And he said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.
It is not every faith that saves the soul. There may be faith in a falsehood which leads only to delusion, and ends in destruction. There is a faith that saves; it puts us into immediate and vital and permanent union with the Son of God. What was the nature of this woman's faith? Was it merely an intellectual opinion, a clear conviction that this wonderful man of Nazareth was a strong and sympathetic character whom she could trust? Yes, it was that, and a great deal more. It was a transaction by which she approached Christ humbly, embraced His very feet, acknowledged her sinfulness, and relied on Him to do for her some great spiritual good. The woman was really saved through her faith. Jesus Christ Himself did the saving work. When I turn the faucet in my house, it is not the faucet or the water-pipe that fills my empty pitcher. I simply put my pitcher in actual connection with the inexhaustible reservoir which is at the other end of the pipe. When I exercise faith in a crucified Saviour, I put my guilty self into connection with His Divine self, my utter emptiness into connection with His infinite fulness. This is the faith which the apostles preached, and which you and I must practise. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Not in Christianity, but on Christ. Not enough to believe in the Christ described in the New Testament. Millions of unconverted people do this, just as they believe in Wilberforce as a noble philanthropist, or in Lincoln as an unselfish patriot. When the miner looks at the rope which is to lower him into the deep mine, he may coolly say to himself, "I have faith in that rope. It looks well made and strong." That is his opinion; but when he grasps it, and swings down by it into the dark yawning chasm, then he is believing on the rope, This is more than opinion, it is a voluntary transaction. Faith is the cling to the rope, but it is the rope itself that supports the miner.
I. FAITH IS A VERY SIMPLE PROCESS. The most vital of all acts is as easily comprehended as a baby comprehends the idea of drawing nourishment from a mother's breast, and falling asleep in a mother's arms.
II. FAITH IS A SENSIBLE ACT. The highest exercise of reason is to trust what the Almighty has said, and to rely on what He has promised.
III. FAITH IS A STOOPING GRACE. Self must go down before we can be lifted up into Christ's favour and likeness.
IV. FAITH IS THE STRENGTHENING GRACE. Through this channel flows in the power from on high.
V. Finally, IT IS THE GRACE WHICH COMPLETELY SATISFIES. When a hungry soul has found this food, the aching void is filled.
(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.