Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This is a message I did on Jairus, an eyewitness of Christ. Each message in this series was prefaced by a dramatic monologue, which is included.


(Stands behind a pulpit to face his congregation)

How does a man deal with having his world rocked, not once, but twice in the same day? I mean, when you’re a “man of the cloth”, you’re supposed to have it all together, you know? You see people die, you’re supposed to have all the right words to comfort and encourage; you talk about God’s love and God’s care and all of those things—and then it happens to you. And for certain, you have your theology all in order; why, people look to you for answers, you know? You’ve got to know God, His ways, His truth, so that you can teach them. And I thought I had it all together…

She’s my angel, my only daughter, 12 years old and so full of life; it’s hard even now to think about it. It started as almost nothing, a sniffle and a headache. We put her to bed; she lay her head on this pillow and rested. We figured she’d be up and about in no time, but instead, she just kept getting worse, day after day, a terrible cough and terrible pain in her head. She couldn’t keep anything on her stomach. We called in the doctor, but he was no help; in fact, the news he gave us scared us to death. She might not pull through, he said…and suddenly, all of the words that came so easily when I spoke with others just didn’t seem all that helpful. What do you do when the doctor tells you that there’s nothing he can do? My wife was almost hysterical, and I was looking for answers, for anything that would give us some glimmer of hope. And then this crazy thought came to mind.

A man will do some rash things when he finds himself desperate…

There was this fellow Jesus in town. I’d heard about Him, and I’d pretty much written Him off as some kind of quack, one of these religious charlatans who pops up from time to time to rip people off and score a quick buck on the superstitions of poor people. And from what they said, He was running roughshod over our traditions and our ways; He sure had a lot of my colleagues upset at Him. Some of them were even plotting how to get rid of Him (and make it look like an accident, you know!). Everything in my religious framework said, “This guy is a quack; don’t put any faith in Him!”

But the people, oh the people thought He hung the moon! I got tired of hearing the stories of how many deaf people were now hearing and lame people walking and blind people seeing; I figured He was a pretty good trickster, and these poor gullible folk were just swallowing this thing hook, line, and sinker. Hmmm…I guess a man’ll do some rash things when he finds himself desperate…

But I couldn’t get that crazy thought out of my mind: what if this Jesus character can heal her? Without telling my wife, I left the house to find Him. That was pretty easy; there was a mob. I pushed my way through, and before I knew it, I was standing face-to-face with Him. It was like…it was like He knew I was coming, you know? I knew that there were people around who might know me, but this was my daughter, and I didn’t care what I looked like or what they thought; I just fell at His feet and started to beg Him to come and heal her. I didn’t have to beg long; He picked me up and just said, “Let’s go!”

But we hadn’t gotten far when He stopped, dead in His tracks. “Who touched me?” he asked. Some of His men picked up on the irony of that right away; I mean, there were people all around, crowding. There must have been hundreds who had “touched him”. This woman raises her hand, and explains that she had reached out and touched Him, hoping that just His touch would heal her; she’d been sick for years and years, she said. And just like that, Jesus says to her, “Go in peace; your faith has healed you”. Just like that!

“Wow”, I thought, “maybe I’ve come to the right man!” But just then, my best friend appears, and the look on his face told me the news: “she’s gone”, is all he said, and at that moment, my whole world caved in. It was too late; I’d waited too long. The tears started to come, but Jesus just winked at me and said, “don’t be afraid; she’ll be okay, just have faith.” What choice did I have?

It seemed like it took us an eternity to get there, but we made our way back to the house, and Jesus went right up to her bedroom. She looked like she was asleep, resting so peacefully on her pillow…but I knew differently. That didn’t stop Him; He just took her by the hand and said, “Child, get up!” My wife and I waited in wonder and grief and hope and…and…and her eyes opened, and she smiled, and Jesus smiled, and she sat up in bed! After we’d hugged and hugged and kissed, Jesus just looked at my wife, and with a laugh in His voice, He says, “You’d better get that girl something to eat!” And with that, He left.

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