Matthew 9:23

If I may but touch his garment, I shall he whole. "The woman's touch was an ignorant and superstitious appeal to the mercifulness of Christ." As viewed By Christ, the faith shown in the touch was of much greater importance than the superstition which connected blessing with the touch. Our Lord could easily look over the superstition, and accept the faith. "She did not think of a will that seeks to bless and save, but of a physical effluence passing from the body to the garments, and from the garments to the hand that touched them." "Even the ignorance and selfishness of the woman did not neutralize the virtue of her simple faith. It was not, of course, through her superstitious touch that she was healed, but through the faith that prompted the touch; a faith full of defects, - ignorantly conceived, secretly cherished, furtively put forth, openly exposed, humbly confessed, as if it had been a sin, - but yet, because a true faith, graciously accepted, rewarded, and perfected." In the woman's case we may see represented the religious experience of many. See the four stages of the woman's experience.

I. SHE KNEW HERSELF TO BE A SUFFERER. Some diseases carry on their work for a long time in secret. There is hope when they reveal their working, and set us upon finding remedies. It is a great thing to know our true moral condition,

(1) as sinners, exposed to the wrath of God, on account of our bad past;

(2) as diseased, and in an actual present state of corruption. The realities of our sin and danger are far more serious than we feel them to be.

II. SHE TRIED TO GET CURE, BUT TRIED IN VAIN. She had been to many physicians, and had spent all that she had. So the awakened soul will try to use means and to cure itself,

(1) by goodness;

(2) by wrestlings with sin;

(3) by devotions;

(4) by rites and ceremonies.

These are its "many physicians," all helpless in treating soul-diseases.

III. SHE HEARD OF JESUS, AND SOUGHT HIM OUT. We can only imagine what she heard, but we can clearly trace the influence of what she heard. It gave faith in Christ such a power as even enabled it to triumph over diffidence and superstitions; or, rather, enabled it to carry its superstitions along with it.

IV. SHE FOUND HEALING AND LIFE FLOW FROM CHRIST. Because her touch was to him a touch of faith, and of faith so really strong and sincere that he did not care to notice the strand of weakness that ran through it. - R.T.

The maid is not dead, but sleepeth.
On His way to perform one act of love, He turned aside to give His attention to another; He had a heart ready to respond to every species of need. Love is universal, humanity is the sphere of its activity. Delay was only apparent; it was impossible to convey a spiritual blessing to one who was not spiritually susceptible. The soul of Jairus by the miracle wrought on the woman was made more capable of blessing than before. This is the principle of the spiritual kingdom.


1. The simplest and most obvious use of sorrow is to remind of God.

2. The misuse of sorrow. We may defeat the purposes of God in grief by forgetting it, or by over-indulging it. Sorrow is the school for all that is highest in us.


1. The perception of it was confined to the few. Peter, James, John, and the parents. Spiritual susceptibility necessary.

2. It is the intention of a miracle to manifest the Divine in the common and ordinary. They show that Christ is the Saviour of the body.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

He gives us for a season spirits taken out of His universe brings them into temporary contact with us: and we call them father, mother, sister, child, friend. But just as in some places, on one day in the year, the way or path is closed in order to remind the public that they pass by sufferance and not by right, in order that no lapse of time may establish "adverse possession," so does God give warning to us. Every ache and pain: every wrinkle you see stamping itself on parent's brow: every accident which reveals the uncertain tenure of life and possessions: every funeral bell that tolls — are only God's reminders that we are tenants at will and not by right — pensioners on the bounty of an hour. He is closing up. the right of way, warning fairly that what we have is lent, not given: His, not ours.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

Jairus and the woman, like many others, came to Christ from a sense of want. It would seem that a certain shock is needed to bring us into contact with reality, We are not conscious of our breathing till obstruction makes it felt. We are not aware of the possession of a heart till some disease, some sudden joy or sorrow, rouses it into extraordinary action. And we are not conscious of the mighty cravings of our half Divine humanity; we are not aware of the God within us, till some chasm yawns which must be filled, or till the rending asunder of our affections forces us to become fearfully conscious of a need.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

Here, too, we find the Son of man the pattern of our humanity. His bosom was to mankind what the ocean is to the world. The ocean has its own mighty tide; but it receives and responds to, in exact proportion, the tidal influences of every estuary, and river, and small creek which pours into its bosom. So it was in Christ; His bosom heaved with the tides of our humanity: but every separate sorrow, pain, anti joy gave its pulsation, and received back influence from the sea of His being.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

1. On the way to the Ruler's house, Jesus meets with an unlooked-for cause of delay. It must have been trying for the ruler to see Jesus stop and ask, "Who touched Me?" But he is patient.

2. Meanwhile chose at home are witnessing the death of the child. Unbelief says it is useless to trouble the Master any more. On our providential blessings the Lord writes death before He grants resurrection and life. Sight has gone; he must walk by faith.The dead child restored: —

1. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, and He restores out of death in all its stages.

2. Jesus bid them not to weep, because the maiden is not dead, but only asleep. The body sleeps, not the soul.

3. Christ raises her with His word; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and live.

4. Jesus commands that something be given her to eat. Let young converts be duly nourished by word and doctrine, then let them go and work for Christ.

5. The parents are enjoined to tell no man; they are to make no noise about her, but to keep the child and the matter quiet. She was to be brought up quietly in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

(A. M. Stuart.)

The eye of faith can discern what to the eye of sense is often invisible; and looks with simple conviction to what the other as simply rejects. "They laughed Him to scorn," etc. And were they not right as far as their knowledge went? Could not Jesus who had opened the eyes of the blind raise the dead? They might have reasoned thus. They were too wise in their own conceit to think of looking with the eye of faith. How often does this strange levity of the people of Capernaum take the rein of men's thoughts even in the most solemn subjects — the doctrines of Christianity; the sacraments — which appeal to no outward sense — they will "augh to scorn." So to with the humble duties of the Christian and the lowly means with which he works; how often treated with contempt. How much there is in which a devoutly-trained faith may discern truth and comfort and promise of good, where the mere human eye might discover nothing but perplexity or disappointment.

(J. Puckle, M. A.)

"Thy hand-are not all hands alike.) Is there a science of Palmistry — are there those who read the man in the hand — are not all grips of the same intensity? Why say, "Thy hand" — could no other hand be found? We are sometimes shut up to the help of one man, even in our lower life. "O for our own doctor: his very voice would do the patient good. O for our own physician; he knows just what to give when the sufferer is in this crisis of agony. O for our old mother: there was healing, there was comfort in her gentle hand. O for the old father — if he had been here he would have found the key to open this gate. O for the old pastor that first showed us the light and brought us to prayer — he would know what to say to us just now." We have, therefore, analogy to help us in this matter. In the great crises of life there is often only one hand that can help us.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I joined the mourners on the third day. Directly I entered the house, I heard the minstrels and the loud cries of the people. Professional mourners were in constant attendance to keep up the excitement, and dances and dirges succeeded each other, with intervals of wild and hysterical weeping and shrieking. There are girls who have a morbid taste for the excitement, and are celebrated for the facility with which they fall into fits of uncontrollable weeping. The real mourners and the amateur actresses in these scenes are usually ill afterwards, but the professional assistants do not appear to suffer from the fatigue or excitement, and they do not lose their self-control for a moment

(Mrs. Rogers.)

The South and North differ greatly from each other in this respect. The nations of the North restrain their grief — affect the tearless eye, and the stern look. The expressive South, and all the nations whose origin is from thence, are demonstrative in grief. They beat their breasts, tear their hair, throw dust upon their heads. It would be unwise were either to blame or ridicule the other, so long as each is true to Nature. Unwise for the nations of the South to deny the reality of the grief which is repressed and silent. Unjust in the denizen of the North were he to scorn the violence of the Southern grief, or call its uncontrollable demonstrations unmanly. Much must be allowed for temperament.

(F. W. Robertson.)

Ah! we sometimes, I fear, compel Jesus to take away our children, that through the bereavement He may overcome and melt savingly our callous hearts. It mindeth one of another little story worth telling. A shepherd had folded safely and well a flock of ewes — all save one, which would not enter, do what he would. The gate was flung wide open, and with all gentle restraint he sought to guide it in, sparing it the rough bark of his dog. But no! still it would run back. At last, for the shades of evening were falling, and folded all must be, if he were not to be too late for home himself, he sprang out, seized her lamb, raised it tenderly to his bosom, laid it right upon his heart, as he would his own nestling babe, and carrying it within the fold placed it down there. Then, ah! then, the poor ewe ran in after her little lamb, and was saved with it. It is a parable. But fathers, mothers, still away from the Good Shepherd, and grieving sorely over your Willie or Mary, will you not run in after your little lamb? Will you compel Him to take another and another?


As a little girl of four lay dying, the following conversation took place between her father and herself. "Papa, does the doctor think I am going to die?" With a bursting heart, her father told her the truth. "Papa, the grave looks very dark. Won't you go down with me into it?" "I cannot go until the Lord calls me." "Then, papa, won't you let mamma go with me?" It almost broke the father's heart to utter the same truth as before. Turning her face to the wall, she wept; but then, having before this been taught of God, prayed. Soon, therefore, she looked up with a joyful face and said, "Papa, the grave is not dark now, Jesus will go with me!"

David, Jesus, John, Matthew
Crowd, Disorder, Entering, Flute, Flute-players, Instruments, Loudly, Making, Minstrels, Multitude, Noise, Noisy, Official's, Players, Ruler, Ruler's, Tumult, Wailing
1. Jesus heals a paralytic
9. calls Matthew from the receipt of custom;
10. eats with tax collectors and sinners;
14. defends his disciples for not fasting;
20. cures the sick woman;
23. raises Jairus' daughter from death;
27. gives sight to two blind men;
32. heals a mute man possessed of a demon;
36. and has compassion on the multitude.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 9:23

     5320   funeral
     5419   mourning
     5420   music
     5421   musical instruments
     5899   lament

Matthew 9:18-25

     2012   Christ, authority
     2066   Christ, power of
     5194   touch

Matthew 9:18-30

     6689   mercy, of Christ

Matthew 9:20-25

     5194   touch

Matthew 9:23-24

     5314   flute

Matthew 9:23-25

     5279   crowds
     5669   children, examples
     5695   girls
     9310   resurrection
     9311   resurrection, of Christ

June 26. "When He Saw the Multitudes He was Moved" (Matt. Ix. 36).
"When He saw the multitudes He was moved" (Matt. ix. 36). He is able to be "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." The word "touched" expresses a great deal. It means that our troubles are His troubles, and that in all our afflictions He is afflicted. It is not a sympathy of sentiment, but a sympathy of suffering. There is much help in this for the tired heart. It is the foundation of His Priesthood, and God meant that it should be to us a source of unceasing consolation. Let us realize, more
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Christ's Encouragements
'Son, be of good cheer.'--MATT. ix. 2. This word of encouragement, which exhorts to both cheerfulness and courage, is often upon Christ's lips. It is only once employed in the Gospels by any other than He. If we throw together the various instances in which He thus speaks, we may get a somewhat striking view of the hindrances to such a temper of bold, buoyant cheerfulness which the world presents, and of the means for securing it which Christ provides. But before I consider these individually, let
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Christlike Judgment of Men
'But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.' --MATT. ix. 36. In the course of our Lord's wandering life of teaching and healing, there had naturally gathered around Him a large number of persons who followed Him from place to place, and we have here cast into a symbol the impression produced upon Him by their outward condition. That is to say, He sees them lying there weary, and footsore, and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Soul-Healing First: Body-Healing Second
'That ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins (then saith He to the sick of the palsy), Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.'--MATT. ix. 6. The great example of our Lord's teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is followed, in this and the preceding chapter, by a similar collection of His works of healing. These are divided into three groups, each consisting of three members. This miracle is the last of the second triad, of which the other two members are the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Touch of Faith and the Touch of Christ
'While He spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped Him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did His disciples. 20. And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment: 21. For she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. 22. But Jesus turned Him about,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Call of Matthew
'And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He saith unto him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him. 10. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 12. But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Compassion of Jesus
THIS is said of Christ Jesus several times in the New Testament. The original word is a very remarkable one. It is not found in classic Greek. It is not found in the Septuagint. The fact is, it was a word coined by the evangelists themselves. They did not find one in the whole Greek language that suited their purpose, and therefore they had to make one. It is expressive of the deepest emotion; a striving of the bowels--a yearning of the innermost nature with pity. As the dictionaries tell us-- Ex
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 60: 1914

Eleventh Day for More Labourers
WHAT TO PRAY.--For more Labourers "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth labourers into His harvest."--MATT. ix. 38. What a remarkable call of the Lord Jesus for help from His disciples in getting the need supplied. What an honour put upon prayer. What a proof that God wants prayer and will hear it. Pray for labourers, for all students in theological seminaries, training homes, Bible institutes, that they may not go, unless He fits them and sends them forth; that our churches may
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Dread of Ridicule.
24th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matt. ix. 24. "And they laughed Him to scorn." INTRODUCTION.--"All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. iii. 12.) This is what S. Paul says. This is what everyone of you must make up your mind to, if you intend to live godly lives, and, moreover, to live in Christ. Do you know what that meant to the early Christians? It meant that if they were going to be firm in their faith, live up to their profession, and eschew evil, they should
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

Evil Thoughts.
19th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matt. ix. 4. "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" INTRODUCTION.--Thoughts are only thoughts! who is to beheld accountable for them? They are clouds blown about by fancy, taking various shapes. God is not so hard as to judge us for our thoughts; He will try us by what we have done, not by what we have dreamed. No garden is without weeds; there are tares in every cornfield. Who speak thus? Is it those who are conscientious and scrupulous to drive away evil thoughts?
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

Civilized Barbarism (Preached for the Bishop of London's Fund, at St. John's Church, Notting Hill, June 1866. )
ST. MATTHEW ix. 12. They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. I have been honoured by an invitation to preach on behalf of the Bishop of London's Fund for providing for the spiritual wants of this metropolis. By the bishop, and a large number of landowners, employers of labour, and others who were aware of the increasing heathendom of the richest and happiest city of the world, it was agreed that, if possible, a million sterling should be raised during the next ten years,
Charles Kingsley—The Water of Life and Other Sermons

The Physician's Calling (Preached at Whitehall for St. George's Hospital. )
ST. MATTHEW ix. 35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. The Gospels speak of disease and death in a very simple and human tone. They regard them in theory, as all are forced to regard them in fact, as sore and sad evils. The Gospels never speak of disease or death as necessities; never as the will of God. It is Satan, not God, who binds the woman with
Charles Kingsley—The Water of Life and Other Sermons

Of the Words Themselves in General.
We come now to the words themselves, wherein Christ asserts that he is, 1, "the way;" 2, "the truth;" 3, "the life;" and, 4, "that no man cometh to the Father but by him." In them we learn these two things in general. First, The misery of wretched man by nature. This cannot be in a few words expressed. These words will point out those particulars thereof, which we will but mention. 1. That he is born an enemy to, and living at a distance from God, by virtue of the curse of the broken covenant of
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

IF NOT GOD--NOT GOOD BY I. M. HALDEMAN, D.D. "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God" (Matthew 9:17). THE world has accepted Jesus Christ as a good man. The evidences of his goodness are manifold. He was full of compassion. He never looked upon the people as a crowd. He never thought of them as a mass. He saw them always as individuals. His heart went out to them. All his impulses were to pity them, sympathize with, and help them. He went among them. He entered into
I. M. Haldeman—Christ, Christianity and the Bible

Concerted Prayer
"A tourist, in climbing an Alpine summit, finds himself tied by a strong rope to his trusty guide, and to three of his fellow-tourists. As they skirt a perilous precipice he cannot pray, Lord, hold up my goings in a safe path, that my footsteps slip not, but as to my guide and companions, they must look out for themselves.' The only proper prayer in such a case is, Lord, hold up our goings in a safe path; for if one slips all of us may perish.'"--H. Clay Trumbull The pious Quesnel says that "God
Edward M. Bounds—The Essentials of Prayer

Combination Illustrated.
To illustrate our method of combination, let us take Section 36, which is a fitting together of the following passages, namely: 9 And as Jesus passed by from thence, he saw a man, called Matthew, sitting at the place of toll: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.--Matt. ix. 9. 13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphæus sitting at the place of toll,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Call of Matthew.
(at or Near Capernaum.) ^A Matt. IX. 9; ^B Mark II. 13, 14; ^C Luke V. 27, 28. ^c 27 And after these thingsa [after the healing of the paralytic] he went forth, ^a again by the seaside [i. e., he left Capernaum, and sought the shore of the sea, which formed a convenient auditorium for him, and which was hence a favorite scene for his teaching]; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. 14 And as he ^a Jesus passed by from thence, he saw ^c and beheld ^a a man, ^c a publican, named
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Matthew's Feast. Discourse on Fasting.
(Capernaum.) ^A Matt. IX. 10-17; ^B Mark II. 15-22; ^C Luke V. 29-39. ^c 29 And Levi [another name for the apostle Matthew] made him a great feast in his house: ^b 15 And it came to pass, that he was sitting { ^a as he sat} at meat in the { ^b his} ^a house, ^c and there was a great multitude of publicans [Matthew had invited his old friends] and of others ^b and ^a behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. ^b for there were many, ^c that were sitting at meat
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jairus' Daughter and the Invalid Woman.
(Capernaum, Same Day as Last.) ^A Matt. IX. 18-26; ^B Mark V. 22-43; ^C Luke VIII. 41-56. ^c 41 And ^a 18 While he spake these things unto them [while he talked about fasting at Matthew's table], behold, there came, { ^b cometh} ^c a man named Jairus, { ^b Jairus by name;} ^c and he was a ruler { ^b one of the rulers} of the synagogue [He was one of the board of elders which governed the synagogue at Capernaum. These elders were not necessarily old men--Matt. xix. 16-22; Luke xviii. 18-23], and seeing
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Heals a Paralytic at Capernaum.
^A Matt. IX. 2-8; ^B Mark II. 1-12; ^C Luke V. 17-26. ^c 17 And it came to pass on one of those days, ^b when he entered again into Capernaum after some days, ^c that he was teaching; ^b it was noised that he was in the house. [Luke uses the general expression "those days," referring to the early portion of our Lord's ministry in Galilee. Mark says, "some days," which implies the lapse of a considerable interval. The healing of the leper created such excitement that for some time, several weeks,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Lix. Healing Blind Men and a Dumb Demoniac.
(Probably Capernaum.) ^A Matt. IX. 27-34. ^a 27 And as Jesus passed by from thence [If construed strictly, this phrase means, as he departed from Jairus' house. But the phrase is indefinite], two blind men followed him, crying out, and saying, Have mercy on us, thou son of David. [This, among the Jews, was a common and thoroughly recognized name for the expected Messiah.] 28 And when he was come into the house [possibly Peter's. But the place is not important. The house is mentioned to show that
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Third Circuit of Galilee. The Twelve Instructed and Sent Forth.
^A Matt. IX. 35-38; X. 1, 5-42; XI. 1; ^B Mark VI. 6-13; ^C Luke IX. 1-6. ^b 6 And he ^a Jesus ^b went about ^a all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner sickness and all manner of sickness. [In the first circuit of Galilee some of the twelve accompanied Jesus as disciples (see [3]Section XXXIII.); in the second the twelve were with him as apostles; in the third they, too, are sent forth as evangelists to supplement
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Return to Capernaum - Concerning the Forgiveness of Sins - the Healing of the Paralysed
It is a remarkable instance of the reserve of the Gospel-narratives, that of the second journey of Jesus in Galilee no other special event is recorded than the healing of the leper. And it seems also to indicate, that this one miracle had been so selected for a special purpose. But if, as we have suggested, after the Unknown Feast,' the activity of Jesus assumed a new and what, for want of a better name, may be called an anti-Judaic character, we can perceive the reason of it. The healing of leprosy
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Healing of the Woman - Christ's Personal Appearance - the Raising of Jairus' Daughter
THERE seems remarkable correspondence between the two miracles which Jesus had wrought on leaving Capernaum and those which He did on His return. In one sense they are complementary to each other. The stilling of the storm and the healing of the demonised were manifestations of the absolute power inherent in Christ; the recovery of the woman and the raising of Jairus' daughter, evidence of the absolute efficacy of faith. The unlikeliness of dominion over the storm, and of command over a legion of
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

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