‘The Gospel of Luke: Encountering Jesus’
Message: ‘His Sovereignty’ pt.2 Text: Luke 8:26-56
- Where is God when it hurts?
- Where is God when it feels like everything is just… wrong?
- Where is God when tragedy strikes and we get no answer, no word of guidance or comfort from him?
Often in the midst of desperate situations,
- time moves far too slowly
- and the associated pain, anxiety, and grief, only grows deeper.
Quite honestly; we’re confused, perhaps even angry, at God’s silence, at His failure to act on our behalf, at His refusal to bring comfort to our breaking heart.
Well, we’re not alone. The psalmist felt that way too. Psalm 13:1ff says
- How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?… Consider and answer me, O Lord my God…
We’ve talked about it before. God’s timing is not always our timing.
- God exists outside the chronology, the movement of time,
- while we are slaves to it.
But, in the midst of life’s storms, at the center of the chaos, during the desperation of waiting… He says… Do not fear, only believe.
The Psalmist understood that. And that’s why he could finish his desperate cry in Psalm 13, with these words:
- But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13:5–6)
Do not fear, only believe, because time and time again, God has dealt bountifully with me! Amen?
Background: In our text this morning, Luke weaves two different events into one. For a time, it seems like Jesus stopping to heal a woman in the crowd, resulted in the death of a little girl.
And we’re confronted with an unasked question:
- Why would Jesus take the time to identify the person who touched Him, when it would cost someone else’s life?
Dr. Luke wants us to see that in every situation, no matter how devastating, no matter how anxious you may be, Jesus, is in complete control, even when we can’t see it. All He asks is:
- Do not fear, only believe
Transition: Open your Bibles to Luke 8:40. Where we’ll see both the sovereignty of Jesus and His tender compassion in the exercise of His sovereignty.
- Luke 8:40-56
- Luke 8:40-42 An immediate need
Read: Luke 8:40-42
I have to say, I am impressed with Jairus.
- He was a respected, religious man, who was responsible for running the synagogue in Capernaum.
- Most of the religious leaders wanted to see Jesus… dead.
But there was something, different about Jairus.
- Perhaps it was the desperate situation of his daughters failing health
- that led him to forget what the other religious leaders thought
- and seek out Jesus for help.
Being a ruler in the synagogue, Jairus was wealthy. No doubt his daughter was treated by the best doctors in the area, but, to no avail. She was dying and no one could stop that from happening.
- But, this wasn’t the first time Jesus was in Capernaum.
- This wasn’t the first time Jairus had seen firsthand or heard about the miraculous healings Jesus had done.
I believe he abandoned the pride of his position in the community and with the heart of a father, he decided to find Jesus and ask Him to heal his dying little girl.
The crowd that day, was huge, scholars say perhaps hundreds, to a couple thousand people, all trying to get close to Jesus. And here comes Jairus, a highly respected ruler in the synagogue.
- And in front of everyone, he falls to his knees, not caring what anyone was thinking or what might happen to his job,
- he falls to his knees and begs Jesus for his help.
Kneeling before Jesus was not a dignified position for a ruler in the synagogue. But Jairus didn’t care. He was willing to humble himself before Jesus and admit his need.
Folks, I’m not telling you something you don’t already know or probably haven’t already experienced:
- We often don’t trust God, as we should, until we’re forced by desperate situations to do so.
- In other words, extreme necessity will often drive us to our knees before God.
And that’s just where God wants us to be. God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah said:
- All these things My hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My word. (Isaiah 66:2)
Luke 8:42b says: As Jesus went, the people pressed around Him.
- Luke was telling us that Jesus looked upon Jairus’ humble faith and agreed to go to his home to heal his daughter.
- But, Luke was also telling us that the crowd was so huge that getting to his home would take some time.
- Luke 8:43-48 A ‘distraction’ ?
Read: Luke 8:43-48
On the way to Jairus’ home, Jesus is comes upon a woman whom he heals from a chronic illness and He stops to talk to her.
I can imagine Jairus thinking:
- All due respect Jesus, but come on, we need to get to my house. My daughter’s dying. You said you would come. You said You would help.
- Why are you dilly dallying around? Why are you wasting time? She’s healed, let’s go!
- We don’t have the time for distractions!
Isn’t that what you would’ve been thinking if you were in his sandals?
- But, in his defense, we’re not told he ever said a word questioning Jesus’ concern for his daughter.
- He just watched what was happening and waited for Jesus.
Luke, here, adds what seems to be a distraction to the main event of the text, the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead.
- But, I think we’ll see it not as a distraction,
- but as a necessary part of strengthening Jairus’ faith, and a rewarding of the faith the unnamed woman.
The woman in our text is also an interesting person of faith. Here’s what we know about her:
- She was poor because she had spent all she had on trying to get healed.
- She was considered unclean because of her continual discharge of blood. That means she was forbidden from worshipping in the synagogue and from all social interaction outside the synagogue.
- She shouldn’t have been in the crowd. But, she believed Jesus could heal her. So she came, sneaking up on Jesus, not trying to make a scene, not wanting anyone to recognize her.
- She just wanted… needed to be healed by Jesus.
And she was…
- Immediately, as she touched one of the fringes of His garment, the bleeding stopped. She knew she was healed!
Action: Get people to help you act out how this might have happened.
Here’s the amazing, wonderful thing about Jesus.
From the moment He was face to face with this this woman there seemed to be no one there, but the two of them.
- No one, no one gets lost in the crowd when they seek Jesus’ help.
Jesus spoke to her as if she was the only one there. This poor, seemingly unimportant, unclean woman, had all of Jesus’ attention.
- She fell at His feet trembling, not knowing what Jesus would do.
- She confessed to Jesus and to the crowd what she had done.
But Jesus also spoke to her, so that everyone else would hear what He had to say. Why?
- So that they know He had healed her.
- So that they would allow her back in; in to the synagogue and back in to society.
Jesus also spoke to her, so that everyone else would hear what He had to say.
- So that they would know she was now sozo. (remember the Greek for saved)
- Yes, she was healed physically, but also spiritually of the disease of sin…
- That’s why Jesus told her Daughter, your faith has sozo, healed/saved you. Go in peace.
Go in peace. Think about that…
For 12 years, this woman knew anxiety, pain, shame, isolation, and guilt.
- Peace was not even in her vocabulary, let alone in her experience.
But at that moment, when Jesus spoke directly to her, she felt peace, like she never felt it before.
- Peace from the pain, anxiety, and shame of her physical disease.
- And even a greater sense of peace… a peace she had never known…
- The peace of God, and, peace… with God.
Folks, do you have that kind of confidence in Jesus, that kind of faith?
- Your peace… depends upon it.
- Luke 8:49-56 Do not fear, only believe
Read: Luke 8:49-56
All this time, Jairus was waiting for Jesus and his daughter was dying. But it seems he was patient. And his patience, his faith in Jesus, would be rewarded. But not before he would experience the devastation… of loss.
Jairus gets word that his 12 yr old daughter had died. It’s over, it’s too late, he’s told. Don’t bother Jesus anymore.
But before Jairus could react, Jesus says
- Do not fear, only believe and she will be made well.
That was verse 50. Verse 51 says
- And when He came to the house…
I wonder how long it took to get from verse 50-51?
- How long did Jairus walk with Jesus to his home, knowing his daughter had died?
- But, I believe he walked with hope, by perhaps thinking to himself, Jesus I believe, help me in my unbelief.
Jairus believed, perhaps it was seeing Jesus’ confidence, that strengthened his own shaky faith.
- Isn’t it wonderful that for God to show that He cares for us, we don’t have to have great, perfect faith?
It must have taken some time to get to Jairus’ home, because the family had already called the professional mourners to grieve, for their daughter’s death.
Jesus told the mourners that the girl wasn’t dead she was just sleeping and they mocked him. They knew what death looked like. That girl was dead!
- Perhaps they knew what death looked like.
- But Jesus, is, the author of life.
Not deterred at bit, Jesus enters the room, takes the girl by the hand and said to her Child arise… And she did… immediately!
Luke tells us the child’s spirit returned to her and she got up at once. A couple of things:
- First, Luke was a medical doctor. Don’t you think he would’ve been amazed at this? Life returning to someone who was literally… dead! I’m sure that solidified his faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Lord of Heaven and Earth.
- Second, remember from my last message, we saw that Jesus was sovereign over the spirit world. Here we see it’s not just the demon spirits that He has control over, it’s our spirit as well.
Sidebar: That’s why the apostle Paul, under the inspiration f the Holy Spirit, could write this about our spiritual resurrection from death to life by faith in Jesus:
- But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved, and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph. 2:4–9)
Jesus’ compassion for this little girl is further seen when He tenderly says she should be given something to eat.
- No detail of need is too small or insignificant for Jesus to meet.
There are many commentators who are surprised that Jesus told the family not to say anything about what happened that day. I’m not. Again Jesus was showing His compassion for the family.
- They had been on an emotional rollercoaster.
- They needed time to process what had happened.
- They needed time to reflect upon the grace, mercy and compassion Jesus had shown to them.
- And… like the women healed of her blood discharge, they needed peace.
- And Jesus was offering it to them.
Conclusion: Folks, I don’t know where you are on our journey of faith. But I do know that for many of you your journey is a tough one.
- It was for Jairus and it was for the woman who was healed.
In both situations, Luke shows us that Jesus is sovereign,
- He’s in control,
- even when our life, is out of control.
I believe that Jesus is here, right now. He has promised us that in His Word.
- Do you need to reach out,
- and in desperation,
- touch the fringe of His garment
- as we gather before Him this morning?
Whatever it is you’re struggling with, He’s saying to you:
- All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. (Matthew 28:18)
- Do not fear, only believe.