By Steven Chan
Jesus was on the way to the house of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue whose 12 year old daughter was sick and was dying. Along the way, a woman who had a health problem for 12 years and who “had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment” and was healed immediately. (Luke 8:43-44). The Bible records the two incidents to teach us some important lessons:-
1. Jesus is always there for us.
Jesus was thronged by a multitude of people but He still had time to help two ladies who were in dire needs. Sometimes we are too busy with many things of this life that we are not able to help others. But Jesus always had time for those who needed Him. We need to be encouraged that He who “is able to aid those who are tempted” and to extend “grace to help in time of need” (Heb 2:18; 4:16) will make the time and effort to help us in our hour of need so that we may boldly approach “the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). So we can cast all our care upon Him, for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). We need to remain faithful until the end (Rev 2:10).
2. Jesus offers hope in seemingly hopeless situations. The woman had spent all her livelihood to be healed and yet there was no cure for her. She did not give up looking for a cure. She finally found the one who could heal her completely. While Jesus was speaking with her, the young 12 year old girl died and it looked as if it was too late for Jesus to do anything for her. Yet, Jesus was able to raise her from the dead – demonstrating His Power even over death (and not just over disease or sickness).
In our lives, we may meet many instances of seemingly hopeless situations but we should not give up trusting in Jesus, the Great Physician who is able to heal both the body and the soul. He said in Mark 10:27: “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
Jesus did not promise that in this life, we will never suffer sickness and death. In fact He said in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” He has promised us sufficient grace to withstand whatever challenges we may face in this life: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”( 2 Cor 12:9-10)
Jesus assured us that if our names are written in the book of life, then there will come a time after the great Judgment of the world, when “God will wipe away every tear from our eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain” (Rev 21:4).
3. Jesus cares for us – both body and soul.
There are those who mistakenly believe that God is only interested in our spiritual well-being and NOT our physical being. In this account of the two ladies being physically healed, it should be abundantly clear to us all that God cares for all of our being. The Bible tells us in Heb 4:15: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses.”
The apostle Paul testified thus in 2 Tim 4:17-18: “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”
Let us therefore be bold in approaching God with all the problems of our lives and not just with our spiritual problems. But God requires us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt 6:33).
4. If we wish to receive help from the Lord, we need to take the initiative to Reach Out in Faith to Jesus.
The father of the dying 12 year old girl and the woman with 12 years of health issue, both reached out to Jesus for help in their hour of need. They had to exercise their faith in Jesus by doing something – asking Jesus or reaching out to touch His garment.
To the woman who was unwell, Jesus said: “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” To the man who did not want to trouble the Lord since the girl was already dead, Jesus said: “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” (Luke 8:50)
Likewise, we all need to demonstrate our faith if we wish for God to deliver us. James 2:21-22: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” We need to ask in faith: James 1:6-8: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
The Bible emphasizes the importance of prayer in James 5:16-18: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
There are some who expressed disappointment with God because they said that God did not answer their prayers. They failed to realize that they should not treat God as if He were a slave that they can give instructions and require Him to get things done for them – and if He does not do what they asked then they can reject Him. God expects us to have genuine unfailing faith in Him. Heb 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” We need to seek diligently – not without any fervency or real commitment.
Consider the faith of the three friends of Daniel when they were thrown into the fiery furnace:
”If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”( Dan 3:17-18). Notice that they said that even if God does not deliver them from the fiery furnace, they would still not embrace other gods or idols. Such is the level of faith that will please God and provides deliverance for us.
5. The healing Power of Jesus was immediate (not gradual) and with complete recovery.
The Bible records how Jesus “took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately” (Luke 8:54-55).
On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people received immediate forgiveness of sins when they were baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38). Similarly, today we can likewise have all our sins forgiven immediately when we obey the Lord in baptism (Acts 22:16; Mark 16:16).
There are some today who claim that they have the power to heal but in many instances, their so-claimed healings are not immediate and dramatic. The powers of these so-called modern day healers do not come from God. Contrast their so-called healings with that done by Jesus – where the dead girl rose up immediately when Jesus said to her to arise. The healing power of Jesus was very evident and indisputable.
Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead when He was on earth to prove to us that He was no ordinary man and that He was truly the Son of God so that we can believe in Him and be saved from our sins. John 20:30-31: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” You need to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and that He has the power to have your sins forgiven and to raise you from the dead so that you may inherit heaven when this life is over. If you believe then “why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'(Acts 22:16)
Thereafter, we have the assurance of access to God through Christ for deliverance and guidance all the days of our lives. “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Heb 13:5-6)