The Transfiguration

Luke 9:28-36

Am I being transfigured in the presence of the Holy Spirit daily, so that others might not see me, but see the living Christ?  In this chapter, Jesus is instructing us how to do it.  He is also telling us we are going to pay a great price, and that we are not going to be rich here on earth, but we will be rich with the things of God.  Possessions in life can sometimes do things to us that we don't like. 

Jesus says to the pastors  and evangelists of the world, don't even take a walking stick, don't even worry about the sandals on your feet.  At the end, Jesus warns that it will cost you everything.  Grace is not cheap.  If it costed the Son Of God everything, what do you think it will cost you?  If they did this to the master, what will they do to the servant?  Jesus also said, whatever you gave up in this life, you will get it back thousands and thousands more.  He also tells us not to look back.  The world will try to entrap us, and take away His glory from you with the glory of things and possessions, and money and wealth.

Jesus is sought by everybody, whether they know it or not.  That's good for you when you are out there talking to people, because they are searching.  Even Herod wanted to find out about this Jesus.  Jesus tells us to go into the world and preach the good news, and heal the sick, and show people His glory working through us.  In the western world we like to say body and mind and soul.  Get rid of that.  Your body and your mind are one and the same.  They are both of the flesh, and they both work together. 

What is the Transfiguration tied to?  If you want to be transfigured before the world, you have to recommit to Christ every morning.  Holiness is not a one-time deal.  It's a one-time deal followed by a process.  It never ends.  That means recommitment.  Those of you who are married, who is your most beloved spouse?  The bridegroom coming for your soul, is it not?  Do you think the devil, if you don't recommit to Christ, will have an inroad to you that day?  Do you think you'll get into the car and drive nasty because you didn't recommit to Christ before you got into the car?  Let me tell you something, the devil knows your favorite pet sins.  If we are going to be transfigured, we need to recommit.  This morning when I woke I said, "Father in Heaven, I am your son; Lord Jesus, I am your servant; Spirit of God, speak to me this day; and may I be a temple of your Spirit."  I want you all to start praying this every day.  It drives the devil nuts!  It shakes his world.  Who is fighting for you?  Don't forget to thank your angels in the morning. 

We have to get dead serious about this relationship with God if we are going to be transfigured people.  Every day we recommit; every day we reconfess.

The two halves of us, and Christ feeding both -  Christ telling us how to be a disciple.  We have to meet their physical needs and their spiritual needs.  If they don't have this or that, we have to find a way.  Because they are not going to hear from us until they are comfortable enough to even begin to hear, and they will know that we love them.  It's called taking care of  the body.  But we also have to tell them about what can save them eternally, and what can set them free to live.   Whoever the Son sets free is free indeed.  Do you know how you will reflect God's glory.  Just be obedient.  He will be in you in all of His fullness.   Obedience is the hardest thing in the world.  Those who truly believe already obey, and those who are already obeying, truly believe.  That's all we have.  We are conditional.  We love God  because God first loved us. 

Jesus transfigured is a vision of God's glory (Verse30)

"Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking to Jesus.   They spoke about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem."

We were about to have our sins forgiven forever, and we were about to be given the opportunity to die and rise again.  The whole mission of Christ was about to be fulfilled.  And then Peter woke up groggy, and he saw Jesus' glory, and the two (Moses and Elijah) in their glory, and Peter said let's put up three shelters.  The scripture tells us he didn't even know what he was saying.  

We are content to pitch our tent when the glory is evident.  Peter wanted to immortalize this moment.  Peter wanted to stay right there.  He didn't want to see Jesus die.  He knew how weak he was.  Can you hear his humanity?  Peter wanted to stay secure.  Gosh, I wish I could tell you life was that easy, but you've all got so many bangs and bumps and bruises, you know it's not.  The cloud appeared, just like up the mountain with Moses in Exodus.  What was in the cloud?  God the Father, of course (verse 35):

"A voice came from the cloud saying, 'This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him." '

Start asking to hear God's voice every day.  If you've been doing it, keep doing it.  Verse 36 tells us:

"When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone."

The disciples didn't know what to do.  Then Jesus walked down from the mountain, and what did He do?  He cast out demons.  What did the disciples see? 

MY GLORY.  What will shine there? 

MY GLORY

So what can we conclude?  Something very important happened in this story.  What two things are important?  The Son of Man came into the world to seek and to save those who were lost; the Son of Man came into the world to serve and not be served.  There is no other mission for which Jesus came.  Therefore, what would His disciples be doing?  The same thing.  They start with feeding the body and liberating the soul.  First is serving - handing out food.  The second is liberating the souls.  Our mission is to preach the good news of Jesus.   We are seeking them, not saving them, because when we preach to them in the Spirit, He saves them.  You can't just do good works only; you have to talk about it too.  You figure out a way to tie the deed to the action and you will evangelize.  Set people free in their spirit.

Our mission is also to serve everyone, to heal, to bring comfort, and to do it in the authority of Jesus' name.  Serve = set free in body.  Seek and save = set free in spirit.  Chapter 9 is not about the Transfiguration.  Transfiguration is what happens when you are doing it for God.  The important concepts in being a disciple of God are:

Feed and serve others in love.

Commit daily to serve our community and the world.  Courage is not a natural thing.  Ask for it daily.  Are we looking for ways to confess daily to others?  Each one of you has to figure this out.

Prophecy and teach people in Jesus' name - on a small scale, on a big scale, talk to your neighbor.  Commit daily to tell them what Christ did for you, your personal testimony.

Commit daily to stand in His presence.  Meditate, read scripture, devotions (reading and studying your Bible), pray, listen to praise and worship music.

Commit daily to, first, being, set free by God.  Am I living the obedient life, or am I still a slave to sin?  If I'm not set free, who am I going to set free?  Zero  Are we offering God's grace daily to those in need.

How many of you are ready to give this thing we call discipleship a try?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heavens Declare God's Glory

Psalm 19

Contemplation - looking out at the creation and contemplating God's creation.   Nature brings revelation, glimpses into the magnitude of who God is.  Look for Him.  God speaks through nature, yet nature alone is limiting.  Think for a moment.  What are things about God we could not know about Him through nature alone? 

God speaks through the law, through His statutes and precepts.  Why?  Because the law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the Lord are giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  Have you thought about the Lord's law, precepts and statutes as the things that refresh and cleanse our souls, simplifying what could be quite complex by believing that God is good and trustworthy? 

God provides great wisdom simply by telling us that we  need to trust His statutes, for He is trustworthy.  Believe what He says,  Believe the Bible.  In other words, don't quesion God.  Just do what He says. We must trust God's heart.   Following God's rules, or precepts, gives joy to the heart.

A friend of mine wisely says that joy is not the absence of sorrow, but instead, the presence of God.  Do you feel blessed by God when you do what He asks you to do?   David doesn't stop there in verse 9:

"The fear of the Lord isi pure, enduring forever.  The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous."

How encouraging are these words!  God is holy, and God desires us to be holy.   Why?  Because God's ways are always the best and the purest.  David further describes Him as more precious than gold and sweeter than honey.  It makes me wonder what it is about this world that is so attractive that I turn to my own ways rather than focus on the ways of the Lord.  Sweeter than honey, great reward, great blessing in the here and now for keeping the Lord's ways.

Ask yourself the question.  How could God's wisdom imparted through God's Word to us be more valuable than our most precious possessions, and sweeter than our greatest treasures?  The answer is simple.  There is no earthly treasure or possession that can begin to compare to God's eternal dwelling place.  Through the scripture we are warned against anything that is not of God, whether it be wealth, luxuries, sports, the way you talk to your family, your neighbors.  There are warnings in God's Word about everything that is sin.  Sin is easily defined as those things that are not of God, or take the place of God in our lives.

We see here in our passage some very good news.  Keeping God's precepts front and center to all of our actions brings great reward, eternal reward.  So, why not go after what is more precious than lots of gold  (vVerse 12):


"Who can discern his errors?  Forgive my hidden faults.  Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.   Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression."

Look at David's prayer.   He is saying that, sometimes our faults, dare I say, sins, are hidden, even from ourselves.  Yet God knows.  If we so allow it, God will show us the error of our ways.  We only need to pray that God show us, and once we know, we can repent, we can turn toward God and, we can be forgiven.

God will also keep us from willful sin.  Prayer works in this regard.  The armor of God works.  We can guard ourselves by not frequenting the places or people that cause us to stumble.  We also have the unimaginable blessing of our Lord Jesus.  And we have the community of believers to help us.  No matter what it is, our Lord Jesus will walk alongside, holding our hand, keeping us from stumbling.  For you see, Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.  Jesus did not come to judge against the law, but to save us from our inability to keep the law without Him.  Jesus came so that, through Him, we can be forgiven and set free from the enslavement of sin.  Blameless, innocent of great transgression,  Jesus came so that we could be returned to a right relationship with our holy God.

What is the role of the law for those of us who know Jesus?  The apostle Paul gives us some insight in Romans 3:20:

"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."

We are not saved by our works, or our ability to follow the law.  If that becomes our focus, we miss the whole point.  We are saved by God through our faith.  We love the Lord because He loved us first.  Our desire is to become more like our Lord Jesus.  So through the law we become conscious of our sin.   Then what should happen?   Fear of the Lord, love of the Lord, desire to be like Jesus, all should quickly bring us to a desire for Jesus' forgiveness and we should turn away from those things that plague us and keep us from the joy of the Lord.  Jesus loves us and desires our love in return.  What a humbling thought that is! 

Jesus wants me to love Him, just because He loves me.  Sin gets in the way of our relationship with Him, but it does not need to.  It is only our creator, our Lord, who knows what is best for us, and He tells us through this book.  Psalm 37:4 tells us:

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

The more we live in and delight in the ways of our Lord Jesus, the more the desires of our hearts will mirror God's desire for our lives.  The more our lives move away from me, myself,and I, the more like the Lord we become.

We have seen how God speaks to our lives through scripture.  We can be under the shadow of protection of the most high God.  We have learned that following the ways of the Lord will be sweet, pure, and rewarded.   And yes, it it sin that separates us from our Lord who loves us so.   

Now we come to a most beautiful prayer in verse 14:

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Ponder the meaning of those words in your life.

 

 

Who Do You Say I Am?

Luke 9:18-27

Chapter 9 shows Jesus sending the twelve disciples into ministry.  They were getting experience, while being discipled by Jesus Himself.  They were also slowly gaining an understanding of who this man called Jesus really was, as He is for us here today.  We can see the journey that the disciples were on.  What a blessing.  Jesus is saying right now, "I am here with you today.  The Lord our God is with us.  How wonderful is that?  Our passage starts with (verse 18):

"Once when Jesus was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, He asked them, 'Who do the crowds say I am?'

We can see Jesus modeling the importance of prayer in our passage.  If prayer was important to Jesus, mustn't it be important to us?  What is prayer but a conversation with God.  You can chew God's ear off all through the day.  That is not a substitute for alone time with God.  We should never feel like God's not there.  When we pray in worship in a group, we should feel the Holy Spirit with us.  During a crisis or struggle, we may see immediate results  feeling  peace and joy when we pray.  Do you have one particular place where you feel God's spirit more than anywhere else?    Do you come away from that place feeling alot more peaceful.  If you don't really have that place or that time where you can go, if you just stop and say,  "Lord, I really need you," I think that is very important for all of us.

Let's get back to Jesus and His disciples.  The crowd didn't know who Jesus was (verse 19):

They replied,"Some say John the Baptiest; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."

Even today, society does not deny that Jesus lived.  They say He was a great prophet, or He was a great man; some even say that He is no longer relevant.  Here comes a big question from Jesus, one that we alll need to answer (verse 20):

"But what about you?" he asked, "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, The Christ of God."

Peter, in that moment, confessed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, the Christ.  Who has Jesus been to you throughout your life?  When did you realize that Jesus is the Messiah?  When you went to Church after being away from it?  When you went though a major crisis?  When did you meet the love of the Holy Spirit?  God is so good.

Now Peter knows that Jesus is the Messiah, but Jesus strictly warns them not to tell anyone.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit tells us not to tell anyone, especially if another person is not receptive.   Jesus is not telling us to stop loving that person.  Just keep loving those who come against you.  Be silent, and allow God's will to be done.

Why didn't Jesus want others to know what His disciples knew?  The answer might be as simple as that Jesus understood that others would not understand, and it would be dangerous for them to go around and proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah at that moment in time (verse 22):

"And he said, 'The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and He must be killed and on the third day be raised to lilfe."

Can you imagine being told that Jesus was going to die and then be raised?  A question that i'm sure every Christian asks at some point is, "What will happen when I'm really put to the test?" 

Each day we should pray for our daily bread.  We will be given what we need to endure when the time comes.  We can't eat tomorrow's daily bread today.  Every day we need to come to the Lord.  Did the disciples understand what Jesus was telling them?  I don't think they understood.  Jesus was talking about His own death, but He was also talking about rising from the dead.  Three of them had seen Jesus raise a young girl from the dead, but that was   Their minds had not been opened at that time. 

Now we come to a very familiar passage, maybe the meat of our conversation, one that applies to each of us (verse 23):

Then He said to them all, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

What does it mean to deny yourself, to take up your cross?  Is it easy to do?  We are called to be a living sacrifice.  It is good to obey the will of God, but it isn't always easy.   Romans 8:6 says:

"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace."

Even though it seems uncomfortable to deny yourself and pick up your cross, what you are really doing is embracing life and peace.  For some, taking up your cross simply means to follow Jesus every day, even when we don't feel like it.  We don't need to do it alone any more.  Jesus is here with us no matter what trial we are going through.   Perseverance brings wisdom.  If you lack wisdom, ask God, who gives generously to all of us.  Jesus didn't stop there.  He also said (verse 24):

"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it."

This is a well-known verse.  We can't lose the importance of what Jesus is taling about.  Jesus is showing how we are to find our true life, our true purpose.  If we don't get that right, nothing else will be right in our Christian life.  This verse is clearly talking about the most important thing imaginable - life in Christ.  It's telling us either how to lose it, or find it.  Jesus is stating in this one sentence a principle of the Kingdom of God which is so important that it might be said that it is the governing principle.  Embodied in this one statement of Jesus is the plan of salvation, the process of growth, and a revelation of what the relationship between God and His people is supposed to be.  In this verse is the how and the why of this reality. Give up your life as it has been, and replace it with a life in Christ.   

What does it mean for a Christian, practically, to lose his or her life?  What is the gift that comes in return?  Whenever you lose your life for Christ, it doesn't matter what you are giving up, you want to hold on to things in your life first.  They are filthy rags.  None of it is worth holding onto.  What do we get in return for giving up all those things?  2Timothy 1:7 tells us:

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline."

Jesus says that He came so that we may have abundant life.  Typically, walking with Christ is a joyous and peaceful and awesome experience.  We give up nothing and condemnation to hell and we gain Jesus Himself.  He is the ultimate gift.  Heaven is eternal and Jesus IS that eternal life.   Fear, loneliness, lack of confidence, no hope, being unloved - those are the words that are replaced by love from God that we could never imagine was possible, and a friend in Jesus to fill the spot of loneliness, and the blessing of the ministry of loving others.  What is better?  Nothing is better than that. 

Gaining Christ brings with it a blessing that is eternal.  Gaining the whole world, even in what we consider to be a self-righteous way, can't be compared to a life in Christ, and His transforming love.   We can't do it without Him.  But with Jesus, we have eternity, we have love, we have hope.  

We are a new creation destined for eternity in heaven.

 

 

 

  
 

 

 

God's Provision

Luke 9:10-17

Our God is an awesome God.  His love and his might are boundless, and His wisdom is complete and perfect.  God can do what He wants, and none can bind Him.  The Word of God, made flesh in the person Jesus, provides us with all the wisdom needed to live godly lives, and to serve the living God.  The way to be saved is found in Scripture in the person of Jesus Christ.  He truly is the way, the truth, and the light.  Why am I beginning with these basics?  This story is one of two similar events recorded in Scripture.  "The Feeding of the Five Thousand"  is one of those true stories that is found in all four Gospels. 

John's Gospel is so different from the others in that he wrote his Gospel with the others in hand, and left out things that were not essential so as not to copy them.  What we have at first glance is an important and essential  event in the life of Jesus.  The Gospel of John gives a much fuller context of this miracle.  We know that, at two separate times in His ministry, Jesus sat down with His disciples, took a small offering of food, and expanded it to fill the needs of thousands.   Let me read to you from John 6:26-27;

"I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

So then, we have to ask ourselves, "What was God teaching us by including this miracle in Scripture?"  And we have to ask ourselves what we can learn about who He is, and how to apply the message in our lives.

Let's begin with the circumstances surrounding the events.  Jesus is walking all over Judea and performing miracles.  He is clashing with the authorities because He isn't following the manmade rules they added on top of Scripture.  These authorities have been substituting their own rules over the Word of God. and the people are heavily burdened.  We read about Jesus and the apostles in verses 10-11:

"....Then he took them with Him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed Him."

People were literally chasing Jesus around like a rock star.  These people had nothing to offer Him, so what did Jesus do?  How does God treat us when we have nothing to offer?   We continue in verse 11:

"He welcomed them and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing."

He considered their neediness as an opportunity for ministry.  The people brought Him their empty hands, their sickness and their ignorance, and He gave healing and wisdom.  Understand that, when we first come to Christ, we don't have anything to offer Him.  We cannot buy salvation.   The price has already been paid.  Jesus on the Cross was the price.
Our own lives weren't worth enough to pay the price.  We each have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.  Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, and only He could buy us back from death.   

You've heard the phrase, "God helps those who help themselves."  In the world around us, we see people elevated because of their skill and talent, beauty and riches.  We should elevate excellence, you might say.  But let me tell you something.  Athletes who are good at their sport are just people who are good at their job.  If they are heroes, it's not because of their job.  It's because of what they do off the field.  Most people who work sacrifice for their job in some way or another.  It doesn't make them special.  

That phrase, "God helps those who help themselves," is not found in Scripture.  The concept, when taken at face value, is utterly alien to the character of God.  God loves the needy.  Anyone who comes to Him sincerely humble in heart is one of His favorites.  Beggars are special treasures of God.  People dying in hospitals, prayng to be visited by their loved ones, they are beloved by God.  God helps those that ask for help-the needy, in the biblical equivalent.  Sometimes God helps us by giving us the means, the strength to earn our own livelihood.   

Yet God's goodness isn't limited to helping us just with what we ask.  Consider the nature of this miracle in our passage.  The people came to Jesus to learn and to be healed.  They chased Him around until they caught Him, and He welcomed them.  Nowhere here does it mention that they asked Jesus to feed them.  The apostles told Jesus that the people were hungry, and I doubt it was news to Jesus.   So what did Jesus do about the ubspoken  need of these people.  Consider the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 6:33:

"But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

God provides the needs of His people as they walk in obedience to Him.  Most of you are familiar with the passage about Jesus being tempted by satan in the wilderness.  The devil gave Him three challenges.  Each one of them was designed to steer Jesus away from the Cross to keep Him from fulfilling His mission.  Jesus fed thousands on two separate occasions, but because of our vanity, our short-sightedness, our lack of faith, our human weakness, if Jesus had continued feeding the people for the sake of their stomachs, they would have loved the saving, not the Savior.   

Consider something.  At one point, Jesus turned humble water into celebratory wine.  Jesus asked the men at the wedding to provide something common, and He provided something extraordinary.  The men provided obedience through the water, and Jesus provided cause for everlasting celebration.  In our passage, a boy contributes a small meal of little value, and turns a small contribution into a large meal.  Verse 17 tells us that "they all ate and were satisfied."  Jesus didn't do anything halfway.  I'm guessing this meal was significantly more satisfying than any other food would be.  God satisfies our desires with good things.

The food from Christ represents God's provision.  Our physical needs are met as we serve Him.  How often do you lose sight of God because you are focused on earthly things.  It can be especially problematic when we stop seeing the things He has done for us.  We must be obedient.  God uses the fish and bread we bring to the table.  He tastes it and makes it better. 

God does not need us.   We do not earn God's mercy.  He has mercy on us because of our obedience.  His gift come from Him, not from our own efforts.  Our faith is like that.  God said to believe and we will be saved.   God sent His Son to die on the cross for us,    The essentials of our Christian belief  are:  believe in the person of Jesus Christ, God as He truly is, made flesh; and His work on the Cross; and that He raised from the dead, and we will be saved.  Our faith is an active and fruitful relationship with God. Lets walk in daily fellowship with the Almighty God. 

 

Jesus The Healer

Luke 8:40-56

Who has a mother?  We all have a mother.  Why?  Because something happened a long time ago in a beautiful garden called Eden.  Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.  Yes, we came from a mother.  Even Jesus came from a mother.  Look in Psalm 113, verse 14, where it says:

"I  praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

This verse is written in thanks to the Lord for His work in each of us in our coming into being.  Our mothers, my mother, had a big part in what happened.  They played a pretty big role in God's creative process. The official Mother's Day arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of a lady named  Anna Jarvis. Following her mother's 1905 death, Anna conceived of Mother's Day as a way of  honoring the sacrifices mothers make for their children.   Anna was Christian, and seemed to understand  what it means to  pass on the love of Christ.  Just be blessed that you, too, can say "thank you" because the Lord's blessing of you, fearfully and wonderfully made, came into being because of God and your mother and father.

What do mothers have to do with our sermon today.  Besides the fact that Jesus had a mother, Jesus was a healer.  Our stories of healing are miracle stories.  In one case, Jesus healed by the mere touch of His garment.  In the other, by someone coming to Jesus to ask; soometimes, we only need to ask.  Have you ever heard the expression, "A mother's touch"?  Do you believe that a mother can touch in the same simple way Jesus does, and healing can occur?  Do you think that mommies have that healing touch that God created mommies to be.  

John 14:11-14 tells us:

"Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me: or at least believe in the evidence of the miracles themselves.  I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

There is truth in Jesus' words that I see as untapped power in Jesus that is available to us here today.  Truth that helps us understand what happens in our story line.  Truth that we can know, that we can ask for anything in Jesus' name, and He will hear us.

I hope that, when we come together in community, we come with expectation of a special time with our Lord Jesus, for we know that, when two or more gather, He is here in our midst.  So, who was in that crowd that day?  Verse 41 tells us.

"Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of twelve, was dying.  As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her."

This woman was considered unclean.   To touch such a person would make the other person unclean.  She was someone with no place in the community, no voice whatsoever, not even the ability to go into the worship center.  My guess is that she considered herself totally undeserving of love from anyone for twelve long years.  She was poor, she was sick, she was an outcast.  She must have heard about the miracle-working power of Jesus. 

In one household (Jairus'), joy and happiness was born;  in another, sorrow, sickness, loneliness, and despair.  And here they are, in the same crowd, on the same day, both with great needs.  Jairus had probably witnessed the casting out of evil spirits and the healing of Simon's mother-in-law.  Did Jairus really know who this man Jesus really was?  Or was it that he had a mustard seed of faith, just enough to chance everything to see if Jesus could save the life of his daughter.  Maybe you and I don't know who Jesus really is when we first really look to Him, yet something happens when we realize that we can't get done what needs to be done without Him,  when we believe enough to take that simple step of faith.  What is clear in our story is that Jairus went to Jesus to plead for his daughter.  What is also clear is that the woman felt she had no other option in life but to try Jesus.  The story of two lives interwoven into one witness account for us to consider.   Both are helpless to find a cure.  Both have a degree of faith, albeit imperfect.  Both came to Christ in belief and desperation. 

Now take a look at what Jesus did out of His love and compassion.  The woman must have been thinking, "There is no way that Jesus would come to me.  He can't touch me.  I have this terrible disease.  I am an outcast.  If I secretly touch Him, without anyone knowing, maybe, just  maybe, I will be healed, and He won't be contaminated."  Is that backwards thinking?    Thinking that somehow we can contaminate Jesus with our diseases, or dare I say, our sins?  Not possible.  But she did not know that.  Verse 44 tells us,

"She came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped."

She didn't touch His head or His arm, but simply the hem of His robe.  Jesus' power completely overwhelmed the disease, and by her faith, she was made whole again.  Her plan had worked, except for one thing.  Her act of faith did not go unnoticed, as she had hoped it would.  In verses  46:

"'Who touched me?' Jesus asked.  When they all denied it, Peter said 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.' But Jesus said, 'Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.'"

Even our smallest acts of faith do not go unnoticed by our Lord.  Isn't that a wonderful thought?  In her case, she touched His garment.  In our case, His living spirit, the Holy Spirit, lives within, and we only need to whisper our concern with a mere mustard seed of faith.   In the woman's case, Jesus didn't want her faith step to go unnoticed, for Jesus knew  the impact of it on her  is maybe even true for us today.  For, if He had not called to her to come forward, we would not have the faith witness of her story. 

In verse 48, the woman came forward, yet another step of faith; maybe she even thought she was breaking a rule, which is why she was trembling.  She feared Him; maybe she feared the crowd more than she feared Jesus.  Jesus wanted all to know that she was now clean.  We see that Jesus comforts her by calling her "daughter," and explaining that it was her faith, her desperate faith in Jesus, that has healed her.  She is pronounced whole in front of the whole crowd.  This tells everyone what has happened - physical healing, how it happened through her faith, and what it meant to her.  His healing has restored her to the community.  Do you agree with me that to be whole or completely healed, we must be saved and welcomed into the community of believers, the body of Christ?  She became a daughter of the King, just as you and I are daughters and sons of the King, the most high God.  In verse 48, Jesus says to the woman:

"Then He said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace.'"

Then, Jesus is interrupted when news is brought to Him, news that sounds disastrous, that sounds like Jesus is too late.  But we know that Jesus is never too late.  In verse 49;

"While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler.  'Your daughter is dead.' he said.  'Don't bother the teacher any more.'

What Jairus had feared had become a reality.  His daughter was dead.  Yet what he was about to learn is that with God, all things are possible (Matt 19:26).  Jesus assured Jairus not to be afraid, to just believe, and his daughter would be healed.  The same lesson that had just been demonstrated as Jesus healed the woman, believe, that it is through your faith, Jairus, that your daughter will be healed.  God will do the healing, but the human part is faith.  God always does the work of salvation, and we do the believing.  Coming to Jesus was the right thing for Jairus to do.  Even though things seemed to be beyond hope, she would be well.  Wholeness, saved, healed, delivered.  Bring it to Jesus as Jairus did.  So they went to Jairus' home. In verses 32-36:

"Meanwhile all the people were wailing and mourning for her.  'Stop wailing,' Jesus said.  'She is not dead but asleep.'  They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.  But he took her by the hand and said, 'My child, get up!'  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.  Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.  Her parents were astonished, but He ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened."

What an amazing story!  Now let's pay attention to a couple important points beyond what might be called "The Great Awakening.".  First, the crowd here is like most crowds.  They don't believe Jesus.  They laugh at Him.  Second, Jesus narrows those witnessing miracles to the child's parents and three disciples, an inner circle.  Why?  Maybe they were the only ones ready to accept  the true meaning of what they were about to witness.  It seems that Jesus had not yet wanted to share the reality of the resurrection. He does so later with Lazarus and then Himself.  The divine healing is the reality in what we see here.  For the woman, it was the healing of her physical and spiritual life.  I would suggest that Jairus' entire family was brought to new spiritual life as a result of the divine physical healing of their daughter.  Third,  it seems clear that the child's spirit had left her body, and Jesus had commanded it to return.  I wonder if this is a precursor to when Jesus returns and all the believers who have gone on before us will return with their new bodies.  Some do interpret this passage as a precursor of what is to come. 

This passage concludes when Jesus tells them not to tell anyone.  Those who were wailing and mourning about the death of a 12-year-old who was now up and about and needing something to eat.  What a true story of faith!  What a story about the power of our Lord Jesus!  What a story of healing wholeness in our Lord Jesus.!  Most of all, what a story about faith!

What about you, and what about me?  When we face trials in our lives, do we act in faith like the woman in our story?  Or like Jairus?  Remember, it does not matter who you are.  We really saw that in this story.  What the condition of your heart is, or your position in life.  I think it would be correct to say that the words Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid.  Just believe, and she will be well." (verse 50), is what we should remember.  Faith in our Lord Jesus is always the answer.  It says in Psalm 50, verse 15, 

"Call upon me in the day of trouble;  I will deliver you, and you will honor me."

It is through the trials and the days of trouble that we get to know just a little bit better, how much Jesus loves us, wants us whole, and willingly delivers us from all evil.  Maybe the  Lord does know where all the parts go, and maybe He wants us to be physically well, and maybe ultimately, it's that new body that He's got planned for us.  He wants us spiritually, and He wants us in relationship with Him.  He willingly delivers us from all evil.  He loves us, and desires our love in return.  He desires relationship with Him, and with each other to be whole.

Not just this way, but clearly this way, we are a  community of believers.  We are to love one another.  Why?  Because God loved us first.  Today I say, on Mother's Day, love one another.  Believe that Jesus is the great healer.  Believe that Jesus is the great comforter.  Believe that Jesus can make you whole.  Believe that Jesus will deliver our loved ones.  Believe that Jesus will heal our relationships.  We are His family.  Let us be family to one another.  Believe that, in making it so, we will glorify Him.  Believe that mom's kisses do work, for they are kisses that come from Jesus through the mommy.