by Molly Audiss
Matthew 9:20-22 “And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.”
Each of us probably has a Bible story that intrigues us the most-that causes us to ponder it and try hard to comprehend it each time we read it. The account of the woman who was healed of an issue of blood is that story to me. I am always amazed by this account. It is mentioned three times in the Gospels (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48). The fact that is so amazing to me each time I read it, is that this woman seems to feel too insignificant to speak with Christ, so she comes up with this plan to come behind Him, and simply touch the hem of His robe. Her faith in Jesus made her feel confident that this act would suffice in bringing her healing. She was right; she was healed as soon as she touched His garment. That in itself is a wonderful miracle; but the notion that Jesus is so willing to answer the prayers of those who believe, that He even allows the individuals to “come up” with the way they get their prayers answered- that is awesome to me.
Jesus heals many people in the Gospels, and in many different ways. When the ruler Jairus came to Jesus, he asked Christ to come with him and lay His hand on his dying daughter. Jesus did so and raised her from the dead. When a centurion asked for healing for his servant, he did not require the Lord to come home with him, but to simply speak the word, and his servant would be healed. Jesus healed all these people, and He did it the way He was asked to do it by each individual. All through the Bible we read of God answering prayers made by a huge variety of people. The seemingly demanding prayers of Moses, the bold prayers of Elijah, the passionate, intimate prayers of David, the humble prayers of Solomon, the desperate prayers of Hezekiah, and on and on. The Lord even answers the prayers of wicked men such as Nebuchadnezzar and Manassas.
Probably the most fantastic event of Jesus agreeing to a request is when He cast the demons out of the man from Gadera (Mark 5:8-14). The unclean spirits asked to go into a herd of 2,000 swine. Jesus said yes! They went into the swine and drove the pigs off a cliff into the water and they were drowned. Amazing.
Amazing because the God of the Universe creates the human race. The human race sins and turns away from God. God loves these people so much that He sends His only Son to the Cross to die for them and bring them back to Him. If that is not enough, He listens to their prayers and answers those prayers. He even allows for the vast array of different personalities to come to Him, by faith, and, make requests in their own way. He is there for anyone and everyone who simply has enough faith in Him to believe that He is God. What a loving Heavenly Father!
The application is this-What conditions do we put on others before we will help them? Are we willing, like Christ, to meet people at their need; or do we put certain stipulations on people before they are “worthy” of our attention? Jesus answered the prayers of so many different types of people-from rulers to beggars- simply because they asked. Can we say that we are that compassionate? I know I want to be.
In working with people, we will not always be praised for our help. Our efforts will oftentimes go unnoticed by others. Many times there will not be any thanks given. Sometimes we will be disdained by the same people we help. Why are we helping others? For glory, for thanks? Or, do we help others because it pleases God and it is the right thing to do? Do we help the down-and-out as quickly as we run to the aid of the person with authority or position? Can we meet people where they are, or do they need to display enough gratitude and appreciation to deserve our time?
Someone once said, “there is no limit to how far a person can go if he does not care who gets the credit.”
Christ’s ministry on earth was one of mingling among the outcasts, the poor, the undesirable people of the community. He healed and helped mainly on a one-to-one basis. One person at a time received sight, hearing, healing, life. He made the time for individuals who could do nothing for Him.
I find the account of the thief on the cross three times in the Gospels. In Luke 23:39-43, one of the two thieves being crucified with Christ asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Right then and there the Lord saved that man. The interesting fact is, in Matthew 27:44 and in Mark 15:32, the Bible tells us that both of the thieves rebuked and reviled Christ along with those on the ground who were mocking Him. Therefore, after he had mocked Christ, the one thief had a change of heart and asked for salvation. Without any scolding, Jesus promised that man that he would be with Him that day in paradise. What a Saviour!
If the perfect Son of God could come to the aid of sinful man (you and me), over and over again, and answer his prayers, couldn’t we find a way to go to others in need and meet those needs, no matter what we get in return? Surely this is the example Christ left for us to follow. Let’s live for others!