Opening Hymn; In Christ Alone
Luke 8: 40-56
Jesus Heals in Response to Faith
40 On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him. 41 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. 42 His only daughter,[a] who was about twelve years old, was dying.
As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. 43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding,[b] and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 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. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
49 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.”
50 But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.”
51 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. 52 The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
53 But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died. 54 Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, “My child, get up!” 55 And at that moment her life[c] returned, and she immediately stood up! Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were overwhelmed, but Jesus insisted that they not tell anyone what had happened.
I wonder what things you hope for?
Both lots of people coming to Jesus that day had an aching hope. The woman with the bleeding was desperate, in an age without modern medicine her bleeding made her unclean and unable to worship at the temple, she was an outcast from society, coping not just with her own illness but with isolation from friends and family. The woman sneaks in hoping to touch Jesus and find healing, yet at the same time not wanting to draw attention to herself. I wonder how much she had been vilified for her problems? How often she had sought help elsewhere, whether she had been driven away by she was closest to. What was it in her that saw hope in Jesus yet had fear of being recognised or being seen to be seeking help. We see in the book of Job how often those with medical problems were blamed themselves, how it was often put down to God’s punishment for some sin or other. Here she bravely risks rebuke from those around her and maybe even she fears how Jesus would respond. Yet she needn’t have worried, Jesus is kind and gentle. She gets what she longs for, and by declaring her healing publicly, he begins the work of reconciliation with her community.
Jairus and his family too had a desperate longing for help. Their daughter was terminally ill they had no options left. How much faith must it have taken to publicly seek Jesus out like that. As the local religious leader to throw his lot in with an itinerant preacher was a big step to take and he had a reputation to maintain. But he dismisses that and in the urgency of the moment is prepared to humiliate himself and throw himself at Jesus feet – nothing matters now, he has no other options left. But just as Jesus was gentle with the woman he healed on the way, so too was he gentle with them. He seeks privacy for the child, so she and her family might not be overwhelmed by an over excited crowd. She is healed much to her parents astonishment and they are left wondering in amazement at what has happened.
Two stories of a desperate hope, of longing and urgency, of fear and trial. Into this Jesus brings restoration, peace and healing, a hope fulfilled much to the amazement of those involved.
I wonder if these stories raise hope in your heart? Can you connect with the people involved? How would you have felt if you were an onlooker?
Our hopes are so closely aligned in some ways to our fears, they leave us vulnerable, wanting, aware of our own inadequacy. Into that Jesus gently brings healing and hope, help and restoration.
Perhaps now would be a good time to be honest with God about your hopes and fears, about your own vulnerabilities. Healing may not always be dramatic, as it was for these two cases, it can be gradual, gentle, bring a shift of mindset, or hope for things long left behind. Take some time today to bring your hopes and fears before God, trusting in love for you, seeking peace and restoration for that which is on your heart.
A prayer for hope
Heavenly father, I am your child,
I come before you today in need of hope.
There are times when I feel helpless,
There are times when I feel weak.
I pray for hope.
I need hope for a better future.
I need hope for a better life.
I need hope for love and kindness.
Some say that the sky is at it’s
darkest just before the light.
I pray that this is true, for all seems dark.
I need your light, Lord, in every way.
I pray to be filled with your light from
head to toe. To bask in your glory.
To trust in your path, knowing you are with me every step.
Help me to walk in your light, and live
my life in faith and glory.
In your name I pray, Amen.
Adapted from Catholic Online