Wednesday, December 9, 2009



“And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” — Matthew 9:20-22.

THE words of good cheer which our Savior spoke to this woman were not given to her while she was coming to him, for that would have been premature. She had not avowed her desire to be healed, she had uttered no prayer, she had actually as yet sought nothing at the Savior’s hands; and, hence, she had not reached the stage at which comfort is fitting. She does not appear to have required comfort in taking her first step; she was resolved upon that, and she took it without fail. It is one of the unwisest things under heaven to comfort people who do not require it. When we are dealing with enquirers, our love may bring them loss if we offer them words of cheer when they need admonition or rebuke. Any comfort which keeps a soul short of Christ is dangerous. A sinner’s main business is to get to Jesus himself, to exercise personal faith in the personal Savior; and we have no right to a gleam of comfort until we have heartily and honestly trusted in Christ. If encouragements to believe are used as a sort of halfway house to rest in before actually believing, they are mischievously used, and may ruin our souls.

This afflicted woman did not require to be cheered so soon, for she had such confidence in Christ, and such a resolve to put her confidence to the test, that difficulties could not hinder her, nor crowds keep her back. The Savior was in the press, she joined the throng, and with a holy boldness mixed with a sacred modesty she came behind him, only wishing to touch his garment, or even the fringe of it, feeling persuaded that, if she did but come into contact with the Lord, no matter how, she would be healed. According to her faith so was it done to her, and it was after she had been healed that our Lord spoke comfortingly to her. He brought not forth the cup of cordial till the need for it had fully come. After she had touched him, and her faith had made her whole, a trial awaited her, and her spirit was ready to faint, and then the tender One cheered her by saying, “Thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

It happens to many and many a heart that, after it has obtained the blessing of salvation, and has been healed of the disease of sin, a time of fear occurs. After it has made its confession of faith, a season of trembling follows; occurring, perhaps, as a reaction from the joy of salvation, a rebound of the spirit from excessive delight. We eat the heavenly provision eagerly, and it is sweet to our taste; and yet, afterwards, our long hunger having weakened us, we do not digest the food with ease, and pains ensue for which medicine is required. We fear and tremble because of the greatness of the mercy received, and then this word is wanted: “Be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole.”

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