Have you ever been there? You have used your last ditch effort and all human hope is gone, you’re praying there’s nothing lower than where you are, because where you are is no where you wanted to be. It wasn’t that you intended to be there, just… one day you were. In Luke Chapter 8 there are two lives that collide that had me taking note in a new way for this space and time of my life. It was new for me, maybe not new to you, but maybe so! Two people, whose lives were at the bottom, seek Jesus. And they find him in an extraordinary way.
There was Jairus, a ruler over the synagogue who had no doubt heard Jesus’ name a time or two in the Jewish circles. The religious leaders weren’t happy about the Man Who claimed to be God. They liked religion just the way it was. Controlled. There were rules and they could put people neatly in their place.
- You can come close.
- You may not.
- God will meet with you.
- You, not today. Perhaps tomorrow when you’re clean.
- Perhaps next week.
Religion makes life tidy. It’s repetitious. So tonight I’ll be teaching this thought to my teens. Pray for us as we
Delve into twelve
Jarius had a daughter of the age of twelve, who the scripture says was dying. That’s a hopelessness I can’t (nor do I want to) imagine. But it’s been very real for some people. Darius didn’t go to his religious friends.
I wonder why? Perhaps because you don’t find answers or hope to something new in repetition. It’s the same ol’ same ol’, is it not? He was experiencing something he’d never had to face before. The loss of his most prize possession… his child. He’d do anything to save her. And so he sought Jesus. And when he found him he fell down at his feet. He’d never done that at his church.
What was different? Jesus had power. That’s what the church needs! We need the power of God in our lives doing mighty and miraculous things; but we don’t have it because we’re stuck in repetition.
What do you suppose the reaction would have been by his religious friends? They’d no doubt question him, perhaps laugh, scorn or criticize. He might even lose his position. But Darius didn’t care! If he didn’t have hope, the job was nothing.
And then the collision
She doesn’t have a name, but if you know any bible and I say “she had an issue of blood”, you know her. She had had this issue twelve years. Hmmmm…. Jarius’ daughter was dying at twelve and this unnamed woman had suffered twelve. Significant? Probably far more significant than I’m about to try and explain, but for me it was an “aha” moment for my ministry.
The woman, like Jairus, had no hope of her own. She’d spent every dime she had, she had no doubt lost every relationship she had because no one could be with a person unclean. Her children couldn’t touch her, her husband couldn’t love on her and she was desperate for healing. But what she was about to do was to take her life in her own hands, when she, who was unclean, reached for the Priest. It was forbidden. Her life could get a lot worse and very quickly if anyone knew.
What kind of faith would that have taken? A bold faith! Do you have it? I pretend I do, but I’m not so sure. She crawls on the dirty ground to touch the dirtiest part of his garment. The part that had been dragging through the streets of camel poop and pee and heaven knows what else. She didn’t care! She knew if she could just touch the hem of His garment she would be made whole. So she did… and she was! And He knew!!!
What would have been her reaction then? I’ll bet her heart leapt into her throat! But even so she confessed to the Lord what had happened and His words to her was “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”
Wow! Was where I was when I read that today. Here in the midst of Jesus traveling to heal Jarius daughter, He finds another daughter who needs Him too. An old one… like me. One who needs a miracle in her life and she receives it through faith. But just before the party is about to break out the streets someone comes to Jesus from Jairus’ home and says “don’t bother, the girl has died.”
But He went in any way and there was grief everywhere. But Jesus said she wasn’t dead. And they laughed Him to scorn. But the last laugh was to be on them when Jesus raised that little girl from the dead and told them to get her a bologna sandwich!
Two daughters. Two miracles. One old. One young. The old needed healing. The young needed resurrection.
Can I say that the leadership of the church needs a healing and the bleeding to stop. Jesus’ blood covered it all. Every sin, every wicked thing in our life has been healed by Jesus and we need to get on with life.
So what about the young? They need resurrected! Time is short and there is a host of young people going to hell because they’ve believed what the world has said. The parents and the leaders need to humble themselves and fall before God, and the young need to listen and allow Jesus to give them a new life.
Delve into Twelve? How many months have we just been given? Twelve. What will we do with them? Are you Jairus, the woman or the child? Or… are you the repetitious religious one without hope? God has what we need to make 2017 amazing but it’s going to take some bold believers! Be one.