was emphasizing that death would not ‘win’. The people laughed at Jesus (verse 24). But Jesus did bring the little girl (and Lazarus) back to life again. This was something that only God could do. And, of course, everyone would hear the news.

God would save men and women from sin’s results. They could then enjoy God’s new heaven and new earth. (Compare Revelation 21:1–4) We still wait for this to happen. But Jesus has the power. He showed that He could make it all happen.

Questions

1. Do we have confidence in what Jesus can do? Or do we have confidence in our prayer? We prayed for it. So something must happen. Discuss examples and experiences. (Read Hebrews 11 too.)

2. This passage records some wonderful events. Would the same things convince non-believers (non-Christians) today that God is real? Should we expect such things to happen? Think of some examples.

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