Summary: New Life in the Kingdom means abandoning ourselves to God in expectation of the impossible
18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.
23 When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
The synagogue ruler came to Jesus asking Him to lay hands on his dead daughter so that she could live.
A woman who had suffered hemorrhaging for 12 years came to Jesus to touch His cloak and she was healed.
Two blind men came to Jesus asking for mercy and their sight was restored.
Each of these stories is linked by the sense of faith which draws these four people to Jesus. They come seeking that which they cannot find themselves. They throw themselves at the mercy of the One whom they believe will be able to give them that which they seek. They are looking for a new life for they have been confronted with the limitations of ordnary life.
This is faith – total abandonment to God in the face of the impossible. This is life in God.
New Life in the Kingdom begins with a challenge for us to discover the life of faith, for us to put aside the limitations of this world and to begin to see things from the perspective of God’s possibilities.
And when we see life from God’s viewpoint it will be radically different from the one we have lived so far.
We will be drawn into a new sense of being, with a new outlook, a new confidence and a new future.
These four people who came to Jesus found just that.
No-one else could give them what they needed.
No-one else could challenge the impossible situation of their life
– a dead girl: what hope is there now?
The crowd laughs at such an expectation. But the Synagogue ruler comes. (Mark tells us that his name is Jairus). He kneels before Jesus and asks for life for his daughter.
This is foolishness, it’s a tragic comedy ….
unless the One to whom Jairus appeals is able to do what he asks. Unless Jesus is able to restore life to a dead child…
Jairus abandons himself, his expectations, his limited hopes – he throws himself down at the feet of Jesus and asks for the impossible. And he finds life, real life.
With the death of his daughter his life was suddenly frozen in time – and if you have experienced bereavement, especially in the death of a child, you will know exactly what I mean. Its like walking into a brick wall. In midstride the pathway of your life is blocked – you stand, stunned. And after a while, a long while, you begin to think of alternatives.
You could try to climb the wall. Perhaps you could try to find a way around it. You might even try to demolish the wall.
Jairus went to Jesus!
Perhaps Jesus had once been to his synagogue. Perhaps he was from Nazareth, perhaps he was the one who gave Jesus the Isaiah text when our Lord launched His public ministry, and heard Him read from Isaiah 61:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”