ImageI recently read the book and then watched the movie, Moneyball.  Its the true story of how the poorest team in baseball managed to have the winningest record in baseball including a 20 game winning streak.  We love stories like that.  We love to see the underdog prove everyone wrong.  We love to see all of our doubts shattered so that we can truly believe that things happen beyond everything we can know.

Many times, we hope for that when we read the Gospels.  We read over and over again accounts of Jesus having power and authority over the natural world, the supernatural world; over everything.  It seems too good to be true.  We want it to be true, but it goes against what we know.  It goes against our common sense.

Can Jesus really give me peace?  Does he really have the power to conquer anything that threatens me?  Can He really heal?  Can He really raise the dead?  Many can follow Jesus as a teacher, a role model, even a religious figure, but truly believing in Him is difficult.

40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. 41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,”  (Luke 8:40-43)

When Jesus returns, a crowd is waiting for him.  But in this crowd, there are two people.  One is Jarius.  He is a ruler at the local synagogue.  Jarius has a daughter who is sick and dying.  Jarius begs Jesus to come to his house and heal his daughter.  Jesus went when the man asked him to come.

The other person in the crowd is a little woman who has been sick for twelve years.  She has spent her life savings on doctors, but no one has ever been able to help.  This woman believes that if she can so much as just touch the edge of Jesus’ clothes, then she will be healed.

44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.“(Luke 8:44)

Since this woman had this particular sickness, she would have been considered unclean.  For twelve years, she has had to live outside of Jewish society.  She has not been welcome at the temple.  She has not been welcome in social and religious gatherings.  She probably thinks she has absolutely no business speaking to a great rabbi, and if He really were the Messiah, He would not have any business with her.  Yet, she hopes that if she can just touch the edge of his clothes, maybe she will be healed.

She pushes her way through the crowd, and reaches out just to touch, and she does.  Suddenly, she is healed

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him[f] said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”” (Luke 8:45-48)

She is healed, but at that moment, Jesus stops and asks, “Who touched me?”  What a question.  Everyone is confused, because the crowd has been pushing and shoving and everyone has touched Him.  Jesus knows every touch in a crowd.  He knows when someone is reaching out to Him.  This woman knows that He is talking about her.  She must be terrified.  She has been found out!  She gets on the ground in front of Him.  She knows this was not the proper way to seek the Messiah but it worked.  She explains what happened.  He doesn’t condemn her.  He doesn’t reject her.  He calls her “daughter” as though she belonged to Him and tells her that her faith has made her well.  Jesus offers healing, peace, and a place as one of His own

49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”

50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl..” (Luke 8:49-51)

Suddenly, the tone changes.  Yes this woman has been healed, but they took too long.  They didn’t get to the little girl in time and word comes that she is dead.  Yet, still, Jesus says to believe that she will be well.  Jesus said to believe instead of fear.

52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.

54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. ” (Luke 8:52-55)

So they go to the house.  The crowd has to stay behind as only a few go in.  Everyone is already mourning, as is common when someone dies.  Jesus tells everyone not to cry because she is only sleeping.  Everyone laughs at this.  That’s crazy!  But Jesus goes to the child, tells her to arise, and she does.  Yes, Jesus can give life to the dead.

56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.” (Luke 8:56)

In a sharp contrast to “Go and peace” to the woman and “Go and tell” to the demon possessed man, Jesus tells the amazed parents, “Don’t tell anyone.”  Jesus doesn’t send the one’s that don’t have faith.

There were many reactions in this story to Jesus and his ability to heal.  One woman believed completely and received healing, peace, and a place as one of His own.  Jarius reacts with half-hearted belief.  Jesus may be able to heal the sick, but raise the dead?  Even when it happens before his eyes, he can hardly believe it.  Still others did not believe at all.  When Jesus says the girl is not really dead, the crowd of people laugh in disbelief.  The fact is that Jesus is willing and able to do what He says he will do, but we struggle to believe.  It goes against what we think we know.  It goes against what we call common sense.  We struggle to put our faith in Jesus completely.  Like the woman, we want His healing and peace.  We want to be called “son” or “daughter.”  Like Jarius, we may even seek Him to see if he can help, but we only half heartedly think He can.  Sometimes we are like the crowd.  We think we know what really is, and the whole idea of Jesus being able to raise the dead is laughable.

You must believe that the Lord Jesus is willing and able to bring you healing and peace.  The sick woman did and she found so much more than healing.  She found peace; she found a place as one of His own.  Jarius half-heartedly believed.  He believed that maybe Jesus could help his daughter before it was too late.  To Jarius, there were limits as to what Jesus could do.  He could do great things.  He could probably help, but there were limits.  To the crowd, the idea that Jesus could raise the dead was laughable.

What if Jarius had believed like the woman.  What if those with him would have believed.  Certainly no one would have said “don’t bother.”  More would have reached out to touch Him.  More would be around Him, seeking Him in everything.

What if you believed that the Lord Jesus is willing and able to bring youhealing, peace, and make you one of His own?  We all have those limits.  We all have a line where we will follow Jesus only so far, or maybe not at all.  But if we truly believed, those lines would disappear.  Nothing would hold us back and in the end, we would be His, and we would find healing and peace.