Matthew 9:18-26 (Don’t be a Fence Sitter)

Don’t be a Fence Sitter

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.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region.

Matthew 9:18-26 (NIV)

With the men’s teams coming to the end of their official seasons (with finals football still to come) and the women finishing up last weekend, pure luck (and no hint of good planning), has brought us to a cracking passage on which to wrap up the season. So far this season we have thought about how the world is broken, how that pervades into different parts of the world, and how we become entwined in this brokenness through our own sin. But we have also read in Matthew of a loving God who sent his son Jesus as King and Saviour. We have seen how it is through faith in Christ, that we acknowledge that this world sucks and is not the way it was created to be, and be brought into relationship with our God and saved to heaven after this life. Today’s passage communicates that pretty simply.
This passage is two stories in a bit of a sandwich with two important messages. Firstly, as we have already seen throughout the gospel of Matthew, both stories show Jesus incredible power to heal; his ability to not just heal a woman who was very ill, but also to miraculously raise a girl from the dead. But the second things lies right at the centre of both stories, and that is that Jesus heals both people by their faith; the faith of the father coming to Jesus, and the faith of the woman who knew that all she had to do was touch Jesus cloak.
For the last chaplains chat of the season, the message is pretty simple;

Jesus has the power to heal those who put their faith in him.

But what does this mean? It means that you become aware. It means that you look around you at the world and see a place in need of saving. You are horrified at the world’s selfishness, corruption, lying, abuse, illness, depression, injustice, inequality, greed and violence. Things that mar a beautiful, complex world and that stand in stark contrast to the love, happiness and genuine relational joy that we experience in our world. You realise that there has to be a creator who brought all of this into existence and that stands behind the complexity and morality of life. You are convinced that the Christian God who loves you and wants you to know him, must be that creator. You realise that you and others around you, contribute to the brokenness of this world and sin against God and his good purposes for the world; that in reality, none of us are perfect. You are sorry for this and you see that faith in Jesus, like the bible tells us, can save us from ourselves.

The Challenge?
Read the last paragraph 1 sentence at a time, and reflect on each sentence for 30 seconds before moving onto the next sentence
Be bold. If you have any questions about any of the christian message, ask a christian friend.
Don’t be a fence sitter. Examine the evidence available to you and make a decision about the God of the Bible.
Pray for those around you, and in your teams, who don’t know the saving God.

 

Joe Hockey, club chaplain

first published 11-8-2018