In the text of today, which Matthew has taken from Mark, the sandwich construction is maintained. This means that the first incident is interrupted by the narration of another incident complete in itself, and after this the first incident is resumed and completed. The story that is inserted into the story of raising the ruler’s daughter is the story of the healing of a woman with a haemorrhage. While Mark gives us the name of the leader of the synagogue, Jairus (Mark 5,22), Matthew omits his name. Matthew also omits a number of Marcan details namely Jesus’ question about who touched him and the disciples response, the fear of the woman about being found out and her falling down before Jesus. In Matthew it is very clear that the woman is healed not by a magic touch but by faith. While in Mark, the messengers come to inform Jairus about his daughter’s death, this whole scene is absent in Matthew, because in Matthew, the girl is already dead when the ruler comes to him. This has the effect of the ruler professing resurrection faith in his entreaty.
In Matthew, the story becomes a confessional statement of faith in the power of the resurrected Jesus.
In the first few days or even weeks of a terminal illness, the person who is ill continues to hope that he/she will get well. As time goes by and the healing does not occur, soon hope begins to dim. Finally the person gives up and gives in. The woman’s attitude in the story of today is calling each of us to perseverance, hope and faith and to develop an attitude of never giving up. That we must cultivate such an attitude is made clearer when we realise that Jesus could raise even those whom others gave up for dead.