Summary: 5th in series "Miracles in Matthew." Jairus Daughter and the Woman with a blood disorder illustrate how we must reach out in faith for a miracle.
A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:
"Is anyone up there?"
"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"
"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer."
"That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."
A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"
It can be tough to reach for a miracle. This morning I’d like to look at these two stories as an example of some of the obstacles we face which could prevent us from reaching out for a miracle.
These are stories of people who reached out in spite of everything and I think we can learn from them.
The question we’ll try to answer is “What does it take to reach for a Miracle?” The first this we must do is…
1. Go to Jesus
18While 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."
This ruler, Mark tells us his name is Jairus, has made a trip to find Jesus as his family is in the midst of crisis. But he believes Jesus is the one who can help him.
20Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.
The woman, has faced her own difficulties leading to this day, again Mark supplies additional details, she’s went to doctors, spent all of her money. But now she’s heard about this man Jesus, who heals the sick, and she’s come to reach out to him.
Where else have you gone to seek the things you need most desperately? Have you sought popularity? adventure? wealth? romance? Have you done all that the world says should make your life perfect and still found yourself empty inside?
What are you trusting in? Medicine? Education? Money? Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things but if you’re counting on them as the foundation of your trust, the anchor of your life, your life is about to be shaken.
In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute. It wasn’t until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute. Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun. But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on.
Faith in anything but an all-sufficient God can be just as tragic spiritually. Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the dangerous excitement of life.
If you want to reach for a miracle, first you must make sure you’re reaching in the right direction. You’ve got to go to Jesus. Second you must be willing to
2. Go Against the Flow
21She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed."
As Jesus went to the home of this important man to raise the dead a crowd followed him and pressed around him. The woman had to press through the cloud—something illegal for her to do in her condition.
Also consider how long she had been sick, it would’ve been easier to just accept it as her lot in life.
23When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24he said, "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him.
Jairus was an important man, he was staking his reputation on his faith in Jesus—the mocking was directed at him too no doubt for trusting in Jesus. It would’ve been easier to simply surrender to the harsh truth and go on with life.
Both of these were willing to reach hard for faith when faith wasn’t easy
What current tries to pull you away from faith? Family? School? Work? Friends? An unbelieving spouse?
Maybe like the woman, just the length of time you’ve been reaching out for an answer. The inevitability of your situation.
Faith doesn’t float downstream. Faith swims upstream. Faith requires us to trust in the unseen.
The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us. (John Emmons.)