Menu

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am

Who Is This That Even Disease & Death Obey Him Luke 8:40 - 56

October 13, 2019 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel According to Luke

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 8:40–8:56

Click here for a .pdf file that retains all of the original formatting. Easier to read.

40 And as Jesus returned, the multitude welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. 41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to entreat Him to come to his house; 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes were pressing against Him.
     43 And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him, and touched the fringe of His cloak; and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. 45 And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the multitudes are crowding and pressing upon You.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason 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 came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” 50 But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she shall be made well.” 51 And when He had come to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. 52 Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.” 53 And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. 54 He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” 55 And her spirit returned, and she rose immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

This is a story within a story.  It's a story about two daughters.  One daughter who has brought joy for 12 years, and one daughter who has had 12 years of constant sorrow.  Jesus is going to restore life to both of them.

We're in this massive chapter that has been written precisely to show us without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus possesses powers that only the creator of the universes can have, in 4 areas.  His voice, His words from His mouth, exert control over 4 areas in this chapter.  Physical creation.  Spiritual creation.  Disease.  Death.

He speaks and the wind and the sea obey His voice.  He has authority over the control of creation.  The created planet must obey His voice, His wishes.  He tells the wind to cease blowing and it ceases.  He tells the waves to be still, and they are still.

The men in the boat are more freaked out about that, than they were about the storm that was about to kill them.  "Who then is this, that even the winds and the seas obey Him?"  

Folks, that's a rhetorical question.  The answer is provided for us in the question.  Only God speaks and the wind and the sea obey.  That authority belongs to God alone.  Therefore;  Jesus IS God.

Next He exerts authority over the unseen world of angelic beings.  Spirit creatures who are in rebellion against God.  Demons and their leader, Satan.

He has a conversation with demons, spirit beings who are indwelling a human body.  Demons living inside of a man.  Lots of demons.  And they are completely under the authority of His voice, His words.  They must obey and come out of the man.

But they make a request of Him.  Please, Son of God, do not send us to be locked up in chains in the abyssos before the time.  Please, Son of God, let us depart the man and enter into a herd of pigs.  His voice approves the request and the demons immediately obey.  The pigs do a swine dive into the sea.  The man becomes well, re-clothed and in his right mind.

The people who live in the vicinity ask the unspoken question, who then is this, who speaks and the spirits must obey His authority.  Again the rhetorical question answers itself.  Only God has that authority.  And those folks aren't really up for a visit from God, and they entreat Him to leave.  They do not order Him away.  They beg Him to depart.  

Not really so very different from what Peter said when the fish were sinking his and his partners boats in chaper 5.  "Depart from me Oh Lord, for I am a sinful man."  Sinners have no comfort before a Holy God.  Most only want to flee.  

In our story this morning, two more people are going to witness the authority of the voice of Jesus over things that only God has authority of.  His voice will heal disease.  And His voice will call someone back from the dead.

And the rhetoric question will be "Who then is this, that disease flees at His voice and death becomes life at His voice?"

IF Luke can get us to answer those questions, or rather accept the answer, it doesn't matter what we say about it, the only thing left to do is bow down before the Lord of all created things and beg for fogiveness and then fall under His authority.

The authority is already in place.  Luke wants us to understand and respond.  He is Lord.  Lord of every created thing.  That requires a response from anyone who is in rebellion against that authority.

We talk a lot about free will.  We are free agents.  Yes, that's true, we are free to rebel, but the book tells us that doesn't end well.  Rebel all you want, He is Lord, and the day will come, and very soon, I'm finding out, when you will bow the knee to the authority He already has over you.

He is Lord of you in rebellion, and Lord of you in submission.  The difference is, those of us who have bowed the knee now have found Him to be a glorious, benevolent friend Lord who blesses us with every good thing.  He gets to choose what is good though.  

Ask anyone who has known Him intimately for 40 or 50 years how that's going for them.  I can answer for at least one person.  I am at peace.  I am satisfied with everything He has given me.  My life has been blessed.  I am fulfilled.  The only thing I lack and wait for, is seeing Him face to face.  All these people keep saying they're so sorry about my mom.  If they understood this book, they would envy what my mom now has!

Why would someone choose rebellion over that??  Keep the sin that's destroying your life?  Really?  And yet we spend most of our prayer time praying for hard heads and hard hearts, usually our own.

2 daughters.  12 years of joy, 12 years of sorrow.  Let's quickly walk through the two stories.  Luke is the master story teller.  It's easy to follow along.

40 And as Jesus returned, the multitude welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him.

First we need to pause here at the lead-in to the next story.  This sentence connects us from the Storm that was calmed and the Gerasene demoniac that was set free, to our current double story of Power over disease and death.  It just sets the stage for the next scene.  40 And as Jesus returned, the multitude welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him.

How interesting.  One side of a 13 mile wide lake has asked Him to depart, and the opposite side is waiting for His return and welcomes Him.  Let's think about that for a minute.  There might be something there for us.

What was the difference?  The Gerasene country was gentiles.  They had no pre-conceived notions of a messiah.  God shows up and it terrified them.  Demoniacs are a nuisance and dangerous, but you can work around that.  But God show up in your neighborhood and what do you do with that?

They beggged Him to depart.  But on the other side it's jews.  And they DO have preconceived albeit totally wrong notions of what Messiah will do when He comes.

This man heals all your sicknesses, sometimes he feeds us, he says amazing things in an amazing way, we don't get him, but he's mesmerizing to listen to, and he's going to conquer the world and israel is going to be at the top rung.  

He's going to crush Rome and make us a sovereign nation again.  Life is going to be awesome if we can make Him King!  They wanted a political messiah that would have a direct effect on their well being.  Free stuff.

Long story short, He didn't.  He refused to be their limited earthly King.  He told them His Kingdom wasn't of this world.  And they didn't beg Him to depart, they crucified Him.

Since we crucified the true Messiah, the world has been following false ones that they think can make their life perfect here in this fallen world, ever since.

When people think someone can give them free stuff, crowds form, and the welcoming committee is ready with the key to the city.  It's no different today.  A bunch of messiahs' promising free free free stuff for everybody.  

The same group that welcomed Him will murder Him when they don't get what they want.

Vs. 41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to entreat Him to come to his house; 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes were pressing against Him.

Mark says Jairus begged repeatedly.  He begged much, over and over.  Some guy wraps his arms around your feet and won't stop begging, it gets your attention.  

He was an official of the synagogue.  An important and well known, well respected man.  People knew him.  Jesus probably knew him, probably taught in that very synagogue.  He's an important guy.  Begging repeatedly is not how he usually gets things done.  This is irregular.  This is life or death.

Luke, the physician tells us she was dying.  She was in the throes of death.  Minutes from death.  Mark tells us she was at the end, barely hanging on.  Many translations say, she was at death's door.  This is as desparate as it gets.  A few breaths and she will be gone.  This is dire.

And when her dad hears that Jesus is back he runs to Jesus and begs Him to come.  NOW.  This is desperation and she may already be gone, it's that close.  The greek does an excellent job of relaying that death is very near, right at the door.

She is 12 years old.  So much life ahead of her.  How precious our 12 year olds are to us.  We look at them with such hope.  We want to give them everything so that they can have a good run at life.  

If you think about it, 12 is right before all the complications set in.  12 is that sweet moment of possibilities.  Sweet uncomplicated youth.  Still a child, but just ready to grow up and meet life head on.  

And then suddenly all those possibilities, all of that storehouse of joy and hope for parents is going to be shunted by death.  That's horrifying.  That's every dad's worst nightmare.  But this isn't a nightmare for Jairus, it's all very real.  He's on the brink of losing something most precious to him.  His 12 year old girl.  And we're told that she is his only daughter.

How dreadful.  And Jesus is willing.  They begin to go towards Jairus' house, but the crowd is huge and they can't move quickly through it.  But as He went, the multitudes were pressing against Him.  Poor Jairus.

This isn't unlike later when Lazarus is sick and Jesus stays a couple extra days where He's at so that Lazarus will have been dead 4 days when He gets to Mary and Martha at Bethany.  And Mary says Lord, if only you had come sooner.  But Jesus plan was in place.  It was by sovereign design that He was 4 days late.

We can sympathize with poor Jairus trying to drag Jesus through that crowd to his house.  But this even is designed by the sovereign will of God.  The people and the crowd, all wanting something, glad to see the man who gives them stuff, crowding around Him, holding Him back from moving fast to Jairus house . . . it's all part of God's design.  Part of His plan.

That crowd is there by God's plan and every inch forward is controlled by the plan of God.  Frustratingly slow sometimes, how slow God moves when we are compelling Him to hurry up!  And then the worst thing possible  happens.  Delay.  Moving at a snails pace.  Now stopped.

43 And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him, and touched the fringe of His cloak; and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.

What you need to know about this woman's condition is that she would be considered perpetually unclean.  And in that society that is a barrier from society not unlike having leprosy.  You are completely excluded from society.  An outcast.

She has probably lost her husband and family because of this.  It was a very sad thing, and she had suffered for 12 years with this.  Locked out of the social world.  She can't enter the synagogue.  Everybody keeps their distance.  Outcast.

So we have a synagogue official who everyone knows and he is at the top of their local social economy.  And this lady who is an outcast.  Where do you think the sympathy of the crowd would be?  A very popular man.  An important well revered man, and an outcast woman.

And she's on a mission.  She doesn't have the courage to speak to Jesus.  She isn't supposed to be anywhere near Jesus in that economy.  But this day she's desperate to at least touch Him.  Perhaps healing will come by just touching Him.  And so as the crowd passes by, she reaches out to touch the back of his robe.

Jesus is wearing the garb of a rabbi.  His robe and cloak would have decorative fringe.  Dingle balls.  That was the normal custom for a Rabbi, a teacher.  And she wants to touch the hem of his garment.  It's a commotion, nobody will call her out.  Now is the time, and she goes for it.

She touches the fringe and she can feel immediately that the hemorrhage has stopped.  She is healed.  Mission accomplished!  Oh, but wait.  The impossible is happening.  In spite of the pressing need of Jairus, Jesus stops dead in His tracks!

45 And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the multitudes are crowding and pressing upon You.”

We're going to have to read between the lines here from Peter's response and surmise that if it were today it might be more like;  Really??  Are you kidding me?  Everybody touched you!  Come on!  It's Jairus, come on!  Who touched you??

Actually He said who is the one.  There is one specific touch that is connected to that pronoun . . . Who?  

Can you imagine the tension of that moment.  A little girl is breathing her final breath.  She may be dead.  The only daughter of Jairus, a well repected synagogue official.  Jesus was moving toward her at a snail pace.  Now He's stopped and demanding to know who touched Him, when everybody touched Him.  It's quite a drama.  And it's about to get worse.  Progress has ceased.

46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.”

I think Jesus knows good and well who touched Him.  It says He was aware of what was in the heart of man.  Not all of His omniscience is veiled in His flesh.  I'm guessing He was looking right at her.

A popular man.  A powerful man.  A privileged man.  And an outcast woman.  She has no place, no rank in that society.  She's below the bottom.  Cast out.  But guess whose daughter she is?  Guess who loves her?

47 And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, and therein is her plan and desire.  She doesn't want an audience.  She's an outcast and so beat up she thinks she is too low too downtrodden to approach Jesus.  She wants to accomplish this in stealth mode.  Move in unseen, move out unseen.  

47 And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed.

This woman who is at the bottom of the food chain, outcast woman of no value to anyone.  She just wants to slink away unnoticed and try to put a life back together now that she's been healed.  But Jesus isn't having it.  She knows there's no escape.

Put yourself in her place for a moment.  You're already at the bottom and now Jesus is forcing you to admit that you're the cause of the respectable man's daughter dying while Jesus is detained.  You were invisible before, and now the only thing you want is to be more invisible.

She comes forward trembling and falls prostrate at His feet and tells her whole story, right in the front of God and everybody.  Literally.  The reason is she was desperate.  12 years of sorrow.  She believed there might be a chance.  And just touching the hem of His garment made her well.

She is exposed.  Prostrate.  What will He do to an outcast woman who stole a healing with no permission.  An unclean woman touches a Rabbi and now the Rabbi is also unclean.  Unless the Rabbi is the Son of God, and then it works the other way.  That touch didn't make Him unclean, it made her clean.  What will He do;

48 And He said to her, “Daughter,  It turns out God has daughters.  The story is about daughters.  Jairus daughter has died while God takes a time out to heal one of His daughters.  “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

What a flood of peace.  Healed, but not just healed;  Daughter.  What a lovely word to hear.  Suffering is finished, but that isn't anything compared to being accepted by the Son of God.  Daughter.

49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.”

Poor Jairus.  Jesus is delayed by some derelict woman who could touch Him another time and now what he fears most has happened.  Too late.  Too late.  His little daughter has perished while Jesus was delayed by another daughter.

What a horrible moment.  Those words you never want to hear.  Your daughter has died.  Too late.  Let the teacher go.  Face your grief.  The teacher can't help you now.  It's too late.

50 But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she shall be made well.”

The term, do not be afraid, or the shorter "fear not" occurs 103 times in the Bible.  Jesus used this phrase 14 times Himself.  And yet the Bible also says, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. in Proverbs 9:10

What is the answer to that tension.  Fear not.  Be afraid.  How does that work.  Here's how;  If you've given your heart to God and belong to Him, and have left this world and it's sin behind, then, God is for you.  And as Paul said, in Romans 8:31 if God is for us, who can be against us.

If you belong to God and your life is under the control of His sovereign care, then, fear not.  Bad things may happen.  Being a christian is no free ticket.  But no matter what happens, we know that God works all things together for good.

On the other hand though;  if you choose dis-obedience and rebellion, all of these verses that say "do not fear" are not for you.  If you are at war with God, if you have decided you love your sin more than you love God, be very afraid.  Fearful punishment is in the Bible so that you will be afraid.

Fear is the beginning of wisdom.  God uses a Godly biblical fear to steer some rebellers into obedience.  

In this verse though, we have a dad whose fear is based in the devastation of impending loss.  His fear is that his daughter who he rejoices in will die.  Every parents worse fear.  Our children bring us joy.  They are gifts from God and most dads would do anything to preserve a child's life.

The men have come from his house and said, it's too late.  Dispense with the teacher, it's too late.  There's nothing to be done now.  She has departed.

These people were schooled in death.  Blood ceases to flow.  The heart stops.  The body becomes ashen.  Rigor-mortis sets in.  They've seen it all before.  All of this girls vital signs have ceased.  No heart beat.  No breathing.  Ashen color.  She's gone.  And the report comes to Jairus.  But Jesus says;  “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she shall be made well.”

In view of the power just observed over disease a few moments ago, I hope that Jairus was comforted.  Power to heal the sick that only God has,  is on full display.

51 And when He had come to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother.

Of course He allows father and mother to be present.  And besides them, just 3 of the 12 disciples.  Peter and John and James receive extra privilege.  He is pouring His life into the 12.  But these three accompany Jesus to witness what He will do.  They are being groomed for leadership when He is gone.

52 Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her;

They were weeping and lamenting because they knew good and well that she was dead.  The grieving process that the jews were famous for had already begun.  Minutes after she was gone, they are weeping and lamenting her demise.

but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.”

Jesus says, stop weeping.  She isn't dead.  She's only asleep.  And they thought He was speaking as if a mad man.  And they are exactly right.  They know she's dead.  They know what death looks like.  This girl is departed.  Dead.  Anyone who says otherwise is a nutball.  A crazy person . . . unless they possess powers that God alone who speaks everything into existence from nothing is the person speaking.

Someone has well said, Jesus is either a scrambled egg, or He's God.  Only one person who ever walked the earth can say with a straight face, she isn't dead, she's asleep.  Quit weeping.  That's either insanity, or it's God who speaks those words.

They don't believe He is God, so they're going with wacko crazy person.

53 And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died.  Yeah, He's crazy.  He's off His rocker.  Insane person present.  Jesus is a scrambled egg.  

Mark at this point tells us He put them all out of the house.  They think He's nuts, He throws them out.

54 He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!”

Jesus removes the naysayers forcefully, and in the next moment, He is almost the tenderest we'll ever witness Him being.  The word He uses to call her from death back to life is intimate.  The greek is the equivalent of saying, little lamb, I say to you, arise.  

The same voice that called the worlds into being from nothing, calls out to the spirit of this little girl and says, arise.  Wake up, baby girl.  Time to wake up.

55 And her spirit returned, and she rose immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

Her parents are acting like she's a ghost.  They're so amazed that Jesus has to instruct them on the most ordinary care.  Give her something to eat.  She isn't a ghost.  Give her some food.  She's not only back, she's like any other ordinary kid, and she needs some food.

2 daughters.  One hideous and removed, one adored and well loved.  God loves them both.  Jesus took time to love them both.  In the process we see authority and power that only God has in all of the universes.  He alone can speak and drive out disease and repair a body to normal health.  He alone can call a spirit back and quicken a dead little body back to life.

We need to re-visit our rhetoric question and ask, who then is this that disease and death obey Him.

He rose from the dead.  He dwells in heaven with His father.  He offers us life.  He can quicken our dead spirits to life and remove our sin, as far away as the east is from the west.