Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday, July 16th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Corinthians 8, Psalm 120, 2 Chronicles 21-22
Today's scripture focus is Luke 8:40-48

Luke 8:40-48

English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus's Daughter

40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus' feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Jesus' Compassionate Power Part 1
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: Jesus Heals a Woman and a Girl

Two people out of this crowd that have legitimate faith. That man who was a ruler of the synagogue and a woman who was an outcast. And the contrasts are pretty clear. One is a man, one is a woman. One is rich, one is poor. One is revered and exalted, the other is vilified and despised. One is respected, one is rejected. One is used to being honored, one is used to being scorned. One has a twelve-year-old daughter dying, and the other has a twelve-year-old disease. One leads the synagogue, and the other is excommunicated from the synagogue. And here you see the Savior embracing the extremes.

Jesus was accessible to the crowds - He didn't preach from some ivory tower, He went out amongst the people.  And He wasn't just accessible to the crowds, He was available personally to the people.  He was compassionate and He gave Him time and energy to individuals out of love and concern for them.

It must be overwhelming for our pastors sometimes - so many needs, but only 24 hrs in a day.  Filtering needs and assessing which are the highest priority requires discernment.  We need to give our leaders grace in this area.  Just because our concerns aren't immediately addressed, doesn't mean they don't care.  Perhaps it means someone else had a more pressing concern.

Here Jesus decides to delay helping Jairus and his daughter, to tend to the woman who had been struggling for 12 years.  For 12 years!  12 years of bleeding, which, in the Jewish faith meant that she was unclean.  It had been 12 years since she had, for all intents and purposes, been excommunicated from the synagogue and basically, LIFE.  12 years since she had held a baby.  12 years since anyone had touched her at all.  12 years of physical suffering combined with 12 years of emotional and spiritual isolation.  This is suffering on a massive scale.  By now, she must be virtually without hope.

Until Jesus comes.

It's that way with us, isn't it?  Our spiritual condition of sinfulness leaves unable to have a relationship with our Creator.  We are depraved.  He is holy.  It is hopeless.

Until Jesus comes.

Until we reach out in faith as this woman did.  Jesus was her only hope left.  And so she went out in the midst of the crowd, even though she knew she wasn't supposed to.  She probably didn't care.  She knew this was her only hope and she was going to do whatever it took to get to Jesus.

And she was instantly healed physically.  But Jesus didn't stop there.  He could have just kept going.  But He didn't.  She needed to be restored spiritually. And so He gives her the opportunity to be restored by asking who it was that He had healed.

It wasn't a mystery to Him, He knew who she was. He knew that. When He said, "Who was clinging to Me?" He was calling for her to come out and reveal herself. It isn't that He needed information, He just wasn't done with her yet. He knew who she was. He knew what was in her.
This is one of the most profound things Jesus ever said. "I was aware that power had gone out of Me." What an insight. Listen to this. The power of God is not impersonal. What a truth. It is personal in the nature of God and when the power of God flows from Him to you, He feels the flow. Incredible thought. His life pours into us, we feel that power, that infusion of spiritual power into our lives as we see it evidenced in our lives. Do we ever think that God feels it? Our Lord experienced actually, personally felt the outflow of His power, His creative power to recreate that woman's insides. God is not impersonal. God is not detached. When God touches a life and power flows, He feels the flow...He feels it. No one receives the power of God into His or her life without personal involvement from God. We are saved and the power flows. We are sanctified and the power flows. We are glorified and the power flows....
She couldn't hide. She saw that she hadn't escaped notice. She came trembling, trembling under the weight of realizing she was in the presence of God. She's crushed. She falls down before Him in homage and worship. She declares in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, in order to be healed. And how He had responded, she had been immediately healed. Now the social part of it has been taken care of and He says to her, "Daughter," that's the only time in the whole New Testament He ever called a woman by that name. "Daughter, you are now, as if to say, in the Kingdom and your faith has sozo, saved you." It's exactly what He said to the one leper in chapter 17 who came back. He healed ten, how many came back? One. He said, "Your faith has sozo saved you."
He wasn't done with her. She needed to be restored physically. She needed to be restored socially. She needed to be restored spiritually. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace, not psychological peace, go in peace with God, objective peace. Your faith has saved you. God in peace. You have made peace with God. Matthew 9:22 said, "He said, 'Be of good comfort.'" Eusebius, the church historian says, there's a statue of this lady in his day, in her town as a living testimony that she became a believer in Jesus Christ. Listen, Jesus knows you. He knows your hurts, your needs. He is accessible to you. He is available to you. He is interruptible by you. And He is inexhaustible in meeting your need. And it's personal with Him. He feels the flow of power into your life. This is our God manifest in Jesus Christ.

This woman reached out to Jesus in an act of faith.

And I want you to see that that is an act of faith. And for some of you, this concept of faith, that we’re saved by faith, that we live by faith, that we’re kept by faith, it may be a difficult abstract concept, but I want you to see it here as reaching out to Jesus. Friends, that’s what faith is. She has faith in her heart, which is a gift of God, and she reaches out in faith, trusting, knowing, believing, “If I could just touch the tassel on the end of his robe, I could be healed.” She has great faith, saving faith in Jesus.

And in that instant, her soul is healed—she becomes a worshiper of Jesus—and her body is healed, and the power of God is unleashed in her life through faith. You need to know that this is how it works. The power of God is unleashed in our life through faith, trusting, believing in Jesus. This is amazing. Not everyone who touched Jesus was healed. Luke doesn’t extrapolate and give us the exact reasons that this happens. But by faith, the power of God is unleashed in her life.

And let me say this, and this is beautiful: She does not make Jesus unclean. Jesus makes her clean. She was not to touch anyone because she was unclean, and she would make them unclean. But because Jesus is pure, Jesus is sinless, Jesus is good, Jesus is God, when she touches him, he does not become unclean, she becomes clean.And I need you to know this. And in your heart, I need you to today, by faith, believe this, that whoever you are, and whatever you’ve done, or however dirty, and disgusting, and defiled your life has been, you reach out to Jesus in faith, and you don’t make him unclean. He makes you clean. And the power of God is unleashed in your life to give you new life. She’s a picture of all who are saved by faith, reaching out to Jesus, and receiving new life....

We need to be forgiven and made clean. And Jesus, this man is going to be her Yom Kippur. He is going to be her great high priest, and his death on the cross is going to be her day of atonement.

And so he forgives her, and cleanses her, and he ultimately is going to the cross, and perhaps my favorite verse in all of Scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:21 explains what transpired in that moment in this way,
“God made him who knew no sin to become sin so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God.” You’ve heard me say it a lot if you’ve been at Mars Hill for any length of time. Luther calls it the great exchange. All of my uncleanness and filth goes to Jesus.

I want you to see yourself reaching out to Jesus with all the sin committed against you, and all the sin that you’ve committed, and all your filth, and all of your defilement, and all of your disobedience, and all of your uncleanness, all of your idolatry, and I want you to see yourself touching Jesus, fearful that you’re going to make him unclean.

And the most amazing thing happens.
He’s not made unclean, you’re made clean. You’re forgiven and cleansed. And his righteousness is imputed, granted, reckoned, given to you, and you’re made clean; that he forgives and cleanses, just like he did this woman. That’s why 1 John says, “If we confess our sins, he’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all of our unrighteousness.” He’s our sacrificial goat. He is the one who forgives sin. He’s our scapegoat. He’s the one who cleanses us from unrighteousness, and makes us clean in his sight. And this is this woman’s Yom Kippur. This is her high holy day. This is her day, by faith she is saved, physically and spiritually. She’s forgiven and made clean.

And what does Jesus say? “‘Daughter, your faith has made you well: go in peace.’” “Go live a new life. Go live to God’s glory and your joy.” I am desperate for you to receive new life through Jesus, new life through Jesus, to leave here going in peace and being called a child of God. That’s her story, that Jesus cleanses.
That's what saving faith is.  Recognizing our depravity, recognizing that Jesus is our only hope, being willing to do whatever it takes to get to Jesus; acknowledging, repenting, giving up every sin; reaching out to Him with all our filth, throwing ourselves on His mercy, and wondrously, amazingly receiving His righteousness, forgiveness, cleansing, new life.

Beautiful.  Amazing.  Faith.  Thank you, Jesus.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 8:49-56
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 2 Chronicles 23-24, Psalm 121, 1 Corinthians 9

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