What does Matthew 9:21 mean?
ESV: for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.”
NIV: She said to herself, 'If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.'
NASB: for she was saying to herself, 'If I only touch His cloak, I will get well.'
CSB: for she said to herself, "If I can just touch his robe, I'll be made well."
NLT: for she thought, 'If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.'
KJV: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
NKJV: For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”
Verse Commentary:
A man named Jairus is leading Jesus and His disciples to help Jairus's daughter, who has died. They are packed in on every side by a "great crowd" (Mark 5:24). Suddenly, a woman touches Jesus' cloak—not grabbing or twisting, but merely making contact (Matthew 9:20). She has suffered from a discharge of blood for 12 years. This was likely an abnormal menstrual discharge, meaning not only is the woman anemic and weak, but has also been ceremonially unclean within the Jewish community for a dozen years.

This verse explains why she pushed through the crowd to touch Jesus' garment, risking being caught in violation of keeping her distance from others, as the law required. She believes. She has heard of Jesus' healings and His power and is convinced that she will be healed by just touching His cloak. She doesn't dare to be so forward as to come to Him directly and kneel before Him and make the request. As an unclean woman, this would likely have been quite inappropriate. Instead, she has devised a way for Him to heal her, she likely hopes, without ever even being noticed.

Jesus, of course, notices.
Verse Context:
Matthew 9:18–26 begins with the arrival of a ruler of the synagogue. He tells Jesus that his daughter has just died, but that she will live if Jesus comes and lays His hand on her (Mark 5:21–24). Jesus and the disciples are following the man to his house when a woman in the crowd touches the edge of Jesus' garment. As also indicated in the gospel of Mark, she is immediately healed from a 12-year illness (Mark 5:25–29). Arriving at the home of the man, Jesus sends away the professional mourners. He takes the dead girl's hand, and she is restored to life (Mark 5:35–43).
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 9 continues to show how Jesus authenticated His claims to be the Messiah by powerful miracles of healing and casting out demons. He heals a paralyzed man after telling the man his sins are forgiven. He calls Matthew to follow Him and eats dinner with Matthew and other tax collectors. He answers questions from Pharisees and others. A woman who touches His cloak is healed from a 12–year illness, and Jesus raises a dead girl back to life. He restores sight to blind men and speech to one who is demon oppressed. He is filled with compassion for the crowds.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 9 follows the same pattern of Matthew 8, showing through miraculous works of healing that Jesus is truly the Messiah. Christ forgives the sins of a paralyzed man and heals him. He calls Matthew to follow Him and eats with tax collectors and sinners. A woman is healed by touching His garment and a dead girl is given life by the touch of His hand. Two blind men see, and Jesus casts out a demon, restoring speech to its victim. Finally, Jesus declares that the harvest is plentiful and tells His followers to pray for workers. Chapter 10 builds on this compassion as Jesus commissions the Twelve to go and deliver His gospel to the people.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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