Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God that he knows our needs and that he provides for us perfectly, even if at times we do not fully understand it immediately and want to sort our problems ourselves. Psalm 46:1,2,10,11.
Confess the sin of impatience. Ask God to give you the grace to wait and see what he is doing in your life before drawing a hasty response.
Please read Luke 8:40-48 - Jesus does know what is best for us.
Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you in your understanding of his Word.
V40. A man.
Jesus returns home to Capernaum the same day as he had healed the man in the Gerasenes, and he was met by a crowd who welcomed him. It seems like the man never had a minute to himself, except when he went off early in the morning to pray. The events recorded in Luke 5:17-38 happen at this point. How do I know? From Matthew's gospel, which is more chronological in its recording of these events; see Matthew 9.
A degree of the drama is lost in the ESV translation. The word used in the Greek is the same one used to describe the entrance of the woman into Simon the Pharisee's home, Luke 7:37. As in that verse, the use of 'behold' would better reflect the astonishment of what transpires now. Jesus is responding to a question about fasting, Matthew 9:17, when a man suddenly approaches him. The man is a prominent figure in the community, one of the synagogue rulers in the town. You may have noticed it already, but Luke seldom gives the name of people whom Jesus meets, but he does so on this occasion; the man's name is Jairus. He's evidently in a distressed state. The cause of his distress – his twelve-year-old and only daughter, 'only' in the sense of only child, is dying. Matthew says that Jairus tells Jesus that she has died, Matthew 9:18. How do we explain that? Looking at the brevity of Matthew's account, it's clear that he is giving an abbreviated version of events, and it is important to note that nothing in what he says is materially different from what ultimately took place. You can almost sense the fear in Jairus. His worst nightmare is unfolding in front of him. He must have been torn whether to leave his daughter or not, and yet he knew there was only one hope for her – Jesus. Nothing was going to stop him from speaking with Jesus. Ordinarily he was a polite, well mannered, respectable man; under normal circumstances he would have waited until Jesus had finished what he was doing, but this demanded an urgent intervention. He falls at Jesus' feet, not an unusual thing when coming into the presence of someone considered significant; on this occasion, however, I think it was more due to the man's emotionally distressed state than accepted cultural deference. His world is falling apart, and he wants Jesus to come to his house and lay hands on her so that she will live, Mark 5:23, and he pleads for him to come and do so.
Many things are important in our lives, but some things are 'off the page' important. Things only God can address. How we deal with those things determines the course of our lives. Jairus reached out to Jesus in a way that let Jesus know that he was serious, and Jesus responded immediately. Note the ever-present and pressing crowd which follows.
V43. A woman.
Among the crowd pressing in on Jesus is a woman, not unusual in itself, there would have been hundreds of women in the crowd. What is unusual is what happens to this woman. Luke tells us that she had been hemorrhaging blood for twelve years. The same length of time that Jairus' daughter had been alive. It was a condition that would have framed her life. Physically, this would have been extremely demanding on her body. Socially, it would have meant that she was considered ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 15:25ff.), drastically curtailing her opportunities for normal human interaction. As for public worship, that would have been impossible for the same reason. Financially, she was ruined. She had gone to doctor after doctor, each offering to address the problem, but none of them could do so; in fact, their interventions had made it worse, Mark 5:26.
Desperate, the woman ventures out to see Jesus, and in the melee that surrounds him, she makes her way to the point where she is behind him, and then it happens – she touches a tassel on Jesus' square outer robe that is thrown over his shoulder. The merest physical contact with a tassel, probably bobbing about on Jesus' back, as he walks along. Why? Because she believes that if she does it, she will be healed. It is astonishing that she would think such a thing could be possible, let alone believe it. Where would she get the idea from? She must have heard and seen Jesus heal others from a distance and, somehow, despite all that she had been through, believed that he could heal her. It is incredible when you stop to think about it. Instantly she is healed, and she knows it. Mark says, "she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.” Mark 5:29. What elation she must have felt. Twelve years of daily, unrelenting physical suffering are instantly gone. The possibility for renewed social interaction, yes, it would take time, but it would come; not to speak of the financial implications for the remainder of her life. All these thoughts must have been cascading through her speechless mind as she slowed down and allowed the crowd to pass by her; and then Jesus stops. He turns around; the urgency to get to Jairus' home is set aside for a moment, and he asks who touched his garment? Peter states the obvious, in essence, pick any one of a hundred people. But Jesus is not asking about those who have pressed up against him with no thought of what they are doing. He's asking about the one who touched him, knowing what and why they were doing so. Jesus knows that “power” went out from him, he had permitted it, and he knows to whom and why, but he wants the person to come forward publicly. Why? Why would Jesus, knowing the woman's plight, want to make a public spectacle of her? She, after all, had done what she had because she wanted to keep her anonymity. This was a deeply personal matter. Others would possibly have been aware of it, but there is a difference between a few friends knowing and the whole of the community. Who wants their personal affairs to be laundered in public? Some things are just best left unsaid. Is Jesus so lacking in common sense that he cannot see and understand this? God often does things or allows things to happen in our lives that apparently make no sense, and often through other people, whether they are aware of it or not.
V46. Jesus persists.
Jesus persists, and indirectly, that is by way of a general question to the crowd, invites the person to come forward. He desires that they do so voluntarily, for their own good. The woman responds, again showing her faith in Jesus. She steps forward, physically trembling, fearful of what Jesus might say. This is a profoundly disturbing moment for her. Her head must have been all over the place, yet she remains calm as she falls at his feet, and with her head bowed low, she tells him, in front of everyone, that it was her who had touched him, and she has been healed. So why did Jesus put her through this? Why did he not let her slip quietly away into the crowd, and go home rejoicing? Because this woman needed to know that he loved her, as did the people in the community. Jesus didn't want her to go home, and after the excitement had died down to possibly think that she had done something wrong in secretly benefiting from his healing power. He also wanted people to know that he had healed her. This was probably difficult for her to understand, but she would subsequently see the blessing of it to her.
When God does things that we don't understand, things that seem to only make the situation worse and not better, things for which there appears to be no plausible explanation, we need to content ourselves that God does know what and why he is doing it. Time will reveal the reason for it. Much damage can be done to a relationship if we jump in quickly and accuse someone of harming us when they have been acting with genuine motives, and cannot explain what led them to do what they did. In my experience, such events, rare as they are, often reveal God's hand at a later date. James' words of – "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God," James 1:19,20, are ones that we need to pay heed to in such moments in our lives.
Jesus' parting words to this woman are gentle and tender, knowing that she will receive them with grace. He calls her “daughter”. She is the only woman recorded in Scripture to have been addressed by Jesus in this way. Except for this word, Jesus' words (in the Greek) are identical to those he used when speaking with the woman in Simon the Pharisee’s home, Luke 7:50.
Faith in the Lord is a wonderful and mighty gift in our lives, and it bears fruit that is a blessing to us more than we often imagine. We just need to be more sensitive to God's work in our lives, and sometimes take more care not to jump to hasty conclusions based on our first impressions of a situation.
Tomorrow we will see what happens to Jairus' daughter.
A Psalm to Sing.
Psalm 122A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung. Sing with joy in your heart to God.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,"
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 59 - Which day of the seven has God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?
Answer - From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath, but thereafter he appointed the first day of the week, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath /or Lord's Day.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God that the Lord Jesus Christ knows and loves us intimately, and he will do what is best for us, even if at times we don't get it. Pray and ask God for a submissive heart and a slow tongue.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley