Thursday April 4, 2019
Today’s Focus Some “wow!” moments
Today’s Scripture Reading Luke 8:40-56
40 On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him. 42 His only daughter,[f] who was about twelve years old, was dying.
As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. 43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding,[g] and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
49 While he was still speaking to her, a messenger arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. He told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
50 But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.”
51 When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, James, and the little girl’s father and mother. 52 The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
53 But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died. 54 Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, “My child, get up!” 55 And at that moment her life[h] returned, and she immediately stood up! Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were overwhelmed, but Jesus insisted that they not tell anyone what had happened.
Daily Reflection Pastor’s reflection
We have seen throughout this week Luke’s desire to show just how inclusive Jesus was in proclaiming “release” to the world; but these two stories would have absolutely set the 1st century Jewish church on fire!
The purity laws which had guided the lives of Jewish people were designed by God to keep the Jewish people clean and as free from disease as possible which allowed them to thrive when other cultures were sick an ill. An entire section of the Jewish rules on “keeping clean” is devoted to restrictions with women who are menstating. Similarly touching or having any kind of dealing with a dead body would have rendered a person unclean and unable to be social situations for more than a week. Yet in both of these situations Jesus was moved to bring healing, life, and wholeness to these two people in need regardless of the governing laws and cultural views regarding who is clean and who is not. If in fact Jesus is so moved to reach out to people who are deemed as “the other” in their culture, should we allow cultural barriers to stand in our way of extending hospitality and love to people who are different than we are?
Some questions for reflection
- Many people are amazed when they hear that a woman was not allowed to touch a holy man, let alone a woman who was bleeding being allowed to touch a holy man. It seems “foreign” to our 21st century ears, but I’m wondering if you could think of a situation that might be regarded in the same light in our time.
- Why do you suppose Jesus instructed the little girl’s parent to not tell anyone about what happened? What do you think the pro’s and cons to this point may be?
Today’s discipleship challenge
I’d like you to really think about who in our culture you might find “offensive” just for being who they are. Perhaps it might be based on culture, color, creed, economic status, or the way in which they live. Ask God to help guide your heart to “see” Christ living inside the very people who you find offensive.
Grant, O God, that Your holy and life-giving Spirit may move every human heart; that the barriers dividing us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; and that, with our divisions healed, we might live in justice and peace; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.