Jesus said that if your faith was the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains. He longs for us to experience His power in response to our faith. He wants us to believe He is able. He longs for us to know there is nothing He cannot do. Do you have a confident faith? Or is your faith cautious or even critical and doubtful at times?
Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-43, Luke 8:40-56
- What kind of faith do we see in Jairus? (Luke 8:41-42, Luke 8:49-50, 56)
- What did the woman have to overcome in order to consider coming to Jesus? (Luke 8:43; Lev. 15:19-30)
- What kind of faith do we see in this woman ? (Mark 5:27-28; Luke 8:44, 47-48)
- What kind of faith do we see in Jairus’ family? (Luke 8:49-53)
- How did Jesus encourage Jairus’ faith? (Luke 8:48-50)
What was God doing? Why did He have this written down?
In all the excitement around the bleeding woman, it would have been easy to almost forget about why they were in the streets that day. But, while Jesus was speaking to the woman, someone from Jairus’ house also made their way through the crowd. But, instead of coming by faith, they came in doubt. When they got to Jesus instead of drawing power from Jesus as the woman’s faith led her to do, they declare, “Your daughter is dead, do not trouble the Teacher any more.”
The woman had just declared the journey her faith brought her on. Starting with the shame and heartache of her wretched sickness, she then described stories she had heard of Jesus being able to heal. She described the hope she had, and how that hope produced a faith that she acted on. The final act of faith as touching his garment.
Then, turning to Jairus, it’s almost as if Jesus capitalizes on her testimony by saying, “Do not fear, only believe.” The woman set aside her fears and her shame. She did believe, and she acted on her belief. Her faith brought healing. Jesus is now telling Jairus, “The same can be true for you. Don’t fear, only believe, and your daughter will be well!”
Jairus has just heard that his little daughter, his only daughter, is not just sick, but dead! What would have been going through his mind? I’m sure he was fearful. I’m sure there would have been some hesitancy and wondering if he should heed his family members and just “not trouble the Teacher any more,” now that she is dead. Jesus speaks to that fear and doubt. So, instead of listening to those who came with the news, Jairus follows a fleeting glimmer of faith and takes Jesus and his disciples to his house.
As I ask these questions of myself, I encourage you to ask them too.
- What can I learn from this? What is God saying to me and my life from this passage?
- What kind of faith do I have? Which of these 3 examples most describes my faith?
- Confident faith: The woman had faith that led her to action! He faith led her to put aside her fear and shame and push through the crowd just to touch his garment. Her faith drew power from God and she received what she had believed God for.
- Cautious faith: Jarius was hesitant and fearful. His faith did lead him to seek out Jesus. But when confronted with tragic news by family members who doubted God’s power, he doubted and was fearful. Jesus had to almost take him by the hand and lead Him in His faith. But, although cautious and hesitant, God still honored his faith.
- Critical faith: Instead of believing Jesus and taking him at His word, Jairus’ family laughed at the possibility of what God could do. Therefore Jesus put them out of the house and they were not able to witness God’s power.
- What do I need become more aware of?
- What do I need to push through in faith and grab a hold of Jesus to receive power from Him to overcome?
- What am I hesitant to believe God for?
- Is there anything that I have just written off as being dead / or a lost cause. Is there something that I just don’t believe God could do?
- How does God want me to engage with this? What does He want me to do because of what He is saying here?
- I think my faith in regards to money is a cautious faith. I do know God can provide. I know He has provided in the past. But, when I see the bottom line on my statement, I struggle to have confident faith and just rest in Him.
- In my ministry I have times I think I have a critical faith when it comes to my ability to change and adapt to a new way of doing things. What I have always done, and what has been modelled to me is different than how our leadership would like us to run this program. I am struggling learning to do things in a new way, and I do feel like at times, I am never going to be able to be effective in this way of doing things. But even as I write, I realize that it’s going to take a confident faith that takes a hold of Jesus and lets His power coursing through me, accomplish His work! It’s only what He accomplishes through me that really matters anyway. That was all that Jesus was concerned about, and that’s all I should be focused on also.
The Power; Implement and Integrate
The power to change is in the implementation and integration of what God is saying to us. We can talk all we want, make lots of plans, but until we do something about it, and develop habits that integrate those truths, we will never change. What is the one thing I need to do as a result of this study today?
- As I spend time with Jesus everyday, I am going to asking him to give me something I can share every day.
- As the Lord gives opportunity to interact with my students, I will share what He gave me, and be quick to talk about my being His instrument and my desire for what I do to be the activity of the Father in and through me, HIs adopted Son.
- Remember how God can do amazing things in response to believing faith! In response to our faith, He revels in wowing us with His greatness!
Verse by verse insights:
Jesus has just calmed the storm giving the disciples a picture of His power they will never forget. Then they witnessed him calm the storm in the heart of a man possessed by a legion (6000?) demons. The wind and waves obey him, and even 6000 demons cower in his presence.
Let’s pick up the story from Luke’s account this time.
Luke 8:40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him.
After telling the formerly possessed man to go back home and broadcast the incredible thing Jesus did for him, Jesus headed the people’s request for him to leave the area. He and His disciples got back in the boat and went back to Capernaum. When they arrived, the crowds were waiting for him.
Luke 8:41-42 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him.
The TV show “The Chosen” portrays Jairus as kind of a cleric in the synagogue. Luke and Mark describe him as, “one of the rulers of the synagogue.” (Mark 5:22) “The Chosen” show him to be a man who was very careful, but underneath secretly followed Jesus. But, when his daughter falls ill, he sends for Jesus and begs him to help. Mark comments that she was “at the point of death.” (Mark 5:23) Matthew actually says, “She has just died…” (Matt 9:18) Luke also highlights that this is his only daughter.
So, Jesus agrees to go with the man. But, as they go, there is a large crowd pressing in on Jesus. Again, I think The Chosen represented this scene well. There were people everywhere. It was hard to make any headway walking through the streets because of the crowds. Jesus and his disciples had to almost push their way through the crowd, touching and rubbing up against many people as they force their way through the crowd.
Luke 8:43-44 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.
For a Jew, touching blood was a very “dirty” thing. It was ceremonially unclean. Even more so was a woman’s menstrual blood. Many cultures have taboos and things associated with a woman’s menstrual blood. In PNG a woman would have to leave her home and go sleep in their “garden house” until her period was over. She could not cook food, wash clothes, or doing any of her regular duties because she would make them unfit and unclean. The law of Moses had similar taboos, you can read them in Lev. 15:19-30. This woman basically had a perpetual period or flow of menstrual blood for 12 years! This would have made her perpetually ceremonially unclean and an outcast. And not only an outcast, but everywhere she went, everything she touched, any person she had contact with she would potentially cause to also be unclean.
I really like how Ken Gire describes this scene in his book, “Moments with the Savior.”
“She has been labeled unclean by the rabbis and subjected to the Levitical prohibitions: unable to touch others or to be touched. Ostracized by the synagogue. Orphaned by society. And orphaned by God, or so she thinks.
She had prayed. She had pleaded. But for twelve agonizing years God has been silent. If you were to encounter her, Her eyes would be downcast as you pass by. She is self-conscious . . . ashamed . . . and afraid. She fears the condescension in your eyes. She fears the indifference of your shoulder turned coldly against her. But most of all, she fears the gavel you bring down on her life. She fears the judgment that her illness is the direct result of some personal sin. And with a bleeding uterus, anyone could guess what kind of sin she has committed. “Sexual, no doubt,” are the whispered innuendoes. “Some perversion, most likely,” are the gossiped indictments.
And so, besides the shame of the constant bleeding, she bears the burden of its stigma. She carries this weight everywhere she goes. She has gone to every physician she can, and the only thing they have relieved her of is her money. She is destitute now. Her life is ebbing away. The steady loss of blood over the years has taken its toll. She is anemic, pale, and tired. So very, very tired. Tired of the shame. Tired of the stigma. Tired of the charlatans.
But stories of another physician reach down to pick up the pieces of her life. A physician who charges no fee. A physician who asks for nothing in return. Who has no hidden agenda beyond making a sick world well again.
She has heard of this physician, this Jesus who comes not to the healthy but to the sick. Who comes not to the strong but to the downtrodden. Who comes not to those with well-ordered lives but to those whose lives are filled with physical and moral chaos.
And she has heard of Jesus’ success among incurables: the curing of an uncontrollable demoniac . . . the raising of a widow’s dead son . . . the healing of a leper.
A leper, she thinks. Another untouchable. Another orphan
And so, with that thin thread of faith, this frail needle of a woman stitches her way through the crowd.
Her tired frame is jostled by those clustered around Jesus.They are pressing him, brushing shoulders, and rubbing against him—the curious, the eager, and the desperate.
This desperate woman pushes her empty hand through a broken seam in the crowd and, for a fleeting moment, clutches the corner of his garment. Jesus is pulled back. Not by the grasp of her hands, but by the grasp of her faith. Power has left him to surge through the hemorrhaging woman, and immediately she feels the rush of her youthful health returning. In the flood of those feelings, she releases her grasp and is swept away by the crowd.
Luke 8:45-46 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.”
With the large crowd that was around Jesus that day, it would have seem a strange thing for him to ask, “Who touched me.” Many would have brushed by him. Many would have touched his garments in passing. But none had a faith that expected healing! Jesus clarified his question, “Someone touched me, for I perceive power has gone out from me.”
What kind of faith draws power from Jesus just by touching the fringe of his garment? This woman had the faith to push through a crowd, just to get close enough to touch his garment. In her condition, had she started bleeding and people noticed, it would have been a huge scene, and they would have surely sent her away in a shameful way. But she took a risk, by faith. And the moment she touched his garment, she felt the flow stop. She knew immediately that she had been healed. And Jesus knew immediately that power had gone out of him. How ready is Jesus to respond to the hand of outstretched faith?
Luke 8:47-48 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
As Jesus stops to scan the crowd, every thing stopped. The woman was not able to get away. When she realized she was exposed and no longer hidden in the crowd, she turns and comes back to Jesus. She falls at his feet, trembling. She then declares what her faith led her to do in front of everyone. She heard of Jesus. She believed He had the power to heal. She put her faith into action and came. Despite her shame and the potential scene she may cause. But in believing faith, pushed her way through the crowd and touched Jesus!
God is always ready to honor someone who comes to Him in believing faith! Jesus responds by saying, “Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
Luke 8:49-50 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.
In all the excitement around the bleeding woman, it would have been easy to almost forget about why they were in the streets that day. But, while Jesus was speaking to the woman, someone from Jairus’ house also made their way through the crowd. But, instead of coming by faith, they came in doubt. When they got to Jesus instead of drawing power from Jesus, they declare, “Your daughter is dead, do not trouble the Teacher any more.”
The woman had just declared the journey her faith brought her on. Starting from the first stories she had heard of Jesus being able to heal, concluding with her touching his garment. It’s almost as if Jesus capitalizes on her testimony when He says, “Do not fear, only believe.” The woman set aside her fears and her shame. She did believe, and she acted on her belief. Her faith brought healing. Jesus is now telling Jairus, “The same can be true for you. Don’t fear, only believe, and she will be well!”
Jairus has just heard that his little daughter, his only daughter, is not just sick, but dead! What would have been going through his mind? I’m sure he was fearful. I’m sure there would have been some hesitancy and wondering if he should “not trouble the Teacher any more” now that she is dead. Jesus speaks to that fear and doubt. So, instead of listening to those who came with the news, Jesus and his disciples continue to Jairus to his house.
Luke 8:51-53 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead
The people laughed at Jesus! Can you imagine. The creator of the universe, the one who spoke and there became light. He spoke the stars into existence! And when He said “she is only sleeping,” they laughed! What a contrast between the faith who pushed through the power to touch his garment, and laughing at the very idea of Jesus having the power to heal!
Mark actually says, “And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in.” Jesus left the doubters outside, and took only those who were walking by faith in to witness what He would do!
Luke 8:54-55 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
It is amazing what God can do in response to believing faith! Actually, God can do anything, whether we believe He can or not. But, in response to our faith, God revels in wowing us with His greatness! The people laughed, but the girls parents were amazed! Oh that we would have the kind of faith that draws power from God and enables God to wow us with that power.
As the physical image of the invisible God, God continues to use the hands and feet of Jesus, to display His power and glory. There was nothing in Jesus’ life that was not the activity of the Father in and through the Son. Not only does God want to show us power to us when we believe Him, but He also wants to use us to show His power and glory to those who witness our lives!