Matthew 9, again, verses 18-30.
A ruler whose daughter has just died approaches Jesus and pleads for him to lay his hands on her so that she may live again. A woman who has been hemoraging for 12 years approaches Jesus. She just needs to lay her hands on him, so that she may live. Two blind men who have been following Jesus call out for mercy. They believe.
Death has entered a house. Despair has driven a woman. Belief has cried out for mercy.
Jarius, the ruler (we get his name in Mark 5), comes in and interrupts the dinner and teachings Jesus is having with Matthew and the Pharisees and the tax collectors and sinners and . . . me.
The woman tries to not interrupt him. She tries to be secretive; she tries to hide. Her approach is not to call out to him, not to gain his attention, not to see him face to face. I . . . I just want to touch his cloak.
The blind men are in pursuit of Jesus. They have been following Jesus to cry out to him. They seem to have been able to see more about who Jesus is then those we mentioned last week who hear and see. They call out to the Son of David for mercy. And Jesus asks. . . me, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
Jesus is interrupted. Jesus is secretly sought. Jesus is pursued. And in return His healing is overwhelming, His resurrecting is never ending, and his pursuit is reckless.
So, I ask for resurrection, I seek restoration. I cry out for renewal. “Yes, Lord.”
In the story telling Matthew actually finishes the woman’s encounter first. Her story actually INTERRUPTS Jarius’ story. Jesus is on his way to the daughter who lies lifeless in her own house, when the woman makes her way through the crowd, just to lay a hand on His garment. She believes that Jesus is able to do this. Her shame and desperation have lied to her about her worth so she tries not to interrupt Jesus (Mark 5 shares a little more intimately her story). She tries to hide and be healed. But Jesus sees her. Jesus acknowledges her desperation with the words, “Take Heart.” Jesus heals her with the words, “Your faith has made you well.” She is restored. No longer unclean. It is well. Without pausing, Matthew describes Jesus near the ruler’s house. After a few words to those around, he enters the house and lays his hand in the dead girl’s hand and “the girl arose.” Before Jarius was even in the presence of Jesus he believed that Jesus was able to do this. It is well. The blind men proclaim, “Yes, Lord.” They are the only ones who are actually asked the question from Jesus. But I don’t think it is a question just addressed to them. It is as if the question had been on the hearts of them all, even the paralytic at the beginning of the chapter. “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Jesus then touches the blind men’s eyes and according to their faith their eyes were opened. It is Well.
We are all lead to an encounter with Jesus. We are all seen in the crowd and given restoration. We are hand in hand with Him experiencing resurrection, being made alive in Christ as Ephesians 2 would say it. We are pursued for renewal. Overwhelming, never ending, reckless.
May you listen to Reckless Love by Cory Abury.
And as you worship:
May you live in all things reflecting Christ to this world Restoration. Resurrection. Renewal.
May you live with eyes open knowing that Jesus is able to do this.
May you experience His healing that is overwhelming, His life that is never ending, and reckless pursuit in love.
Written by: John Kimberlin, Youth and Family Minister