I hate going to the doctor.

Actually, I avoid going to the doctor at all if I can.

But that’s just for myself. When it comes to my kids, I’m willing to take them to the doctor at the drop of a hat. They’re my babies, and I’m not going to have them suffer if there’s anything I can do about it.

So what happens when a dad loses his little girl? How will Jesus respond?

And that brings us to the word of the day: QUACK

Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

Not all of the religious leaders are opposed to Jesus. Here we see one of them actually coming to Jesus for help with his sick child. Of course, when we are desperate we will do things that sometimes goes against the crowd. Rather than being pro-Jesus, it could be that this desperate father simply is out of options. The healer/rabbi could be the only thing left that Jairus has not tried.

It’s funny how desperation will bring people to Jesus unlike anything else in the world. We see a global resurgence in faith and religious activity after major crises. I’m sure most American churches saw an upswing in attendance following the 9/11 attacks. This isn’t a commentary on people’s behavior other than to point out that, in times of stress and crisis, people usually fall back to spiritual truths that are forgotten or neglected when life is good.

So in a moment of crisis, Jairus turns to Jesus for help.

The stage is set, clearly this is an emergency. This girl who is at the beginning of womanhood is about to be taken from the world. If there were anything pressing Jesus to hurry, this might be it. But then something terrible happens—Jesus’s journey to help the child is interrupted.

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

Here is someone else who is filled with desperation. A woman who had been suffering for over a decade seeks healing and relief. She had seen everyone and had spent all she had. Nothing helped. So her last shot is to try to touch this healer/rabbi and catch some of his power.

A woman.

A woman with feminine issues.

A woman with feminine issues touching a man.

A woman with feminine issues touching a man in public.

There is no way that this ever should have happened, yet here she is. And it works!

It wasn’t even anything that Jesus did. He didn’t speak any special words of blessing. He didn’t reach out and touch the woman. He’s completely passive in this story—it’s just about who he is. The power flows off of him like a super-charged divine battery.

While she fears for the worst, Jesus reassures her that she isn’t in trouble. Her faith in Jesus’s power has led to her healing, and Jesus sends her away in peace.

But don’t forget why Jesus is traveling in the first place. He’s off to meet with a dying young girl. I love the way that these stories of desperation of juxtaposed. The father and the woman are both desperate. Both seek the help of Jesus. And what we see happen to the woman should cue us about what is about to happen with the girl.

While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

She’s dead, but Jesus is not your ordinary healer. He doesn’t need special words. Heck, he doesn’t even need to touch the sick person. This man who handles demons without batting an eye, who controls the elements of nature, and heals all manner of disease can help.

And he does. Death is no match for the power of God at work in and through Jesus. Unlike the father and the woman who show their belief in approaching Jesus, the mourners at the little girl’s house have no faith. Indeed, they laugh at Jesus.

But Jesus pulls a Taylor Swift and shakes off the haters. He gets the girl and restores her to life and health. To top it off, he instructs the family to feed the child. Here’s your miracle proof. She was really raised and not a ghost or apparition, because ghosts don’t need to eat!

This is the same Jesus who is at work in the world today.

Do we have faith to approach him in our time of crisis?

_____

We’re going to have some reflection and response time. Think about the message and focus on the words of the songs.

Our first song is called Walk By Faith. Jeremy Camp wrote it when he was going through a dark time wife’s illness.

I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Because this broken road
Prepares your will for me

We might not see the big picture, but we walk in faith knowing God has everything under control.

Our second song this morning talks about how the love of God is bigger than any problems we might face. Even if we don’t receive healing in this life, God still loves us more than anything. The song is called One Thing Remains and says:

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in thr trial and the change
This one thing remains

Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me!

Let’s worship…

FOR REFLECTION

– Would I approach Jesus? Is he my last resort or my first option?
– What kind of faith do I have?

MAKING IT REAL

– This week, pursue Jesus’s help in your crises (whatever they may be).
– At the end of the week share your God moments with us here on the site or on our page at Facebook.
– If you’ve never come to the place in your life where you have decided to be a follower of Jesus and want to know more, please shoot us a message and we’ll be glad to talk to you about what it means to be a follower!

Photo by Dr. Farouk via Flickr