A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ “
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
From Mundane to Miraculous
Oh man, too bad this is only a devotional website, because this passage definitely deserves a sermon. Out of the many insights of this passage, one stands out for me – how the bleeding woman touches Jesus’ cloak. A lot of people were pressing up against Jesus, and surely must have been brushing up against his cloak, but something about how this woman does it is special, and set apart. And whatever she does, it works, because she is freed from her suffering.
That “how” is faith.
Many people may have touched his cloak, but she was the only one there that believed that Jesus’ authority and power was so great that even a touch from his cloak was more than sufficient to heal what decades of medicine could not. And so, even though she is doing exactly the same action as everyone else in the crowd, her action resulted in healing – because her faith was a transformative catalyst, that transformed a mundane and commonplace action into something supernatural and extraordinary.
Now, how could this possibly apply to us? In more ways than you think: as Christians, we do many things that seem commonplace, or even silly, to others. Our high regard for these things seem laughable to those who don’t believe – “You’re just reading an old book, just like the Iliad – why do you actually believe it’s true?” “You’re just talking to the air – nothing results out of ‘prayer’!” “You’re just singing rock songs in church – how is that different from going to a concert!” And we can buy into this mentality as well, and start looking down upon these actions because they seem so silly, and meaningless when seen from that perspective. And so we stop reading Scripture. We stop praying. We stop worshiping.
But don’t forget faith. When you read the Bible without faith, it is a dusty tome with archaic moral values, but with faith, it leaps into your heart like the very Words of God (many of you have testified to this recently). Singing without faith is very similar to going to a rock concert, but with faith, you realize that there is an audience of ONE very intently listening to your heart. Even from our experience at our fall retreat, many of you will remember how I asked us to do something incredibly silly – to pray for one another and share any thoughts or even pictures that came to mind or heart. Without faith, that is a silly and random request, but you remember the actual results – insights into people’s lives, encouragements, walls being pulled down instantaneously.
This week, whatever you do, no matter how great or how mundane, do it with faith, believing that God is real, powerful and actively involved in every second of your life. And watch the mundane turn into the miraculous.
1. What are some practical ways in which we can have more faith when it comes to reading Scripture? Participating in worship? Praying?
2. What activity or ritual of Christian life has become mundane or has lost its importance for you?
3. In looking at the above, how does faith transform that activity into something more meaningful?