Desperate people are sometimes driven to unconventional and even culturally unacceptable behavior. Jairus, a religious ruler with power, money, and position, boldly approached a nomadic religious outsider looking for help. A soul known only as a “bleeding woman” risked everything to merely touch the edge of a man’s clothes. They both ended up in the same place—falling at the feet of Jesus.
- Has there ever been a time when you felt so needy that you fell to your knees? If yes, when? If not, why not?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 8:40-56 (ESV)
40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Petersaid, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!”46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What are the similarities between Jairus and his daughter’s situation and the bleeding woman’s situation? Note the repeated words in verses 42, 43, and 48.
- What are the differences between the way Jairus approached Jesus and the way the woman approached Jesus?
- Are you more like Jairus or the bleeding woman in the way you approach God, both in your needs and in your stature in life?
- In this passage, what do you learn about Jesus’ character, his ability, his power, and his love? What about God’s character or nature do you need to be reminded of the most today?
- If Jesus were to say one thing to you today, would it be “Your faith has made you well” or “Don’t be afraid, only believe”? Why?
RESPOND TO GOD
In this story, a daughter who was passionately loved by her father died at the same time that a destitute woman reached out to Jesus in a desperate act of faith. Jesus loved them both and in power and gentleness made them both well. His compassion and power gave new life to a lost little girl and transformed a woman from desolate outcast to adopted daughter of God. Jarius and the bleeding woman’s ability to acknowledge need and turn to Jesus changed their lives forever. He can change our lives, too, if we humble ourselves to admit our needs, both physical and spiritual, and fall at his feet in faith.
- Confess your fears to God and admit the times your fear overwhelms your faith.
- Spend some time at Jesus’ feet and acknowledge your needs and the needs of those you love.