Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 (NRSV)
Verse 9As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. Verse 10And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. Verse 11When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Verse 12But when he heard this, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Verse 13Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."
Verse 18While 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." Verse 19And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Verse 20Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, Verse 21for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well." Verse 22Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. Verse 23When Jesus came to the leader's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, Verse 24he said, "Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. Verse 25But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. Verse 26And the report of this spread throughout that district.
How many of us long for and would love to have healings like those in this story, for ourselves, or loved ones, or for others with chronic or ongoing illnesses? These stories remind us of the power of God to heal and renew. Our healing and renewal might not be as profound as in this story today, but God is still at work healing our hurts and renewing our hearts every day. Jesus came to bring this to light, to help us see that God is at work in and among us. Our healing is a process and at the end our life will be renewed by our trust in God’s promise of life beyond this life. This is God’s promise for every person.
Healing God, help those in need this day and give us the power to bring comfort and hope to those who despair. Amen.