Matthew 9:20-22. And, behold, a woman which was diseased According to the circumstances of her disease, as mentioned by Mark and Luke, it was incurable by any human power, and she herself knew it to be so, having been afflicted with it for twelve years, and tried the skill of many physicians, probably of all that were of note in the country; and having spent all that she had upon them, and yet could not be healed by any, nay, nor relieved in any measure; for, after all their endeavours to remove her complaint, she was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. But having heard of Jesus, and the wonderful cures which he had wrought, she believed that his power was sufficient to heal her also. Being ashamed, however, publicly to mention her case, and learning that many had before been healed by touching him, she, out of bashfulness and humility, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment The woman’s distemper being of such a nature as to render those unclean whom she touched, perhaps she durst not lay her hand on the person of so great a prophet, nor touch any part of his garment but its hem; to touch which, however, she believed was sufficient to effect the cure. For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole Thus showing, as well the strength of her faith, as the greatness of her humility; and straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up, namely, by the invisible power which Christ secretly exerted, for he well knew both what was passing in her mind, and what she did. And Jesus turned him about, &c. It was necessary that the ministry of the Son of God should be rendered illustrious by all kinds of miracles, and that the whole people of the country where he lived should have the highest idea and the firmest persuasion of his power. And it was for advancing these great ends, that the success of this woman’s attempt equalled the faith by which she was influenced. And for the same reasons, Jesus would by no means allow her faith to remain unnoticed and unapplauded. Therefore, immediately turning about in the crowd, he asked, says St. Mark, Who touched my clothes? This he did, that the woman might be brought to make a confession of the whole matter; that the power of her faith, and the greatness of the cure, might be made manifest, to the glory of God and for the instruction of others; and he might have an occasion given him of encouraging and comforting her, that she might persevere in the exercise of similar humility and faith, during the rest of her life. And when he saw her When, in consequence of his making this inquiry, she came forward toward him, and confessed what she had done, he said, in a most gentle and condescending manner, Daughter, be of good comfort Gr. θαρσει , take courage: thy faith hath made thee whole Thou hast received a cure through thy faith in my power and goodness: hold fast that faith therefore unto the end. Doubtless she was struck with fear when Jesus turned and looked upon her, lest she should have offended him by touching his garment privately; and the more so because she was unclean according to the law. Leviticus 15:25. Hence Mark says that she came forward fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, and fell down before him. And the woman was made whole from that hour “This incidental miracle appears very grand, when the relation it bears to the principal one is considered. Jesus is going to give a specimen of that almighty power, by which the resurrection of all men to immortality shall be effected at the last day; and behold, virtue, little inferior to that which is capable of raising the dead to life, issues from him through his garment, and heals a very obstinate disease, which, having baffled the powers of medicine for twelve years, had remained absolutely incurable, till the presence of Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life, chased it away. The cure, though complete, was performed in an instant, and the woman knew it by the immediate ease which she felt, by the return of her strength, by the cheerfulness of her spirits, and by all the other agreeable sensations which accompany sudden changes from painful diseases to perfect health. This Mark expresses shortly and elegantly, ( Εγνω τω σωματι ,) She felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”
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