June 11, 2023
For context, you might find it helpful to read Matthew 9:18-26, as well as the suggested passages within the text of the sermon.
Our reading in Matthew shows us how Jesus was the object of the ruler's faith. Luke tells us that this ruler's name was Jairus. It is likely that he had heard about how Jesus raised the widow's son in Nain. We know this because the gospel of Luke was written in chronological order. The story of Jairus is in chapter 8, and the story of the widow's son in Nain is in chapter 7. Read Luke 7:11-17. So, in Matt. 9:18 Jairus says to Jesus: "My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." What an expression of faith! But notice that he acted on his faith by searching for Jesus and asking Him to come and raise his daughter. Jesus raised the widow's son just by touching his coffin and telling him to arise. Jairus had faith in Jesus' power and authority over death. If He could raise the widow's son, surely He could raise his daughter. Imagine yourself being there - would you have been among those who laughed at Jesus or would you have quietly watched in awe and anticipation as Jesus went into that house where the girl was lying?
These stories are written for us, so that our faith can grow, and that we learn to act on our faith.
Faith comes by the word of God. Jairus' faith in Jesus came by hearing the testimony about the widow's son. He was also there to witness the healing of the woman with the flow of blood, (her story kind of interrupts the narrative about Jairus ). Witnessing the woman's healing would surely have strengthened his faith even more. Remember, the Bible tells us that at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, when he was in Nazareth, He could not do many miracles there, because of their unbelief- their lack of faith. Jesus has the power, but that power is activated through our faith. It was a similar situation for Abraham, by the way. Rom. 4:16 tells us this in regards to Abraham: "the promise depends on faith." James 2:26 tells us that faith without works is dead. In other words, you must prove your faith by your actions.
Let's visit the story of the woman with the flow of blood. She said to herself "If! only touch his cloak, I will be made well." Another great expression of faith! She likely heard the testimonies of those that Jesus had healed before. She had faith in Jesus' power over sickness and disease. She acted on that faith by fighting through the crowd ( even though everyone around her would have considered her as "unclean," according to Jewish law). She did what she had to do to get close enough just to touch Jesus' cloak. I picture her pushing people, or maybe even crawling through the crowd. And what did Jesus say to her? "Your faith has made you well." This is a prime example of how faith can activate the power of God in your life. Let me read Luke's account of this woman's story. Read Luke 8:43-48 Let me read verse 46 from that passage again. The woman's faith activated the power of God to heal her.
The Bible tells us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever and He is no respector of persons. What He did for Abraham, Jairus' daughter and the woman with the flow of blood, He can do for us. Ask yourself - how strong is your faith? Do you step out in faith in obedience to God? Remember, like Abraham, we are all on a faith journey as we go through life. The most important thing we can do is to nurture our faith, to help it grow and strengthen. How do we do that? By getting into the word of God. Read it, study it, know it, memorize it. Believe God, and act on our faith. We are to follow the example of Abraham and live our lives in accordance with our faith.