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Matthew 9:18-26 – A Woman with a Hemorrhage Healed; a Young Girl Raised from the Dead

Summary

Jesus' power to heal in response to faith is illustrated when a woman from the crowd is healed by simply touching the fringe of his robe. Jesus raises the daughter of a synagogue leader from the dead.

Analysis

This miracle story, like its model in Mark, is actually two stories which have been sandwiched together, with the story of the healing of the woman with a hemorrhage surrounded by the two parts of the story of the raising of the daughter of a synagogue ruler. In Matthew's arrangement this story stands as the first member of the third set of miracles stories in chapters 8 and 9 (see comments on 8:23-27).

Matthew has essentially retained this story in the same version as Mark, perhaps because the themes of Jesus as healing "Savior" (three times in 9:21-22; the word translated "made well" is actually the same word as "save" in the original Greek), "faith" (9:22), and Jesus' power to heal even death (9:25) fit so well with Matthean themes. Matthew has, however, edited the story in a way that would seem to indicate some concern about the picture of Jesus and the disciples presented by the story in Mark. First, whereas in Mark's story the fact that the ruler's daughter is only seriously ill might raise questions about Jesus' seeming delay in coming to her aid, in Matthew's story the ruler pleads on behalf of a daughter who is already dead. The hint of reproof of Jesus in the disciples' response to Jesus' question "Who touched me?" (Mark 5:31) is erased by its removal from the story. The result is that the two stories focus ever more clearly on Jesus' power in the two miracles themselves-the healing of the woman and the raising of the young woman from the dead-and the faith in Jesus as Savior that accompanies them.

Matthew 9:18-26

A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed

18 While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue* came in and knelt before him, saying, ‘My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.’ 19And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. 20Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, 21for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.’ 22Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well. 23When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute-players and the crowd making a commotion, 24he said, ‘Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. 25But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. 26And the report of this spread throughout that district.

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