The Ageless Compassion of Christ
February 17, 2019 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:
Topic: companionship Verse: Luke 8:40–8:56
“The Ageless Compassion of Christ”
Theme: Faith in Jesus Christ brings hope out of despair and delivers the sinner from the consequences of sin.
The impact of sin in this world is immeasurable. The brokenness of lives place on display the misery that sin produces. Regardless of how alluring, desirable, pleasure-promising sin may seem, it’s fruit is always the same – misery of mind, destitution of soul, emptiness of heart, decay of body, and most importantly distance from the Creator with whom we have been created to enjoy intimacy. Wandering in the wasteland that is sin, sinners are lost – confused and corrupted. Personal sin produces the consequences of sin and we know it all too well. However, the presence of sin in the world generally produces devastation generally: sickness, deterioration, and misery are the commonplace experiences – even among the most righteous among us. We not only struggle with the consequences of our own sin, but also the sin of others as well as the general atmosphere of a fallen world.
The ruinous effects of sin have only one solution. Despite the false teaching of many – that religious efforts, good works, church blessing, family of origin, or social justice or economic equity will “bring in a better world,” sin will continue to destroy, kill, and damn sinners. The only hope for sinners is the power of God’s grace exclusively made available through faith in Jesus Christ. When a sinner turns to Christ, they discover a deliverance from both sin and its consequences that bring eternal blessing. Faith in Jesus Christ brings hope out of despair and delivers the sinner from the consequences of sin.
I. The Heaviness in Our Struggle – 8:40-43
A. The Impact of Sin is Indiscriminate – vv. 40-41
- We are introduced to a man whose life is crumbling before his very eyes – a wealthy man, a influential man, a religious man who is in the depths of despair.
- Luke lets us know that “As Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him.”
- The people had been blessed beyond imagination by the grace of God being displayed so powerfully in their midst through the preaching, teaching, and miracle-working provided by Jesus.
- There was clear evidence that there was one man in particular that “had … been waiting for Him” – “And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house.”
- Luke uses a term to begin v. 41 that causes us to see that this man’s approaching Jesus was unexpected or surprising – “καὶ ἰδοὺ” – “And behold!”
- This man was perhaps the most influential man in the area as “an official of the synagogue” – meaning that he was in charge of the “opposition party” against Jesus – cp. Luke 13:14
- The point Luke is making here is that not only does sin impact all people, Jesus is not prejudice against even His enemies; but, is willing to help anyone who turns to Him.
- Sin impacts all of us – young or old, rich or poor, of position or not, man or woman, everyone struggles under the impact of sin – it is indiscriminate – plaguing us all, even the “greatest” among us!
B. The Impact of Sin is Incessant – vv. 42-43
- Not only is it indiscriminate – it is incessant; that is, sin never gives up!
- We are told that this official “had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying.”
- The impact of sin is constantly trolling, seeking to claim additional conquests, plaguing, probing, penetrating every home seeking to destroy everything it possibly can.
- Here you have a young woman who had just come of age – likely had been recently had a “bat mitzvah” where she became a daughter of the law – a ceremony around the age of twelve.
- Yet, we are introduced – not coincidentally – to a woman who had been struggling with a disease for twelve years – “And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone …”
- She had gone through all of her wealth seeking a cure for her disease – cp.. Mark 5:26
- She had likely lost her family and was an outcast – as unclean ceremonially as a leper – cp. Leviticus 15:25-27; Deuteronomy 24:1
- She was a social outcast, lonely and ravaged by living in a cursed, sin-laced world.
- Both of these women were suffering under the incessant impact of sin in the world – the younger woman was dying, the older woman had been plagued for as long as the younger was alive – demonstrating the continuity of sin’s impact.
- The young woman, who otherwise had a full life ahead of her and wanted to live but couldn’t as she was at the point of death; the older woman who had struggled for twelve years desired to die but couldn’t - .
C. The Impact of Sin is Incurable – v. 43b
- Neither of these women were able to find a solution – the young girl “… was dying,” and the older women “could not be healed by anyone”
- Like all of us ravaged by sin, we cannot affect a transformation – we cannot escape our bondage and defilements from sin in our lives.
- We might yearn to be different, but like a dying little girl, or a diseased, incurable woman, we have little hope – only a heaviness in our struggle with sin, against sin, and because of sin.
- Even as Scriptures clearly declare: “the person who sins will die” – cp. Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 6:23.
- Does a person’s social status affect dependency upon Jesus? Why or Why not?
- Why do some people turn to Jesus only as a last resort?
- What does Jesus’ willingness to go with Jairus indicate to you about Jesus?
II. The Hope in Our Savior – 8:44-50
A. The Prestige of Christ – v. 44 (cf. 41)
- Both of these struggling people had known of Christ Jesus and were desperate to get to Jesus – the woman “… came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak …”
- Consider the fact that Jairus had been in a place where the works of Jesus had been witnessed and even argued over – Luke 4:31-37.
- Hi power over death had been displayed already – having heard of the situation with the young man Jesus had raised in Nain – cp. Luke 7:14.
- Also, the older woman had heard of what had happened to others who had managed to touch Jesus’ garments – cp. Luke 6:19
- The power that Christ had exerted in the lives of others had caused these two people to come rushing to Christ that their lives might know that same power.
- Our lives ought to be so radically transformed that people who observe us do not think we are “lucky,” but that we have a God who can do such great things, that He could do it for them as well!
B. The Power of Christ – vv. 44b-46
- As a result of their coming to Christ, Jesus did not disappoint!
- We are told that Jesus immediately had begun to go with Jairus in order to help his daughter – cp. v. 42b
- Likewise, we are told that the bleeding woman was dramatically healed – “and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.”
- Jesus desired to call attention to this woman’s healing for one particular reason – her complete and full restoration – “And Jesus said, ‘Who is the one who touched Me?’”
- The point to examine here is not whether Jesus knew or did not know, but why Jesus desired to identify the person who was healed – “And while they were all denying it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.’”
- Jesus, however, was insistent on identifying the person – “But Jesus said, ‘Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.’”
- The resource that was unobtainable anywhere else was located directly in Jesus Christ – and it did not disappoint – cp. Romans 5:5; 10:11.
C. The Priority of Christ – vv. 47-50
- Jesus’ motivation for wanting to expose who it was who touched Him was to provide evidence of two things.
- First, “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.” - Jesus desired to allow the woman’s healing to be as famous as her previous ostracism by the disease – the deeper the reputation for our sin provides the greater the glory that our Savior receives for saving us!
- Second, “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’” - Jesus desired to allow His grace to be placed on display – not only in the healing of the malady of the hemorrhage, but the deliverance from the sin that causes such maladies.
- “made you well” [σέσωκέν] – is the word “saved” – cp. v. 36 and thus she can “go in peace.”
- Again, Jesus priority of bringing glory to God through the exercise of the power of God to save is once again seen as He allows Himself to be “detained” from going to Jairus’ house.
- As a result, “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.’”
- We are told that Jairus’ faith was not only in Jesus power to heal, but also in Jesus’ power to raise from the dead – cp. Matthew 9:18
- Jesus responds to this man’s faith – “But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, ‘Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.’”
- Jesus’ intention was to deliver this young woman from the “wages of sin” – and make her “well” [σωθήσεται] – save her.
- How can believers limit the role of superstition in our daily walk with Christ?
- What does Jesus’ insistence on publicly identifying the woman tell you about Jesus’ desire for the glory of God to be made known through our lives?
- What about this woman’s experience tells you that Jesus is interested in more than alleviating physical or social ills?
III. The Help in Our Salvation – 8:51-56
A. The Authentication of Salvation – vv. 51-53
- Knowing exactly the situation with Jairus’ daughter, he made his way to the house – “When He came 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.”
- This is the first time that “Peter and John and James” are taken apart from the rest of the 12 disciples.
- It seems that since every word is established in the mouth of two or three witnesses, Jesus takes these men inside to serve that very purpose.
B. The Authority to Save – v. 54-56
- We are told that “they were all weeping and lamenting for her …” - the funeral had already begun – as we see in the following verses – and the chaos associated with a Jewish funeral had become intense.
- Jesus’ first command was that the mourners stop – “but He said, ‘stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.’”
- This is not a statement that they had misdiagnosed the girl, but that the difference that the Lord was going to make in her life was to prove as if she were merely asleep.
- In fact, Jesus here re-classifies death for a believer – providing a new perspective on death given His authority over it – it is temporary and thus the proper metaphor for the body in death is sleep.
- It was such a ridiculous concept to these people that “they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died.”
- This is NOT a commentary on the condition of the soul – which never loses consciousness in death – for it is separated from the body in death and is in the presence of the Lord – cp. 2 Corinthians 5:8.
- It is merely a description of the body – and thus, “He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘child, arise!’ And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately”
- The healing was so complete that “He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.”
- He then called upon the parents to not complicate His ministry by making known what He had done – “Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.”
- News about what had happened would certainly get out as the funeral had already begun, but He calls on them to not become engaged in publicizing the miracle – others would do that but not them.
- Why did Jesus take the three disciples into the room with him and the child’s parents?
- Why is death described as someone being asleep? How is this a comfort to the believer?
- Discuss what you think caused Jesus to instruct the parents to tell no one what had happened.