Wednesday, October 24, 2012



In Luke 8:40 we come to a fascinating story where Jesus performs a miracle while on His way someplace and then made an appointment for another miracle.  
Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 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 twelve, was dying.
But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him. And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, "Who is the one who touched Me?" And while they were all denying it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You." But Jesus said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me."
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. Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."
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." Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."
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 mourning 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. 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.

These two stories fused together are interesting to compare. Both women are called daughters, both have to do with the number 12-the age of Jairus' daughter and the suffering of the woman-and in both situations faith was key. Also both saw Jesus as the only answer to their need.

There was a superstition at that time that seems to have motivated the woman to touch Jesus' garments. The fringe worn on the border of the outer garment was believed to have special power of the Messiah's robe. If she could just touch that fringe border, then she might be healed of her condition.

Jesus shows Himself to be the physician and healer of the unacceptable, the sick and the dead when He heals this woman. Think of her desperation. She had been unclean because of her bleeding for 12 years. That adds up to 12 years of disappointment, 12 years of being left out, unable to participate in worship or feasts, 12 years of being rejected and unacceptable, 12 years of feeling like a nobody. She saw Jesus as the only answer she might ever have to solve her problem.

Think what Jesus did for her: 1. Jesus' presence and touch actually healed her. 2. Jesus made her clean. 3. Jesus made her a participant again. 4. Jesus gave her peace. 5. Jesus made her feel special by not leaving her in the crowd. No doubt, once Jesus identified her, she must have felt like she was the only one in the crowd.

Jesus didn't let the woman remain as part of the faceless crowd, so He identified her! Jesus actually said, "Be continually healed." To the only person He ever called "daughter" He granted continuing health.

After this unusual encounter, Jesus overheard that Jairus' daughter was dead. Jesus interjected Himself into the situation, encouraging Jairus, the leader of the synagogue not to be afraid and to have faith.

It's interesting that Jesus took His three main men along with Him as He went to visit the daughter of Jairus who was presumed to be dead. This is another field trip with His disciples, but this time it's a triple A miracle that is needed here. This girl is dead and the mourners are well into the mourning process. Jesus goes into her room and raises her from the dead.

These two women serve as great illustrations of hope when you're in the midst of desperate situations, even to the point of death. Here's the way I see the principle:




As we proceed through chapter 8 of Luke we come to verse 26 where Jesus encounters the wild man from the land of the Gerasenes on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee.  
They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demonized man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demonized man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

We've looked at this story recently and it always speaks to me of transformation. There are four phases in genuine transformation that comes through Jesus:

FIRST-You have to be in real trouble. Maybe you aren't as bad off as this man, but everyone of us has a desperation factor from time to time. Just last night we were discussing with some friends how amazing denial is within a family. Well, this man was not in denial about his alienation and there was no family member left to cover up for him. He was just too far gone.

SECOND-Jesus must intervene within your desperation.

THIRD-Just about everything is transformed from the inside out. In this case the demonized man was sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind. His insanity was turned into sanity. In his insanity he was repulsive; and now he is attractive.

FOURTH-Because of the demonized man's story, his entire village heard the good news of Jesus. He couldn't get enough of hanging out with Jesus and begged to be able to go on the road with Him. Jesus sent him right back to his people.

Now, note something here. This transformed man didn't go to his people and condemn them. He didn't go to them and try to straighten out their belief system. He simply and persuasively told all who would listen about what Jesus had done for him.

This must be our focus, too. We must be about sharing what Jesus has done on our behalf. It's not the program; it's the person of Jesus that matters most. Let me ask you something. What has Jesus done for you lately? Are you able to identify the Jesus factor in your life? Can you see yourself sharing this with another friend? Then think and pray about going back home and wait for the opportunities to do so. Remember, God sets up the appointments. All you have to do is SHOW UP.