is not clear until you have carefully read all three Gospel accounts that all
these incidents take place on the same day. Our Lord, it seems, was a very
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." Jesus got up
and began to follow him, and so did His disciples. And a woman who had been
suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched
the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, "If I only touch
His garment, I will get well." But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you
well." At once the woman was made well. When Jesus came into the
official's house, and saw the flute-players and the crowd in noisy disorder, He
said, "Leave; for the girl has not died, but is
asleep." And they began
laughing at Him. But when the crowd had been sent out, He entered and took her
by the hand, and the girl got up. This news spread throughout all that land.
(Mat 9:18-26 NASB)
the synagogue ruler
is identified by name in the other Gospels).
is a desperate and humbling circumstance for the synagogue ruler. Jairus has
spent much of his life in study of the Law; we may assume that he has risen to
prominence on the strength of his own brains and hard work. But even for such
a man there are spiritual perils:
know” is not the same as “to do.” This is not obvious to man, as it
rather creeps up on you. It’s quite possible to be so enamored with the
glory of the Word of God that you forget to practice it as well as teach
it. I’ve done this myself; when the ride is over it’s a very bumpy
is also a certain sense of complacency that comes over you when things are
going well. It feels comfortable; growth in the kingdom is often
uncomfortable (think about your prayer life).
of all you may come to the point of pride. You know so much, you’ve
taught so much, you’ve been here so long that you feel it perfectly right
to look down on others.
any of these afflict Jairus? We do not know. All we really know is that his
daughter was dead, and the pain of that fact drove all pride and dignity from
his mind. If he could not ask, he would beg. When the going gets tough, the
tough turn to God.
servant of God
is a grand thing to be allowed to be a servant of God. But in times like this,
the servant is taught some lessons that seem bitter at the time:
servant must accept God’s humbling. To rail at God and reject such
humbling is equivalent to telling Him that He made a mistake. And who are
you to do that?
can the servant of God turn away from Him, as Jonah did. On the contrary,
if God is humbling you, it means you have something yet to receive from
him. Seek his face!
having sought Him, ask your question – and expect an answer.
for the Christian
this section we may learn:
are not to be afraid, especially about what “might happen.” Will you take
counsel of your fears or of your Lord?
believe.” It sometimes seems hard to take, but the common experience is
that you are to fear not and believe – and then do the ordinary things of
a servant of God. So many of us are ready to take up the quest; we will
do the high and noble. But it’s quite a let down to be told that the
nursery needs workers.
in what? Believe in the promises of Christ. Take Him at His word, and
have full confidence in Him.
cannot leave this example without asking: how did the Pharisees see this
miracle? Those who say that if they saw but one miracle their faith would be
rock solid. The Pharisees saw – and said it was the devil’s own work.
is a common thing for Christians (indeed, all mankind) to produce what are
called “talismans.” Rosary beads are the most common form of Christian
talisman, along with St. Christopher medals and crucifixes.
In evangelical churches, such things used to be regarded as fakes and frauds.
But we may notice here that this woman sees the hem of Jesus’ garment as just
such a talisman. It is as if the hem itself (which is quite decorative in this
culture) can do the healing.
allows this. It seems that having lousy theology is, therefore, no barrier to
the healing of Christ. He knows what lies beneath that belief: her faith.
Just because your theology is out of whack doesn’t mean He will throw you out.
On the contrary, He welcomes sinners of all denominations.
we are to truly understand this woman, we need to know a bit about the Mosaic
By its provisions she is ceremonially unclean. Normally, that’s not too big a
problem; any woman would be considered unclean through her menstrual period.
But this woman can see no end to her being unclean.
might presume that she would think that Jesus, as a teacher, would reject her
because of this. So, she decides not to give Him the chance. Consider how
humbling this must be.
approached him from behind; Christ had to look around to find her.
approached him in a crowd – so no one else would notice.
did not dare touch him – just the garment.
is exceedingly comforting to here Christ’s reply. In a situation where many
“great men” would have been irritated, at least, His reply is full of comfort:
- Daughter – For
a woman who has been shunned as unclean for the last twelve years, can you
imagine how this one word must have brightened her face?
- Your faith has made you well – Notice the humility of Christ!
He doesn’t mention His own power (obvious enough). Rather, He moves in
divine humility, honored by His Father.
- Go in peace – See how He reaches into the human heart! A woman
so unclean must have been a bone of contention (do we invite Aunt Mabel to
the party or not?) is sent home carrying divine peace.
most curious part of his reply is this: “Take courage.” She has been healed;
why would He now tell her to take courage? There is one simple explanation for
for a moment, how intertwined the accounts of this section are. Jairus is
waiting for an answer when the woman touches that hem. Perhaps Christ made
this comment to give courage to Jairus, but without shaming him. Sometimes our
providences are someone else’s encouragement.
Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, "Have
mercy on us, Son of David!" When He entered the house, the blind men came
up to Him, and Jesus *said to them, "Do you
believe that I am able to do this?" They *said to Him, "Yes,
Lord." Then He touched their eyes, saying, "It
shall be done to you according to your faith." And their eyes were
opened. And Jesus sternly warned them: "See that
no one knows about this!" But they went out and spread the news about Him
throughout all that land. As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man
was brought to Him. After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the
crowds were amazed, and were saying,
"Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees
were saying, "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons."
(Mat 9:27-34 NASB)
reader will please note the phrase, “when He entered the house” – we are still
at the home of Jairus.
is a curious progression here. As they call out to Jesus, the blind men call
him “Son of David.” They are acknowledging that Jesus is a descendant of David
(a point necessary on two fronts: Joseph, so that his title may be clear;
Mary, so that His humanity might also be clear. Fully human, fully divine.)
when He answers them, they call Him “Lord”. In the first they acknowledge Him
in a way congenial to the Old Testament; the New Testament believer places his
trust in his Lord.
The word implies two things:
owe Him obedience. By His inquiry they know He is listening to them. But
if they are to gain his favor they must have a relationship between them –
and if He can heal the blind, Lord is a modest description.
acknowledge His supremacy as well. This would have been more commonplace
in their society than in ours.
enough, but may I ask: Do you give Him your obedience? Do you acknowledge His
supremacy? If not, just who is blind?
you do, then “according to your belief” it will be done. Christ here shows us
a couple of principals for Christians:
to your faith it will be done – the greater your faith, the greater the
gift Christ can give, for He limits Himself to that which our faith will allow.
Because God can only be sought by those who believe He exists – and that
He rewards those who seek Him.
allows our faith to be the valve which lets His power through.
the prince of demons
we pay just a touch of attention to the man demon-possessed? He gets only two
verses, but we might note one important thing: the man himself never asks for
healing. He was, after all, mute. Christ needs no invitation to throw out the
emissaries of Satan – nor does He require faith.
we meet here the unforgivable sin: the Pharisees are the sinners. To
attribute to Satan that which clearly belongs to God is a betrayal of God. Of
all people, the Pharisees (the right wing fundamentalists of their day) should
know this best. It is a sad, sad passage.
we shall see next lesson, this crowded series of events prompts Christ to send
His disciples out on the first great missionary trip. Such is the compassion
of Jesus, that the burdens of His people prompt Him to send the light to all of