Jesus The Healer

Luke 8:40-56

Who has a mother?  We all have a mother.  Why?  Because something happened a long time ago in a beautiful garden called Eden.  Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.  Yes, we came from a mother.  Even Jesus came from a mother.  Look in Psalm 113, verse 14, where it says:

"I  praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

This verse is written in thanks to the Lord for His work in each of us in our coming into being.  Our mothers, my mother, had a big part in what happened.  They played a pretty big role in God's creative process. The official Mother's Day arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of a lady named  Anna Jarvis. Following her mother's 1905 death, Anna conceived of Mother's Day as a way of  honoring the sacrifices mothers make for their children.   Anna was Christian, and seemed to understand  what it means to  pass on the love of Christ.  Just be blessed that you, too, can say "thank you" because the Lord's blessing of you, fearfully and wonderfully made, came into being because of God and your mother and father.

What do mothers have to do with our sermon today.  Besides the fact that Jesus had a mother, Jesus was a healer.  Our stories of healing are miracle stories.  In one case, Jesus healed by the mere touch of His garment.  In the other, by someone coming to Jesus to ask; soometimes, we only need to ask.  Have you ever heard the expression, "A mother's touch"?  Do you believe that a mother can touch in the same simple way Jesus does, and healing can occur?  Do you think that mommies have that healing touch that God created mommies to be.  

John 14:11-14 tells us:

"Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me: or at least believe in the evidence of the miracles themselves.  I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

There is truth in Jesus' words that I see as untapped power in Jesus that is available to us here today.  Truth that helps us understand what happens in our story line.  Truth that we can know, that we can ask for anything in Jesus' name, and He will hear us.

I hope that, when we come together in community, we come with expectation of a special time with our Lord Jesus, for we know that, when two or more gather, He is here in our midst.  So, who was in that crowd that day?  Verse 41 tells us.

"Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of twelve, was dying.  As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her."

This woman was considered unclean.   To touch such a person would make the other person unclean.  She was someone with no place in the community, no voice whatsoever, not even the ability to go into the worship center.  My guess is that she considered herself totally undeserving of love from anyone for twelve long years.  She was poor, she was sick, she was an outcast.  She must have heard about the miracle-working power of Jesus. 

In one household (Jairus'), joy and happiness was born;  in another, sorrow, sickness, loneliness, and despair.  And here they are, in the same crowd, on the same day, both with great needs.  Jairus had probably witnessed the casting out of evil spirits and the healing of Simon's mother-in-law.  Did Jairus really know who this man Jesus really was?  Or was it that he had a mustard seed of faith, just enough to chance everything to see if Jesus could save the life of his daughter.  Maybe you and I don't know who Jesus really is when we first really look to Him, yet something happens when we realize that we can't get done what needs to be done without Him,  when we believe enough to take that simple step of faith.  What is clear in our story is that Jairus went to Jesus to plead for his daughter.  What is also clear is that the woman felt she had no other option in life but to try Jesus.  The story of two lives interwoven into one witness account for us to consider.   Both are helpless to find a cure.  Both have a degree of faith, albeit imperfect.  Both came to Christ in belief and desperation. 

Now take a look at what Jesus did out of His love and compassion.  The woman must have been thinking, "There is no way that Jesus would come to me.  He can't touch me.  I have this terrible disease.  I am an outcast.  If I secretly touch Him, without anyone knowing, maybe, just  maybe, I will be healed, and He won't be contaminated."  Is that backwards thinking?    Thinking that somehow we can contaminate Jesus with our diseases, or dare I say, our sins?  Not possible.  But she did not know that.  Verse 44 tells us,

"She came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped."

She didn't touch His head or His arm, but simply the hem of His robe.  Jesus' power completely overwhelmed the disease, and by her faith, she was made whole again.  Her plan had worked, except for one thing.  Her act of faith did not go unnoticed, as she had hoped it would.  In verses  46:

"'Who touched me?' Jesus asked.  When they all denied it, Peter said 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.' But Jesus said, 'Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.'"

Even our smallest acts of faith do not go unnoticed by our Lord.  Isn't that a wonderful thought?  In her case, she touched His garment.  In our case, His living spirit, the Holy Spirit, lives within, and we only need to whisper our concern with a mere mustard seed of faith.   In the woman's case, Jesus didn't want her faith step to go unnoticed, for Jesus knew  the impact of it on her  is maybe even true for us today.  For, if He had not called to her to come forward, we would not have the faith witness of her story. 

In verse 48, the woman came forward, yet another step of faith; maybe she even thought she was breaking a rule, which is why she was trembling.  She feared Him; maybe she feared the crowd more than she feared Jesus.  Jesus wanted all to know that she was now clean.  We see that Jesus comforts her by calling her "daughter," and explaining that it was her faith, her desperate faith in Jesus, that has healed her.  She is pronounced whole in front of the whole crowd.  This tells everyone what has happened - physical healing, how it happened through her faith, and what it meant to her.  His healing has restored her to the community.  Do you agree with me that to be whole or completely healed, we must be saved and welcomed into the community of believers, the body of Christ?  She became a daughter of the King, just as you and I are daughters and sons of the King, the most high God.  In verse 48, Jesus says to the woman:

"Then He said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace.'"

Then, Jesus is interrupted when news is brought to Him, news that sounds disastrous, that sounds like Jesus is too late.  But we know that Jesus is never too late.  In verse 49;

"While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler.  'Your daughter is dead.' he said.  'Don't bother the teacher any more.'

What Jairus had feared had become a reality.  His daughter was dead.  Yet what he was about to learn is that with God, all things are possible (Matt 19:26).  Jesus assured Jairus not to be afraid, to just believe, and his daughter would be healed.  The same lesson that had just been demonstrated as Jesus healed the woman, believe, that it is through your faith, Jairus, that your daughter will be healed.  God will do the healing, but the human part is faith.  God always does the work of salvation, and we do the believing.  Coming to Jesus was the right thing for Jairus to do.  Even though things seemed to be beyond hope, she would be well.  Wholeness, saved, healed, delivered.  Bring it to Jesus as Jairus did.  So they went to Jairus' home. In verses 32-36:

"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."

What an amazing story!  Now let's pay attention to a couple important points beyond what might be called "The Great Awakening.".  First, the crowd here is like most crowds.  They don't believe Jesus.  They laugh at Him.  Second, Jesus narrows those witnessing miracles to the child's parents and three disciples, an inner circle.  Why?  Maybe they were the only ones ready to accept  the true meaning of what they were about to witness.  It seems that Jesus had not yet wanted to share the reality of the resurrection. He does so later with Lazarus and then Himself.  The divine healing is the reality in what we see here.  For the woman, it was the healing of her physical and spiritual life.  I would suggest that Jairus' entire family was brought to new spiritual life as a result of the divine physical healing of their daughter.  Third,  it seems clear that the child's spirit had left her body, and Jesus had commanded it to return.  I wonder if this is a precursor to when Jesus returns and all the believers who have gone on before us will return with their new bodies.  Some do interpret this passage as a precursor of what is to come. 

This passage concludes when Jesus tells them not to tell anyone.  Those who were wailing and mourning about the death of a 12-year-old who was now up and about and needing something to eat.  What a true story of faith!  What a story about the power of our Lord Jesus!  What a story of healing wholeness in our Lord Jesus.!  Most of all, what a story about faith!

What about you, and what about me?  When we face trials in our lives, do we act in faith like the woman in our story?  Or like Jairus?  Remember, it does not matter who you are.  We really saw that in this story.  What the condition of your heart is, or your position in life.  I think it would be correct to say that the words Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid.  Just believe, and she will be well." (verse 50), is what we should remember.  Faith in our Lord Jesus is always the answer.  It says in Psalm 50, verse 15, 

"Call upon me in the day of trouble;  I will deliver you, and you will honor me."

It is through the trials and the days of trouble that we get to know just a little bit better, how much Jesus loves us, wants us whole, and willingly delivers us from all evil.  Maybe the  Lord does know where all the parts go, and maybe He wants us to be physically well, and maybe ultimately, it's that new body that He's got planned for us.  He wants us spiritually, and He wants us in relationship with Him.  He willingly delivers us from all evil.  He loves us, and desires our love in return.  He desires relationship with Him, and with each other to be whole.

Not just this way, but clearly this way, we are a  community of believers.  We are to love one another.  Why?  Because God loved us first.  Today I say, on Mother's Day, love one another.  Believe that Jesus is the great healer.  Believe that Jesus is the great comforter.  Believe that Jesus can make you whole.  Believe that Jesus will deliver our loved ones.  Believe that Jesus will heal our relationships.  We are His family.  Let us be family to one another.  Believe that, in making it so, we will glorify Him.  Believe that mom's kisses do work, for they are kisses that come from Jesus through the mommy.