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Posts tagged ‘Kneeling’

Matthew 9:18-26 – What others say about Jesus knowing how to care for people

In the 9th chapter of Matthew we can see how Jesus had a busy time. It shall not stay with this first time that Jesus would be interrupted in his talks. In this story the conversation with John’s disciples about fasting gets interrupted when a powerful man or “synagogue leader” comes to kneel before the Nazarene master.

in his writing of

Notice what an unusual request is being made. Jesus is asked to bring the man’s dead daughter back to life.

Browne remembers

It’s a bold request from a community leader who understands that touching a dead body will make Jesus unclean for a week, but he’s desperate. Jesus agrees to go (8:19).

When Jesus heads for the man’s house, an other desperate person wants to cling to Jesus.

In any communal event, she isn’t given the seat of honour: she’s expected to stand in the corner away from everybody else, for anything she sits on or anyone she touches will become unclean. Lev 15:19-33 spelled this out, and the verbal traditions of the Jewish leaders were so comprehensive that they formed an entire tractate of the Mishna when written down (Zabim). She’s on the lowest rung of communal life.

File:Healing of a bleeding women Marcellinus-Peter-Catacomb.jpg

The healing of a bleeding woman, Rome, Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter.

The woman, who had suffered from chronic bleeding for many years, and who had many treatments which did not help (Mark 5:25-28), wanted just to touch Jesus his cloak with the belief that if she could just touch his garment that she would be healed of her affliction. When she managed to try to do such an unnoticed act, Jesus noticing it, stopped and understood the fears that had made her attempt to take what she feared would have been denied her. He addresses her and

His words affirm the dignity and significance she doesn’t feel she has:

  • Instead of telling her off for touching him, he affirms her: “Be encouraged!”

  • Instead of treating her as a nuisance, he acknowledges her place in the family: “Daughter.”

  • Instead of rebuking her, he commends the confidence she placed in him: “Your faith has rescued you.”

In that action we can see how important faith in Jesus is to salvation. Not only suffering would come to an end, hope is given for a better life, even when there has been death.

Browne questions:

Now, seriously, who had the greater faith here? The woman who pushed in to get her healing? Or the ruler who believed Jesus could raise his daughter back to life? The ruler receives no such commendation for his faith. He didn’t need it. It’s the bleeding woman from the bottom rung of society whom Jesus stops to affirm. In fact, she’s the only person in Matthew’s Gospel to whom Jesus said those amazing words,

“Your faith has saved you.”

After the diversion, Jesus continued to the ruler’s house, where flute players and mourners where already making a commotion to ensure no one in the community was uninformed about their ruler’s loss (9:23). The community protocols requiring a display of grief are rather shallow: they quickly melt into laughter when Jesus suggests the girl is not dead but resting (9:24).

Jesus takes the dead girl by the hand, and raises her up. Touching the bleeding woman had not made Jesus unclean; it made her clean. Touching the corpse didn’t contaminate Jesus; it broke death’s hold on the girl. In Jesus, the defilement of the world is being undone; uncleanness and death are losing their grip.

Matthew doesn’t tell us how the girl’s parents responded. You can guess. What he declares is a kingdom statement, the news of Jesus restoring the land (9:31).

Those of us who are servants of Jesus’ kingdom could do well to meditate on how he cared across all the strata of society, and how he gave his richest encouragement to the people who needed it most.

 Open Matthew 9:18-26.

Tom Wright, Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (London: SPCK, 2004), 104–105:

Two of the things that were near the top of the list, things to avoid if you wanted to stay ‘pure’ in that sense, were dead bodies on the one hand, and women with internal bleeding (including menstrual periods) on the other. And in this double story Jesus is touched by a haemorrhaging woman, and then he himself touches a corpse.
No Jew would have missed the point — and Matthew was most likely writing for a largely Jewish audience. In the ordinary course of events, Jesus would have become doubly ‘unclean’ …
But at this point we realize that something is different. Her ‘uncleanness’ doesn’t infect him. Something in him infects her.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 9:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Bridegroom and Fasting

Matthew 9:14-17 – What others are saying about feasting at the sinners’ table instead of fasting for God’s table

Matthew 9:18-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

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Related articles

  1. Today’s Scripture – September 26, 2017
  2. Today’s Scripture – October 31, 2016
  3. On Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman with the Bleeding (Mk. 5:21-43)
  4. Haggai 2:12-13, Mark 5:25-29
  5. A Loving God
  6. Dead men’s bones and uncleanness
  7. Daring to Pray
  8. The 2 Essential Skills of Great Leaders You Can’t Learn from a Book
  9. Don’t try and steal Jesus’ power
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Lifting up hands towards the Most High

 

 

Psalms 28:2  Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands towards your Most Holy Place.
Psalms 63:4  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalms 134:1   A song of ascents. Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD.
Psalms 134:2  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD.
Psalms 141:1   A psalm of David. O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you.
Psalms 141:2  May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Psalms 47:1   For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Psalms 47:2  How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!
Lamentations 3:40  Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
Lamentations 3:41  Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say:
2 Chronicles 5:13  The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures for ever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud,
Nehemiah 8:6  Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
Ezra 9:5   Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the LORD my God
1 Kings 8:22   Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands towards heaven
1 Kings 8:23  and said: “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
1 Kings 8:54   When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the LORD, he rose from before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out towards heaven.
1 Kings 8:55  He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:
1 Timothy 2:8  I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.
Ephesians 5:18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
John 4:24  God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

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Quotes from the NIV

Psalm 1 in 1628 printing with tune, metrical v...

Psalm 1 in 1628 printing with tune, metrical version by Thomas Sternhold. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

Random Observations From My Most Recent JW Convention Experience

Our views on Christian Worship Music

Lifted Hands During Worship… Wait Is That Even Biblical?

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Geklap in de handen en gejuich voor God

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Additional reading

  1. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  2. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  4. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  5. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  6. What Jesus sang
  7. What is important?
  8. Music and young people in Christadelphia
  9. A small rant…music, young people and Christadelphia
  10. Art and other taboos
  11. Performing music

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Further reading

  1. Let Joy take temptation’s place
  2. From Picking to Performing Sunday Morning Music
  3. We Plow the Fields and Scatter
  4. 7 tips for those who play melody instruments in a church band.
  5. Back to the Future at TMC!
  6. His praises resound in us – the new temple!
  7. I owe no one an apology for kneeling down to worship God — Ooni Of Ife tells critics
  8. Kneeling, Humility, & Lost Reverence
  9. Stuff I Use in Sacred Practice
  10. Sermon: Learning to Kneel
  11. He Who Kneels
  12. Your Strength Begins on your Knees.

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