Matthew relates this story shortly, as he doth many others, being only intent upon recording the miracle. We must here supply something out of Mark and Luke. Mark saith, Mar_5:29-34, And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. Luke reports the same circumstances with little variation, Luk_8:45-48. Christ was not ignorant of this woman’s coming and touching his garment, he doubtless influenced her to the motion, his inquiry was therefore only that the miracle might be taken notice of: he knew that virtue was gone out of him, and had healed the woman, for he had commanded it so to go out, or she had not been healed; but he desired that the people might take notice that she was healed by his grace, not by any magical virtue in his clothes. The woman is brought openly to come and confess it, that she had touched his clothes, and that she was healed. She feared and trembled, lest she should have offended. Christ comforts her, by assuring her the cure, and telling her, that her faith in him, as an instrumental cause, had effected it. We have met with Christ often before, as well as in this text, and shall again often meet with him, ascribing much to the exercise of faith. And the faith to which he ascribes so much seemeth not to be justifying faith, or that exercise of grace whereby a soul, in the sense of its lost estate by reason of sin, accepteth of him as its Saviour, and relies upon his merits alone for salvation; for we read nothing of the persons’ repentance for sin, nor reliance upon Christ for the salvation of their souls, or any profession of any such thing. Is it then so valuable an act of faith to believe that Christ is the Son of God? I answer,
1. Though faith in Christ be the only saving faith, yet a faith in God, being persuaded of his power and trusting in him, is an exercise of grace, which God (as appeareth in Scripture) much rewarded with blessings of this life; it giveth God the honour of his power, &c.
2. But, secondly: The great truth, That Christ was the eternal Son of God, was that which God more especially aimed at to give the world’s assent unto and persuasion of at this time; and indeed preliminary and necessary to people’s receiving of him as their Saviour, for, Cursed is he that trusteth in man. It was also the great truth which the Pharisees and the rest of the Jews did oppose. Hence our Saviour takes all occasions both to confirm and to encourage this faith; which was but a persuasion that he was clothed with a Divine power, and did that which no man could do; and that he had in him Divine goodness, ready to relieve man’s infirmities, according to that power.
3. It is hardly possible that any should truly and seriously believe that Christ, being apparently man, and the Son of man, should also exercise a power which none but God could do; and that they should not believe in him as the Saviour of the world, and be quickened to the use of those means which he should reveal for their salvation. For these reasons, amongst others, we may conceive that Christ predicates this faith so much in those in whom he found it.
This miracle being wrought by our Lord in his way to Jairus’s house, after the first notice he had of the dangerous sickness of his daughter, the evangelist now goeth on to give us an account of his perfecting that good work.