Faith in the King's Authority. Sunday Dec 27th Sermon.
Good morning Connection Church!
It is good to see you all again! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. It was so great to be able to serve the community this year through food and a service!
It is a beautiful thing to gather with the Church on the Lord’s Day. We have gotten to sing together, learn truths together, and now we are going to read the Word of God and hear it preached. Then we will get to close in a time of corporate prayer together.
Open with me to Matthew 9:18-26. As you turn there, I just wanted to remind you of what we have covered so far. In our study of Matthew we have seen that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophesy given in the Old Testament. God has sovereignly brought all things about. This is God’s divine plan of redemption. Jesus has come to save sinners like you and I. Jesus is the only one who can save sinners. We have seen Jesus’ authority over sickness of various kinds. Jesus has shown His authority over nature and demons. Jesus has authority over sin. Jesus calls us to follow Him and we must respond to that call. We saw last week that Jesus cares deeply for His sheep. He is a good shepherd who knows His followers and cares for their well being.
Because we take scripture to be the ultimate authority for all we say and do, will you stand with me out of respect for the reading of God’s Word.
Matthew 9:18–26 ESV
While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district.
Let’s pray together.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you for today. We thank you for the ability to gather together on the Lord’s day and worship you. I pray that today our worship would be pleasing to you. We desire that you would be pleased with what we say and do. Continue to grow us in the knowledge of Your Word, and make us obedient to you. Help these people to grow in obedience and faith in you.
Lord, help us to have faith in You. We know that faith itself is a gift from you. So Lord, give us the faith to trust what you say and what you will do. Help me today to be faithful in declaring Your Word. Please keep me from speaking anything against You or Your Word. Help me be a faithful shepherd to these people. Silence me Lord if I were to speak against you and what you have said.
We ask this in Jesus name, Amen.
As we introduce this passage, we see Jesus is still answering the Pharisees and John’s disciples about why His disciples do not fast. While Jesus is answering them, a ruler came to beg Jesus to heal his recently dead daughter. The gospel accounts of Mark and Luke give more details about this man. His name is Jairus. Jairus is a ruler in the synagog. He comes and begs Jesus to bring his dead daughter to life.
Mark and Luke record that the daughter had not just yet died but that her death was imminent. She was truly as good as dead. Jairus had left her to go and beg the one man who could do anything, to heal his little girl.
We see here, Jairus’ faith in Jesus.
Jairus’ Faith in Jesus.
Jairus had faith in Jesus. Jairus had faith in the Authority of Jesus. He believed that Jesus could heal his little girl. According to Luke, she was only twelve. Such a young age. But she was very ill, dying. Likely, Jairus and his wife had agonized over their daughter’s condition. Being a prominent man, he would have sought medical help. He would have sought out the best care. He was a leader in the synagog. He would have prayed. Begged God to save his little girl.
Jairus would have been like any father. He would have exhausted everything he could have to save his daughter. Nothing changed. She was dying. The funeral party was already there. Preparations were being made for the burial and funeral. Mourners had come. But Jairus evidently heard about Jesus. Perhaps he had heard of the leper or the paralytic. He had heard of Jesus and he was willing to go.
He left his daughter’s death bed and goes to the one man who has the power to save his little girl. “If Jesus could heal the leper, then He can heal my girl.” “If He can heal a centurion’s slave, he can heal my baby girl.” “If he can heal that paralytic, surely he can heal my little girl.” Jairus had enough faith to leave his daughter and go to Jesus. A last ditch effort, but still, it was faith.
It is important for us to see Jairus’ faith. He had faith that Jesus could save his daughter. He saw Jesus as his last hope for his little girl. I wish that we would see Jesus as the hope for those in need. If I could speak freely for a moment, I wish that we would do what Jairus did. I wish that we would go to the Lord to beg for healing for those we know. I fear that we are in danger of becoming a prayerless people. We worry and talk so much, but we approach Jesus with so little.
A few weeks ago we talked about commending those we know to God is prayer. Jairus had to travel to be able to talk to Jesus. We have the beautiful ability to take things to God in prayer. All we have to do is pray. But we pray so little. When was the last time we said, “Let us take it to the Lord in prayer.” When someone brings their struggles and trials to us, we do the lesser task of listening while we neglect the greater task of taking it to the Lord. Jairus went to Jesus. He begged Jesus to heal his daughter. We do not get any indication that Jairus knew who Jesus was, but still he went to Jesus.
But Jairus was not the only one who had faith in Jesus. As Jairus was bringing Jesus back to heal his little girl, a woman who had an issue of bleeding was there. She had been sick for twelve years in this way. She had tried everything, but we see in these verses the woman’s faith in Jesus.
The Woman’s Faith in Jesus.
She had faith in Jesus. She had faith in Jesus’ authority over sickness. Mark tells us that this woman’s bleeding had been going on for twelve years. She was ceremonially unclean. She spend all she had on visiting doctors to help cure her, but nothing could. But she had heard of Jesus. She had heard of how He had healed people. The news of the Leper and the Centurion’s slave and the Paralytic had spread. Jesus’ fame had spread. She knew that she was unclean, but so was the Leper. Jesus touched him. Maybe if she could just touch Him, she would be clean.
Yes, that was it. If she could just touch Jesus, she would be made well. The gospel’s include such an interesting account of this. They record what she was thinking. She had said to herself “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Even just touching His garment. Yes, that was all it would take. This man of God had power. He had authority. Everyone was speaking of it. They had been marvelling at how much authority this Jesus had. Ever since He spoke on the mountain, people had been marveling at the authority of this Jesus. He was not like the scribes and Pharisees. They had no authority, but Jesus had an abundance.
She worked her way through the crowd. Jairus was there with Jesus. He was speaking to Jesus about his dying daughter. The woman moved in closer. She knew by law she should not touch Jesus, but desperation drove her on. She had wasted all her money on doctors for twelve years. Just the tassel on Jesus’ cloke. She reached out. This was it. She touched His garment. Instantly she was healed.
Jesus turns and His eyes fall on her. Fear flashes through her. She knows that she was unclean. She just touched a Rabi. She was unclean. She by her touch would have made the clean person unclean. But she had no idea who she had touched. She had been concerned with her bleeding. I don’t think she had any idea who it was who was standing before her. She had not just touched a Rabi. She had touched God. Had she known this, she would have been infinitely more terrified.
“Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.”
Jesus shows mercy. Jesus commends her faith. What a story.
We marvel at this text because the woman had such great faith. This is true, she had incredible faith. Jesus even commends her faith. But let’s do the thing we gather to do. Let’s look closer at Jesus. Jesus has agreed to go with Jairus. The woman touches the fringe of Jesus’ garment. Just a light touch and she is healed. Jesus heals her without any effort. She reaches out and is healed by the slightest touch from Jesus’ cloke. What power must Jesus have?
Then there is the awe inspiring care that Jesus has. He looks to this woman and in mercy commends her faith. He heals her and then commends her for her faith. But look at how He refers to her. He calls her daughter. Such an intimate name. He refers to her with love and affection. Jesus, God in the flesh, calls this woman daughter. This is such a beautiful parallel. Jairus is there out of concern for His daughter. Jesus heals his “daughter” out of concern for her. We see the compelling love of fathers for their children. Jesus out of deep compassionate love has made this woman well. It is so beautiful to see the tender care that Jesus has for His children.
This life is full of so much pain and struggle. Life is filled with sickness and death. But our Heavenly Father loves us. He has a deep compassion for His children. He will not abandon us. If nothing else, I hope that you see in this story that you can run to God. He is a sure refuge for you. You can rest in the shelter of His wings. The King will watch over you. Like little children we can come to Jesus.
There is a fairly common misconception I want to address in regards to this text. I have heard it said before that the law demanded this woman be stoned for touching a Rabi. But when Jesus pardoned her, he was violating the law out of love for her. It is a touching example. Jesus was so much more concerned for this woman than He was for the law. He was willing to ignore the law in order to show love!
And people go wild with excitement and clapping because it sounds so nice to us, doesn’t it? Yeah that sticky law. Jesus ignored it. Some very famous pastors, like Pastor Steven Furtick, have even said that “Jesus broke the law for love.” But hold on, didn’t we cover in Matthew 5 that Jesus said not one dot or line would pass away from the law?
Matthew 5:17–20 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus did not come to do away with, ignore, or break the law. In fact, He came to fulfill it. Jesus could not have broken the law because breaking the law is sin. Jesus cannot sin. He was sinless. Saying Jesus broke the law in this story is saying that Jesus sinned and it destroys the gospel! Saying Jesus sinned is saying that He deserved the cross! But the most important part of the cross is that sinless Jesus died in the sinner’s place!
No Beloved, Jesus did not break the law. What happened here was so much more beautiful than that flawed example. What happened here was what happens with God Himself steps into our lives. What happened here is a picture of the gospel. When the unclean woman touched Jesus, she did not make Him unclean. No! When the unclean woman touched Jesus, He made her clean! Just as He did with the Leper, the touch of the King had made the unclean, clean! He had made her clean.
This is the gospel! This is not Jesus breaking the law for something better than the law. This is the King of the universe making an unclean woman clean. This is the gospel! We are unclean before God, sinners. But by the touch of Christ we are made clean. We are forgiven of our sins through the death of sinless Jesus Christ on the cross for us. Jesus did not break the law. Jesus here is showing His fulfilment of the law.
But after Jesus has healed with woman, He continues on with Jairus. He is on a mission. We see next that Jesus raises the girl to life.
Jesus Raises the Girl to Life.
Jesus has just healed the woman and is now approaching Jairus’ home. The funeral is happening. The mourners are outside wailing and playing their instruments. They are making a racked to show their sympathy with the family in this time of death and heartache. Jesus and Jairus approach. Jesus rebukes them and tells them to go away. “The girl is not dead but sleeping.”
They mock him. Jeering and laughing. What a wretched picture. But when they had been driven out of the house, Jesus goes into the room with the little girl. This is why Jairus had come to Jesus. Jesus reaches out, takes the girl by the hand and she sits up. Just a touch and the dead girl is alive. She gets up, and likely is embraced by her parents, weeping at the joy of having their daughter restored to them. In His continued care for her, Mark and Luke record that He commanded them to give her food, because she was hungry.
Who is this man? He at a touch can bring life back into the dead. Who is this Jesus? He has authority over death. He speaks and people are healed. People touch the hem of his garment and sickness leaves them. He touches the girl’s hand and she comes back to life. This is our God. The one who has authority over all. The Sovereign King of creation. The one who made all, and has come to save sinners like you and I.
We are like the little girl, dead in our trespasses and sins. But Jesus in His mercy and kindness has taken us by the hand and brought us to life. We can have hope because we serve the one who is in complete control. He is King. He is seated on the throne. He is ruling over all. He has command over death and the grave. We can have hope.
But there is one thing I want to address in these verses before I move on. If you have been raised like I was, you likely heard this passage preached on many times. Likely you heard preachers from pulpits like this, about how faith is necessary for healing. Since it was the woman’s faith that healed her from the issue of blood. The reason we don’t see healing like this anymore is because we do not have the faith! Time and again this passage would be brought up when someone would be prayed for as the reason there was no healing. “You simply don’t have the faith to be healed.” “If you only had the faith, you would be healed.”
The woman’s great example of faith would be brought up again and again in that way. “See, her faith has made her well, so you simply must have faith and then you will be healed.” But is that really was this passage is saying? Are we really supposed to muster up faith within ourselves in order to achieve physical healing? Is the reason I still wear glasses because I don’t have enough faith? Is the reason that anything bad happens to us directly tied to the level of faith we have? No.
This is a lie. It is a lie that tries to turn faith into a work. It says that you must muster up within yourself this faith, and then nothing bad will ever happen to you. This is garbage, and it hurts people. If you are here and you have been taught that, have hope, it is not true. The Bible teaches that faith is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8) Faith is not something you have to work really hard to do, and if you do it enough you can be rich, healthy, and nothing bad will ever happen to you. NO! Faith is what carries us through the hard times.
We saw just a couple weeks ago that Jesus Himself said we must be ready for hardships if we are to follow Him. Do not buy into this lie that is called the prosperity gospel. It is a hopeless false gospel. And we can see that in this passage. Jesus commended the woman for her faith, but let me ask you this: did the little girl have faith that Jesus would raise her? Was it her faith that brought her back from the dead? No, she was dead. It was the divine touch of Jesus that saved her.
Listen to me please, if you are sick and need healing, you can go to Jesus and trust Him with the results. Even if He does not heal you, you can rest in Him. If you pray for healing and the healing doesn’t come, it is not because you did not work hard enough. It is because sometimes Jesus says no.
But this should encourage us to go to Him in prayer. We should be encouraged by the fact that Jesus knows best. He knows what we need even better than we do. He knows what will bring God the most glory. How many martyrs have prayed to be spared, but boldly walked to the gallows to be murdered for their faith? The number is countless. Our faith is not in the fact that Jesus will always heal us every time. We know that is not true. But our faith is in the fact that Jesus will always do what is best. He is sovereign. He knows all, and is all powerful. We can trust in him. We can have faith in Jesus no matter what happens.
Do You Have Faith in Jesus ?
So now I must ask you, do you have faith in Jesus? Are you here and trusting in Him? He alone has authority over sin and death. You can trust Him. Do you need to place your faith in Him today?
Faith for Healing ?
What about faith for healing? We know that not every prayer is answered “yes,” but we know that we serve a God who is capable of healing people. He has authority over sickness, and over death. If you are sick, we want to pray for you today. We trust Jesus with the outcome, but we know He can heal those who are sick.
Faith for Others ?
What about faith for others? Who do you know who needs to be saved or healed? Jairus came on behalf of his daughter. You can come and we can pray for those you know who need prayer.
As we close, we are going to close a little differently. Every week I try to make it clear that you can come forward for prayer. I try to emphasize that we would love to pray with and for you. But today, we are going to make a special time for it. This is a shorter message than I normally preach, but I want to give time for prayer. We are still a smaller group, so we are going to take time and pray together.
• Is there anyone here who is not saved, but wants to surrender their lives to Jesus?
• Is there anyone here who needs prayer for healing?
• Is there anyone here who needs prayer for someone they know?
Let’s close together by prayer for one another.
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