The life of Jesus, as seen from an old preacher's point of view.
An attempt to move from 'Knowing about Jesus' to 'Actually knowing Him'.
Posted on 5th July, 2023
By Alan Rigby

More Studies

  • The Baptism

    Alan Rigby talks about a high point in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ - his baptism. After thirty years in obscurity, now the time had arrived for Jesus to begin his public ministry.

  • A Sick Servant and a Dead Son

    Alan asks, are you living your life in accordance with Jesus' compassion and values, and therefore guaranteeing your path to Heaven?

  • The Twelve Apostles

    Alan introduces us to the Twelve Apostles, the debt we owe to them, and how we, if we're available to the Lord, can do good works.

  • The Sermon on the Plain – Part 3

    Alan describes how it is only through 'living' our lives as Jesus would, not just talking-the-talk, that we will be ensured entry into the Kingdom of Heaven.

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A Woman Healed and a Child Raised from the Dead

Luke chapter 8 beginning at verse 21. It would perhaps help us to take in today’s message if we pick up a few things from the last message, just to refresh our memories.

In the last session we were talking about a disciple’s eye view of Jesus. We said that a disciple’s eye view simply means to see things as the disciples saw them. When we read of some of the wonderful things that Jesus both said and did in the gospels, we often read a verse, and we are reading the next verse before the first verse has had time to sink in.

The disciples on the other hand, they were there. They had the time to let things sink in. Today we are living in a crazy environment where everything has to be done yesterday; the pace that we are living at is mad. Even the language that we use demonstrates this: ‘fast food’, ‘instant coffee’; even the telephones today have ‘speed dialling’.

The big difference, I believe, is that the disciples walked with Jesus. Today we try to run with Him.

There is a lot to be said for the theology found in some of those old hymns:

When we walk with the Lord,

In the light of His word,

What a glory He sheds on our way.

So we need to walk at a slower, and see what we can learn. In the eighth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, in verse 21, we found Jesus explaining the conditions for joining his family.

21 But he answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

Then in verses 22 through to 25, we found Jesus performing a wonderful miracle that amazed disciples. While sailing on the sea of Galilee a terrific storm arose that threatened to sink the boat that they were in. Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and there was a calm. Luke tells us that after the threat of the storm was removed by Jesus, instead of calming their fears, the disciples were more afraid. We then had the question that Jesus put to his disciples, now floating in their boat on the quiet sea: “Where is your faith?”

This incident was followed next by more trauma and terror, because as the boat comes into land, they were greeted by a wild demon possessed man. We are right in the middle of two spectacular miracles: the stilling of the storm, and the driving out of the legion of demons.

Many times this demon possessed man had been bound with chains and even shackles, but he had broken every chain ever put on him and shattered every shackle. Luke tells us: “for he had often been chained hand and foot”, but he tore the chains apart, he broke the irons on his feet.

Verse 29 tells us that Jesus: “had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man”. Then in verse 35 we see the amazing impact that it had on the local townspeople:

35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to see Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

In verse 37 Luke describes the response of the local townspeople to Jesus is deliverance of the demoniac. The Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear.

When Jesus not only restrained the man but expelled the demons and saved him completely, they did not like it. Those who had helped the man before now asked Jesus to leave. Why? They were afraid, says Luke.

It is really amazing when you think about this. Jesus saves the lives of all his disciples by stopping a storm and calming the sea. And they were more afraid after the storm than when they were in the storm.

Jesus lands on the shore, meets a demon possessed man who the townspeople had been trying to tame for years. Jesus drives out the demons and we now find the man: “sitting clothed and in his right mind”, and the townspeople asked Jesus to leave because they were afraid. Well that is where we finish last time; we now pick up the story again in verse 40:

40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him.

When Jesus returned the crowd welcomed Him, they were all expecting Him. Jesus returned across the sea of Galilee back to Jewish territory. In contrast to the crowd on the other shore who had asked Him to leave, here the crowd welcomed Him; they were all waiting for Him. The people who had seen Jesus leave assumed that he would return to the same place. They were not disappointed

This is what we read in verses 41 and 42:

41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he felt down at Jesus his feet and begged Him to come to his house,

42 for he had an only daughter about 12 years of age, and she was dying. But as He went the multitudes thronged Him.

Jairus left his house in a hurry and went to the lakeside where he heard that Jesus was aboard a fishing vessel, and could return to shore anytime. Every moment was precious to the father of this dying child. Then he saw the fishing boat land and Jesus disembarking. He rushed to Jesus; he implored Jesus to come to his house, to heal his daughter and to save her from certain death. The synagogue ruler believed that Jesus could heal his precious child.

Jairus was a leader of the local synagogue. As a leader he was recognised and highly respected. The synagogue was the local centre of worship, and Jairus was elected as one of the leaders. The synagogue leaders were responsible for supervising worship services, caring for the scrolls, running the daily school, distributing alms, administering the care of the building, and they responsible for the ministry on the Sabbath.

The ruler of the synagogue was something like a modern pastor. He managed both the spiritual and the business affairs of the synagogue. Despite His Important Position, Jairus came and fell at Jesus feet, pleading with Him to come home with him.

This would have been a very unusual scene, but Jairus was desperate because his only daughter, who was about 12 years old, was dying. Jairus’ position as a loving father overshadowed his position as a leader. He put aside any concern for himself and went directly to the man he believed could help his daughter.

Jesus Went With Jairus, and as usual the crowds went along with them. The crowd that welcomed Him on the shore had witnessed Jairus’ begging Jesus to come and save his daughter. The word went out among the crowd and they all fell in step with Jesus. Some had probably been eyewitnesses of other miracles that Jesus had performed.

Verse 41 tells us:

41 But As He went, the multitudes thronged Him.

So Jesus sets off to go to the house of Jairus, but while there was still a long way to go, something happened which delayed them for some time. A woman came in the crowd and she reached through trying to touch the robe of Jesus. Can you just imagine how Jairus was feeling? All he would be thinking about at this time was getting Jesus to his dying daughter as quickly as possible.

This is what we read in verse 43:

43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,

44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

45 and Jesus said, “who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and you say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

46 but Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.”

47 now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

48 and He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

What was Luke referring to when he said: “Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years”?

While the Bible does not give us any definite proof, most commentators assume the issue was surrounding her menstrual cycle. And this is very important because in the Jewish culture of the first century, a woman was considered unclean during this time each month.

If the illness she suffered was extending this time, then it was also extending the time of her isolation. This also explains her nervous approach. The law was very clear about her condition. She was not touched or be touched by others. Now, we can understand her attempts to hide herself in the crowd and in her desperation for healing.

Luke tells us in verse 43:

43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any.

Luke, being a doctor himself tells us that this woman has used up all the resources she had; she had spent her life savings. She had gone to every doctor and type of healer she could imagine.

Luke describes it to demonstrate the incredible miracle that Jesus has performed. In other words, Lucas indirectly saying to his audience Jesus was not just another healer, doctor or prophet. This woman had tried all of those things. It took his divine power to accomplish this miracle.

This woman had a real problem to overcome. The illness that she suffered with made her unclean. For twelve years she had suffered with this; she had tried everything to find a cure, but it seemed as if there was no answer to her condition.

I like the way Mark described what happened, Mark 5:27:

27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.

28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes I shall be made well.”

29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.

Once she is close enough, she reaches out and touches the edge of His garment. When she touches the garment of Jesus the impact is immediate. The bleeding which she has dealt with for twelve years is stopped. This was the power of Jesus; by merely touch the edge of His garment, with faith, her healing is instantaneous.

Jesus immediately stops the crowd and asks a strange question. In verse 45:

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'”

In the next verse, we find something that we don’t ever think about. Every time that Jesus performed a miracle, it took something out of Him:

46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.”

This group was on their way to Jairus’ house because his twelve-year-old daughter was near death, and they believed Jesus could stop death from taking her. Time was of the upmost importance, and yet Jesus stops the entire group in their tracks to address the situation.

Can you imagine the desperation which Jairus and those close to him felt at this time? But, Jesus was unconcerned with the amount of time that this was going to take because He did, and still does have the absolute power over life and death. So whether the girl was alive and well, near death, or even deceased when Jesus arrived, was of no importance to Jesus.

Jesus, by drawing the woman out of the crowd, this was not meant to embarrass or shame her! Rather it was to have her demonstrate her faith. Sometimes it is necessary for Jesus to cause the believer to step into the light and act on their faith. She declares to Jesus, before all the people, why she touched Him and how she was healed. Jesus shows empathy and kindness for this woman and the condition with which she has dealt for so many years.

Once again Jesus, in dealing with this woman, sets aside the conventions of society and replaces them with the acts of love and mercy.

The impact of this woman touching Jesus was both immediate for her, and immediately felt by Jesus:

47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

Jesus tells her to go in peace:

48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Having been healed from her natural ailment, she would no longer have to face the turmoil society had brought into her life. This alone was a peace which she had not experienced in twelve years – the simple ability to live a normal life – while Jesus talked to the woman, who was now healed and filled with joy.

The friends of Jairus brought the sad news that his only child had passed away. The news was devastating. Then these friends told him not to bother Jesus any longer; the time for mourning had begun, which meant the special mourners and flute-players were hired and funeral arrangement were being made.

Jesus heard the news that the friends had brought Jairus. He was fully aware of the situation. Then, Jesus make this wonderful promise to Jairus:

50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”

“Don’t be afraid, only believe.” Jairus had shown faith when he went to the harbour with his request for help. He believed that the only person who could help him was Jesus. Now Jesus told him not to fear but to keep on believing.

The fact that death had entered the family circle of Jairus, made it difficult for him to believe, and not be afraid. Jairus know that Jesus could heal the sick, because there were several people Capernaum Jesus has brought back to normal health: a paralytic, the child of an official, the servant of a centurion, and the woman who had a blood disorder. Nevertheless, he thought his case was different, his daughter was dead. Could Jesus, who had healed so many people, be able to raise a person from death to life?

Jesus understood what was going on in the mind of Jairus and without delay led him out of his grief. He told Jairus not to listen to his friends and the sad news they had brought. Now the time had come to place full confidence in Jesus. Fear in the face of death is understandable, but, to have faith in the face of fear is commendable.

When Jairus brought Jesus to his home, the paid mourners and flute-players had already arrived and were engaged in loud wailing and beating of chests. Instantly, Jesus took control of the situation; Jesus did not allow anyone to enter the house except Peter, James and John, together with the father and mother of the child.

The noise had been excessive, but when Jesus appeared everyone became quiet.

52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.”

53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.

54 But He put them all outside,

His words caused peals of laughter, for they knew that she was dead. At the same time, their hilarity demonstrated their insincerity and revealed that their sadness was just an outward show.

The next verses are especially significant. Jesus allowed no one in the room except the parents and three of His disciples.

51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.

I tried very hard to find a good illustration to bring this next point home. I am sorry, but this was the best that I could do. We all know what happens when someone has a tonsillectomy: they remove the tonsils. It is exactly the same with an appendectomy: they remove the appendix.

Now, before this miracle takes place, there is an operation. Jesus now performs a negative-ectomy. Jesus removes all the unbelievers around the little girl’s bedside. Their lack of faith was interfering with the mighty acts of God. *’He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.’

There is a lesson here for all of us. All of us are subjected to so many negative influences. In the world we are surrounded by cynics who don’t believe in God or in the possibility of God making positive changes in our lives. We need to take the opportunity whenever we can to sit in a congregation of believers where we can be in a faith atmosphere, just like the one Jesus created around this little girl.

That’s why I believe that we are exhorted in Hebrews 10:25:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Jesus, the girl’s parents, and three disciples entered the bedroom where the little girl was lying. Then Jesus took hold of her hand and said: “Little girl, arise.” Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately.

After their mocking, which arose after Jesus had previously silenced them, Jesus causes yet another great conflict; Jesus puts them out of the room. Now, left with the dead young girl was only Jesus, three of his apostles, and her mother and father. This intimate group would be witnesses to this great miracle.

Jesus then approaches the young girl and takes her hand in his. What an incredibly kind and beautiful gesture, to take and hold her hand with all tenderness and care. The body, soul, and spirit knew exactly who Jesus was. He was the Divine Son of God, The Most High; and they immediately respond to him.

Just as if he was awaking her from a natural sleep, He only says arise and life returns unto this young woman. Jairus’s astonishment is not founded in unbelief. He had faith in Jesus, had gone to find him personally, and still believed after his daughter’s death. We see this by Jairus bringing him back to his house. The astonishment comes because this was more than any imagined Jesus could do. This was a miracle outside of their realm of understanding.

As a community of believers we need to be reminded of our need to be astonished by God. His work in the lives of his people is still beyond their wildest imaginations and his blessings are still greater than anything which could be expected.

In Ephesians 3 and verse twenty this is what we read:

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.

This miracle of the resurrection occurred in the privacy of that bedroom. Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life, granted life to this young girl. The miracle that took place at the house of Jairus displayed Jesus’ power over death and the grave. Jesus the life-giver possessed absolute authority. His command uttered in simple wording to the twelve-year-old daughter was sufficient to bring her back to life. He merely told the daughter of Jairus to get up.

The instruction to give the girl something to eat was meant to indicate that she should resume a normal life of eating and drinking. The days of her illness had come to an end, and now she again could carry on her daily activities:

56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

Jesus told the parents not to talk about their daughter’s healing because he knew that the facts would speak for themselves. Jesus was not attempting to keep this a secret, for the crowd outside was waiting and would see what had happened. Jesus was probably asking them to keep to themselves the details of what he had done because.

He did not want to be known as just a miracle worker; He wanted people to listen to his words. Words that would heal their broken spiritual lives. Jesus’ mission was to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. If crowds descended on him to see dead people raised, they would not be coming with the attitude needed to hear and respond to the gospel.

Jesus’ main objective was to preach salvation to the people. Healing was just proof that God had sent Him and was not His main mission. Jesus did not want to be mobbed with so many coming forward seeking miracles, and not the greater gift of eternal salvation if the news of this miracle was widespread.

Let me finish with: just what valuable lessons we learn from today’s message. Here we have two completely different situations. Jesus did not fail Jairus, and He did not fail the woman who needed healing. I don’t think that we could find a greater contrast with two different people and two different sets of needs.

Jairus had twelve years of sunshine that were about to be extinguished. The woman had twelve years of agony that seemed hopeless to heal. Jairus was an important man, the ruler of the synagogue. The woman was a nobody. We don’t even know her name. Jairus was probably wealthy, because he was an important man. The woman was poor because she spent all her money on doctors. Jairus came publicly.

The woman came secretly. Jairus thought Jesus had to do a lot to heal his daughter. The woman thought all she needed was to touch Jesus’ garment. Jesus responded to Jairus after a delay; Jesus responded to the woman immediately. Jairus’ daughter was healed secretly. The woman was healed publicly. But in serving both of them, we see how the work of Jesus is different, yet the same among each individual. If Jesus can touch each need this personally, He can touch our needs the same way

With this event the eighth chapter of Luke is brought to a close. In this chapter Luke focuses heavily on the faith of believers and how faith is variable. He also establishes examples of the divine power of Jesus by calming a storm, casting out devils, and bring back to life a young girl.

This is the lesson for us I believe here. Don’t try to believe and figure it all out. Don’t try to believe and make sense of any delay. Instead, be like Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood. Just believe, and leave the rest to Jesus.