Jesus StoppedApril 9th, 2012 by Lauren Lombard
Jesus was busy. Fame of the miracles He had performed had spread throughout the land and the crowds had grown larger and pressed in wherever He went. As Jesus was teaching, an important man, one of the rulers of the synagogue, interrupted Him and pleaded that Jesus come and heal his daughter who was at that moment on her deathbed.
Matthew 9:19 says: “Jesus arose and followed him.” While they were on their way to the ruler’s house, a woman reaches out and touches the hem of Jesus’ garment. Perhaps this woman didn’t want to bother Jesus, maybe she didn’t think He had time for her, all we know is that Matthew recorded that she thought to herself: “If I may but touch His garment, I will be made well” (Matthew 9:21). She reaches out and her fingers graze the edge of His garment as He passes by.
The ruler, the disciples, and a multitude of people are all at a standstill wondering why Jesus has stopped. Why is He not in more of a hurry?
Mark 5 records that Jesus asks an unbelievable question: “Who touched me?” The disciples are confused because they know that hundreds of people are pressing about Him. But one woman in the crowd knows that it is she Jesus is speaking to, it is she who has been healed in one marvelous brush with the Savoir of the world.
Jesus turns to a trembling woman who is now at His feet. The story of the past twelve years of sickness spills out. How she has been to doctor after doctor, but has continued to get worse and has spent all she has. She felt that if she could but touch Him…
Jesus looks with such great love and compassion and says: “Daughter”. Ah! What must that have sounded like? He said: “Daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole” (Matthew 9: 22).
The story doesn’t end there however; Jesus was still on His way to heal a dying little girl. When Jesus arrives at the ruler’s house, there is a great noise of mourners. Yet Jesus doesn’t pay any heed to them and says yet another astonishing thing: “The girl is not dead, only sleeping” (Matthew 9:24).
Who is this guy? Obviously the girl is dead. Right? The people laugh and ridicule Him. Jesus has the people put outside and He goes in and takes the girl by the hand and she gets up! What an intimate moment when the Creator of the Universe reaches down and takes a little girl by the hand.
What really impresses me as I read over the miracles that Jesus performed is how much He uses touch. While He was fully capable of just speaking things into existence as He sometimes did, there was something significant about touch. Sometimes it was people reaching out to Him like the woman who had been sick for 12 years. Sometimes it was Jesus laying his hands on children, blind men, and the sick. Jesus is a personal God who understands our need to be touched, to be loved, to be held.
As we look at these different miracles, it is interesting to note their differences and similarities. It seems that Jesus is using every opportunity to break down social stigmas and reveal Who He is.
How often do we think that Jesus has no time for us? I know I have marveled at the concept that millions of people can pray at the exact same time and yet each of them are heard and answered! Jesus still stops, gives us His full attention, and calls us His children. Are we reaching out in faith?