All Authority, Everywhere

Posted: November 20, 2016 in Luke, Uncategorized

Luke 8:40-56, “All Authority, Everywhere”

As my family can tell you, it’s too early for Christmas stuff.  I’m personally of the opinion that no Christmas song should be played until the day after Thanksgiving at the earliest.  One month’s worth of Christmas songs, movies, and decorations is more than enough to satisfy us for a year at a time.  That said, there’s a line from the famous story, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens that is wonderful to hear anytime: when Tiny Tim opens his mouth to say, “God bless us, everyone!”  It is right to proclaim the blessings of God, praying them over others because God IS God over all.  Jesus is Lord for everyone in everyplace.  To phrase it along the lines of Tiny Tim, we might say Jesus has “all authority, everywhere.”

That’s one of the themes on display in our text.  Luke has actually been driving home the doctrine of Jesus’ authority throughout the latter half of Chapter 8.  Remember that Jesus had sailed to a region around the Sea of Galilee that was primarily Gentile.  On the way there, He & the disciples encountered a massive storm, which threatened to kill them all.  The disciples lacked faith, believing Jesus would let them all die, or (worse yet) that Jesus didn’t care whether they lived or died.  Jesus showed His power over the storm by rebuking it, bring an immediate calm to the waters.  Once on shore, Jesus was met by a demoniac – a man so overrun by demons that he was drowning in them.  Although his own townspeople had offered him no hope, Jesus instantly overpowered the demons, forcing them out of the man, into a herd of swine (which died).  The town was so fearful in their response that they begged Jesus to leave, thereby denying themselves the opportunity to receive of the same grace their friend had.  Although the man requested to do with Jesus, the Lord commanded He stay behind.  Jesus knew He would have no better evangelist among the Gerasenes than this man…the Lord had already done great things through him.

This is where the narrative picks up.  Jesus heads back to the Jewish region of Galilee.  He had made a long, dangerous trip for one man, but that one man was worth it.  Back among the Jews, there was still more work to do.  His fame as a healer had spread, and there was always a need for healing.  The question was: who had faith to receive it?  We cannot partake of the grace of Jesus if we never believe in Him.  Who truly had faith in Christ as the Lord, and who was merely hoping for a miracle-worker?  The difference between the two is faith for faith’s sake, and faith that saves.

Jesus has all authority.  With the storm, Jesus showed His authority over the natural.  With the demoniac, Jesus showed His authority over the spiritual.  With these two women, Jesus shows His authority over the physical.  Jesus has all authority over every sphere of the universe.  He has all authority, everywhere.  So believe!

Luke 8:40–56
40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him.

  1. Once Jesus reached the shore, He and the 12 found a welcome party waiting for them.  The crowds knew Jesus had left, and they eagerly awaited His return.  Yet, were they waiting for the right reasons?  We cannot blame anyone for wanting Jesus to work a miracle on their behalf, but is that the only reason Jesus is wanted?  If we just want to see what we can get out of Jesus, then we’re not really wanting a Lord; we’re wanting a butler.  Jesus is Lord.  Trust Him as such!
  2. That said, it is good to welcome Jesus.  Hopefully He was welcome in some of the lives of the crowd as Lord.  Hopefully He is welcome in your life as Lord as well.

41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.

  1. Crisis!  A young girl was sick, on the verge of dying.  If anyone had a legitimate need to wait for Jesus at the lakeshore, it was Jairus.  His “only daughter,” perhaps only child, was knocking on death’s door.  Personally, I don’t even want to imagine the terror and panic which had set upon Jairus’ heart.  My own daughter is 12 years old, and she is our only child.  To think that she might be sick to the point of death makes me sick at heart.  Parents who endure this sort of pain suffer a grief that ought not be known by any human being.  We are not told what specific illness the girl had, but at a certain point it doesn’t matter.  Whether it was leukemia or pneumonia, Jairus’ daughter was about to die.  He simply needed help.
  2. That this was Jairus is significant.  His daughter is unnamed, but he was known.  He was a “ruler of the synagogue.” Most likely this referred to duties in caring for the Torah scrolls, maintenance of the building, and other things along these lines.  He probably was not a teaching rabbi, but he still had a position of prominence and respect.  He and his livelihood was tied to the synagogue, and he was personally going to Jesus.  Keep in mind that at some point in Jesus’ ministry, anyone found to be a follower of Jesus was commanded to be ex-communicated from the synagogue (Jn 9:22).  We don’t know when this event fits precisely into the historical chronology, but even in Luke’s narrative, the Pharisees have already been shown as opposed to Jesus.  Thus for Jairus of all people to come to Jesus – that was a statement.  That itself was faith.  It took faith just to be associated with Jesus, even if Jairus perhaps didn’t quite know what all to believe about Him.
    1. Are you willing to be associated with Christ?  In times past, anyone could claim to be a Christian without cost.  In fact, it was something unusual not to be a Christian in America (particularly in the South).  Nowadays, there is a cost…one that will only increase in time.  It is an act of faith simply to let your faith be public.  Yet for many, that is not so easy to do.  It’s easier to bury their Christianity and let it be discovered at a later time – at a time of their own choosing.  Beware!  That is a faith that is perhaps more false than true.  A faith that is simply convenient is not really a faith at all.  Take a stand for Jesus!  (He took one for you.)
  3. As for Jairus, he “begged” Jesus to “come to his house,” and for good reason: he wanted his daughter healed, and he had enough faith in Jesus to be confident of His ability to heal.  Granted, it would have been nice if Jairus had a faith similar to that of the Roman centurion of Ch. 7.  That man so believed in the authority of Christ, that he knew Jesus simply needed to speak a word for his beloved servant to be healed (7:7).  Jesus’ physical presence wasn’t necessary; only His will.  If Jairus had believed the same, he never would have gone through the rest of the emotional roller-coaster of the day.  Of course, the centurion’s faith was unique – not found anywhere throughout the land of Israel (7:9).  Jesus commended the centurion for his faith, but notice He never condemns Jairus.  Jairus did have faith, even if it was small, and Jesus met him right where he was.
    1. Bring what you have to Jesus.  He will meet you right where you are.  He won’t leave you where you are, but He will never condemn you for starting your journey of faith.  He will be right with you for those first steps, and for every step afterwards.
  4. So Jesus went, but there was a problem: “the multitudes thronged Him.”  They so pressed in on Him that they almost crushed Him with their presence.  Imagine a typical scene on the New York subway, or the crowded streets of Tokyo, Japan.  People were everywhere, which made travel in this time of crisis slow.  Things were about to slow even further.  Vs. 43…

43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

  1. One crisis moves to another.  This woman was not in immediate danger of dying, but she had suffered from her affliction for as long as Jairus’ daughter had been alive.  For 12 long years, blood had flowed from her, with the implication that this was some sort of menstrual issue.  Any prolonged hemorrhaging is bad (and dangerous!), but this particular form had a terrible impact upon her spiritual life: she was left ritually impure.  Not just for a few days every month, but every day for 12 full years (Lev 15:25-27).  Not only had she spent all her money on doctors, she could not even go to the temple for help.  She could not offer sacrifice, nor even really approach a priest.  How was she supposed to get help?  Her only hope was the Lord God, and she had no way to approach Him.  She was despondent with no way to act.
    1. BTW – this is exactly the way we are apart from Christ!  We are bloody from sin, impure by default.  We have no way whatsoever to approach God on our own, and our eternity is doomed.  This is why Jesus approached us.  He came to us, giving us His righteousness in place of our defiling sin.  When Jesus died upon the cross, all of our bloody sin went upon His shoulders.  Now we can be clean – now we can have hope for all eternity! 
  2. With all of her despondency and lack of ability to approach God, it’s no wonder that the woman attempted to sneak a miracle past Jesus!  She couldn’t go public, and she likely wanted to avoid any reason for Jesus to avoid His own defilement by touching her.  Thus she reached out to Him.  She “touched the border of His garment,” likely a reference to touching the tassels extending from Jesus’ tallit (prayer shawl).  She was reaching out in faith to Him, placing herself under His covering.  It was as if she was receiving the prayers of Christ without ever publicly asking for them.
  3. Note: this was faith!  The woman hadn’t uttered a word, as she did her best to remain unseen.  In this sense, she would seem to be the opposite of Jairus, and his step of faith publicly associating with Jesus.  Yet don’t make the mistake of thinking this woman had less faith.  Not so!  The proof is in the pudding: she was healed!  The 12 year flow of blood was immediately stopped, and in the blink of an eye, she was clean.  But what about her secrecy?  In her case, it wasn’t a lack of faith, or a shame she had in Jesus.  Her shame was in herself, and she was so afraid of being turned away (either by the crowds, by the disciples, or even by Jesus Himself) that she couldn’t risk a public confrontation.  But did she have faith?  Absolutely!  She had so much faith that she knew Jesus didn’t even have to be consciously aware of her in order to heal her.  In her understanding, Jesus did not merely wield the power of God like so many prophets of the past; He was the power of God.  God’s power was inherent in Him as the Messiah/Christ.  Dare we say that this woman had more faith than Jairus?  The religious synagogue leader needed Jesus to go to his home; the defiled women simply needed to touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment.
    1. What does faith look like?  It looks like reaching out to Jesus.  Don’t misunderstand – we don’t reach out in our works; Jesus has already done all of the work necessary for us to be saved.  But it is reaching out in response to Him & His work.  For this woman, Jesus was passing by, and she couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so she reached out.  For you, maybe God has revealed Himself in some way & you also need to reach out in response.  It may be an act of obedience – it may be a practical expression of mercy – it may be time spent in heartfelt prayer.  Whatever it is, don’t put it off.  Respond to how Jesus has revealed Himself to you, and reach out to Him.
    2. Keep in mind that every expression of faith starts somewhere.  Maybe for you, this is your day of new beginnings.  The way you need to reach out to Jesus is to repent from your sins, and to receive Jesus as your Lord & King – to believe upon Him as the Son of God & receive His forgiveness.  Like the woman, use your opportunity.  Don’t let Him pass you by!

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.”

  1. You’ve got to love Jesus’ response!  Yes, the woman tried to receive a miracle unnoticed, but Jesus noticed.  The crowd may not have even realized she was there, but Jesus knew.  He knew something miraculous had happened, and He asked for the person to reveal herself.  To the disciples, this was perplexing.  As Peter noted, everyone was touching Jesus.  The multitude was so crowded, there was no way to avoid touching people.  How could Jesus ask who touched Him?  But Jesus knew.  Someone touched Him differently than all the rest.  As the classic commentary Jameison Fausset & Brown notes: “yes, the multitude “thronged” and pressed Him—“they jostled against Him,” but all involuntarily; they were merely carried along; but one, one only—“Somebody Touched” Him, with the conscious, voluntary, dependent touch of faith, reaching forth its hands expressly to have contact with Him. This and this only Jesus acknowledges and seeks out.”
  2. Question: If Jesus knew someone touched Him & received a miracle, how come He didn’t know the identity & details of this woman?  Answer: who says He didn’t?  As the omniscient Son of God, surely Jesus did know.  Why did He ask?  He wanted the woman to know He knew.  Only if the woman revealed herself would she receive the confirmation that she really was healed.  Only if the woman revealed herself would she be able to go to the priest and receive cleansing from 12 years of past impurity – would the townspeople see her as clean – would she get her life back.  She might have approached Jesus in secret, but her faith could not remain secret.  Like that of Jairus, it had to come out at some point.
  3. Note: Jesus wasn’t trying to embarrass the woman.  She wanted this kept secret for a reason.  Yet that was the past.  Now that she was clean, there was no more need for secrecy.  Only when the work of God was revealed would the maximum amount of glory be given to God, and would the maximum benefit come into the woman’s life.  By keeping it secret, she was shortchanging herself.  This woman needed to speak of the grace of God – she needed to give Him the glory.  And when she did, she would be blessed!
    1. That’s no less true with us.  Christians who never share Jesus with others shortchange themselves.  Believers who regularly share the gospel have a vibrant relationship with God, are more reliant upon the power of the Holy Spirit, are more regularly in their Bibles & on their knees in prayer, and are generally more excited about their relationship with God.  Want to get fired up in your faith?  Stop shortchanging yourself & go public with Jesus!
    2. That’s what the woman did.  Vs. 47…

47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

  1. Was she “trembling”?  Sure.  She was nervous & scared.  And why not?  She had been ashamed of her condition for 12 years.  Now it was laid bare for everyone to see.  Yet this was glorious!  How so?  Because as she spoke of who she was, she could also speak to the fact that she was that no longer.  She had experienced the power of Jesus, and He completely changed her life.
  2. That’s the power of a testimony!  All of us have come from different places, but if you’re a born-again Christian, you’ve personally experienced the power of the Living God.  When you want to share your faith with others, then simply share that.  Share how you were changed by the Lord Jesus, and how they can be changed too.

48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

  1. Finally, Jesus gives her the confirmation that she longed to hear.  She was healed!  She truly was “made well.” She didn’t have to worry about this miracle being taken from her.  She didn’t have to worry about her sickness ever again!  She could go her way in peace, knowing the peace of God.
    1. What a glorious blessing to know the peace of God through Jesus!  It comes no other way.  There is no peace in man-made religion, with its constant striving to prove ourselves righteous.  There is no peace in philosophy, with its vain attempts to rationalize ourselves into eternity.  There is no peace in wealth or entertainment.  All that does is prolong the inevitable.  The only real peace – eternal everlasting peace – this is found through a real, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ!
  2. Before we leave this, don’t miss how Jesus addressed the woman as “daughter.”  At first glance, this seems so strange.  To our modern ears, this might even sound a bit patronizing.  In all probability, this woman was several years His senior, yet even if we account for Jesus’ eternal nature as God, nowhere do we read of Him addressing men in the same fashion as “sons.”  Why call her by the title of “daughter”?  Remember her affliction & result.  For 12 years, she had been ritually unclean, unable to worship God according to the Hebrew customs & law.  For much of that time, she may have felt forgotten by God, or unworthy to be called a Hebrew.  Yet Jesus affirmed that she too was a daughter of Abraham, included in all of the covenant promises as a child of God.  The word “daughter” was not a term of derision; it was one of glorious assurance.  This woman was clean – she was a daughter of God!
  3. In the midst of all this hope, hopelessness falls once more – not for the woman, but for the father.  Vs. 49…

49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” 50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”

  1. Talk about crisis!  While the woman praised God, the father received terrible news.  The thing he most feared had come to pass.  Surely Jairus had been anxious the entire time Jesus was speaking with the woman.  He did not wish her any harm, but hers was a condition she had lived with for 12 years – surely she could have waited a few minutes longer.  (Though from her perspective, she couldn’t afford to wait at all.  She may never have the opportunity to see Jesus again, much less be so physically close to Him that she could touch Him.)  Can you imagine the stress of the father as he counted every second that passed during this interruption?  Jairus was likely wondering if his emergency mattered to Jesus.  Wasn’t his own daughter’s need more pressing?  Did Jesus even care?
    1. Have you ever felt like God was taking care of everyone else except you?  As if everyone else seemed to receive answers to their prayers, but you were just left in the dark?  Like you might not even matter to Him?  Hear this clearly: you matter to Jesus!  God loves you – He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to die in your place.  The answer to whether or not God cares about us is found in the cross!  There is no doubt that God loves us & cares about our needs.  We just need to trust Him to do it in His way.  Keep in mind that God is the ultimate multi-tasker.  He can do more than one thing at a time!  Jesus cared for Jairus’ daughter, and though Jesus seemed to delay, His actions were exactly what He wanted them to be, when He wanted them to be.  Jairus was hoping for a healing; so was Jesus…it’s just that Jesus also had a resurrection in mind.
  2. This is when Jesus reignites hope in the heart of Jairus.  The girl’s father had come to Jesus in faith; this wasn’t the time to lose it!  What seemed hopeless in the sight of man was not only possible in the eyes of God – it was His express desire!  For Jairus to now fear, lose heart, and go his way would be for Jairus to miss out on the happiest moments of his life.  It didn’t feel like that now, but it was coming.  He just needed to keep believing.
  3. Did you notice the tie of faith between the hemorrhaging woman and Jairus?  To the woman, Jesus told her that her faith had made her well – literally, that her faith had “saved” her.  To Jairus, Jesus says something similar: to keep on having & continuing on in the faith in which he began, and his daughter would be saved (same literal translation).  That brings up a couple of questions. (1) Did these people really believe unto eternal salvation?  (2) Was their salvation dependent upon their faith?
    1. As to whether or not these people were eternally saved is not really answered for us.  As with many words (most words), the precise translation is determined by context more than anything.  The word can indeed refer to salvation, but it can also refer to other forms of deliverance from trial, such as sickness.  But the fact that the word was used shows us that the principles here certainly apply to our own eternal salvation.  These events in Luke 8 are not given to us to instruct us on how to perform our own healing crusades; they are given us to instruct us to have saving faith in the Lord Jesus who has authority over every sphere of life.
    2. Was their salvation dependent upon faith?  Yes & no.  It depends on how you look at the question.  No, neither the woman nor Jairus performed any work upon which Jesus’ grace hung.  Faith is a receiving act; not a creative one.  We receive the work Jesus has done for us; we don’t perform the work.  That said, faith is necessary in salvation.  No one is saved apart from faith.  If faith isn’t present, grace is not received.  This doesn’t make us participants in salvation – it just affirms that we are the recipients of it.  Remember that faith itself is a gift: Ephesians 2:8–9, "(8) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast."  We cannot boast in any aspect of our salvation – not even in the faith by which we receive it.  But faith is necessary.  It is the venue, or mode, by which God saves.  Through faith, we have access to the riches of God – without it, we have nothing.
  4. So does that mean we simply need to believe, and believe with all our heart, and then we’ll experience every miracle we desire?  Of course not.  Remember that God is God; not our butler.  The power to save isn’t in faith; it’s in Jesus.  We don’t have faith in faith; we have faith in Christ.  That’s the difference between what Jesus tells Jairus & the woman, and what so many of the charlatans tell people in the crowd.  To those who are so desperate to receive a miracle, the so-called “faith healers” tell people to put their faith in faith.  They say, “Just believe more!  If you don’t get your blessing, it’s because you didn’t have enough faith.  You’ve got to stir it up inside you, and believe.”  That isn’t faith; that’s a work.  That’s us trying to force something to be done by our will, and that’s not faith at all.  Remember that faith is reaching out in response to Jesus…and it is Jesus who is the key!  True faith is faith in Him – His power, His will, His desires, His grace.  We’re responding to the things He has done. 
  5. And that’s something we’re to never give up.  Jairus had gone to Jesus trusting in His power to heal, laying his own reputation on the line to do so.  Jairus had begun in simple faith, and Jesus was telling him not to leave it.  The fear of the moment caused the faith of Jairus to waver.  The problem wasn’t in the panic in Jairus’ own heart, but the potential for him to walk away from Jesus altogether.  It didn’t matter that Jairus had a temporary shaking of faith – his daughter’s life did not depend on whether or not Jairus had “enough” faith in his own heart to see his daughter healed.  What mattered was whether or not he stayed with Jesus at all!  That’s why Jesus told him not to stop believing.  If Jairus walked away now, he’d walk away from the only One who could give him hope.
    1. Don’t stop believing!  You’ve begun in faith, so continue in faith.  Our hope is in Christ Jesus, so we stay in Christ Jesus.  We remain at His side, constantly trusting & abiding in Him.  Again, this doesn’t mean that we “name & claim” our desires, but we maintain our trust in Him knowing that HIS desires are best.  And they are.

51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.

  1. The 12 disciples were present for many miracles, but not all of them.  On occasion, Jesus brought only a few.  “Peter, James, and John” formed Jesus’ inner circle.  For what reason, we don’t know – but the Lord had His reasons for it.  In this case, the reason was probably more practical than anything.  Between Himself, the three disciples, and the two parents, that would be a crowded enough room with the girl on her bed.  Jesus was arriving to raise her from the dead; not to choke all of the air out of the room.  He brought just enough witnesses with Him (2-3) for the matter to be established among the rest of the disciples, and that was it.
  2. Of course, there were already many other people there.  Vs. 52…

52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.

  1. That mourners were already present was not at all unusual in the culture.  Most likely, they had been waiting for the moment of her passing, and when it arrived, they began with the wailing that was normal for 1st century Judea.  What was unusual was Jesus’ response to them.  They knew the girl had died – why did Jesus say she was only “sleeping”?  Because from His perspective, that was basically the case.  As He later said of Lazarus, how He was going to wake him from sleep (Jn 11:11).  Jesus does not here affirm the false doctrine of soul sleep; He simply uses a euphemism to refer to death.  In this case (as with Lazarus), death was only temporary.  The girl would soon wake, as though she just dozed off for a brief nap.
  2. Yet the crowd didn’t believe.  Unlike the mother & father who hoped beyond hope that Jesus was going to do something amazing, the mourners didn’t believe at all.  They “ridiculed” Jesus, laughing Him off as a nutcase. They neither knew Jesus nor the power of God…they were about to be proven wrong!
    1. BTW – Can God do the impossible?  Yes!  We cannot predict it, nor can we force it, but we can certainly witness it.  Never discount the things that God can do.  If we’ve read about it in the Bible, there is a chance of us seeing it with our own eyes.  God has already done the impossible when He forgave us our sins, saved us, and made us His children.  He already did the impossible when Jesus rose to life after three days in the grave.  If God can do that, God can do anything!

54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.

  1. The crowd put away, Jesus turns His attention to the girl and does precisely what the mourners had mocked Him for suggesting.  He gently roused the young girl as though she had taken a nap.  In Mark’s gospel, the Aramaic phrase spoken by Jesus is recorded: “Talitha, cumi,” (Mk 5:41) and this becomes the model for Peter’s later miracle of raising a woman by the name of Tabitha from the dead, as he knelt by her bedside & said “Tabitha, arise.”
  2. Did you notice how easy this was for Jesus?  As with the storm, the demoniac, and even with the earlier woman, Jesus simply willed it to happen, and it happened.  There was no ritual, no ceremony, no massive calls for attention or any hoopla – there was just a word, and instantaneous healing.  And what healing it was!  For the 2nd time in two chapters, Jesus raised a person from the dead.  First was the widow’s son in Nain (7:14-15), now it is Jairus’ daughter.  Does Jesus have power & authority?  Without question!  He has authority to raise the dead!

56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

  1. To say that they were “astonished” is to put it mildly.  They were knocked out of their senses, amazed & overjoyed at what just took place.  The unthinkable had happened when their daughter died – now the impossible happened when Jesus raised her to life.  It’s no wonder they were filled with astonishment and praise.
  2. Why did Jesus instruct them not to say anything?  Some believe Jesus wanted to keep His Messianic power a secret.  I do not personally give much credence to that theory.  There were too many other public miracles that speak to the contrary.  With the former demoniac, Jesus specifically told him to go spread the news.  With the earlier raising of the widow’s son, that was an act done in public among the Jews.  Reports of Jesus’ power had already spread immensely, as proven by the crowds waiting at the shoreline for Jesus.  They knew what He could do; they looked for any opportunity they could to witness it.  So why did Jesus sometimes command a miracle to be kept secret?  Perhaps it varied from instance to instance.  In some cases, He knew there was no way things were going to be kept secret for long – maybe He just wanted time enough to move on to the next town.  Certainly this particular miracle wouldn’t remain secret.  After all, there were witnesses to her death.  When the girl walked out of the house after Jesus’ arrival, everyone would be able to put 2+2 together & figure out what happened.  Even if not, perhaps Jesus wasn’t thinking about Himself so much as her.  He was used to the crowds & attention; this 12 year old girl was not.  Perhaps He wanted her to have as much of a normal life as possible.  She didn’t need to be treated like a side-show, and it’s possible He wanted to spare her that for as long as He could.  Whatever the reason, we can be sure it was a good one – even if the news didn’t stay secret for long.

Does Jesus have authority?  You bet!  Be it over storms, Satan, sickness, or even over the suffering of death itself, Jesus has all authority everywhere.  So believe!  Have faith!  Welcome Jesus – be associated with Jesus – reach out to Jesus – keep on believing in Jesus.  Once you start, don’t stop.  There is nothing Jesus cannot do – nothing from which Jesus cannot not deliver – no struggle Jesus cannot overcome.  He can do it all.

Do you believe?  Do you have faith in Him as Lord?  Not as a butler or a servant, but as Lord – as King – as God of all the Universe.  Do you trust Him not only to know what is right, but to do it?  Believe!  Maybe today is a day you need to reaffirm your trust in Him.  You’ve had faith in the past, but you’ve walked away.  Maybe you got distracted by other things – perhaps you’ve even gotten overwhelmed by trials that left you hopeless.  Today is a day you can reaffirm your faith.  Grab hold of the hem of Jesus’ garment, spiritually speaking.  Reach out to Him, and believe.  Submit yourself to His hand, trusting His will for your life, that He will do what is best.  You have believed in the past, now keep on believing.

Maybe for you, this is the day you start believing.  You may not have much, but bring what you have to Jesus.  He doesn’t turn away anyone who comes to Him in faith.  Whatever your background, Jesus can forgive.  He can give a new start & a new life.  He can cleanse you from your sin, and from everything that has defiled you & He can make you a son or daughter of God.  As John writes, John 1:12, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:"  That can be you.  Take a step of faith today.  Grab hold of Jesus, and believe.


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