Well, that's an appropriate hymn to sing before our message from the gospel of Luke, "Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus." We'll find that out as we see it manifest again in the incidents recorded for us in the 8th chapter of Luke's gospel. Will you open your Bibles to Luke chapter 8 and we have before us a text of Scripture from verse 40 through 48. Actually, this particular text should go all the way to the end of the chapter because it incorporates two miracles, but we're going to only get through one, this morning, and we'll consider the second one next time. Let me read the text, Luke 8, starting at verse 40.
"And as Jesus returned, the multitude welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. And behold, there came a man named Jairus and he was an official of the synagogue, and he fell at Jesus' feet and began to entreat Him to come to his house for he had an only daughter about twelve years old. She was dying. But as He went, the multitudes were pressing against Him and a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. Jesus said, 'Who is the one who touched Me?' And while they were all denying it, Peter said, 'Master, the multitudes are crowding and pressing upon You.' But Jesus said, 'Someone did touch Me for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.' And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has saved you, go in peace.'"
Another powerful account, unforgettable account, of Jesus healing someone. The world, everything and everybody in it, is dying. Tragedy and sorrow, pain of life is told in the endless and inescapable experiences of sickness and death. The Fall of man has placed into the fabric of our universe the deadly force of death, sends all people spiraling down. careening into sickness and death and the attendant sorrow and suffering that goes along with them. And nobody avoids that, no matter how advanced we become in science, no matter how sophisticated our medical technology becomes, at best we are only able to postpone the inevitable. And, of course, because God has made us for relationships and God has given us a capacity to love, there is associated with sickness and death immense grief and sadness as well as suffering.
Jesus understood that. Jesus stood at the grave of Lazarus, according to John 11, and as He stood there, it says Jesus wept. He wasn't weeping particularly for Lazarus because He was about to raise him from the dead. He was entering into the tears of all the people of all time who stood beside the tomb. He understood the pain and the sorrow that stretches both forward and backward from that moment throughout all of human history and is filled with the relentless pain of sickness and death. And the question, of course, to ask is, is there any hope? We keep asking it medically. Medical science has worked for a long time to find chemistry as an answer. Labs and test tubes and experiments have led us to all kinds of medication, all kinds of procedures to try to stop disease and postpone death. And more recently we've gotten involved in trying to restructure people's genetic code or if there are just too many negatives in their genetic code, not even let them be born so that we don't perpetuate the pain and suffering of disease and death. And then there are all those cryonics people who want to freeze you until the cures are found and bring you back to life and give you some kind of immortality. All of this, of course, is simply a way to stall off in some small way, mitigate the inevitable, "It is appointed unto men once to die." It is in the fabric of human life that from the moment you are born, you begin the process of dying. And the cause of it all, as we well know, is sin.
And the question is: Is there hope? Is there an answer? And I'm here to tell you there is hope, there is absolutely hope. There is a healer who has the power to heal all diseases and one day will do that. In fact, there is one promised by the Old Testament prophets, the Messiah, the Savior, the Anointed One, the King who is to come, the Son of God, the Lord of lords, and when He comes He will introduce a new kind of life. He will restore paradise, if you will. He will make an Eden-like world. It's called the Millennial Kingdom. And in that kingdom if someone dies at the age of 100, they die as a baby. Death will be stalled off. In fact, death will become somewhat unnatural, as people live for centuries as they did before the time of the Flood. Disease will become, in some ways, unnatural, uncommon as the Great Healer demonstrates His power in massive force in that uncursed earth called the Millennial Kingdom. That's a thousand years at the end of human history. And after that, that same Messiah, Savior, that same Lord, that same God-Man will create a new heaven and a new earth in which disease and death will not just be mitigated, not just unnatural, but non-existent. There will be an eternal realm called heaven in which there will be no sorrow, no sadness, no pain, no tears and no sickness and no death forever.
This is the promise of the Bible. This is the promise of Scripture. The Bible also tells us there's only one person who can do this. There only is... There's only one person who has the power to recreate, the power to conquer all that the curse has brought into existence, the power, if you will, over the physical world, even over the animal world, so as to create a kingdom on this earth in which a lion will lie down with a lamb and the natural enemies in the animal kingdom will no longer be those natural enemies. And children will be able to play in snake pits without fear. Snakes will no longer be poisonous and children will be able to lead around wild animals without any concern for their welfare and well-being. A world in which the desert will blossom like a rose as the whole topography of the earth will be changed and natural disasters will be mitigated and the temperature and the climate of the world will be benign. It will be a glorious and wonderful world and ruling over it will be the One who has the power to create that world. And then at the end of that thousand years He will uncreate the entire universe as we know and in its place will come a new heaven and a new earth in which there will be eternal perfection and eternal righteousness and the absence of all of those things which He demonstrated the power to control during His Millennial Kingdom. The question is: Who is this person? Who is the one who can do this, give us such hope of healing, such hope of conquering death, such hope of eternal life without sorrow, pain and suffering? Who is this one?
The answer is, there's only one and His name is Jesus Christ. Any other claimants to be the one are frauds and charlatans and fakes and they are not to be trusted. There is only one and it is Jesus. And the New Testament is written to prove that it is Him. There are four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that basically go over the same material so that we can see it like we would witness any events going on in a person's life from various standpoints to somehow begin to grasp the greatness and the wonder and the glory of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ by viewing it from different angles. In the end the point of it all is to show you that there is one who has come, born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, one who demonstrated power over the animal kingdom. He controlled the fish and told them where to go in the Sea of Galilee to be at the right spot by the right side of the boat when the net went in so they could go into the net under His command. He controlled the pigs to be the recipients of thousands of demons who charged into them, upon which the pigs went into the ocean to give an illustration to everybody of the destructive power of Satan. He has control over the storm. He had control to stop the wind and stop the waves in their tracks so that ripples didn't even run to the shore. This is the one who can bring the millennial world. This is the one who can recreate the new heaven and the new earth. He has power over demons. He has power over Satan to conquer him in his own temptation. He has power over disease and He has power over death.
We've already, up to this point in Luke's gospel, been there when Jesus did many healings. We've been there when He raised the son of the widow of Nain right out of the casket when he was being carried to the burial plot. We have seen His power over demons, with His power over disease, His power over death, His power over the physical world. And here we're going to see it again in another remarkable look at the amazing power of Jesus Christ. Only this time we're going to go a little bit more deeply into the person of Christ.
And this was kind of triggered in my thinking. You can study these miracles just in the narrative flow. You don't even need an outline because who needs an outline in a story? There's not an outline in a novel. There's not an outline in a well-told story. And in a narrative you don't need to sort of chop it up. But as you flow through the story, what struck me was when I was reading this and meditating on it, and I came to the statement that Jesus makes when He says at the end of verse 46, "I was aware that power had gone out of Me." Now that is just a riveting statement and it just, you know, jolted me back in my chair to sit and think about what that meant. We went from seeing a miracle and hearing the story about a miracle to inside the Savior, inside deity, inside the God-Man, not talking about what the lady who was healed felt, not talking about what Peter felt when he blurted out his solution to the dilemma, not talking about what others who were there in the crowd were experiencing. We went immediately to finding what Jesus was feeling.
You know, and I thought about that, and I thought, well, there's probably no better story than this one to get in touch with the personal aspect of Jesus' ministry. I'm not saying this is hard to understand. I'm saying it's in some ways impossible to understand because we can't comprehend deity. But here's one of those amazing glimpses that probably take us as far into the nature of God as we can go. The miracles of Jesus are to verify that He is God. And this one gets up close and personal.
A lot of people have a desire to heal people. I think probably all of us have the desire to see the people around us that we love healed. There have been people through the years who’ve offered themselves as would-be healers. They had a desire to heal. A lot of them had a desire to make money at the expense of people who wanted to be healed. But surely there have been people who had the desire, plenty of people. There's just never been anybody who had the power. Only Jesus and those apostles to whom He delegated that power expressed it. And that's really the key. I mean, two things are required if you're going to be the healer. One is that you have the desire to heal; that is that you care about suffering and pain and death. And the other is that you have the power to do it. Those two things come together perfectly in Jesus Christ. But behind His healing power is that healing desire. And I just want to kind of get in touch with that healing desire. And as we go through the narrative of the story, it's really a miracle in a miracle, so I'll kind of have a sermon in a sermon.
While we're studying the...the account, I want to just point out the personal way in which Jesus engaged Himself with people. First of all: His accessibility, His accessibility. Verse 1...verse 40 says, the first verse in our text, "As Jesus returned, the multitude welcomed Him for they had all been waiting for Him.” Jesus had been in Gadara, the region of Gadara, the town of Gerasa or Gergasa, either name. He had gone over there to get away from the crowd. But He never went alone. In fact He had in His own boat the apostles and then there were other boats that went with Him. They sailed from Capernaum which was kind of the headquarters of His Galilean ministry. They sailed about six miles across the northern portion of the Sea of Galilee to the Gentile eastern shore. Jesus went over there to get some relief from the non-stop crush of the mob that never let Him alone. He needed time not just alone, but time with His disciples, the learners, His students, the people to whom He could explain the meaning of the parables that He gave to the crowds.
And so they all went across the Sea of Galilee to get away, but when they got to the other side, the eastern shore, Jesus immediately ran right into two wild, bizarre maniacs coming down the hill to attack Him and those who were with Him. And you remember the story focused in on one of them, who was filled with at least two thousand demons. Jesus delivered him and saved him and turned him into a missionary. And the people in the region were so frightened by the power of Jesus’ power to deliver this man that they were not able to deal with at all, even if they tied him up in chains and cords. Jesus delivered him. He was clothed and in his right mind and all the demons went into the pigs and the pigs dove off the banks of the sea and drowned. The power was more than they wanted to deal with and they certainly weren't interested in the message of Jesus. They weren't interested in the forgiveness of sins. They just wanted Jesus out. And so verses 37 to 39 says the people of the country of the Gerasenes’ surrounding district asked Him to depart from them. That's exactly what He did. Sad. That was His only visit there.
The man who had been delivered from the demons wanted to go with Jesus and learn more, but Jesus left him there as the first Gentile missionary. You've got to stay here or there won't be any gospel presentation in this whole area. And so Jesus returned and there was the crowd, right there where they had been. In Mark chapter 5 and verse 21 it says that He got off at the seashore by Capernaum and there they were. They had been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. It was a huge crowd of thousands of people, and in that crowd were all the people who hurt, all the people who suffered, all the people with pain and sorrow, all the people who were handicapped, disabled, all the people who couldn't hear, couldn't see, had any kind of malady from the beginning to the end of possibility. They were all there waiting and waiting with all their anxieties, and all their cares for Jesus to come back. And some of them were borderline panicky, such as the man Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, who had a twelve-year-old daughter who was dying. You can imagine that as he waited and waited and waited, wondering when Jesus would come, his anxiety was reaching a point of paroxysm to which he paralyzed in his mind and his fear would reach a fever pitch. This is a kind of crowd that can't wait for Jesus to get back to continue the healing which they had come to know Him for.
And that's what He did. He didn't try to avoid them. He stepped off the boat and there they were and that's the way it was pretty much every day. And it tells us of His accessibility. He was unlike many religious leaders. He didn't seclude Himself in some ivory tower, protected from people. His entire ministry was spent in public with the people in the streets, in the fields, in their homes, in the synagogues, on the road, by the sea, in the boats, wherever it was. Only occasionally did He retreat to isolate Himself for the purpose of giving further insight and instruction to those who believed in Him. Even on some occasion He got away just for the replenishment, the rest, the need to restore His energy. And sometimes He got away all by Himself because He needed time alone with His Father. But always when the morning came, He was back and the crowd was waiting. That was all right because it was to them He had come. It was to them He had to prove who He was. It was to them He had to preach the message that God would forgive their sins if they would cry out in humility for that forgiveness. And even though the crowd hounded Him, and even though the crowd dogged Him and even though the crowd crushed Him and even though the crowd endangered Him and even though sometimes the crowd tried to kill Him, He was accessible to them. So when He came back, they were all there.
Now you have to understand that to them He was a hero. To them He was the ultimate celebrity, just like He would be today if He came into the world and banished illness from a section of Los Angeles. All the sick people from as far and wide as could possibly get there would be there with all their cases, endeavoring to push themselves up to where He was. But that's what He needed to do because it was to the people that He had to present the message of forgiveness. He had to tell them they were not just physically in distress, they were poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed spiritually and they needed the forgiveness of God for their sins. And God would forgive their sins based upon the wonderful work that He would soon do on the cross. He had to preach to the crowds, that's what He did. And He had to heal the people in the crowd and raise the dead to demonstrate that He was the promised Messiah who could do all those things that the Old Testament said the Messiah would do when He brought in His glorious kingdom.
But at the same time, the crowd was fickle. It's the same crowd that screamed for His blood later on. They were looking for miracles. They were looking for solutions to human problems, physical problems, social problems. There weren't many believers. The group of real disciples was relatively small. And in the midst of a crowd like this, there... There was everything from those who really believed in Him to those who hated Him and were just spying so that they could report back to the scribes and Pharisees some breach of tradition for which they could hold Him culpable. But the middle part of the crowd were just the miracle worker’s fans. They were the sign seekers. In fact, a little later on in Luke's gospel Jesus said to the multitude, "You are a wicked generation who seek for a sign." All you want is more miracles. As if He hadn't done enough to prove who He was, they were saying, "Show us evidence before we believe, show us evidence." And they had plenty of evidence. It wasn't that they honestly had intellectual doubts. It wasn't that at all. They refused to admit their sin that they were poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed, but they wanted the miracles to keep coming. They didn't want to drive Jesus away, so on the one hand they refuse His message, on the other hand, they keep asking for more evidence. Keep the miracles coming. So they were all there.
And verse 41 says, "And behold," now that's just kind of a jolt, that's a surprise, startling moment. "There came a man named Jairus." It's a Greek equivalent to the Old Testament name Jair, J-a-i-r, appears in the Old Testament in the book of Numbers. So this is a Jewish guy. He is an official of the synagogue. Mark also records this account. So does Matthew. This is one of those accounts that is given great detail, Matthew chapter 9 verses 18 to 26, Mark 5:21 to 43, and then here in Luke from 8:40 to the end of the chapter. There's a lot of coverage on this story because it's really an important one. And what makes it remarkable, I think, is at this point the fact that this man Jairus is an official of the synagogue. He's a ruler of the synagogue. That's as high as you could go in local community social strata. You couldn't get any higher. I mean, if you had been chosen to be a ruler in the synagogue, that's the pinnacle.
The most respected man and he contrasted that most respected man, who startlingly comes up and bows before Jesus, and I'll explain why that's such a shocking thing in a moment, but in contrast to that man, there's another woman. Two people out of this crowd that have legitimate faith: That man who was a ruler of the synagogue and a woman who was an outcast. And the contrasts are pretty clear. One is a man, one is a woman. One is rich, one is poor. One is revered and exalted. The other is vilified and despised. One is respected, one is rejected. One is used to being honored. One is used to being scorned. One has a twelve-year-old daughter dying, and the other has a twelve-year-old disease. One leads the synagogue, and the other is excommunicated from the synagogue. And here you see the Savior embracing the extremes. And this, in a sense is the fulfillment of the Magnificat of Mary when Mary was told that she was to be the mother of the Messiah, the Son of God. You remember, one of the things she said, recorded in Luke 1:52, is that God, My Savior, brings down rulers and exalts those who are humble. And here's a perfect illustration of that. He brings down a ruler, and He lifts up a humble person. Here is the ruler and the outcast.
But first: the ruler. This is pretty startling, actually, for an official of the synagogue to do this. He is the man of great respect. He would be tantamount to an elder in the church in the community, mature spiritually, devoted to the Lord, at least to the religion of Judaism, devoted to the people, leader of the people, trusted in terms of wisdom, knowledge of the Old Testament. He was a part of a small group. It is said by some historians that synagogues either had three elders or seven, in a small town three, in a larger town seven, some say. And so he would be one of them. Maybe he was the main one. They had a title for the main ruler of the synagogue. But the responsibility of these men was pretty much to take care of all the administration of the synagogue which was the local center of Judaism. They had the responsibility for all public services which went on all through the week, as well as on the Sabbath. They supervised all activities, appointed all teachers, all readers of the Scripture, all those that prayed and all those that explained the Scripture. They had all administrative responsibility. This man was surely in the synagogue there in Capernaum. He had tremendous responsibility there. He was a part of the Capernaum religious establishment.
And interestingly enough, the local religious establishment was pretty much connected to the national religious establishment which was dominated by the Pharisees and the scribes. While the Sadducees, the religious liberals, kind of ruled the political aspects and the economic aspects of Judaism, it was the Pharisees and the scribes that handled the theological aspects, the religious aspects in terms of the life of the people. And so the synagogue would tend to have been connected to the Pharisees and the scribes, interestingly enough, who hated Jesus. They did everything they could to destroy His ministry, to attack Him. They resented Him. They despised His message. They are already plotting to kill Him. That's why this is surprising, because here is a man who must be known as a leader in the synagogue by everybody in the town, who is connected to the religious establishment that is so critical of Jesus, and yet here he comes, surprising. All religious battles aside, he has been reduced to a grief-stricken father. He fell at Jesus' feet, verse 41 says, and began to beg Him to come to his house, to entreat Him. He disdains all of his religious connections. He no longer is concerned at all about what some pharisaical and scribal connections might think of this religiously incorrect act. He really doesn't care about that. All he cares about is that he get to Jesus and get Jesus to his daughter.
Now Jesus had done many miracles in Capernaum, of which this man would have knowledge. In the very synagogue of Capernaum, if you read chapter 4 verses 33 to 37, Jesus had an encounter with a demon-possessed man. Jesus was sitting in the synagogue and all of a sudden the demon-possessed man screams, the demon takes over his voice and the man screams, "Ha, what have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy Us?" And then the demon says, "You holy One of God." The demon gave an accurate testimony. Jairus may well have heard that since Sabbath attendance in the synagogue was mandatory, particularly if you were a leader in the synagogue, an elder, chief ruler. He had had exposure to Jesus' power over demons because Jesus cast the demons out of that man that day and followed it up by going home and healing Peter's wife's mother from an illness, and followed that up by many more miracles. So this man had information about Jesus and he had come to believe that Jesus did have the healing power of God; maybe well believed that Jesus' message was a true message, too. And maybe he came not just as a man humbled by the exigency of his daughter's illness, but humbled by the reality of his own unworthiness and his own sinfulness. And he falls at the feet of Jesus and he begins to beg Him. And Mark 5:23 gives exactly what he said.
What he said was, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Please come and lay Your hands on her so that she will get well and live." He wanted her well. Twelve years old, I mean, that's marriage age in Israel at this time. She's just begun to flower into womanhood. This is the moment for which they had waited. All of her life was prologue, ready now to be a wife and mother. Later on the word comes that she died and another message comes from this man to Jesus, "My daughter has died. My daughter has died, but come and lay hands on her and she'll live." Matthew compresses both of those into one statement there. But he had enough faith to believe Jesus could heal her, he even had enough faith to believe that Jesus could raise her from the dead. He's a rare man in the upper echelons of Jewish religion, very unusual to find a ruler of a synagogue believing in Jesus, believing in His power, humbling himself in this fashion.
There was another one called the rich young ruler, remember? Who came with a superficial interest and went away as lost as when he came because he wouldn't admit his sin and he wouldn't submit to the lordship of Christ. Apparently this man didn't have that problem.
And he says he...It says he had an only daughter. Luke is the only one who uses "only." Luke likes to use that word. He uses it two other occasions, chapter 7 verse 12, chapter 9 verse 38, and a couple of other incidents because it increases the pathos. And she was just 12. At the time she was born, the Lord Jesus was living in Nazareth, was only 20 years of age. But there was a rendezvous with that girl on this day, twelve years later. Her father says that...to Jesus, "She's going to die, come lay Your hands on her, let her live cause she's dying." How grateful he must have been for the accessibility of Jesus. How grateful he must have been that unlike modern, so-called healers incarcerated on the twelfth floor of a five-star hotel, Jesus was accessible. Unlike modern healers who have their agents down below at the arena, sorting through the people to find out who makes it into the TV healing line, Jesus was available to everybody. And that's the second point.
He was not only accessible, He was available. Accessible doesn't go far enough. Accessible is a little superficial. It just means you're there. Available takes it another step. He wasn't just accessible in the crowd. He was available to a person. And that's in verse 42, the second part of the verse and it simply says, "As He went." What does that mean? He went. It should not be adversative, “but,” it should be, "And as He went." He responded to the man. He could have said, "Don't you know what I'm doing? Understand how busy I am here? I...I've got a lot of folks here, I can't be just carting off to your house. Lots of people have problems." He was not just committed to crowds. He was committed to people, individuals.
This is the way it is with the heart of God. He's not just concerned about humanity, He really cares about people. No ivory tower with Jesus, no monastery, no hierarchy. God pitched His tent with people. And His whole ministry was in the midst of the crowd who needed the message of forgiveness. Great multitudes — Matthew 15:30 — came to Him with the lame, crippled, blind, dumb, many others. They laid them at His feet. He healed them so that the multitude marveled as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, the blind seeing, and they glorified the God of Israel. That was every day. He was available to the individuals who had the needs.
I can't even begin to fathom the relentless demands of people on Him. As I said, occasionally He would retreat up into the mountains at night just to get relief and rest. When He was down in Judah, He would retreat to the Mount of Olives with His disciples, or alone in utter exhaustion to communicate with the Father. The Creator though walked with people and He cared about individuals and the gospels are filled not with stories of Jesus in the crowd, but stories of Jesus with a man here and a woman here and a child here. He even embraced the little children when the disciples said, "Get the kids out of here, they're interrupting the meeting." And Jesus said, "Permit the little ones to come to Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven," and He lifted them in His arms and He blessed them. Jesus cared about people. Jairus' heart was breaking. And whatever that orthodox Jew thought about Jesus, whatever He thought the religious authorities might think about him falling before Jesus and believing that He could come and heal, or raise his daughter, was no concern to him. His desperate need had motivated him. His belief in the power of Jesus had been demonstrated to him over and over and over and over as Jesus for all intents and purposes had banished sickness from Galilee. And he came and he engaged his life personally with Jesus and Jesus became available to him. Sure his motive was mixed. It wasn't just because he wanted Jesus to put on His display as God. He wanted his daughter back.
But Jesus responded to his weak faith, to his mixed motive. Jesus responded to his natural pain. And this availability and this accessibility is due to one great attribute of God, and that's God's compassion. Theologians like to talk about the impassibility...that is that there's a sense in which God is unfeeling, in the sense that God is uninfluenced by what men do. God has perfect eternal tranquility with Himself and His sovereign plan and power. But at the same time that God is impassible, God is also compassionate. Ultimately what men do does not affect God's plan and purpose in the end. God will see His purpose fulfilled. It can't be thwarted. But at the same time, God weeps. God feels the pain of suffering people. And that's one of the great messages of the incarnation of Jesus. Hebrews 5:2: "He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since He Himself is also subject to weakness." Jesus comes into the world, God in human flesh, and He suffers because He cares. Matthew 11:28, He said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle, lowly in heart and you'll find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy. My burden is light." He was a comforter. He was a burden-bearer. The prophet Isaiah said of Him, "He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom and gently lead those who are with young. He will be tender with people." Matthew 12:20 requotes...quotes a portion out of Isaiah 42, "A bruised reed He will not break and smoking flax He will not quench." When the candle gets down and the wick is almost out, and it's just barely, barely flickering, He doesn't put it out. It may be weak, there may be very little there, but He doesn't put out that smoking wick, He fans it to a flame. And when He finds a reed that might have played a tune at one time, a little reed pipe and it is filled so much with moisture and saliva that it bends in the middle and no longer can make a tune, He doesn't break and throw it away. He restores it so it can play music again. That's the Messiah. He goes to the broken. He goes to the flickering life and He fans the flame and He puts the song back. That's compassion.
I've often thought that if...if all Jesus wanted to do is demonstrate that He was God, He could have done that a lot of ways. All He would have had to do is just go up into the air and spin around a few times, fly across the Sea of Galilee in the air, fly back and come down to land on His feet and it would have been convincing, very convincing. Or He could have said, "Cow," and one would be created. Or "horse," or He could have said, "woman," or "man," and created somebody, or He could have said, "Mountain be gone," and it would have been a table flat. He could have done a lot of things. Why did He do healings? Why did He do resurrections? Because He wanted to demonstrate not only His power but that behind His power is His compassion. He not only is capable of creating a world that is free of disease and death, He not only has the power to do it, He has the desire to do it. It's in His compassion.
And so, He weeps over the grave of Lazarus because He feels the sort of reflected agony of all who will suffer the loss of a loved one. Matthew 14:14, "He went out and saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick." Mark 1:41, "He was moved with compassion, stretched out His hand, touched him and said to him, 'I'm willing, be cleansed.'" Mark 8:2, "I have compassion on the multitude because they have now continued with Me three days and having nothing to eat." Matthew 9:36, "He saw the multitude and was moved with compassion for them because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd." He looked over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41, He saw the city and He burst into tears. This is behind His accessibility, this is behind His availability.
And so He goes with the man. It takes us to a third sort of personal aspect of Jesus' work with people: His interruptibility, His interruptibility. I don't know if that's a word but it is now. "As He went,” verse 42, “the multitude was pressing against Him." He was trying to get to this man's house and the crushing crowd with all the sick pushed around Him who were very immobile because many of them are paralyzed and some of them are blind and some of them can't hear and this crowd of sick people who can't move very fast is pressing and crushing and it's very slow going, and this man's heart is racing because he knows his daughter is dying. He's hoping Jesus is going to get there before she dies, although later he in one great and final act of faith says, "I...I believe You can even raise her from the dead." His panic is elevated because they can't get through the crowd. And then to make matters worse, "A woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years and couldn't be helped by anyone came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak." We'll stop there for a minute.
This is just one of the faces in the crowd. And she becomes the interruption. And it didn't have to be that way. Jesus didn't have to call attention to the woman. She reached out, grabbed His cloak and at the end of verse 44 it says, "Immediately her hemorrhage stopped." Well, that's done. We can keep moving. No, we'll see a little more about that in a moment.
Jesus was very used to being interrupted. I mean, He'd be preaching a sermon and all of a sudden the roof would come apart and down would come somebody in a bed. Right? We learned that already in the Luke...the gospel of Luke. I mean, He was used to being interrupted. Everybody who wanted something interrupted Him. Interruptibility was a virtue of Jesus. It's amazing, no matter what He was doing, He literally would turn to help. He's preaching in the 12th chapter of Luke, He's preaching and it says in verse 13, "Someone in the crowd said to Him, 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.'" Whoa! Can you imagine some guy standing up in the middle of my sermon and say, "Hey, pastor, tell my brother to give me half of the money I'm owed." What? He was interrupted all the time. I don't know if I could handle that. But Jesus never had a problem with His train of thought, you understand that? So don't be standing up and saying things when I'm trying to concentrate. But Jesus was interruptible.
Here's a panicky ruler on His hands. He's trying to get through the crowd to get to this man's house in Capernaum. And all of a sudden this woman who has a hemorrhage, some kind of female bleeding problem, we don't know what it is, something that is understandable women can have, maybe some cancer or some thyroid problem that created this bleeding that had gone on for twelve years, twelve years, as long as Jairus' daughter was alive. Jairus and his family had had twelve years of anticipated joy. This woman had had twelve years of suffering. We don't know what it was but it was enough to take up twelve years of her life and turn her literally into an outcast.
The physical effects of that? Loss of blood all the time. Loss of strength. Danger of death. Severe physical effects. Worse, maybe in some ways, was the severe social effects. Leviticus 15, starting in verse 19, you can read it some other time, says, if any woman has an issue of blood like this, she is ceremonially unclean. A woman's regular monthly cycle was used by God as an illustration of the need to be purged, purified. It was a way to remind the people that they needed purification. And so a woman was considered during that time unclean, as a sort of symbol of the spiritual uncleanness of the heart. But this woman would never be able to be anything but ceremonially unclean because it went on for twelve years. And what happened when a woman was unclean ceremonially? She couldn't go to the temple. She couldn't go to the synagogue. She couldn't be with her husband. She couldn't touch her family, couldn't touch her children. She was considered ceremonially unclean and she would transmit that ritual uncleanness, that symbolic uncleanness to anybody she touched. Socially she was out, even of her own family, really an unbelievable situation. Her disease was not a true...Her disease, I should say, was a true disease, but it carried with it a ritual defilement.
Sad lady, sad lady; physical effects, social effects, and I think worse, spiritual effects. She couldn't go to the synagogue, so she never could be taught the Word of God. She couldn't go and worship. She couldn't go and learn. She couldn't hear the Word of God read. Scrolls were locked up in the synagogue. And then it says she couldn't be healed by anybody. Now that's Luke. Now remember, Luke is a physician and he has to protect the profession. So Luke says it's incurable. That's what that means. It's incurable. Mark says, quote: "She endured much at the hands of many physicians." Mark obviously was not in the profession. Some manuscripts add here, I think in the New King James it has it, that she had spent all her livelihood on physicians. Although the older manuscripts don't have that, it is recorded in Mark, however, that she had spent all her money and she wasn't any better.
So, Luke, the physician according to Colossians 4:14, says it's incurable, it couldn't be healed. Mark says she endured much at the hands of many physicians. You know what? She probably did because in my reading the background of this, the Talmud says this was a common malady, excessive bleeding, hemorrhaging like this for women, common. And they had some cures that were sort of legitimate cures, some kind of astringents or some kind of toxins were used. It's hard to find exactly what they were. But that would be some legitimate effort made by some legitimate practitioner who would serve, for the most part, the rich who could afford to pay. But on the other hand, I read that there were other cures that were offered, carrying the ashes of an ostrich egg in a linen bag around your neck in summer, a cotton bag in winter. Another one was to carry a barley corn found in donkey dung. So there were some fakers going around and she may have tried that. There are some other things that were offered, crushing alum and crocuses into a solution of wine, crushing onions into a solution of wine, and other concoctions. It didn't matter whether it was suffered at the hands of the reputable practitioners, or the non-reputable ones. None of it did any good. She couldn't get any help. Mark 5:26, "Spent all she had," so all her money was in the pockets of the practitioners now. She had nothing left. All her money's gone. She has no connection with her family. She can't connect with anybody in the society. And she is in this terrible, physical condition of debilitation, and also the stigma and the shame and the embarrassment associated with it. And she's heard about the healing power of Jesus and she's at the other end of the social spectrum from the ruler of the synagogue.
She knows what the required boundaries are for her, but she's reached the point where she doesn't care anymore, like he didn't care anymore. He's going to go in there whatever the religious establishment thinks, fall on his face and plead for the great healer with the power of God to heal his daughter, and she's going to go in there and she couldn't care less about what's acceptable in terms of the tradition and the law, she is going to get to Jesus if she has to bang her way through a whole crowd of people and grab Him. She too is likely from that area and heard about His healing power.
She came up behind Him, it says in verse 44, hoping to avoid notice. That's indicated down in verse 47 when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice. She was trying to be as quiet as she could be, as invisible as she could be in the crowd, just kind of working her way through, coming up behind. Because of natural embarrassment, fear of public shame, she comes in a secretive way. It says she touched the fringe of His cloak. Now according to the Old Testament, Numbers 15 verses 37 to 41, and Deuteronomy 22:12, God had ordained that in the robe of a Jew there was to be woven a blue cord to identify a Jew. And at the corners of the robe there were to be tassels made of that same cord, hanging down. That was to identify a Jew. And so that was done. Jesus wore such a robe with tassels. Tzitzit it would be called. It was just some tassels hanging from His robe. The Pharisees, you remember, who wanted to be viewed as the most devout of all people, made their tassels huge, which you would expect. Matthew 23 verse 5, they enlarged those tassels to appear more holy.
Well, this woman comes up behind Jesus and she grabs the fringe, the krapedou in the Greek. Now the word here, "touched," is a middle form verb from the verb hapt or haptomi. In the middle form it means to fasten onto, or to cling to, or to clutch. It isn't just a tap. She's clutching it. I mean, you've got to understand this is twelve years, this is a...this is breaching all of social etiquette to do what she did and she finally gets there and this is her last final hope and she hangs onto His robe, to the tassel of His robe. It's the same exact Greek verb used in John 20 verse 17 of Mary Magdalene who after the resurrection grabs on to Jesus, remember, and clings to Him. And why did she do this? Because Matthew 9:21 in Matthew's account says she kept saying to herself, she kept saying to herself, she kept saying to herself: "If I can just touch Him I'll be healed. If I can just touch Him, I'll be healed." She knew His power. She believed in it. If only I grasp His garment, I will get well. And it's in the imperfect, she kept saying it, kept saying it, kept saying it, kept saying it to reinforce this breach of law to do what she wasn't supposed to do. I just need to get a hold of it. She believed, and this was obvious, she believed there was so much power flowing out of Him, that if she just got in the space, she'd be healed. And you know there's some truth to that. He wasn't stingy with the power. It...It just gushed out of Him. Everybody was being healed everywhere.
She clung to the fringe of His robe, grasping it with force, a desperate clutching in faith that there was so much power available that if she just got that close and hung on, it would flow to her body. She was right. She was absolutely right. It says at the end of verse 44, "Immediately her hemorrhage stopped. Just like that. This is not superstition. This is faith in the power of Jesus and the belief that He had such immense power that just flowed out of Him. And this dear woman was a broken reed, she was a flickering wick and Jesus fanned the flame and restored the song and her hemorrhage stopped.
The world must have stopped at that moment for her. Jesus honored her faith. He healed people without faith all the time. But He never saved anybody without faith. And this woman is on the way to salvation. Her physical problem was solved. That could have been it. Let's get to Jairus' house. You know, it's been enough time, let's get to Jairus' house.
But there's one other point I want to make and I'll be done. It's His inexhaustibility. It's His inexhaustibility. I have to make this. Give me five minutes. You're not going anywhere important. His inexhaustibility. This is the end of the story, I'll make it brief. "Jesus said, 'Who's the one who touched Me?'" You know, when Jesus deals with people there's an inexhaustibility in His dealing. That is, He exhausts all His energies and all His efforts to the end of what He needs to do. He could have let the lady go on physically well, but there were some other things that needed to be taken care of. She needed to be restored socially. And that called for a public restoration and the testimony that she had been healed. And she needed to be restored spiritually to God and only He was the one who could affirm that. And so He is never short with people, He's never curt with people. His attention is inexhaustible until that which needs to be done is done. And so He says, "Who is the one who touched Me? Who was hanging onto Me?"
And they're all saying, "Well, it wasn't me," "It wasn't me." And, of course, Peter, speaking for the other disciples who were all having a problem with Jesus even asking the question, as the other writers tell us, Peter finally says, "Master, the multitudes are crowding and pressing upon You. What are You talking about? I mean, you're being knocked from every side. What do You mean?" The disciples were critical. Mark 5:30 to 32 says they were critical about the question. "How could we single somebody out?"
But Jesus said, and here's the key, verse 46, "Somebody did touch Me for I was aware that power had gone out of Me." Whew. Someone was clinging to Me, I didn't see her because she was behind Me. It wasn't a mystery to Him, He knew who she was. He knew that. When He said, "Who was clinging to Me?" He was calling for her to come out and reveal herself. It isn't that He needed information. He just wasn't done with her yet. He knew who she was. He knew what was in her.
This is one of the most profound things Jesus ever said. "I was aware that power had gone out of Me." What an insight. Listen to this. The power of God is not impersonal. What a truth. It is personal in the nature of God and when the power of God flows from Him to you, He feels the flow. Incredible thought. His life pours into us. We feel that power, that infusion of spiritual power into our lives as we see it evidenced in our lives. Do we ever think that God feels it? Our Lord experienced, actually, personally felt the outflow of His power, His creative power to recreate that woman's insides. God is not impersonal. God is not detached. When God touches a life and power flows, He feels the flow. He feels it. No one receives the power of God into His or her life without personal involvement from God. We are saved and the power flows. We are sanctified and the power flows. We are glorified and the power flows. And it is a living, intimate, personal union of life with the living, eternal God and He feels the flow. This is the end of all magic. This is the end of all superstition. This is the end of all touch the talisman, touch the relic, or touch the TV. This is the personal power of God flowing into us. He's personally involved inexhaustibly and completing what He starts.
She couldn't hide. She saw that she hadn't escaped notice. She came trembling, trembling under the weight of realizing she was in the presence of God. She's crushed. She falls down before Him in homage and worship. She declares in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, in order to be healed. And how He had responded, she had been immediately healed. Now the social part of it has been taken care of and He says to her, "Daughter." That's the only time in the whole New Testament He ever called a woman by that name. "Daughter, you are now, as if to say, in the kingdom, and your faith has sz, saved you." It's exactly what He said to the one leper in chapter 17 who came back. He healed ten. How many came back? One. He said, "Your faith has sz, saved you."
He wasn't done with her. She needed to be restored physically. She needed to be restored socially. She needed to be restored spiritually. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace, not psychological peace, go in peace with God, objective peace. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace. You have made peace with God. Matthew 9:22 said, "He said, 'Be of good comfort.'" Eusebius, the church historian says, there's a statue of this lady in his day, in her town as a living testimony that she became a believer in Jesus Christ. Listen, Jesus knows you. He knows your hurts, your needs. He is accessible to you. He is available to you. He is interruptible by you. And He is inexhaustible in meeting your need. And it's personal with Him. He feels the flow of power into your life. This is our God manifest in Jesus Christ. Let's pray.
Father, we've taken the time this morning to cover this because we want to give full glory to Christ in this incredible account. We pray, oh God, that You would tie down in our hearts this glorious grasp of the personal care with which You view Your sheep. How wonderful is this? You feel the very flow of power into our lives. Thank You for this personal union of life. We praise You. We bless You in Jesus' name. Amen.
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