The Power of Faith

Matthew 9:18-26
Gen 28:10-22a / Ps 91:1-4,14-15

“Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.”
(Matthew 9:22)

The little girl was already dead,
But her father’s faith made her live.
Always remember what Jesus said:
“When you believe you will receive.”

While Jesus was speaking to them, an official of the synagogue came up to Him, bowed 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 ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 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. News of this spread through all that region. (Matthew 9:18-26)

Reflection

A person of weaker character would have despaired. But to a person of faith, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation. The woman behind Jesus had suffered her hemorrhage for 12 long years, and her resources had all been spent on various doctors who were unable to cure her malady (Luke 9:43), but she held on to the hope that one day she would be healed. That hope was fulfilled one day when she learned that Jesus was passing by that place. She resolved to brave the crowd even in her weakened state, believing that “If only I can touch His cloak, I shall be cured.” For her faith and brave spirit, Jesus granted her desire, and she was healed. Jesus told her, “Take heart, your faith has healed you.”

The same spirit of faith drove the synagogue leader to seek Jesus, believing that He could raise his daughter back to life. “Come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Those words of confident faith were enough to make Jesus proceed immediately to his house to grant the man’s plea. In the gospel versions of Mark and Luke, where the officials’s daughter had just died, and he was informed about it, Jesus told him, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” The gospel accounts of Mark and Luke differ from Matthew, as they both relate that the synagogue ruler’s daughter was at the point of death at the time when he sought Jesus’ help (Mk.5:23, Lk.8:42).

Jesus could not not perform His miracles in the midst of people who lacked faith. This was probably the reason why the crowd who had mocked and laughed at Him “had been put outside” before He raised the dead girl back to life.

Many have been healed miraculously from various afflictions and disease because of their strong faith in God. But more important than the healing of their bodies, their souls have been saved. Again we note that the Gospel accounts of Mark and Luke differ from that of Matthew in this regard, when Jesus told the woman healed of her hemorrhage: “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Mk.5:34, Lk.8:48) It is when we have been healed in both body and spirit that we can truly live in peace.

How gracious and merciful You are to us, O God, for You not only heal our bodies and free us from the torments of our disease, but more importantly, You save us by increasing our faith in You and your Beloved Son, our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your gifts of faith, healing and peace. Amen.

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