Theme of the Week: The Gospel of Matthew – King Jesus
Bible Verse: While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt 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. Matthew 9:18-19
Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:18-34
Disappointment is a tough pill to swallow. Sometimes even small expectations can leave us with a bitter taste. We don’t realize how much we want or are counting on something until the floor collapses under our feet. A new job, a particular gift for a special day, or even a kind word about something we thought our loved one would whisper our way. Disappointment can be ugly. It’s why deep and unshakable faith is an incredible thing to witness.
Jairus (we know his name from how Mark tells this story) comes to Jesus with a request. And it is a whopper. According to Matthew, Jairus knows his daughter is dead, and he comes to ask Jesus to bring her back to life. The way he phrases his request shows the most incredible faith. There’s no doubt in his appeal and no hesitation. “Put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jairus believed that Jesus had the power of life and death in his hands.
As if that’s not enough, Matthew records an interruption to Jesus’s journey to Jairus’s house. A woman, who reaches out to Jesus with the same confidence Jairus had, touched the edge of His cloak because she knew that coming into contact with Jesus would end her suffering.
They were both right. The woman was healed the moment she touched His cloak, and Jesus went and “woke up” the sleeping little girl. These are just two of the many stories in Matthew that show Jesus had authority over the physical. He held life in His hands because He was the creator. He was “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Disease, infirmity, and even death itself did His bidding. He did not even have to be present to command and control the health and well-being of those who came to Him (see Matthew 8 and Mark 7 for stories of healing at a distance).
We find the power of life and death in Jesus’s nail-pierced and scarred hands. He is God. We know that we live, move, and have our being in Him. We rightly bring our requests to Him as Jairus did so long ago, asking Him to heal our diseases and take up our infirmities (see Matthew 8:17 cf. Isaiah 53:4). Jesus has the power and the authority over our physical lives. How do you show that you trust Him?
Prayer: Jesus, I know you have the power to heal and make whole. I know that sometimes your ways and purposes are not what they were when you walked this earth. Please help me understand that in your wisdom and plan, your healing of me or others is for your own purpose. Thank you for the stories of your compassion and work that give me hope in your great power. Amen.
Reflection: What infirmity have you asked Jesus to heal? How has He answered? How has your faith been impacted by that answer?
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