Text: Luke 8:40-56 | Listen to Message
Weak Faith In A Strong God
The story in this text of Scripture intertwines the lives of two very different people who had one thing in common: they each had a desperate medical condition that only Jesus could heal.
First, there was a Jewish man named Jairus who was the ruler of the local synagogue. He was wealthy, respected, and well-connected. But he had a twelve year-old daughter who was suddenly dying.
Second, we meet an unnamed older woman living in abject poverty as an outcast. She’s an untouchable because, for twelve years, her body won’t stop hemorrhaging blood. She’s tried everything, but no one and nothing can help her.
Both characters are desperate. Both are frustrated. But both are in a good place because, as R. Kent Hughes puts it, “Despair is commonly the prelude to grace” (Luke, p. 325). Apart from their desperation, neither of them would’ve sought out Jesus; but, because of their desperation, both risked everything and came running to him.
Now here’s the key: Jesus commanded and commended their faith in himself. Why? Because Jesus knows better than anyone it’s not the strength of your faith that matters; it’s the strength of what he can do as the object of your faith.
Aren’t you encouraged that you can come to Jesus just as you are – with feeble, fledgling faith – and experience all of his power and compassion anyway?
See, the faith of Jairus was opportunistic at best. He wasn’t a disciple at this point. He was coming to Jesus simply because he thought, “What have I got to lose?” And this woman? Talk about a superstitious, uninformed faith! She thought she could just touch the fringe of Jesus’ clothing and be healed – as if his garments had special powers of their own. But she, too, was coming with the thought, “What have I got to lose?” Neither person’s faith came remotely close to a Nicene Creed level conviction about the nature of Jesus and the meaning of his salvation. And yet…
Their despair was a prelude to grace because they let their despair drive them to the Savior!