Matthew 9:18-26 (ESV)
A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed
18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district.
“Your faith has saved you” (Matthew 9:22).
You’ve probably watched Olympic figure skating before, but you may not know how complicated the judging is. The judges use instant replay to decide on a technical score for each element of a skater’s routine such as jumps or spins. Then they use a component score for factors such as skating skills, choreography, and transitions. For each segment of a routine, the technical score is added to the component score, and a computer selects scores from the judges to get a total score. That’s a lot of scoring and calculating, isn’t it?
Some of us may think that Jesus is like one of these judges. We imagine that he is keeping score of the official with the sick daughter and the woman with the hemorrhage. He must have looked at how much faith they had and decided to give them a passing grade – to hear their prayer and intervene in their lives.
But look at the way Matthew tells the story. He doesn’t give any indication that these two had any more faith than anyone else. Of course, they believed that he would help them. But so did many of in the crowd. What was different about these two people was their determination to get right in front of – or behind – Jesus. The official interrupted Jesus while he was speaking to a crowd. And the woman pushed through all those people to touch Jesus’ cloak. Notice too that when they got to him, Jesus didn’t subject them to any scrutiny. He responded with love, just as he responds to anyone who comes to him with even a mustard seed of faith.
Isn’t this great news? What counts with Jesus is that we come to him. It’s true that we must believe that he can and will reward those who seek him. But it’s okay if you are feeling lost, scared, broken, or not in the right frame of mind. Simply trust Jesus and push through your doubt so that you can encounter him. He may not give you a spectacular healing, but he will give himself to you – his faith, his compassion, his mercy. And that’s more than enough to see you through any challenge!
Lord, I’m not asking for perfect faith – just faith! Help me to find the courage to come to you. Today I will trust you in everything, known and unknown! Amen.