Matthew 9:21
For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
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(21) She said within herself.—The words indicate a faith real but not strong. She believed, as the leper did, in the power to heal, but did not trust the love, and shrank from the thought lest the Healer should shrink from her. And she thought not 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. Yet weak as the faith was, it was accepted, and outward things were endowed with a “virtue” which was not their own. So afterwards, where a like belief prevailed, the “handkerchiefs and aprons” that were brought from St. Paul’s flesh became means of healing (Acts 19:12).

9:18-26 The death of our relations should drive us to Christ, who is our life. And it is high honour to the greatest rulers to attend on the Lord Jesus; and those who would receive mercy from Christ, must honour him. The variety of methods Christ took in working his miracles, perhaps was because of the different frames and tempers of mind, which those were in who came to him, and which He who searches the heart perfectly knew. A poor woman applied herself to Christ, and received mercy from him by the way. If we do but touch, as it were, the hem of Christ's garment by living faith, our worst evils will be healed; there is no other real cure, nor need we fear his knowing things which are a grief and burden to us, but which we would not tell to any earthly friend. When Christ entered the ruler's house, he said, Give place. Sometimes, when the sorrow of the world prevails, it is difficult for Christ and his comforts to enter. The ruler's daughter was really dead, but not so to Christ. The death of the righteous is in a special manner to be looked on as only a sleep. The words and works of Christ may not at first be understood, yet they are not therefore to be despised. The people were put forth. Scorners who laugh at what they do not understand, are not proper witnesses of the wonderful works of Christ. Dead souls are not raised to spiritual life, unless Christ take them by the hand: it is done in the day of his power. If this single instance of Christ's raising one newly dead so increased his fame, what will be his glory when all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; those that have done good to the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation!And, behold, a woman ... - This disease was by the Jews reckoned unclean Leviticus 15:25, and the woman was therefore unwilling to make personal application to Jesus, or even to touch his person. The disease was regarded as incurable. She had expended all her property, and grew worse, Mark 5:26.

Touched the hem of his garment - This garment was probably the square garment which was thrown over the shoulders. See notes at Matthew 5:40. This was surrounded by a border or "fringe;" and this "fringe," or the loose threads hanging down, is what is meant by the "hem." The Jews were commanded to wear this, in order to distinguish them from other nations. See Numbers 15:38-39; Deuteronomy 22:12.

Mark says that "the woman, fearing and trembling," came and told him all the truth. Perhaps she feared that, from the impure nature of her disease, he would be offended that she touched him.

Mt 9:18-26. The Woman with the Issue of Blood Healed.—The Daughter of Jairus Raised to Life. ( = Lu 8:40-56; Mr 5:21-43).

For the exposition, see on [1244]Mr 5:21-43.

Ver. 20,21. Mark addeth, Mark 5:26,27, that she had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse; when she had heard of Jesus, she came in the press behind, and touched his garment, &c. Luke saith, the border of his garment. In the crowd there cometh a woman that had a bloody flux twelve years. Inveterate diseases are hard to be cured. Nor had means been neglected, she had tried many physicians, and had spent all her estate upon them. She

came behind him, out of modesty, and perhaps shame, desiring not to be taken notice of. That which induced her to come, was the fame she had heard of Jesus, and a persuasion wrought in her heart, (doubtless by the Spirit of God), that if she could but come to touch the hem or border of his garment she should be cured. In this she judged rightly, that Christ was all virtue, and that his virtue was not restrained to his laying his hand upon her. She believed that the oil poured on his head was like that poured on the head of Aaron, which ran down to the skirts of his garment. But if she thought that she could thus steal a cure, and that Christ’s cures flowed not from his grace and good will, but a kind of necessity, herein she wonderfully erred, and Christ afterward let her know it, though he pardoned her mistake.

For she said within herself,.... That is, she thought within herself, she reasoned the matter in her mind, she concluded upon it, and firmly believed it; being strongly impressed and influenced by the Spirit of God, and encouraged by instances of cures she had heard were performed by persons only touching him; see Luke 6:19

if I may but touch his garment. The Arabic version reads it, "the hem of his garment", as before; but is not supported by any copy, nor by any other version: her faith was, that if she might be allowed, or if she could by any means come at him, to touch any part of his garment, she should have a cure:

I shall be whole, or "I shall be saved"; that is, from her disease, from which she could have no deliverance, by the advice and prescriptions of all her former physicians, and by all the means she had made use of.

For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
21. she said] The imperfect tense of the original; denotes intensity of feeling, “she kept saying over and over to herself.”

Matthew 9:21. Τοῦ ἱματίου Αὐτοῦ, His garment) The woman, from the sense of her own impurity, acknowledged the absolute purity of Jesus.—σωθήσομαι, I shall be made whole) The expression in Matthew 9:22σεσωκέ σε, hath made thee whole—sweetly replies to this thought.[422]

[422] It is to a wonderful degree profitable to do simply, and without round-about methods, whatever the spirit of faith and love teaches; eh. Matthew 26:7.—V. g.

Verse 21. - For she said within herself, If I may; do (Revised Version). There is no thought of permission (ἐὰν μόνον ἅψωμαι). But touch his garment, I shall be whole; saved (Revised Version margin). The threefold σώζειν is suggestive. Observe that she is "saved" in spite of her superstition; God "pitieth the blind that would gladly see" (Hooker, 'Serm.,' 2. § 38). Matthew 9:21
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