Summary: We consider how Jesus healed in biblical times and the many different ways that he heals us today.
Jesus was a brilliant teacher who had a wonderfully astounding ministry, a major part of which was healing. Throughout the gospels we read of the many events that were both inspiring and life changing, for people who were healed, for those who looked on and even for those who heard about what happened second hand. These stories are still powerfully changing lives today. Imagine the feelings of the woman who had suffered bleeding for 12 years. Ritually she was classed as being an outcaste in society. For 12 years she lived a life being shunned by everyone she knew. Picture how she felt and how desperate she must have been, willing to do anything to escape this curse on her life. Like Jairus, she had heard about this man called Jesus and they both placed their total trust in him. Jesus said “Do not fear, only believe.” They heard and they believed. The woman’s faith had enabled her to step forward and reach out to Jesus and to touch his gown, believing that in doing so she would be healed and made whole.
Envisage how she must have felt when her bleeding stopped as she was instantaneously made well again. Visualize the relief and the joy that filled her heart. This story enables us to see the power of Jesus and his power to bring new life.
In these readings we see restoration, wholeness, renewal and the gift of a new beginning, because when Jesus steps into someone’s life he makes a big difference.
In the beginning, when the woman first heard about Jesus, perhaps she had a belief in him the size of a mustard seed. Maybe she thought “Well it won’t harm to see him, after all I’ve seen all the physicians and they haven’t helped me. I’ll give him a try. What have I to loose?” but then that belief must have grown. From that grain of faith the kingdom of God blossomed and grew. Also let us not forget Jairus who was the first to come with a desperate plea for help, asking Jesus to cure and heal his seriously ill daughter.
Today I would like us to consider three points:
Anyone can approach Jesus with their needs
Jesus responds to those who suffer
We can come to Jesus with our problems
Anyone can approach Jesus with their needs
In our stories we have two people at opposite ends of the social scale. On the one hand we have an anonymous woman who was of no great importance and on the other we have Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue, a person with social standing. His position in society commanded respect, as he was president of the board of elders and responsible for the management and good conduct of services. Jesus may well have caused Jairus some discomfort in his teachings, but when his daughter became ill the stories he had heard about Jesus came to his mind and perhaps he though “What have I to lose?” Questions may have come into the minds of both these people such as “Is this man really as good as everyone is saying” or “Can he really heal people’s ailments?” or “Can he help my daughter?” And “Can he stop my bleeding.” When situations affect our lives and our families, we become very focused on our own needs and the needs of our loved ones. Those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour turn to Christ. Circumstances can stir emotions within all of us and enable us to follow Jesus, who changes lives. We throw caution to the wind and follow him who is right and good. All Jairus’ prejudices were thrown to the wind in his hour of need as he came to Jesus for help. We are also able to come to God in our time of need.
When Jairus approached Jesus he had to let go of everything that stood between him and Jesus, all the laws and traditions that bound him up in his Jewish faith. His daughter was dying and he was willing to do anything to save her life. She was everything to him, just like our own children are to us. He doted on her, she was about to become a woman and enter adulthood. But he had to wait for Jesus to come to him in his own time, just as the woman did who had been bleeding. She had to wait 12 years and Jairus had to wait for what must have seemed like a lifetime. In the meantime the girl died. Jairus’ family were distraught, their grief unbearable. Their emotions were raw and pain stabbed to the centre of their hearts. They didn’t think it was worth troubling Jesus anymore, they thought he was unable to help them, she was dead - but they were wrong. Jesus walked into their home and changed their lives. He had a past record that had been proven time and time again. That’s why the crowds flocked after him.