What did you like about Tamara’s story? What helps her deal with her sickness? How is Tamara’s journey with cancer different from those who have cancer but don’t know Jesus?
In our story of Jesus this morning, Jesus is by the Sea of Galilee where he’s been teaching the people all about who God is and what the kingdom of heaven is all about. Jesus is doing this because he cares so much about the people and he wants them to know how much God loves them and how he wants them to live together so everyone will want to know who God is when they see how they live together.
Jesus had been on the other side of the sea, but crossed over because the people there were scared of him after he healed a man filled with evil spirits. But a whole crowd of people follows Jesus to learn more about God and see Jesus do more miracles. In the crowd is an important man named Jairus, whose young daughter’s really sick. Jairus comes up to Jesus and pleads with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” Many of you know what it’s like being sick and to go through times of suffering. One important lesson I’ve learned is that Jesus meets us during those times; he comes close to us so that we can feel his presence. Jesus loves us deeply and cares when we’re suffering. This is why Jesus goes with Jairus to see his sick dying daughter.
As Jesus goes with Jairus, there are people crowded all around them, getting in the way, bumping each other and even Jesus. Remember, everybody wants to be close to Jesus and hear about God and the kingdom of heaven and maybe even see Jesus do more miracles. In the crowd is a woman who has been sick for twelve years. During that time, she spent all her money going to doctors, trying medicines and hoping the doctors will heal her, but nothing helped and now she has no money left. Her only hope is a miracle and Jesus can do miracles; he’s healed so many people already, maybe he can heal her too.
She quietly moves through the crowd, getting closer and closer to Jesus, thinking to herself, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” I can only imagine how scared she must be and yet at the same time, holding with all her might onto the hope that Jesus can heal her. Suddenly, Jesus is right there in front of her and she quickly reaches out and touches his robe. Right away the woman feels Jesus’ power flow into her body and she knows instantly that she’s healed! Can you imagine how she feels, being healed after twelve years of being sick. Hallelujah!
Then Jesus stops and turns around, asking, “Who touched my clothes?” Jesus felt power leaving him and he’s wondering who it was that had such faith that when they touched him, they were immediately healed. We know it’s the woman who just got healed, and we also know now that it’s Jesus’ power that healed her. Can you imagine how scared the woman is as she realizes that Jesus is looking for her. The woman knows that she has to tell Jesus what has happened. She comes and falls at Jesus’ feet and, trembling with fear, tells him the whole truth. She knows she received Jesus’ healing power without his permission and she’s scared that Jesus might take it away again.
But remember who Jesus is. He’s the Son of God who has come to bring healing and hope into the world. The greatest healing Jesus brings is healing from our sin. God created us to have a relationship with him; he created us very good. There was no sickness or disease or sin, but Adam and Eve decided they wanted to do things their own way and be like God. But instead their choice, and so often our own choices brought sin, disease and even death into the world. Jesus comes to bring healing, healing from our sin when he goes to the cross and takes our sin there and takes the punishment for our sin on himself. He dies, but three days later, to show the world that he has the power to defeat sin and death, rises from the grave. Jesus is the one who is life and gives life brings healing and hope.
Jesus also came to show us what the kingdom of heaven is like, a place where there is healing of our bodies, minds and souls. Jesus can easily heal the woman’s sickness and does so because he cares and he’s able to. We’re now called to bring the news of hope and healing into the whole world, beginning right here, that Jesus loves us and can heal us from whatever makes us sick, whether in our bodies, our minds or our souls. Jesus turns with love to the woman and I can see him taking her face in his hands and looking her straight in the eyes, face to face, tells her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Then a messenger comes from Jairus’ home with the horrible news that his daughter has died. Jesus simply tells Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” What I love about Friendship group is how you hear these words of Jesus and really live them out. Jesus keeps on going to Jairus’ house and when he gets there, he goes to the daughter’s room where she’s lying on her bed. Jesus takes her by the hand and says, “Little girl, I say to you get up!” Right away she gets up out of bed and begins to walk around! We see that Jesus can not only heal, but that he has power even over death! Jesus is Lord over everything as he later on rises from the dead himself to show he’s Lord even over death. Both Jairus and the sick woman come to Jesus because they trust that he can change their lives. This is why we come to Jesus too, for healing, hope and life change, for forgiveness, grace and acceptance.
The hard question is, “Why do some people get healed and I don’t?” What we do know is that Jesus can change our lives even if we aren’t given the healing we’re asking for. Jesus hears our prayers and has compassion for us and loves us deeply. When we hurt, Jesus weeps for us and with us. Jesus is also there to comfort us and hold us safe. Jesus is with us in our suffering and pain; he’s there to comfort and hold us safe. The last words Jesus gives us before he went back to heaven are, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We don’t know why Jesus heals some of us, but not all of us. We do know that God wants all his children healed and that when Jesus returns there will be no more sickness, disease or death, that our bodies, minds and souls will be made new again. We know that it’s not because our faith is weak that we’re not healed, even the Apostle Paul, one of the great heroes of the faith was given a thorn in his flesh that was never taken away. As Tamara Jolee said, because Jesus is with us, we can surrender to Jesus no matter what happens, he will give you the strength you need, and through you, in how you live out your faith, you show us how faithful Jesus is and how much he loves us, as we see your faith and trust in Jesus.