Slightly Obsessed #166 "Take Courage" by Pamela Thorson on 2016-11-30 09:32:35
Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48
“Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” - Matthew 9:22
The twelve-year-old daughter of an important synagogue ruler named Jairus was dying. Jairus entreated Jesus to come and heal her. As Jesus walked to the man’s house, the crowds pressed against him on every side. The word used in the Scriptures here for “pressed” is more literally translated “choked.” The people who needed healing were so desperate they were nearly choking Jesus in their eagerness to get His attention.
In the crowd was a woman who, ironically, had been ill with a bloody hemorrhage the entire twelve years Jairus’ daughter had been alive. More than mere inconvenience, a discharge of this length of time had surely made her weak and sickly. She would have also been ritually unclean and unable to enter the Temple to worship the Lord. According to Levitical law (Leviticus 15:25-27) anything she sat on or lay on was unclean, and anyone who touched her would also be unclean.
Desperate to be well, she had tried many physicians, who had only made her worse and had taken all her money.
On the day she encountered Jesus on the way to the house of Jairus, this woman was completely broken. She was not only sick, she was an outcast and destitute.
Then she found Jesus.
Israelites were instructed in Deuteronomy 22:12 to make tassels, or “tzitziyot,” and sew them into the corners of their garments. Numbers 15:38-40 explained the purpose of these tassels:
“To look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes…so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.”
In Jesus’ day, the tassels were sewn into the corners of their prayer shawls. They represented the authority of God and His holiness. She knew that touching Jesus would make Him unclean under Levitical law. We are told that she reasoned that if she only touched the fringe or tassels on His outer garment, she would be made whole.
The crowd around her pressed against Jesus with their demands, unmoved by the majesty before them, interested only in what they could get from Him. She alone, the unclean outcast, reached out to touch the symbol of God’s holiness and authority for her healing.
She was immediately and completely healed at that moment.
Jesus did not see her touch His garment, but He felt power flow from Him. He did not chastise her for touching Him, for she could not possibly make the Lamb unclean. Instead, He called her “daughter” and sent her on her way restored.
Jairus entreated Jesus. The sick woman merely touched the tassels on His shawl. Both reached Jesus, although many pressed around Him. What a poignant message it sends about our attitudes toward the Lord. May we always remember that we can’t simply choke God with our demands and expect His response. He requires that we remember His majesty and reach for His holiness and authority over our lives, entreating Him in our prayers with reverence.
It is when we seek Jesus for who He is and not merely for what He can do for us, that we reach Him. Even today, Jesus’ words speak above our desperation with the words we long to hear: “Take courage, your faith has made you well.”
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
In the gray dawn of another day, I am spent. I can pray no more. There are no more words I can say, no entreaty with which to reach my Master. As the night shadows fade before the rising sun, I open my Bible. In the space between darkness and light, I need to hear His voice.
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