Threads of True Faith

Two desperate people fought their way to Jesus.

One was a father whose daughter lay dying in his home. The other was a woman who had bled and bled and bled for 12 years.

Jesus was surrounded. Crowds greeted Him wherever He went. The stories of His miracle ways and authoritative teaching had become well known. There were days when He and His disciples could hardly find time to eat.

These two people, however, would not be denied. He embodied the Hope that these hopeless ones had sought for so long.

Jairus, the father, had a job in the local synagogue. There, he likely heard the buzz about Jesus. Those he worked with were surely suspicious and dismissive of this Rabbi from Nazareth.

Perhaps, Jairus had his doubts too. But the condition of his daughter weighed heavily upon him. It was worth a shot. He would go to Jesus. He would seek the Savior’s healing for his one and only child.

Like the demoniac in Luke 7, this religious man fell at the feet of Jesus. Jairus pleaded for Him to come to his home. It should be noted that in neither case — with the demon-affected man and with this synagogue leader — did the Son pull them to their feet. Jesus received these expressions of awe and wonder and prayer. He was and is worthy of all praise and worship. And He answers prayers.

Jesus was and is God and Man. There was no confusion in Him about His identify.

Some attempt to compromise the reality of the Son. There are those who claim Jesus grew into His Sonship and matured into His status, climbing from human origins to Godlikeness. Others go the other way and make much ado about His condescension. The Son was slumming in some way, just hanging out with silly, slimy humans for a while, but did not really assume a fully human existence.

The truth from the Scriptures tells us that Jesus was altogether human and altogether God at once. The theological term hypostatic union defines Him as having a seamless existence comprised of both dust and deity. God, in the Person of the Son, offered Himself as the Lamb for the sins of the world. It is a mystery and a wonder beyond our comprehension.

The Priesthood of Jesus

Jairus worshipped Jesus as the Christ and had an expectation that His power would make a difference for his little girl. The Savior was present and ready to heal.

Jesus decisively started to move in the direction of this man’s home. The crowd pressed upon Him.

In the throng was one who had no business being there. She was unclean according to the standards of the Law of Moses recorded in Leviticus. Her flow of blood rendered her an outcast, one destined to keep her distance so as not to infect others.

What do we read in Leviticus? The priests were to be available to the diseased. We see the rules and protocol for dealing with ones whose afflictions become obvious. To the worship center, these people were to come. The text of Leviticus given to Moses deals with leprosy and bodily discharges that affect people. It also addresses the mildew that grows in clothing and the mold that sprouts in houses and structures. See Leviticus, chapters 13-15.

Any who found himself or herself sick could come and get a diagnosis. The passages explain in detail what the priest was to look for in the wound and blemishes and discharges.

The Word of God had been reduced in its influence among the most religious among the Jews. Rites and regulations had been crafted to keep people like this woman far from the congregation. The fact of the matter, according to the instructions of God, was that the priesthood had been established to help just such a one in need.

This woman cast her care upon Jesus as she saw Him in His priesthood and she understood in her heart that even His very garment projected purity and power. Click To Tweet

This woman cast her care upon Jesus as she saw Him in His priesthood and she understood in her heart that even His very garment projected purity and power. She banked her deliverance on catching a thread of His cloak.

She got behind the Savior and pushed herself through the crush of bodies and held the thread for only an instant. Instantly her bleeding stopped.

Just as instantly Jesus stood still. He asked aloud, “Who touched Me?”

Peter chided the Lord as only he was bold enough to do:  “You are hemmed in on every side by people. You have been touched a lot, Rabbi.”

This was a different kind of touch. The faith of this weak and weary woman reached to the heart of God and released to her the answer to her prayers.

She hid herself away at the hearing of His question:  “Who touched Me?”

The Savior’s sentence was not accusatory–far from it. I think He was delighted.

Seeing that she could not keep silent, she testified before all about her predicament and her instant deliverance.

“Daughter!” Jesus again emphasized the essence of true relation to Him and the Father as belonging to those who hear Him and take His Word to heart. “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (see Luke 8:46-48).

Moments of Belief

The string of small triumphs of faith in longing hearts was starting to add up to something.

Let’s rehearse the record we have read in Luke. The centurion, a Gentile Roman official, believed Him and trusted His authority and the servant beloved to him was restored. The disciples begged Jesus to still the storm. The one possessed by the legion from Hell fell down before Him. The Lord sent away the tormentors and called the man into His purpose.

Let me take you to something that Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52:  “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye … we shall be changed.” This passage speaks to the future, to the time when Jesus shall call us together and we take up our eternal resurrected existence. We will have New Creation bodies and ever live in His presence.

However, the speed of Light brings a twinkle to the heart stirred to faith, and there comes the change. Deliverance and victory can happen at any time. Just a small measure of real belief vitalizes the activity of God.

This woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, but the active ingredient in the moment was the thread of hope within her.

Just as this celebration of faith percolated in the followers at that time, the father Jairus was told that his daughter had died. “Don’t bother the Teacher anymore” Jairus was told. “When Jesus heard it, He answered him. ‘Don’t be afraid. Only believe, and she will be saved’” (Luke 8:50-51).

The scene at Jairus’ house was morbid, quite different from the atmosphere Jesus had just left behind with those who rejoiced with the healed woman.

The overwrought weeping and wailing irked the Master:  “Stop crying, the girl is just asleep,” He said. At this, they mocked and jeered His assessment of the situation. Such faithlessness He dismissed and He allowed only a few to the dead girl’s bedside.

Here again Jesus gave revelation to the nature of His priesthood. He took the hand, the hand of one dead, a touch that would render Him unclean by the regulations enforced among the Jews then and there.

“Little girl, get up!” He prayed. And so she did, right away. He gave instructions to feed the girl and to keep quiet about the miracle.

Death was shown to be subject to the Son. His power had more than answered demons and diseases, winds and waves. Now it was revealed that His life and our faith in that Life conquered even the curse of death.

Do we believe? We do, but we also have our unbelief.

Our world wallows in the wickedness set loose by sin. And yet He has brought His forgiveness to us. We know nothing as we ought to know it. Still, He calls to us.

Let us allow His Light to shine in us. Let us let in the twinkling of true faith. Believe and receive Him just as these people did.

Fear not. Have faith. He is Life. Let us hear Him as He says to us:  “Go in peace.”

Steve Andrulonis
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