Jesus Heals in Response to Faith
Matthew 9:18-26 NLT
“As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before him. “My daughter has just died,” he said, “but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her.”
So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”
Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
When Jesus arrived at the official’s home, he saw the noisy crowd and heard the funeral music. “Get out!” he told them. “The girl isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” But the crowd laughed at him. After the crowd was put outside, however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up! The report of this miracle swept through the entire countryside.”
Mark 5:22-43 NLT
“Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”
Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James). When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
The crowd laughed at him. But he made them all leave, and he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed. Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat.”
Luke 8:41-56 NLT
“Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him. His only daughter, who was about twelve years old, was dying.
As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”
But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
While he was still speaking to her, a messenger arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. He told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.”
When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, James, and the little girl’s father and mother. The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died. Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, “My child, get up!” And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up! Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were overwhelmed, but Jesus insisted that they not tell anyone what had happened.”
My Thoughts: Today I’ve included extra scripture from the books of Mark and Luke about the sick child and the desperate woman because they offer more personal details. I’m a lover of details and I hope you are too.
Our story opened with the leader of a local synagogue named Jairus whose daughter is very ill. In fact, Matthew’s accounts says by the time the man came to Jesus she was already dead. In the book of Luke we learn she is his only daughter and she is twelve years old.
In all three accounts we see Jairus falls at the feet of Jesus pleading for his daughter’s life, including in the account from Matthew who reported she was already dead. Jairus doesn’t hesitate to call on Jesus because he believes Jesus can bring her back to life. I love that. This man has amazing faith.
Also in all three accounts we see that Jesus doesn’t hesitate, he goes willingly to heal the child. By this time the crowds following Jesus are enormous.
As a parent, I can’t help but have these thoughts and questions about Jairus:
- I wonder if he was calm as they were headed to his home?
- I wonder if he felt such urgency for his child he wanted to take the hand of Jesus and run to his home?
- I love that this synagogue leader never hesitated to humble himself and ask for the help of Jesus in spite of the Pharisees and Sadducees obvious hatred of Jesus. In fact, the eyes of those leaders would have probably been on him that very day, but I wonder if he ever gave that a thought?
- Jairus had to have known incurring the leaders wrath meant he might have lost his job, but I wonder if that even crossed his mind?
- I wonder if he realized what an expression and example of love and faith he was for the followers then and continues to be for us today?
Regardless of all the pro’s and con’s for going to Jesus, this man appears to have one goal in mind: to save his beloved daughter.
Then something big happens, Jesus is suddenly interrupted on the way to the home of Jairus by a very physically ill woman. Here is what we learn about her: she’s been bleeding for twelve years, she had suffered a great deal at the hands of doctors AND paid them all she had. She had gotten no better but in fact had gotten worse. Their conclusion was there was no cure for what she had. I wonder if the doctors reached this conclusion when she had no more money?
In spite of their conclusion, the woman believes she has one hope left: Jesus. She believes this so deeply in her heart, she doesn’t believe it is even necessary to speak with Jesus or touch Him. Her faith is so strong she believes He can heal her if she simply touches his robe. She discreetly works her way through the crowd to get close enough to Jesus in order to bend down and touch the edge of his garment.
Why? Well, she wasn’t supposed to be out among the people because the law clearly stated:
Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her during that time will be unclean until evening. Leviticus 15:19 NLT
She was literally breaking Jewish law being out among the people. But Jesus was her only hope and He was there so she took a huge step of faith. Leaving her home she put her faith ahead of any fear of retaliation from the religious leaders (remember they are there!). Instead she puts everything at risk on the hope she could get near enough to Jesus to touch his robe and have her faith fulfilled. I love that!
Jesus knows all about her before she even came near to him (oh yes He did!). He walked to Jairus’s home giving her the opportunity to catch him and fulfill her faith. He could have turned around at any time and said, “woman, you are healed” but He wanted her to exhibit her faith in Him by going against all odds including the law. I love the idea that her faith was so big Jesus could hear the cries of her heart.
Once she touches the garment of Jesus she is healed, and she knows it! Jesus does too, of course, and He wants the crowds to witness her great faith so he calls out the person who touched him. Can you imagine her fear, especially by breaking the law and being among so many people? She could have been stoned! However, in the Mark and Luke account we see instead she comes forward and humbles herself at the feet of Jesus, the same way Jairus did.
Although Jesus’ request for her to come forward could have caused her to lose her life, in all three accounts Jesus tells her, “your faith has made you well.” He confirms her healing and acknowledges her faith which was and continues to be a mighty example then and now.
Then Jesus and the crowd continue on to the home of Jairus. I’m back to my “wondering” about this man. I’m wondering is he feeling desperate about the delay, especially when the messenger arrives (in Mark and Luke) to tell him his only daughter, whom he obviously loves, has died?
However, before the father sheds a single tear Jesus says to Jairus in the book of Luke, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.” He knows and sees this desperate father’s emotions. Everything has happened so quickly from the moment Jairus first approaches Jesus and we can only imagine the ricochet of emotions going through his heart and mind. However, like this woman what other choice does he have but to believe Jesus can and will do what he says He will do?
When they arrive at the house the funeral crowd laughs at Jesus when he declares the child is just asleep. Jesus sends everyone away but the loving parents and three of his disciples, then Jesus takes the child’s hand and she is raised from the dead. In spite of Jesus asking to keep it quiet, it spreads through the countryside. Then Jesus sits down in the house of a Jairus and eats with them.
We have two desperate situations, but Jesus changed everything in a matter of moments. Our take away from these two amazing stories is that Jesus Christ can make a difference when all else seems impossible depending on our faith. It doesn’t even have to be faith as amazing as these two people had:
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ” Matthew 17:20 NLT
Have you taken an inventory of your faith lately about circumstances you may be praying about, even for a long time? These stories cause me to look at two very long term prayers again and how I am praying…, is it with faith for the outcome?
When I look at family situations in my life, I cannot fathom how it can be healed because there is such self-centeredness and hatred. But I know God sees more than what I see and He can do anything. So I believe and I pray.
There are many I love who have not surrendered to Christ and I don’t understand how it will happen because of what I know. But I also know and believe the information I have is irrelevant to God. He wants my faith, so I pray, I trust, and I believe in Him.
That’s exactly where God wants us, humbled at the feet of Jesus. Amen
Closing Prayer: Father I surrender the desires of my heart to You because I know you are a holy, righteous, and loving God. I ask for your forgiveness for where I have failed to believe that with You all things are possible, especially when I surrender to Your plan, Your will, Your way. Thank you Jesus that I can come to You for all things at all times. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.