Today we read about two amazing miracles in the ministry of Jesus. We see a father who was a ruler of the synagogue who fell at the feet of Jesus, overwhelmed by grief and grasping for straws to hold any last hope to see his daughter healed. Next we see a woman who had seen a lot of physicians and spent a lot of money trying to find an answer to a disease she had which caused her to discharge blood for over 12 years. Through both of these examples we can learn a very important lesson about faith.
Faith is not a formula but a beautiful anomaly.
Faith is believing without seeing. Faith here is also believing without asking. Does anyone else read this story and wonder why this woman didn’t at least ask for a healing like the synagogue ruler? She just grabs his clothes as he’s walking by. I mean come on now, “This is God on earth, at least ASK if He can heal you. Have some respect people. Kids these days, geez. Just no respect for their elders.” But seriously though, I’m surprised by the response of Jesus here as He instantly felt his healing power depart and starts asking the crowd who took it from him. She gets scared pretty quickly and confesses to her actions in which Jesus affirms her by saying the faith she had in a simple touch of the clothes of our Savior would solve what over a decade of medical bills and diagnosis could not.
So often we want to put the Gospel message and faith in a formula or box but we can’t. Jesus didn’t care if she asked or acknowledged him first, but just cared that she believed. Faith does not have a certain caliber or merit in which it works. This had to be confusing for religious people who were all about rules and standards. But a God-Man who healed on the Sabbath and healed without giving the inclination that intended to do so went against those religious standards. The Gospel message doesn’t change but our expectations and standards on how and who faith works for should. Some people pray a prayer and follow and go down an aisle. Others confess in their hearts as they are affirming the Gospel being sung in a church. It’s the heart repenting and believing in Christ that brings ultimate life change and healing.
Just a few verses later, Jesus brings the synagogue ruler’s daughter back from the dead. This was after the friends and family tells the father to not trouble Jesus anymore since she’s dead. Jesus responds back with “Do not fear, only believe.” When he walks into the room where the girl was laying he said that she was only sleeping and they all laughed at him and mocked him. So Jesus kicked them out. ☺ He then brought the parents of the little girl in and said, “Talitha cumi” which was like 7 words in 2 really cool sounding words that caused her to wake up and all was amazed. Again, faith went beyond anyone’s standards or expectations here and that’s how Jesus works.
- How has faith become a formula for you?
- In what ways do you need to be amazed by God through faith?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor