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§ 133. Christ Returns to the west side of Genesareth.—Healing of the Issue of Blood.328328   Matt., ix., 18-26; Mark, v., 21; Luke, viii., 40.

When Christ returned to the western shore of the lake, he found a multitude of people awaiting his arrival. One of the rulers of the synagogue, named Jairus, whose daughter of twelve years329329   Strauss says that this age of “twelve” was a mere fiction, in imitation of the twelve years of the issue of blood. There is not a shadow of reason to suppose that Luke’s statements are not literally correct in both instances; but even if they were not, if a round number only is meant, and the one period modelled after the other, the veracity of the narrative would be in nowise impeached. lay so ill that her death was hourly expected, pressed through the throng to the Saviour, and besought him to go to his house. He arose to grant the sorrowing father’s prayer, but the crowd detained them.

A woman who had suffered with an issue for twelve years, and had sought aid in vain from physicians, approached him through the press from behind. She did not venture to address him directly, but having formed the idea in her own way, she thought that a sort of magical healing power streamed forth from his person, and that she might be relieved of her malady simply by touching his garment. Her believing confidence, although blended with erroneous conceptions, was not disappointed.

Christ felt that some one had touched his robe,330330   Luke’s account could have been given by none but an eye-witness in such lively and minute detail; e. g., Christ’s question, Peter’s answer, the repetition of the question, etc. Moreover, Luke makes the cure immediate upon the touching of the garment; in Matthew it follows the words of Christ in the usual way. Luke’s eye-witness had the conception of the mode of cure that the woman herself had, and so interpreted Christ’s words (viii., 46). and inquired who it was. Peter, forward as usual, spoke for the disciples, and said (very candidly, doubtless, as he probably did not observe the woman’s movement), “How canst thou be surprised, in the midst of such a throng, that the people approach and touch thee!” But Christ repeated his question, and the woman, who had not before ventured a word, expecting to be discovered, fell trembling at his feet, and proclaimed 196before all what had happened to her. Jesus, kindly encouraging the trembling heart, said to her, “Be of good cheer, thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”331331   The narrative does not decide whether the approach of the woman was known to Christ, and he healed her intentionally, or whether the cure was a Divine operation, independently of him (a physical cause being laid out of the case), caused by the woman’s faith, and thus serving to glorify her trust in Christ.

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