Requirements For Faith 3 - Jairus & The Bleeding Woman
Updated: Jan 13, 2020
Chan Gin Kai
Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. (Luke 8:40-53)
Jairus was a synagogue ruler, an important man respected by the community. The woman was a nobody, and because she was bleeding (menstruating), she was considered unclean according to Jewish laws. Jairus was probably wealthy, but the woman had spent all her money in her search for a cure (Mark 5:26). Jairus’ daughter had enjoyed 12 years of life. The woman had been sick for 12 years.
They couldn’t be more different on the outside. But they had similar hearts.
A Desperate Heart
Jairus was an important man, but “he fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him”. The religious community was getting divided about Jesus. There were some among the Pharisees, teachers and synagogue rulers who were open to find out more about Jesus, but the majority have turned against him. In approaching Jesus, Jairus had chosen a side, different from most of his religious colleagues. But if this could save his only daughter, he was willing to do it. He was desperate.
The bleeding woman had suffered physically and financially from her sickness. She also suffered in her family life; she could not have sexual relations with her husband (forbidden in their laws) and she could not have children. She suffered socially because anyone who touched her would be unclean too. All of these caused her tremendous emotional suffering as well. When she was found out, she “came trembling and fell at his (Jesus’) feet”. She was desperate.
Desperation has the ability to humble us. It helps us see what we’ve been blind to and forces us to finally listen. Our confidence in ourselves gets shattered and we are pushed down to our knees. As we struggle in the pit of despair, do we finally fall at Jesus’ feet?
Jairus and the bleeding woman’s desperation pushed them to battle through their obstacles so they could come to Jesus.
A desperate heart is required for faith to fall at Jesus’ feet.
A Believing Heart
The bleeding woman “came up behind him (Jesus) and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.” (Luke 8:44) She believed that Jesus emanated power, and even the mere touch of the edge of his cloak was sufficient to heal her. When Jesus found her, Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” (Luke 8:48) Jesus helped her to see that it was not his cloak that was special, but her faith. It was her belief in the power of Jesus.
When someone came from Jairus’ house to tell him that his daughter had died and there’s no need to bother Jesus anymore, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8:50) Jairus believed what Jesus said and brought him to his house, where Jesus healed his daughter.
We need to believe in Jesus and his power. He wants us to put aside our fears and believe in him. He can heal us from our ailments, our troubles and our sorrows. Do we pray without believing? Does our unbelief stop us from praying?
A believing heart is required for faith that heals.
A Resilient Heart
Anyone who touched the bleeding woman would be considered unclean. Yet she squeezed through the crowd and touched Jesus’ cloak secretly. She was hoping that she would not be seen, but Jesus deliberately wanted her to reveal herself.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. (Luke 8:45-47)
She had already been healed, and there was no need for Jesus to expose her. But Jesus wanted her to face the crowd and her fears. He didn’t only want her to be healed; he wanted her to regain her confidence as well. He wanted to publicly lift up her faith.
Jairus had to face his fears and sceptics too. When Jesus visited his house, he saw the people (professional mourners) crying for his dead daughter.
“Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. (Luke 8:52)
Jesus didn’t have to tell them to stop wailing or that she’s not dead. But again, he wanted to bring the people’s scepticism to the fore so that Jairus could face it.
There will be mockers, doubters and haters. Sceptics will laugh at for our faith, naysayers will discourage our change, and persecutors will challenge our actions. God wants us to learn to face our fears and our opposers. We need to develop resilient hearts.
Resilient hearts are required for faith that silence doubters.
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Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".