Some have called this the “miracle interrupted.” We have what starts out and ends as the story of Jesus healing Jairus’ dying daughter, yet sandwiched in the middle is the healing of the woman with the relentless flow of blood. At first glance, that “middle miracle” seems random and accidental -- maybe even an annoying distraction. But the Lord works deliberately, not randomly. And it was no accident that these two healings happened on this day, in this sequence, and are forever linked together. No other miracle story in the Bible is quite like this one. This is not a miracle interrupted, it is a double miracle -- and it has a double lesson for you and me.
These sketches/outlines are taken from messages delivered in SVCC's Sunday morning worship services.
Luke is writing to remind us that no power on earth can separate us from God’s love and protection. No storm, no demon, no stigma, no disease, can take His love away. Luke is painting a picture and emphasizing the contrast between light and dark, faith and fear. In today’s Scripture we see Jesus set a man free from a legion of woe, and then we see the response of the pathetically fearful crowd contrasted against the passionately faithful man.
In Luke 8, Jesus leads his disciples -- not into temptation, but directly into trouble. Through four stories, Luke shows Jesus teaching his closest disciples not to avoid trouble, but to actively engage it head-on. Jesus is the one who has His crew sail right into the storm. It is Jesus who chooses to land at a graveyard where the demon-possessed man cries out in bone-chilling agony. Jesus leads his friends smack into the awkward and embarrassing social situation of being touched by a woman who is “untouchable” and “unclean.” And it is Jesus who closes His disciples in a room with the lifeless corpse of a little girl.
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh” (Galatians 5.17 KJV)
Jesus recognized that there are those who hear, and those who really hear. I enjoy the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases Isaiah 6.9 in verse 10: “Their eyes are open, but they can’t see a thing. Their ears are open but they can’t hear a thing.” Do you know anyone like that? Do they live in your house? Do they wear your pajamas?
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4.9-19)
He Loves Us First.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (v9)
If love is demonstrated in sacrifice, in the manger is perfect love.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1.2-3)
O Come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer, Our spirits by thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy cloud of night, And death’s dark shadow put to flight
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel
Becoming a holy people is not a battle to eradicate sin, but to manifest God’s perfect love. For when God’s love is complete in you, sin is eradicated. Stop trying to stop sinning, and start walking in love.
Last week we talked about the fruit of the spirit “kindness.” This week we will explore “goodness.” The two overlap in meaning -- in fact, the Greek root word Paul uses for “kind” is often also translated as “good” in our English Bibles. But there is a distinction here in the list of the fruits of Spirit in Galatians 5.22-23. Paul listed both kindness and goodness as separate fruits of the spirit to emphasize their unique meanings.
How do you measure “spiritual success”? I once had a friend tell me that if I wanted to be successful as a minister that I had to first and foremost learn how to “ooze spirituality.” He was not a Christian, and even though he sincerely meant well, his analysis of spiritual success was both intriguing -- and disturbing. I just wanted to follow Jesus, not “ooze” anything!
Part 3 in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit
If we want to know how to live and die happy, we have to define happiness. I believe that happiness is knowing that your life matters, that you have a purpose, that your life counts for something. Does your life mean something? Do you know that you have a higher purpose than living day to day? In the end, will it make any difference whether you were here or not?