NO SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS
God, show me what You think of me. Help me to listen to You.
Read Matthew 9:18–26
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow can you be sure you are valued by God? What evidence has Matthew’s Gospel given you so far?
The miracle of healing and new life that we see here are key signs of Jesus’ role as Messiah (Luke 7:22). The unexpected twist lies in who receives these blessings. In the ancient world women were considered inferior to men, inconsequential, useful only for bearing burdens and bearing children. The birth of a boy was a joy; a girl was a woe. Jesus’ actions and interactions in our passage today (19,22,25) challenge these notions. In Jesus’ kingdom, women and girls are not second-class citizens: he values all people, female and male. How might our words and actions mirror Jesus’ priorities? How do our church fellowships show that all are valued in God’s kingdom?
A dead girl (23–25) and a hemorrhaging woman (20) presented a double whammy of ritual defilement for any self-respecting rabbi (Lev. 15:25; 21:1,2). Due to her bleeding, the woman would have been excluded from the religious life of her community for 12 years. Jesus’ gentle words and compassion brought physical and spiritual healing for her and sent a message to the surrounding crowd: mercy is more important to God than adherence to the Law (Matt. 9:13).
Is there someone, or a type of people, whom you look down on, even subconsciously? How can you step outside your prejudices today and show compassion?
Lord, help me to value all people the way that You do. May my words and actions reflect Your compassion for others.