Blogging With Saint Matthew: O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.

Matthew 9

I am always emotionally overwhelmed when I read these accounts of healing. They tell of some sad and hurting people go through great pains to reach Jesus. And He delighted to heal them all. The one that really gets to me is the woman with the issue of blood. She was a pariah. This poor unfortunate was apparently suffering from a flow of blood, possibly a constant menstrual flow. The Law of Moses taught that women were unclean during the time they had their period (Lev. 15:19-33). In addition, everything and every person they touched or touched them was also unclean. Consequently a woman such as this was constantly unclean. We can then reasonably assume that she was a social outcast, unmarried, rejected by her family, with few if any friends. She could not even go into the synagogue and certainly not the Temple of God. She was in a dilemma for she was unclean but could offer no sacrifice to atone for her condition if that were even possible.

This woman must have endured extreme emotional distress, depression, loneliness and despair. Jesus was a ray of hope in her dark existence. She risked further emotional injury and pain to go and see Him. In a crowd she could well remain hidden but if anyone recognized her it would be her downfall. Everyone in that crowd would know they were unclean and would have scorned her for putting them in such a position. But that small ray of hope coupled with the heavy load of despair she carried gave her faith and Jesus rewarded her. Her uncleanness was taken away by the awesome power of His lovingkindness. Imagine the intense and ecstatic joy she must have experienced at this great transformation.

We sinners are all just like that woman, unclean and unable to do anything to change our situation. When we discover the grace and mercy of God in Christ Jesus we realize the same ecstatic joy as she must have felt. We who are unclean, sinful and hopeless find forgiveness in Jesus no matter what sins we bear. This then is the message we must tell other sinners of: there is mercy for any sin. Thus we must bring them to the Lord and not reject them.


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