Luke 8:40-56, Key Verse: 50
Through Dr. Jason’s message last week, we witnessed Jesus’ divine power and authority being bestowed upon the demon-possessed man. We saw the love of God transform a lost soul into God’s son. And through this Christ-given love, Jesus restored one broken life. In the words of Dr. Jason, ‘we need faith to see that Jesus’ power and love protects us and restores us in every way. Today’s message is no different. We will see what Jesus can do when we just believe. My message has two parts.
Part I. Come by faith v.s 40-48
So far, we have seen Jesus getting bombarded everywhere he goes. From one town to another, he is constantly being met by a threat. From illnesses to demons, disabilities to death, Jesus has witnessed it all. And just after healing the demon-possessed man, Jesus returns back to Galilee in Capernaum where he was received by many, waiting for his arrival.
Look at verse 40, “Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.” It sounds like everyone wanted a piece of Jesus. When you start to hear that a man name Jesus is restoring many lives left and right suddenly you find yourself wanting a piece of the action. Restore my life! Heal me Jesus! Interestingly, wanting Jesus does not discriminate either. Anyone who is desperately in need of help will do anything to find a solution to their problem no matter if you are rich or poor, lowly, or important, when we have exhausted all of our resources and have nowhere else to go we find ourselves seeking one man and one man only. Jesus.
Look at verse 41, “then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about 12, was dying. For all the fathers out there, have you had a moment where you found yourself shielding or protecting your children from a threat to the point where you were willing to do anything to protect them? I could only imagine this is part of being a father. You see a threat to your children and you do anything you can to protect them and that is what we see in Jairus. So, what does Jairus, the synagogue leader do? He comes to Jesus.
The position of a synagogue leader is considered to be highly respected in society. This person is believed to be a rabbi, or a religious leader, who is entrusted to help the community with any problems. Therefore, people go to Jairus for answers. And yet, here is Jairus facing the ultimate crisis of his life, the threat of potentially losing his daughter. So, with no hesitation, he puts his job and reputation on the line by throwing himself down at Jesus’ feet.
Here, by coming to Jesus, Jairus was recognizing that Jesus can do something that great men cannot. You see, Jesus came to this earth to bring healing and life to a broken world. But in order to do that he had to confront the threats to us. For example, the threat of sin and evil inside of us that causes the self-centered and arrogance. The wars that we see around the world, and the shadow of disease, sickness, and death over us. As previously stated, Jesus is constantly confronting these threats throughout the book Luke.
Let us think about Jairus’ little girl now. At 12 years old, just as she is starting off her life and entering into adulthood, her life is being taking away. A girl around 12 years is also where she begins her menstrual period. And in those times in the Jewish culture, the girl’s family would start grooming her for marriage. In a way, bleeding for the first time was a sign of maturity. Keep this as a mental note.
So, what does Jesus do after Jairus presents himself with great hope and faith? Jesus agrees to go! Luke writes that Jesus was on his way. And every time we see Jesus agree to something he always comes through! Can you imagine what Jairus was feeling at that moment? Jesus coming to his house? There must have been great joy in his heart! His morale and hope must have skyrocketed. We might have a chance here! Praise the Lord! he was probably thinking.
And as Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And then a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years, but no one could heal her. She had spent all of her money on doctors but no one could help.
As I took a step back, I realized that this passage is a story of one person at a time. Jesus does not see a crowd of people he sees you. Here, Jesus sees two women, two daughters, two tragedies but there is hope.
Through this poor woman, we are reminded of the scars we all carry. Whether it be cancer, sickness, loss of a loved one, a broken family, a broken relationship, something we have done or we regret, visible or invisible, the scars are there. Can you imagine having a defect where you bleed on and on for 12 years? In a way, its almost like 12 years of chemotherapy.
So, why didn’t this woman throw herself at Jesus like Jairus did? First, this woman was alone. She had no one to plead for her, second she felt ashamed, and third she was ritually uncleaned. Leviticus 15:25 says, “when a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period.” It later goes on to say that anything or anyone she touches will also become unclean. This woman was in a constant state of uncleanness for 12 years. No one could come to her and she could not go to them. She was essentially outcasted from society.
But even still, what did she do? Verse 44 reads, “She came up from behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.” She essentially forces herself into the crowds unbeknownst to them she is rendering them unclean. That means everyone who was touched by this woman as she tries to wiggle her way towards Christ would literally have to quarantine at least for a day and wash themselves. Can you imagine how furious they would be?
Notice the connection that Luke the Doctor is making here in the text. He is holding up two stories of 12 years, two daughters bleeding side by side.
The girl has been growing and developing for 12 years to become a woman, to be ready for marriage and have children and to have it all stop here.
This other woman has been bleeding, bleeding, and bleeding for 12 years, her life has been fading away.
In one hand, there is a girl whose life will be cut short and never bear children, and on the other hand, there is a woman whose life is diminishing away. So, what was the result of that touch? Luke writes, “immediately her bleeding stopped.” She quickly slips away from the crowd but Jesus calls her back. Who touched me Jesus asks? Its funny because Peter with all respect in the world looked at Jesus and goes, ‘Um, sir, there’s a crowd of people surrounding you. I think everyone is touching you.’
But Jesus says, someone touched me. I know power has gone out from me. When God asks us questions they may not make sense to anyone else but what we hear and what we see is God saying, “I am talking to you.” Yes Jesus speaks firmly but on the contrary Jesus is extending compassion to this woman in at least two ways. First, Jesus is distinguishing the difference between brushing up against him and reaching out to him in faith. And he makes it clear that it was not the fact that she physically had contact with Jesus it was that she reached out to him in faith. That is what healed her physically. But secondly, Jesus looks at her knowing that her process of healing is not yet complete. Jesus wants to heal her relationally, emotionally, and spiritually as well.
47, “Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.”
It was as if Jesus wanted her to proclaim both personally and publicly who her savior was. And Jesus says to her, daughter. This is the only place in the bible where Jesus calls someone daughter. In all three accounts, Mathew, Mark, and Luke, he calls her daughter. She has no father in this text. Jesus calls her by the name she long to hear. Daughter. Perhaps more than physically healing, she needed to hear from a father, her father. Jesus sees the threat he steps up to shield her from that threat and in that moment she is no longer alone. She hears the voice perhaps for the first time in her life of a man who is good, who is strong, and who loves her and who is safe. Not only is she officially clean now, but more importantly she has a father. Then he leaves her by saying, “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
We too can become clean. Through Christ, we can become clean and washed by God. Jesus did not become unclean when this woman touched him. She became cleaned when she touched Jesus.
Part II. Finish your faith v.s 49-56
49, “While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. Your daughter is dead, he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” This is the pivot point in this story because apparently Jesus is too late. If Jesus would not have been so irresponsible by taking his time with this other woman maybe Jairus’ daughter would still be alive. The young 12 year old is now dead. Have you ever felt like Jesus has been a little too late for you? If only you were here 10 minutes ago we say. But nothing is ever too late in God. Nothing is ever impossible through Him. What was Jairus reaction? Did he listened to that person? No! He did not listened to the unbeliever. Jairus held on to his faith in Jesus and completed his faith in Him by obeying Christ and following through with his hope. Here, we are reminded how easy it is to be discouraged by others or be negatively influenced by the lack of faith others can instill on us. Telling Jairus that it was too late and that his daughter was already dead must have devastating. And like any father would do for his children Jesus turns to Jaieus and tells him “Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed.” And Jesus tells us constantly, do not be afraid, do not fear, be fearless, fear not, don’t be afraid. Why? Because our natural response, our natural reaction to a broken world is to be afraid.
When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and moaning for her. “Stop wailing, Jesus said. She is not dead but asleep. They laughed at him knowing that she was dead.
But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.
In the Jewish tradition, the Mosaic Law says that if you touch a corpse you will be unclean for 7 days. How long was Jesus uncleaned? He reversed the Mosaic Law. Instead of Jesus becoming unclean she becomes clean and life is breathed into her body. This is how powerful Jesus is.
Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened. Here, Jesus is saying, do not go on Facebook, do not check your email, do not grab your phone and start calling everyone, this is a holy moment with you and your family.
In closing, Jesus saw the threat of destruction before us, Jesus picked us up and shielded us from the destruction of being eternally separated from God by throwing his body onto the cross.
Jesus is doing what no father can ever do because Jesus is the ultimate father. Even in the darkest moments we live today, we can still find hope in Him.
I encourage you all to take a moment to reflect and ask Jesus to speak to you the way Jesus spoke to this woman. To honestly acknowledge my brokenness, where have I been bleeding for the last 12 years, where has my life been draining out of me just like this woman? Reach out to Jesus with your brokenness, maybe we need to hear the words you are my daughter, you are my son. Have faith that Jesus can heal your brokenness and fill in your joy.