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.
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
Jesus could have turned his back on any of the people he reached out to. The leaders of the Jewish people were setting themselves up as Jesus’ enemies. Why should Jesus reach out with compassion to one of them and heal their daughter? The daughter is dead, why bring her back? The blind were considered only one step better off than dead. Why bother with lost causes? The blind saw their condition and asked for what they needed: mercy. What is mercy? None of these persons deserved Jesus’ attention but they had to approach Jesus with the faith that he would not treat them as they deserved. Jesus responded to their faith with mercy. This does not mean that our faith demands a response from God, but God freely chooses to respond to faith and suspend the affects of sin in a sinful world.
- Who were the people healed in this passage?
- To what does Jesus attribute people’s healing?
- How would you describe Jesus’ compassion?
- Why do you need Jesus’ mercy?
- How do you need to move Jesus to compassion by your faith?