“But Jesus, turning and seeing her, said, ‘Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.’ And at once the woman was made well.” – Matthew 9:22
A woman has touched the edge of Jesus’ cloak or, perhaps, the tassels dangling from the corners of it. For 12 years, this woman has suffered with a disease that caused an ongoing “discharge of blood” that may have been menstrual in nature. She had exhausted her resources trying to get help from doctors, but the symptoms only got worse. When she heard about Jesus miraculously healing so many people, she planned to touch His garment. She believed that would heal her (Matthew 9:20–21).
Matthew now reports that even in the crush of bodies around Him, Jesus noticed when this woman touched His cloak. He turns and calls her daughter, telling her to “take heart,” using the same Greek term spoken to the paralyzed man (Matthew 9:2), as well as to the disciples when He encouraged them in the face of persecution (John 16:33). Jesus credits her faith as the trigger for her healing: In an instant, she was healed.
Once again, Matthew condenses the story while Mark and Luke add details. Jesus asks who touched Him. Peter is confused by the question and points out that Jesus is surrounded by people who are pushing in on Him. Who isn’t touching Him? Jesus clarifies His question, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me” (Luke 8:46).
The woman realizes that she will be found out and decides to come forward, trembling. She falls down before Jesus and describes what she has done and why. She finishes by saying that she has been healed (Luke 8:47).
Jesus tells the woman her faith has made her well. He is not saying that her faith, by its own power, has made her well. The power to heal her came out of Him. He felt it. Her faith, though, compelled her to turn to Jesus for help, to believe that touching His cloak could heal her. Then His power proved that her faith in Him was right. Her faith healed her in the same way that swallowing medicine “heals” a disease—neither the person, nor their power, is responsible. All they can do is access the power of someone or something else.
Her faith has made her well. What an incredible example this woman is to all of us. Not even getting to the healing part of it…..just the faith. Just her faith, her sheer willpower and desire to find Jesus, fight for Jesus, believe that Jesus could make her well. It’s absolutely mesmerizing and stunning….