Summary: This sermon looks at the connection between faith and healing as seen in some of the stories of Jesus.
Faith Can Make You Well
Have you ever wondered if God still does the miraculous in our world today? Is it possible to have a life completely turned around by the grace and power of God? Is it possible to be dead, bleeding, or blind one moment and be alive, whole and able to see clearly for the first time in your life the next? Can God still change lives in an instant?
This morning I want to focus on one sentence found in the context of 4 lives that were touched miraculously by the power of God.
The four characters we will look at this morning are:
Jairus, a leader and elder in his local synagogue, a god-fearing man who had enjoyed the company of his beautiful daughter for 12 years, but who now faces the possibility of life without his precious little girl who has just died.
An unnamed woman who for those same 12 years has suffered everyday of her life with a menstrual bleeding that will not stop. She has spent all of her money on doctors and has never received any help. She has lived as a social outcast, because the Jewish people considered a woman unclean during her menstrual cycle. This has kept her out of the house of worship and away from the support of her spiritual community.
Two unnamed blind men – we don’t know how long they have been blind, but we can assume that they have suffered many insults and injuries over the time of their blindness and that they have been forced to live lives as beggars.
The sentence I want you to meditate and focus upon with me this morning is spoken by Jesus to the woman, but we can infer the same spirit and attitude in his interaction with all found of the people mentioned in today’s text. Jesus said:
“Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.”
Can faith make someone well? We know that there have been studies down to prove that people of faith and people who pray seem to heal faster and live better lives. Most people will agree that having a positive attitude can do wonders for a person, and in order to accomplish anything – you have to believe that it is possible and go for it. But is faith really that important? And does it matter what you believe, or when you believe, or how you believe, or in whom you believe in? And what of people who have plenty of faith, but never seem to be healed or get better?
Why did Jesus say these words to this woman? Why didn’t He say – I’ve made you well. That is what I want you to ponder with me today? But first, let’s read about these 4 people, and let’s see what common characteristics can be found in all 4.
Read Matthew 9:18-30
The commonalities between these four people can be summed up in the following 5 words:
1. The first commonality between these individuals is their desperation.
Have you ever felt totally desperate? Usually when we encounter problems in our lives we do not fall so far as to fall into desperation. As a man, I know my first reaction to a problem is to try and find the 5 or 6 possible alternative solutions to that problem. I analyze and study and look for ways to fix the problem myself.
But some problems are not fixable. It is those problems that can lead us into desperation. What we do in desperation determines whether or not we are men and women of faith, or merely religious.
Look at the desperation of these characters.
- Jairus has lost his precious daughter. She has died. End of story. Imagine the numbness of this man as he has lost a precious part of his life. In Jewish tradition this child would have needed to have been buried within the first 24 hours. Mourners came from the community to weep with the family. The house was full of commotion and activity as the parents were most certainly stunned and in shock. What do you do when your daughter has died? Do you stay with her body until she has been prepared for burial and put in the cold hard earth? Do you stay with the mourners and cry until you have no more tears to cry? Or do you reach out to the one person you have heard can do miracles? Jairus was desperate.
- The bleeding woman had suffered for 12 years. 12 years ago I was only 39 and my kids were just beginning school. Now my daughter is graduated and headed off to college. A lifetime of memories can happen in 12 years. During those years this woman had spent all of her money and had sought out every medical cure she could find. The bleeding had only gotten worse. She was anemic all of the time. She had no strength left in her body. She was at the end of the rope. There was no other alternative. There was no other place to turn, no other cure to try.