Week 2 | Friday
Week 2 | Who does Jesus care about?
Jesus, A Sick Woman, and Jairus' Daughter
by Janet Nygren
Read: Luke 8: 40-56
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. [Note: this would make her “unclean” according to Jewish law, meaning no one was supposed to touch her.] 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
- Timing is very important in this “sandwich” of stories. If you read just verses 40-42, what factors create a sense of urgency?
- Jesus seems to be on a different time table. Given the fact that Jesus knew what people were thinking on two occasions we have encountered already, it seems hard to believe that he didn’t know who touched him in this story (reminds me of when God came looking for Adam in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:9) asking, “Where are you?”). What seems to be most important to Jesus in this moment? How does he show care for the woman?
- The story doesn’t end here–there’s still Jairus’ daughter to deal with. Jesus’ care is not limited by the normal constraints of life. The mourners’ laughter reminds me of another Old Testament story–Abraham and Sarah both laughed when God told them they would have a son (Isaac) at their ages, 100 and 90 (Gen. 17:17 & Gen. 18:10-15). On the one hand, God is accomplishing his purposes, but at the same time, he is intensely personal. How does this story continue to build on your understanding of who God cares for?
- As you think about the variety of people Jesus has shown care to in the stories we’ve looked at this week, how do you fit in?
- How has Jesus’ care for you been unique? Do you have any stories that remind you of how “up close and personal” Jesus’ care for you is?
- As you think about how Jesus’ love reflects the same kind of care God has shown for his people from the very beginning, take some time to praise him for the love he shows from the core of his being.
- We would love to hear a story of how Jesus has cared for you in personal ways below. As you go into the weekend, consider how you might share your story in person as well, with someone else you talk to.
Over time I have shared many stories of Jesus’ touch in my life-after the accident when my Mother was killed-when I accepted Christ and He delivered me from guilt and shame. It is amazing to think that He has the power to go back through time and heal memories and brokenness. Ruth Carter Stapleton ( Jimmy’s sister) wrote a book called “Healing of Memories”. We are in a particularly difficult moment right now with several family members experiencing brokenness. While that is their story to tell and not mine, I sense God giving me strength, insight, and peace. God has never failed me in the past, and I know He won’t fail me now. I know the woman He touched, Jairus, his daughter, and his family were forever changed! The touch of His Hand changes us and teaches us to seek His wonderful face.
In some of these stories such as the woman with the bleeding, Jesus wants the healed person or family to reveal the healing to others and in other stories, he doesn't want them to tell others. With the centurion's servant who had faith, Jesus only had to say the word for healing. In today's story, he goes to Jairus's daughter and touches and speaks to her. In most stories, there is a crowd of people who know Jesus and seek him out. In yesterday's story of the demoniac, he is the only one who recognizes and comes to Jesus. I suppose we don't always know ahead of time God's complete purpose for caring and healing. I know over the years God has shown care for my wife.
A time when Jesus and God were up close and personal in my life was this past fall. I found out I needed a biopsy after some initial testing came back abnormal. Normally this is something that would have sent me into a spiral and driven me with worry and anxiety. Instead I went to the appointment and left with this feeling of absolute peace. I couldn’t explain except to think that God and Jesus were with me and were giving me that peace. I was trusting in their plan for me even if it meant getting bad news. A couple weeks later the biopsy came back relatively normal and I just need another check next year. I am thankful for how God was with me in those moments and weeks. He is a good, good Father.
One promise of Jesus that has always meant a lot to me is Matt. 6:33: "Seek first his kingdom and all these things will be given to you as well (i.e. the things we need)." As I have tried (imperfectly for sure) to seek him first in my life, I have seen him be faithful to this promise over the years in countless "up close and personal" ways. One way is in the jobs I have had. I have been blessed to have had jobs that always seemed perfectly suited to my interests and gifts and always came along at just the right moment. I see this as an expression of God's personal love for me and my family.
I'm the service assistant at church this weekend, so I want to save the story I'm thinking of today for that (mostly before it's short haha), but something else I noticed is that a lot of these examples of Jesus' care for others happen while he's on the way to somewhere else. This says to me that first, he doesn't spend all of his time sitting in the synagogue waiting for people to come to him, nor does he invite people to join him there and wait to help them until they come.
Second, he always makes time for these people. I am definitely more likely to miss an opportunity to serve if it interrupts my schedule. I'm praying to be flexible in helping others today, and that nobody should feel like an interruption to my agenda.
There are so many ways Jesus has been up close and personal. It's hard to choose one. Long before I knew Jesus personally, He was drawing me in. I only had to believe, but I didn't believe there was a God of love, which was the big problem. Looking back over my life and putting all the puzzle pieces together, I can truly see that He was with me through all the abusive trials I had gone through. Shortly after accepting Christ as my Savior He very plainly spoke to me. My first husband and I were driving to church, and of course we had to have one last cigarette before entering their driveway. As I went to pick up a cigarette, I heard this voice say "put them down and never pick them up again". I thought my husband had said it, but he hadn't and he hadn't heard this voice. I knew it had to be my heavenly Father. That was the end of my smoking years. Praise be to God.
This is more my daughter's story than mine, but it was very personal for me as well. Our first grandson's birth, which I was privileged to be present for, was long and hard. It was attributed to my daughter's water breaking early that made it so tough. When our second grandchild was born, it was in the early days of COVID, and we could not be present. We did our best to make up for it in prayer, and one aspect of that was praying very specifically that her water would not break too early so that it would go better for all of them. When we learned that our granddaughter had been born "en caul," a rare event where a baby is born still inside an intact amniotic sac, it felt like a very personal kiss of God, reminding us that he hears us, answers our prayers, and was present at the birth even when we could not be. What a savior!
I am thinking about the people in the story today and how they really had no say in what was happening to them. The daughter didn’t plan on being sick and the woman had tried everything for years to be well, but here comes Jesus and on His own amazing time schedule, and by looking at people’s faith, He has the total and complete answers. Oh how I need to trust him. I have seen over and over again in my life that when I finally let go that is when an answer comes.