In Matthew 9:18-26 we find the testimony of two people who have the courage to approach Jesus for help. Here is how He responds.
While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
“My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
“Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.”
And from that hour the woman was cured.
When Jesus arrived at the official’s house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.”
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.
We just moved and in the chaos and angst of this time, I pondered this reading, which I had read ahead of time so I wouldn’t get behind. And as always, reading the words of our Lord gave me spiritual sustenance to get through the difficult days of the move.
“Courage!” Jesus assures us. “Your faith has saved you.” He is telling us to have courage, whatever the affliction. Whether it is of the body or the mind or the spirit. God is there for us, and even though we may think he isn’t watching us, just as with this woman who came up from behind Him, Jesus sensed her and responded to her needs, and so He will to us. This woman expressed her desire to be cured, and that’s what we need to do, too. Let God know what we need and that we have faith that He will reach back to us.
There is a second story here, another one about someone reaching out to Jesus in faith. It’s an “official.” It doesn’t say an official of what or from where. Was he local or Roman? In any case, he was someone of power, and most people of power weren’t fans of Jesus the Christ. And he came to Jesus because his daughter had died. In faith, the man asked Jesus to lay His hand on his daughter, believing she would then come back to life. Jesus faced the ridicule of the crowds when He got to the man’s house, but He proceeded anyway and brought her back to life. Who knows what kind of ridicule the man had received when he left his home to seek Jesus’ help — it took courage to do so.
Courage. “Courage!” Don’t cower in fear but be strengthened by your faith in God, who hears all of our prayers. God loves all of His children, even the greatest sinner or the most reluctant saint, and God responds to us when we pray in faith. “Your faith has saved you.”