As Jesus was saying this [about old and new cloth and wineskins], the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before him. "My daughter has just died," he said, "but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her."
So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, "If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed."
Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, "Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was healed at that moment.
— Matthew 9:18-22 NLT
Two powerful realizations are driven home by this story of the desperate woman, who is an outcast because of her condition:
- Even though her outward circumstances and personal demeanor are the opposite of the synagogue ruler with whom she shares the story, their core issue is the same: Faith that Jesus can deliver them from their desperate concerns. They both act in bold ways to find that deliverance.
- In both stories, even though there is a huge crowd pressing on Jesus, he ministers personally and specifically to the needs of the individuals.
What so powerfully sets Jesus apart from healing charlatans is that he does not use these events to focus on himself, but to personally minister to the needs of the people involved. These stories remind us again of how powerful it is that God would become human flesh to minister to us — personally!
Holy Father, thank you for your love and compassion in sending Jesus. I find it both awe inspiring and assuring to know that you walked among people and ministered to them personally, as well as to spectacularly, in Jesus. Thank you for reminding me that every human need, every desperate struggle, is known to you and agonized over by you. In Jesus' name, I praise and thank you for this grace. Amen.