Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –
I pray that as this email reaches you on a Monday (or whenever), you are finding some rest and recovery after a weekend of serving God, His people, and a needy world.
Today I have a brief thought for you from a familiar passage, Matthew 9:20-22 which tells the story of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed. Here is the text:
And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you have preached a pretty good sermon on this passage. After all, it is a great story, and it has a powerful application. I just want to point out one thing: the compassion of Jesus to the woman, despite her superstitions.
The woman of Matthew 9 had her own reasons for secrecy, but basically she wanted to “steal” or “sneak” a blessing from Jesus without attracting any attention to herself. She reached out to touch the fringe of Jesus’ outer garment and believed that touch would bring her healing.
The way I see it, there was a lot of superstition in this woman’s thinking. To the best of our knowledge, there was no promise or pattern that touching the garment of Jesus would bring healing.
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.
We read the wonderful words: the woman was made well. Her faith, though imperfect, was enough to receive what Jesus wanted to give her. Her 12-year disease was immediately cured.
Friend, I am sure that you deal with many people with weak or superstitious faith. Maybe that is frustrating to you. If so, I understand! Yet, Jesus didn’t despise this woman, even with her weak and imperfect faith.
I’m praying that God gives to everyone who reads this an extra measure of patience and compassion for the weaker, superstitious ones that we deal with. When we serve others with the heart and strength of Jesus, we will find that extra measure.
Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik