Lesson 11 -- third quarter 2005
August 14, 2005
© Copyright 2005, Christian Light Publications
Probing Your Own Heart
What do you do when you are troubled or desperate?
Do you have living faith in Jesus' power and compassion for you?
Building on Some Foundational Concepts
All we need is Christ-focused faith.
After healing her from her theretofore-incurable illness, Jesus declared to the woman, "Thy faith hath made thee whole" (Luke 8:48). In the face of death's hopelessness, He told Jairus, "Believe only" (Luke 8:50). Notice, though, that both of these individuals had to act on their faith before Jesus honored their faith. "The just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4). How does that apply to you?
Faith in Jesus is never ill-advised or vain.
No matter the circumstance in which we find ourselves and no matter the need we find within ourselves, faith in Jesus is always justified. Even so, we all have those times when we almost persuade ourselves that there is no point in trusting in Jesus. Or so it seems, judging by our way of viewing circumstances and our responses to them. Jesus never has been uncaring or impotent, so trust Him!
Jesus honors faith according to His own time.
The Master's sense of timing is never wrong. He knows whether to honor faith immediately or whether to wait till the whole point of faith seems to have expired.
Jesus understands and encourages troubled hearts.
Jesus understands...and cares. He encouraged the woman, "Be of good comfort" (Luke 8:48). And He assured Jairus, "Fear not" (Luke 8:50). When Jesus walks with us and our focus and faith are on Him, we have peace. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4)!
Questions and Responses
Why didn't Jesus hurry to heal Jairus' daughter?
God has no need to hurry. Since He knows all things and since nothing is impossible for Him, what could possibly cause Him to feel a sense of urgency and desperation? Humanly speaking, He should have hurried because she was dying. Divinely speaking, He had no need to hurry since He could raise her from the dead just as easily as He could heal her of her sickness.
Jesus' lack of hurry surely tested Jairus. Jesus knew that. His daughter's death tested him even further. Jesus knew that also. This was all part of the Father's plan to produce great blessing for Jairus and his family as well as great glory for Himself and Jesus.
Jesus didn't hurry to the daughter's bedside because a woman needed His attention at the roadside. Sure, she had been healed with no outward attention or action His part. He could have kept on walking toward Jairus' house. But the woman needed to know that Jesus knew about her and what had transpired in her. She needed to know that He cared. And she needed His assurance and encouragement.
Was the woman more important than the girl?
One dimension of the answer lies in the reality that we all are equal in God's sight. He is fully able to give everyone equal attention simultaneously. Therefore, He has no need to prioritize people according to their importance and their need. In that sense, the woman was no more important than the girl.
We find another dimension in the unlimited scope of His power. He could have healed both the woman and the girl at precisely the same time. Then He could have concluded His conversation with the woman by turning to Jairus with "I healed your daughter at the same time I healed this woman." Because of His great power, though, He could wait to heal the girl. He didn't have to try to decide quickly who was more important. It just wasn't an issue.
Is faith really all it takes?
What more is necessary? Listen again to Jesus' words to the woman ("Thy faith hath made thee whole") and to Jairus ("Believe only"). Faith really is all it takes!
Too many people, though, have an incomplete concept of faith. They have this idea that faith has to do only with a persuasion or a way of thinking. Such faith has no life because it has been chopped "free" from works. Remember what James 2 reveals to us.
"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (17,20,24,26).
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