Faith in the New Work

Posted: February 6, 2012 in Matthew

Matthew 9:14-26, “Faith in the New Work”

New works can be confusing things.  Whether it’s a new city you’re attempting to navigate, a new job to learn, or even a new church you’ve visited for the 1st time.  It can be difficult to learn how things are being done & how to adjust to the things that are different.  And the things Jesus was doing during His ministry in Galilee was profoundly different!

Jesus had taught the gospel of the kingdom and already demonstrated many times His authority to teach such things.  Jesus has power over disease & showed His compassion in touching the unclean, and healing Gentiles & women.  Jesus has power over creation & can calm the winds and waves.  Jesus has power over the demons, power over sin, and power over our past – demonstrated in how He freed the tormented men with the Legion, healed the paralytic, and called a tax-collector to be His disciple.  There’s no doubt that the ministry of Jesus caused quite a stir in Galilee – indeed, in all Judea!

For all of the miracles that Jesus had been performing, it was His teaching and His compassion that people had a tough time understanding.  The Pharisees sneered at the idea that a Man of God would sit down at the table with tax collectors and other sinners.  The scribes wondered how it could be that anyone would dare to proclaim the forgiveness of sin.  They all understood that Jesus was a holy Man, but what they didn’t yet grasp was how HOLY He is.  It wasn’t that Jesus was just another prophet, in the long line of prophets; Jesus is God Himself come among us.  This was something unheard of, and God went to great extents to call attention to the fact that Jesus is different, and we’re to have faith in Him.

As Jesus continues to demonstrate His authority in Matthew 9, the questioning of the people becomes a bit more pointed at this idea.  This time, it’s not the adversarial Pharisees and scribes, but it’s the friendly disciples of John the Baptist that are confused at this new thing.  Although God never changes, it definitely seemed like everything was changing through Jesus Christ, and even the people who were truly seeking the face of God had a difficult time understanding it all.  God was doing something new through Jesus – the proof?  Jesus has power over death.  If Jesus can do that, what is there that is impossible for Him?  Nothing.  Only the Author of Life has power over the grave.  Once that is established, the question then simply becomes: do we believe that Jesus is who He claims to be?

Matthew 9:14–26 (NKJV)

  • The proclamation (vss. 14-17)

14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?”

  • Who came? “The disciples of John.”  This wasn’t the first time John’s disciples had an interest in Jesus – some of Jesus’ 1st disciples actually left John the Baptist to go follow Christ! (Andrew being one – Jn 2:40.)  Other times, they questioned the fact that Jesus’ disciples were baptizing more people than they were (Jn 3:26).  Later, they would send a message to Jesus straight from John asking for confirmation that Jesus really is the Messiah. (Mt 11)
  • What was the issue of confusion?  Fasting.  Jesus had just got done engaging in a feast with the tax collectors & other people that the Pharisees disapproved of.  Apparently, it was also a bit confusing for John’s disciples.  They had fasted often (apparently, it was not uncommon to fast twice per week) & certainly on Jewish holy days they would have fasted.  Yet Jesus’ disciples didn’t fast nearly as much.  Although the Pharisees can be accused of a lot of empty ritualism, it would be difficult to assume the same of John the Baptist’s disciples.  These probably would have been godly people – and yet they were confused by Jesus.  (Even godly people get confused sometimes.  Even godly people can endure a crisis of faith.  Take heart!  Jesus is not stumbled by your confusion…take your questions to Christ & wait on Him to address them in His time.)
    • Jesus had taught on fasting in the Sermon on the Mount.  Fasting was certainly not a bad thing – but it wasn’t to be a mere ritual, or done for outward appearances.  Jesus told people to wash their faces & don’t appear to men to be fasting, but rather do it so that God alone knows & God alone would bless those who truly sought Him.
    • Fasting can be a wonderful spiritual practice, but be careful about becoming ritualistic with it.  Fasting is a way in which we can enter into deep communion with God through prayer as we acknowledge our dependency upon Him.  It’s not a way that we can try to get what we want, nor an empty ritual that we think we need to “perform” for God (as if God needs any pretend “performance” from us).
  • The disciples of Jesus didn’t do a lot of things that the other “good” Jewish people did.  They would glean grain on the Sabbath. (Mt 12:1)  They wouldn’t wash their hands the way the Pharisees would (Mt 15:2).  Jesus obviously did not come to abolish the law, but He didn’t come to maintain the status quo, either.  Jesus wasn’t trying to teach His disciples how to be “good Jews” in the sight of all the people; He taught people how to seek in truth after God.

15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

  • Jesus doesn’t condemn fasting; He simply says that there is a time for it, and right at that moment wasn’t it.  Why spend time abstaining from food & crying out to God when the incarnation of God is standing right beside you?  If Peter had a question, all he needed to do was to turn around and ask! … Fasting is an act of mourning.  There’s a time to mourn, and there’s a time to dance & celebrate.  Jesus basically responded to John’s disciples telling them they were missing the point.  John’s whole ministry was to prepare people to receive the Messiah.  Now the Messiah was standing right in front of them.  That wasn’t a reason to mourn; that was a reason for celebration!
    • Sometimes we can do something similar in our own relationship with Christ.  Obviously the incarnated Jesus does not physically stand right beside us, but we can still miss out on the point of walking in fellowship with Him.  People can go through all sorts of motions to attempt to seek after Christ & sometimes actually forget to seek Christ.  Schedules get filled up with all sorts of well-meaning programs & studies (all of which are good), but then people forget to actually read their Bible for themselves – or they forget to actually spend time at the throne of God in prayer.  We can talk about prayer a lot without actually engaging in it.  We can talk about God all day long without actually spending time with Him.  Don’t miss the point of being in relationship with Christ!
  • Notice the language in how Jesus described our relationship.  He’s the “bridegroom,” the disciples were “the friends of the bridegroom.”  Who’s the bride?  We are – the Church!  Technically, the Age of the Church had not yet begun while Jesus was ministering with the disciples (the Church could not be officially born until after Jesus’ resurrection), so until that point, the disciples were the “friends of the bridegroom.”  Yet that relationship doesn’t change simply because of Pentecost – Jesus made sure to let the disciples know that He called them His “friends” (Jn 15:15).  Thus we’re Jesus’ friends AND we’re Jesus’ bride.  It’s truly the best of both worlds!
  • So when would Jesus’ disciples fast?  After Jesus would be taken away.  The time to fast wasn’t during Jesus’ earthly ministry; it would be afterwards, when the disciples would begin to endure suffering for Jesus’ name’s sake.  …  Question: “After Jesus’ resurrection, didn’t Jesus say He would be with us always, even to the end of the age? What does Jesus mean about the bridegroom being taken away?”  Jesus’ spiritual presence never leaves us.  The NT is clear that for those who are born-again believers in Jesus Christ, we are in Christ (Rom 12:5) & Christ is in us (Col 1:27).  Yet obviously His physical presence is not here.  Jesus did not lose His incarnation after He ascended to heaven; He is still a physical person who is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:2)  Jesus made it clear to the disciples that He was going away to the one who had sent Him (Jn 16:5), and that He would not leave us orphans, but come again to us (Jn 14:18).  So Jesus’ presence has never left us, but His physical person is not here.  Thus there’s no contradiction.  There are days in which we fast now because these are the days in which we endure the trials that Jesus warned us about.

16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

  • The illustration may be dated for our culture, but it’s still plain.  To put unshrunken cloth as a patch on an old pair of pants is only asking for trouble…the patch will shrink & rip the clothes.  To use new wine in old wineskins would be to neglect the process of fermentation.  Gas would build up & the old wineskins would not be able to stretch beyond what they had already been stretched.  Like putting a can of soda in the freezer overnight, the gas would build & burst the container.
  • The principle?  Don’t try to force new things into old systems.  The things Jesus was doing was not about to be forced into the confines of the Jewish traditions.  Jesus wasn’t trying to give a freshened-up version of Judaism; He was doing something brand-new in their midst.  He’s telling John’s disciples: “Don’t miss it!”
    • One caution: be careful of those who throw around this illustration in an attempt to justify anything & everything under the sun, despite whether or not it’s biblically accurate.  They say, “Of course we can do _____ in the Spirit.  Don’t criticize, brother – this is a new wineskin!”  Baloney.  The new wine/wineskin is what has been revealed through Jesus Christ, the cross & His resurrection.  It’s the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in the Church for the work of the Great Commission.  Don’t let someone cheapen it in order to justify their flavor-of-the-month excessiveness.
  • Question: “How can anything from God be new?  After all, God never changes.”  Correct.  God never changes – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Yet the way that God interacts with mankind certainly DOES change.  Scholars debate exactly how this works and is divided up (dispensationalism vs. covenantalism), but all can point out the difference between how God interacted with Adam & Eve, vs. with the nation of Israel under Moses, vs. the Church through the Lord Jesus Christ, etc.  God has more fully revealed Himself to mankind through the centuries, even though He was never hidden from man to begin with.  Like a rosebud that opens more fully over time, so has God interacted with mankind.  God’s character has never changed (He’s always shown His holiness, love, and grace) – God’s plan of salvation has never changed (it’s always been by grace through faith) – God’s purposes have never changed (Jesus was slain before the foundations of the world in order to redeem mankind) – but God’s methods HAVE changed.  Instead of teaching of His holiness through the rituals of the law, now Jesus was showing His holiness through His character & doctrine.  Instead of showing the wages of sin through daily animal sacrifice, now Jesus shows it when He personally goes to the cross on our behalf.
    • Don’t miss out on the new thing God did through Jesus Christ!  Too many sects of Christianity still try to go back to the old way of how God worked.  Instead of enjoying the free invitation we have to interact directly with God through Christ, they set up priests to interact for them.  Instead of relying fully on Jesus’ one sufficient sacrifice at the cross, they try to have a weekly re-sacrifice through communion.  Instead of walking in the freedom that Jesus gives us through joyful obedience empowered through the Spirit, they try to set up legalistic ritualism in an attempt to justify themselves through their own works.  That’s not NT Christianity; that’s re-worked Judaism.  It’s an attempt to put new wine into an old wineskin.
  • The proofs (vss. 18-26)

18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”

  • Interestingly enough, the account Matthew provides for this is actually shorter than what is provided in either Mark or Luke.  (Usually Mark provides the least details.)  From Mark (and Luke), we learn that the “ruler” is a leader in a local synagogue named Jairus – we learn that Jesus was surrounded by a great crowd of people at the time (thus this was a very public appeal and confession of faith) – we get an expanded timeline in which Jairus first approaches Jesus when his daughter is at the point of death, but learns in transit that his daughter has actually died (whereas Matthew just provides an abbreviated account) – and we actually get a transcript of what Jesus says to the girl when He visits her.
    • It’s a good reminder to read the WHOLE counsel of Scripture!
  • Jairus “came and worshiped Him.”  Don’t gloss over the fact that the leader of a local synagogue publically demonstrated his worship of Christ.  True, the word could simply refer to bowing down to Jesus as a sign of respect, but at the very least it’s evident that Jairus expected Jesus to be able to do the work of God in having power over death.  For Matthew’s chronology of the account of the King of Israel, this is significant.  He’s already shown the unclean and undesirables declaring their faith in Christ (the leper, Gentiles) – he’s shown how women and the general multitudes were ministered to by Him – but now he shows how even some within the Jewish leadership came to faith.  To be sure, Jesus was opposed by the scribes & Pharisees, but even the leadership was divided when it came to Christ.  (The NT tells us of at least some among the Sanhedrin council that had faith in Christ – Nicodemus & Joseph of Arimathea.)  IOW, no one was able to claim that it was only the religiously uneducated that believed Jesus, as if they were somehow able to be duped by this wonder-working prophet.  No – instead, people of ALL stripes all over the land of Judea were coming to faith, ranging from those who knew virtually nothing about Judaism to those who were well-studied in the Scriptures.
    • Today, there is an anti-intellectualism that some people attempt to associate with Christianity.  The new generation of atheists try to dismiss any discussion of the Bible as backwards & they sneer at any suggestion that the testimony of the universe directly points to a Creator God.  Their dismissiveness is simply a bullying tactic.  Someone doesn’t have to turn off their brain in order to worship Christ; our God is far bigger than our minds can comprehend!  People from all backgrounds and educations have come to faith, ranging from the simplest child to men & women with multiple Ph.D’s.  The pursuit of God is wildly fulfilling from an intellectual point of view, and that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be.  We’re to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, MIND, and strength. (Mk 12:30)  We could spend the rest of our days doing nothing but pondering the infinite riches, grace, mercy, and holiness of God, and still never come to the simple end of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
  • Again, Jairus’ worship was public.  Obviously there’s nothing wrong with private worship or private faith.  Yet there comes a point where our faith in Christ has to be public.  Those who follow Christ will be known for following Christ.  This well-known leader in his community took a public stand where his faith lay, and that’s exactly what needed to be done.  Sometimes people are afraid to take a public stand for our faith in Christ.  Whether it’s fear that they will be embarrassed, or fear that old friends won’t want to be around them any longer – or perhaps something more, they want to remain as quiet as possible for as long as possible regarding Christ.  We’re not really given that option.  Obviously not everyone is called to be a street preacher & shout out their faith in the middle of a park, but we ARE called to a public declaration of faith.  We are to believe in our hearts AND confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord & that He’s risen from the dead (Rom 10:9).  Whoever confesses Jesus before men, Jesus will confess before the angels of God (Lk 12:8).  We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Rom 1:16).  We are called to be the witnesses of Christ, and that is only possible when our faith is publicly known.
    • BTW – this is one of the purposes of baptism.  Baptism is a public declaration of your faith.
  • Notice the faith that Jairus demonstrates: “but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”  That’s the future tense & there’s not a hint of doubt in Jairus’ words.  If Jesus comes & works, of course she’ll live…that’s just what happens when people get around Jesus.  Jairus has faith.  The touch of God changes things! …
    • There is, however, an interesting contrast with an earlier healing from Jesus.  When the Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant, Jesus offered to come & the centurion replied that it wasn’t necessary – all Jesus had to do was say the word & his servant would be healed.  Jairus does specifically ask Jesus to come & lay hands on his daughter.  In response to the centurion, Jesus said He had never seen such faith even in Israel – and we can see why here.  Does that mean that Jairus’ faith was somehow less valid than the centurion’s?  No.  After all, there were different illnesses at work (one was painful paralysis; the other was death), but there was certainly a greater faith with the centurion.  Yet how did Jesus respond?  He ministered to each one!  Some people think, “Oh, if only I had the faith of Paul!  If only I had the faith of Peter!  Then I could be used by the Lord.”  Granted, you may not have the faith of Paul, but follow Christ with what little faith you have.  Even faith as small as a mustard seed can be used by God to move mountains. J  Bring to the Lord what you do have, and see if your faith doesn’t increase by leaps & bounds as you watch Him work!

19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. 20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.

  • Again, Mark tells us much more about this event.  Apparently during the twelve years that this woman had suffered, she had spent all of her money on various physicians to find a cure, and came up hopeless & rather only became worse.  This was a woman who was at the end of her options, and all she wanted was to be healed even though she was afraid to approach Jesus publicly.
    • Question: “If it was important that the synagogue ruler’s faith be public, why not the woman?”  Obviously, the woman won’t remain anonymous for long, but the Bible doesn’t tell us why she didn’t want to be seen originally.  We do know that her illness would have made her ritually unclean & she would have endured that social status for over a decade, being virtually untouchable.  It’s likely that she thought that unless she went to Jesus secretly, there’s no other way she could have gotten close to Him.
  • Note the contrast between the woman & Jairus’ daughter.  Both (of course) are females, but one has a chronic illness; the other is in a time of crisis.  One was dealing with ritual uncleanness; the other was dealing with life/death.  Which one was more important?  It depends on whom you ask. To Jairus, there’s no doubt that his daughter had the more pressing issue; yet to the woman, this may have been her one and only opportunity to be healed.  Each issue was most important to the one facing it at the time.
    • Sometimes we get the idea that “God must not care too much about my problem – it’s so minor in comparison with the problems someone else is going through.”  To be sure, it’s a good thing to put others ahead of ourselves (which is something our own culture has lost!).  Yet just because someone else has big problems doesn’t mean that your issues are any less important in your life.  The good news is that we serve a God who is big enough to handle ALL of our issues.  The same Jesus that heals the sick & empowers the persecuted also ministers to the broken-hearted.

21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”

  • What exactly did the woman want to touch?  Although the word could be used in a more general sense, most likely this is a reference to the tassels on Jesus’ garments.  The Mosaic law required that fringes be sown on the border of someone’s outer garment as a reminder of the commandments and holiness of God (Num 15:37-41).  Although perhaps unusual to us, it was a visual reminder to the Hebrews that they were to be different, and that God had personally spoken to them and given them His law.
  • Was there something special about Jesus’ clothes?  Other than the fact of Who was wearing them, no.  The woman’s actions are not an example for us to try to go find supposedly holy artifacts or whatnot; the fringe of Jesus’ garments was simply a connection point with Jesus Himself.  What she was looking for wasn’t an artifact; it was healing & she understood that her healing was connected solely to the Lord Jesus.  As with the centurion, she understood it wasn’t necessary to have physical contact with Jesus’ skin for healing – she just needed Jesus Himself.  To her mind, even His direct attention wasn’t necessary.  She may even have had in mind her own uncleanness, thinking that it would have been illegal for Jesus to touch her anyway, so if she could just get close it would be enough.  Whatever was going through her mind, this much is obvious: it wasn’t the clothing she was after, it was Christ.
    • It’s so easy for people to get this wrong today!  People seek after the signs of the Spirit, rather than the Holy Spirit Himself.  People seek after the blessings of God, rather than the person of God.  People seek after the things of Christ, rather than relationship with Christ.  It’s not uncommon to find Christians obsessed with trite illusions like gold-dust supposedly floating down from the ceiling & they say, “It’s the glory of God!”  Whatever setup was involved with that, we can say with absolute assurance that’s NOT the glory of God.  The glory of God is seen in the Lord Jesus Christ!  Part of the myriad of problems in the middle ages was the abundance of supposed “relics”: pieces of the cross, bones of the apostles, other junk supposedly blessed by the church leaders as being “holy” items associated with Jesus.  Our faith isn’t is those items.  Our faith isn’t in stuff or supposed manifestations; our faith is in Christ.

22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

  • Mark & Luke give us a bit more insight here.  Apparently the woman secretly touched Jesus’ clothes while He was pressing through the crowd, and He knew instantly that someone had touched Him with faith to be healed.  He called for the person to reveal herself, and His disciples were confused.  They basically told Jesus, “Everyone’s touching You.  How can You say “Someone touched Me?””  The woman revealed herself publicly, and Jesus affirms her healing & blesses her among all the people.
  • How important is faith?  Very important!  For the woman, it was the difference between chronic illness and full healing.  “Your faith has made you well.”  Praise God!  But be careful here – it wasn’t simple faith for faith’s sake.  It wasn’t faith in a piece of cloth.  It was faith in Christ.  People say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long you REALLY believe it.  Just have faith!”  The real question is: faith in WHAT?  What good is faith if my faith tells me that a three-eyed purple dragon is standing next to me promising to give me $1M?  I might REALLY believe it…  All the faith in the world doesn’t change the fact that there’s no invisible dragon (and that perhaps I’m a bit insane).  It’s not mere faith; it’s the OBJECT of our faith that makes the difference.  In India, Hindus really believe that people can be reincarnated as cows – their faith doesn’t make it true, no matter how much they believe it.  It was the woman’s faith in Christ that made her well, because Jesus is a worthy object of faith.
    • What’s your faith in?

23 When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24 He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him.

  • Flute-players seem a bit unusual for us at a death, but it was culturally normal at the time.  People would come and publicly mourn & wail for a person’s death – many time just looking for free food.  Some have suggested that there were even semi-professional mourners in the crowd.  It’s a show of grief, but there’s little indication that there were real friends & truly hurting people in the crowd.  Surely there were some in the house (like Jairus & his friends), but the majority were just there as show & along for the ride.
    • Often, that’s what ritualistic religion becomes: just a show.  People doing rituals just for the sake of doing rituals.  Jesus calls us to far more than that.  He didn’t go through the “ritual” of the cross – He actually went there & rose again to purchase our freedom from sin.  We don’t serve Him in ritual; we serve Him in truth.  Evangelicals can fall into exactly the same trap when we think that our faith is all about programs & appearances.  As long as we listen to the “right” Christian music, or we are involved in the “right” number of Bible studies, etc.  Be careful – at that point, it starts being about the show & not about Christ.
  • Notice the contrast between the crowd & Jairus.  Jairus (and the woman with the flow of blood) had faith.  He knew that Jesus would heal his daughter – no doubt.  The crowd laughed Jesus to scorn.  The creation mocked its Creator, thinking that God the Son had no idea as to what He was talking about.  Whereas the friends of the paralytic earlier in Ch 9 were the ones to show faith for their friend to be healed, the people here show far less faith than the family (which might illustrate the fact that they weren’t really friends to begin with!).
    • There will always be some who doubt & mock at the things of Jesus.  Don’t let them shake your faith.  God is still God!  Jesus is still the Risen Lord!  These professional mourners could not stop Jesus from working – the only thing they were doing was causing a ruckus & problem for those actually following Christ.  Their ridicule couldn’t stop God from doing what He was going to do.  When people mock, go past them & just keep following Jesus.  Jesus is big enough to take care of Himself.
  • Question: was the girl actually dead?  Probably, but not for long.  Obviously the people who had examined the child could have been wrong & Jesus would be correcting them.  Or it’s just as possible that Jesus was merely saying that her death was temporary & more like sleep, from which He was about to awaken her.  Either way, when God speaks, He doesn’t need our correction.  He knows exactly what He’s doing!

25 But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went out into all that land.

  • Apparently the home was emptied with the exception of Peter, James, John, and the parents of the girl.  Jesus took her by the hand & said to her in Aramaic, “Little girl, arise.”  Instantly the girl is healed & she’s alive!  Long before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus demonstrates His power over the grave by raising the daughter of Jairus.  No wonder news spread over all the land.  Healing lepers was already unheard of – but bringing someone back from the dead was something beyond their imaginations, and yet Jesus had done it.
  • Jesus has power over death!  And if it was amazing that Jesus could raise someone else who had died, Jesus even had the power to bring Himself up from the grave.  This is no ordinary Man!  This is no ordinary prophet!  This is not just “another” religious leader.  This is God in the flesh.  Death has no hold upon Christ because Jesus is the author of life!
    • Is there any doubt that Jesus is worthy of your faith?  THIS is the God we serve – the one who has power over death itself, and the right and authority to grant life to those who surrender themselves to His gracious hand.

What is your response to the different work done through the Lord Jesus?  It’s not about empty rituals – it’s not about our pseudo-intellectualism – it’s not about all the things that people can get distracted by.  God has done something profoundly different in Christ Jesus from anything that has ever come before.  And how do we know?  Because Jesus has power over disease…and more than that, Jesus has power over death! 

Who or what is your faith in?  Your response to Jesus in times of crisis make it perfectly clear.  Do you stay on the outside in confusion (like John’s disciples)?  Do you ridicule the things that God can do (like the mourners)?  Or do you run to Christ, reaching out to Him in faith? 

Maybe there’s been something holding you back from expressing your faith in Christ.  You might even be a born-again Christian, but there’s been something you’ve been holding onto that you haven’t yet released to your Lord.  Reach out in faith!

Maybe you’re not yet a Christian, but you know Jesus is calling you.  Respond!  Jairus responded publicly.  Even the woman responded publicly.  Don’t hold back in fear & miss out on what Jesus will do in His grace.  His forgiveness is available for the asking – His love is already demonstrated at the cross.  He’s ready to receive all who humble themselves before them in faith…but you must respond.


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