We are in still Luke Chapter 8 where Jesus tells us about the importance of faith and how true faith affects us. Jesus taught His Disciples (and us) that:
|C.||Believers Tell Others||(v.26-39)|
|D.||Believers Trust Jesus||(v.22-25,40-56)|
For each of us as humans, faith and trust seem to be unnatural acts. We want to know and understand. There are some things we cannot and perhaps should not know and understand. Our relationship with Jesus required faith. God designed it that way.
In the four sections of this part of Luke, we see Jesus teaching His disciples about His own trustworthiness. He shows them (and us) that He is greater than any problem or issue of life that we may face.
Two weeks ago we saw how Jesus proved to the Disciples that (1) He had power over natural forces, the storm. Last week we saw (2) He had power over demons. We also saw that Satan and his demons, although more powerful that we are as humans, are not much against Jesus. Hollywood tries to make them look like a challenge to God, but they are not. Each of us, plus Jesus, can clean their clock.
I think it is important to remember what C. S. Lewis said:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which people fall about the devils. One is to refuse to believe in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors.”Last week we also saw that true believers tell others about Jesus, even though they are not pastors or teachers or trained in evangelism. They just tell others what Jesus did for them. That is all the demon possessed man did, but it changed an area.
Today: we will see that (3) Jesus also has power over disease.
A part of each true believer’s trust is Jesus is to trust that He has power over disease, just like natural disasters and demons.
And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house; for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she 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.” When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke8:40-48Let’s see what we can learn from this passage.
And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house. Luke 8:41In Matthew’s account of this situation, we learn that Jesus was in the middle of a conversation when Jairus interrupts. Jairus’ interruption is understandable; his daughter is dying.
While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.” Matthew 9:18A synagogue official was in charge of the synagogue services and was responsible for maintaining and cleaning the building.
What attitudes does Jairus show toward Jesus?
But we also need to notice how willing Jesus was to be interrupted, to stop what He was doing, to set aside His plans for the day and to go with Jairus to help his daughter. Jesus is our example here in both compassion and availability.
We get a picture here of Jesus’ notoriety; the crowds following Jesus had reached a point where He could barely get from one point to the next.
And a woman ... had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone. Luke 8:43
First the demon-possessed man, then Jairus, now the sick woman in each case the Scriptures show that only Jesus could help these people. That’s an important truth for us to remember. For every person, there is help that only Jesus can give.
And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” Luke 8:45
John MacArthur in his commentary on the Book of Matthew says, “God not only is sensitive to the needs of the multitude but to the cry of an individual. He sometimes leads His servants, as he often led His own Son, to temporarily put a seemingly larger ministry aside in order to concentrate on one person.”
And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:48
The disciples saw Jesus still the storm and cast out the demons. Now they see His power over disease is so great that this woman, just by touching Him in faith, is healed.
A woman ... came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. ... And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:44,48This passage drives home both the greatness of Jesus' power and the importance of faith.
What about those who aren't healed?
This brings up a troubling question - if someone who is ill is not healed, is it due to a lack of faith on their part? What should we do when someone is ill? And why bother praying if there's no guarantee the person will be healed?
The answer to this helps us to understand the nature of faith. We need to be careful not to see faith as a means of imposing our will on God. By faith, we should bring every circumstance, every need to Jesus knowing that His power is greater than any problem, any disease we may face. But just as important, by faith, we submit our desires to His will. By faith, we believe that He can and will heal if that is according to His will. And also by faith, we seek His will first, regardless of what it may be. His answer may be no, that is what you want but is not the best answer.
Remember that even Jesus did not always receive what He asked for in prayer. There was never any lack in His faith. Yet when He prayed that He might be delivered from the cross, His request was denied.
...saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Instead, God gave Him the strength to face His task.
Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. Luke 22:43
Notice, too, that Jesus submitted His request and desire to His Father's will.
Matthew Henry, a Bible scholar of the early 1700s, wrote: “Sometimes Christ sees that we need sickness for the good of our souls more than healing for the good of our bodies.”
How about you? Are you going to Jesus with your requests by faith, believing that He can do anything and submitting your desire and your request to His will?
(4) Believers Trust in Jesus' Power Over Death:
While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.” And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened. Luke 8:49-56
Here are the take-homes from this section:
Do not be afraid any longer. Luke 8:50
These tender words of comfort to Jairus are important for us today as well. "Don't be afraid..." Over and over again we are told this throughout the Bible.
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10I have read that this is the most common command in Scripture. It is closely connected to Don’t worry.
Then Jesus says, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe.” Luke 8:50
Just believe. Just believe that Jesus’ power and wisdom are greater than any problem, any difficulty, any disaster you may face. Just believe that His will is best, whatever it may be. Just believe that the best thing you can do is to bring the situation to Him and turn it over to Him and trust Him. Just believe!
Then Luke tells us, He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” Luke 8:54
Jesus demonstrates that His power is greater even than death itself. It was so important that His disciples understand this. In fact, our hope of eternal life is based on our faith that Jesus' power is greater than the power of death.
John MacArthur, again in his commentary on Matthew, says,
“In Christ there is no longer reason to fear sickness, disease, demons, deformity, tragedy, or even death. As believers, we can even rejoice in dying, because our Lord has conquered death. Though we will not be brought back to this life, we will be raised to new life. In Him is fullness of joy and life everlasting. ‘No longer must the mourners weep,’ a poet reminds us, ‘nor call departed children dead; for death is transformed into sleep and every grave becomes a bed’.”Paul says in First Corinthians:
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57Whatever the storm you face in life disasters, demons, disease, even death Jesus’ power is greater. He is the One we need; He is all we need!