Healing Touch

 
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If you were to fill a jar with hydrogen and oxygen, little would happen. But introduce a spark and the two gases will combine to make water very quickly and explosively—don’t try this at home! The energy provided by the spark is a catalyst that allows this reaction to take place under conditions in which it otherwise would not. In today’s reading, faith serves a similar function. As Jesus made His way to the home of Jairus, innumerable people touched Him as “the crowds almost crushed him” (v. 42). Yet little happened. But then a miraculous reaction instantly occurred when an unnamed woman touched the fringe of His robe. Despite having suffered for twelve years from hemorrhages “no one could heal,” she was healed at once (v. 43–44). This woman was not the only one who touched Jesus, but her faith made the difference. She did not touch Jesus accidentally in the jostle of the crowd but with purpose, reaching out in faith that He held the power to make her well. This faith produced a remarkably different reaction: power went out from Him (v. 46) and bestowed a healing others in the crowd did not receive. As Jesus continued His journey, faith catalyzed an even more extraordinary miracle. After Jairus received word his daughter has died, Jesus told him not to fear but to have faith “and she will be healed” (v. 50). Again, through the healing power of His touch, Jesus took the girl “by the hand” (v. 54) and restored her life. Because God remains sovereign, such miracles are not subject to our demands, nor are they magical incantations. But the Gospels assure us that we have faith in a God whose miracles can leave us, like the girl’s parents, “astonished” (v. 56).

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