By Matt Capps
Shame is a powerful emotion. We have all felt the painful feeling of shame arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable or impure. Shame causes us to pull away from others. It is impossible to estimate how much time and energy people invest in trying to hide or deny the things they are ashamed of.
This is why the woman who rudely breaks into the account of Matthew 9 is so intriguing. According to medical and social norms of the time, she was beyond unclean. She was the carrier of an unspeakable bloody discharge. And yet she pushes through the crowd. Does she have no shame?
In the ancient Near East, most people would have gone to great lengths to avoid unnecessarily exposing themselves to her. Yet here she is, moving through a large crowd in pursuit of Jesus. Doesn’t she know that, according to Old Testament law, she could infect other people with her impurity?
So what is more powerful than her shame? What causes her to go public and push through the crowd in order to grasp the edge of Jesus’ robe?
Desperation may be the only thing more powerful than shame. It is the woman’s desperation that causes her to expose her dishonor and impurity with the hope that she will be made clean.
And Jesus responds unexpectedly. He doesn’t pull away from her in disgust; He accepts her in love. When this woman touches the hem of His garment, Jesus turns to her and refers to her as His “daughter.” With great affection, He welcomes her as a dependent.
Isn’t this amazing? Jesus was unashamed to be identified with her uncleanliness. “‘Have courage, daughter,’ He said. ‘Your faith has saved you’” (Matthew 9:22).
This should not surprise us. After all, this is the same Jesus who came to embrace all of humanity’s uncleanliness and shame on the cross. This is the same Jesus who would pour out His own blood to make us clean. This friends, is the good news of the gospel. Christ tells us not to cover our shame, but bring it to Him. When we confess our shame, Jesus covers it for us, making us clean before the only audience that matters: our Holy God. Therefore, don’t pull away from Christ—run to Him in desperation. He is the only one who can rid you of your shame.
Written by Matt Capps
Get truth delivered straight to your inbox.
Sign up to receive daily Bible readings every morning.
3 thoughts on "Jesus Forgives"
37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 ‘Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Funny how this is something we had studied in church this morning. I am beginning to see more snd more how desperate the world is looking for an answer to all its ugly problems. Yet continues to look to the things the world has to offer and promises to satisfy with. Only the gospel can truly satisfy. Jesus is the only correct answer. The world is ripe for sharing although we are like sheep being sent among wolves. I pray I will be one of those sent out to take part in the harvest. It is my appointment to share the good news of Christ’s fulfillment of the law and becoming sin in my stead and taking the full wrath of his father for me.
Continue to pray for discernment and to have God’s will be done.
Desperation to find God’s Mercy was, I believe, what brought me near enough to find His Freedom. You’ve probably never heard of a drunkard finding the freedom I possess.
I deal with a lot of shame and guilt. I’m learning to approach God and ask genuine forgiveness as well as learning to forgive myself. I find it
hard to love myself sometimes, so obviously I struggle with God constantly having to forgive for the same mistakes and sinful thoughts.
Post Comments (3)