Matthew 9:20, Healing Power in the Tassels

And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.  For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 

//In today’s verse, a woman braves the crowd to reach out and touch Jesus’ garment, hoping to be cured.

Unless one is specifically looking for it, many subtleties of the New Testament go unnoticed. It almost seems sometimes like there is a contest between the Gospel writers to see who can provide the most creative hints about Jesus’ messiahship.

Take today’s verse. This subject begins way back in Numbers 15, where God tells his people to attach tassels to the corners of their garments. To this day, many Jews still wear a prayer shawl in respect for this text. Then we come to this promise by the prophet Malachi:

But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings –Malachi 4:2

The word “wings,” in Hebrew, is kanef … the very word used in Numbers to indicate the edges of the garment. Thus from this verse a legend grew that when the Messiah came, there would be healing powers in the tassels of his clothing.

So when the woman of today’s verse clasps the base of Jesus’ garment to be healed, she is publicly demonstrating her belief that he is the promised Messiah.

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