"There is no one too bad or too good to get Jesus' attention." Pastor JD began his sermon today with these words as he talked on Luke 8 beginning with verse 40, the stories of Jairus and his daughter and the woman with the issue of blood. Jairus was everything a good synagogue ruler should be pious and upright and yet when he came to Jesus to plead for the life of his only daughter he fell prostrate before him. Such things were unheard of back then. Jesus agreed to go with him and while he travelled the crowd pushed in on him. In the crowd was a woman with an issue of blood, an issue which had plagued her for 12 years. She was considered unclean, unfit, unworthy to be in crowds, unloveable, broken. Yet she thought, she knew if she just grabbed the fringe of Jesus' garment she would be healed and made whole again. Her life would be changed forever. Once she grabbed it, the power was imparted and she was immediately healed. Jesus, knowing it had happened stopped the crowd and asked who had touched Him. Why did He ask? Surely, the Son of God knew who it was. It was to give her an opportunity to step forth in faith, in front of others. Once she did come forth, He spoke very tenderly calling her daughter, the ultimate adoption on the spot!! Her faith had made her whole. While Jesus was speaking (you know the story), someone came to say that Jairus' daughter had died but Jesus went to her anyway saying she would be healed too. When they arrived funeral arrangements had already begun and wailing was rampant. Jesus said she was only asleep. Can you imagine?? But He tenderly went to her and took her hand and told her to get up. Here we have a beautiful image of Jesus visiting with us at our deathbed, holding our hand and speaking softly to us -- all this while "the shadow of death" falls over us. JD gave this analogy of death for Christians: It feels like separation will last forever. However, think of it this way. A mack truck is coming your way. Would you rather be hit by the truck or by the shadow of the truck? As Christians we are only hit by the shadow of the truck or death. Isn't that awesome?? We don't have to fear death!! Jesus will be right there at our side. What a great sense of relief that is?! Several things I want to make note of here. Jesus' primary ministry was reconnecting us to God, not resurrecting the dead, healing the sick or any other side note or tangent. God wants to have a relationship with us again and this is made possible by Jesus and His sacrifice. Remember, what I said about Jesus' primary ministry being to reconnect us to God. Well, sometimes that means we don't get our miracles. But when we're fully connected to the Father, earthly miracles just don't matter quite as much. I don't mean not to ask because the Word is clear that we should ask all in His name, just sometimes the answer is no.
1. COME TO HIM. -- don't let the law or the crowds keep you from Him. The crowd did not keep the woman from Jesus and she was made whole and what's even more important she was adopted into His kingdom.
2. BE PUBLIC ABOUT IT. -- Jesus called her daughter after she owned up so confess Him as your Lord in front of your friends and loved ones.
3. YOU CAN SCARCELY UNDERESTIMATE HIS TENDERNESS & COMPASSION. -- He cares. He doesn't change. He's interruptible. On the cross He took our defilement. He absorbed our uncleanness so that we become clean.
4. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT GOD DETERMINES HOW YOU RELATE TO HIM. -- If you really understood who He is, you would want Him, you would pray, you would yield to Him. God is always working for our good. His power guarantees He can. His love guarantees He will.
So, which are you, the good synagogue ruler or the unclean woman? Which one deserved Jesus' help more? Which one got it? Yeah, me too...