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.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment. When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up (Matthew 9:18–25).
Utterly desperate, a leader in the synagogue approaches Jesus for help because his daughter has died. Jesus agrees to go to his house, and as they do so a woman touches the hem of Jesus’ cloak, believing that her nonstop bleeding will stop. Jesus responds with compassion: the woman is healed; the girl was only asleep.
Both situations were desperate. Jarius has tried everything but his daughter still died. But he holds out hope that this miracle man can save her. So too the woman who has been bleeding for a dozen years. That’s twelve years of being an outcast from her community, for the bleeding made her unclean. She had tried every type of medical cure available, to no avail.
Jesus has compassion on those at the margins of society. He doesn’t penalize them for coming to him as a last resort but responds quickly and powerfully. His actions signal a new kingdom, one in which grace upon grace is poured on God’s children – all of God’s children, whether women, little girls, the blind or leprous, or the elite of society. May we enter into this grace this day.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to see those who might feel ostracized or lonely, and let me be your agent of love and grace.