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Jairus' Daughter

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2024 12:01 am

Jairus' Daughter

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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March 19, 2024 12:01 am

Jesus is never too busy to have compassion on those who cry out to Him for help. Today, R.C. Sproul examines two encounters where Christ brought healing and hope to people in desperation.

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And the Scripture says that he came to Jesus begging him. The ruler of the synagogue had suddenly become a beggar. How many times in your life have you been reduced to begging?

It takes a serious matter, doesn't it? Well, this man had a reason to beg. We read, he fell down at Jesus' feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about 12 years of age, and she was dying. Now, when your only daughter, your child, is dying, you will beg. Throughout our Christian life, as we navigate trials and seasons of seeming darkness, there are times that our posture before the Lord in prayer is that of begging, pleading for God, perhaps to spare the life of a loved one, a moment of desperation, similar to that of Jairus, this ruler of the synagogue.

This is the Tuesday edition of Renewing Your Mind, and I'm glad you're joining us today. Pleading with God in those heart-wrenching moments is not something restricted to Christians. Whether sincere or not, even an unbeliever will sometimes cry out asking for help.

And today, as we continue R.C. Sproul's Face to Face with Jesus series, we'll meet two people who found themselves in that situation of desperation, a ruler of the synagogue and the woman with an issue of blood. Here's Dr. Sproul as we see the compassion of Christ on full display. I was in Miami a couple of years ago, and somebody came up to me and asked me if I would visit the home of a woman who was a Christian who had been suffering from cancer for ten years. And so I went to meet with this person, and I sat and talked with her, and she related to me the experience that she had gone through over this ten-year period of time. And at one point in our conversation, she reached over, and she grasped my hand, and she squeezed my hand, and tears came to her eyes, and she said, R.C., I don't know how much longer I can take this.

And I think we've all known people who have gone through protracted periods of pain and of suffering, and they really don't know how they've been able to manage over the long haul, and it's extremely difficult for us to give words that are really bringing comfort to them. But I did think on that occasion when I met that woman of a woman who is recounted in the New Testament that came face to face with Jesus. This woman met Jesus, from a human perspective, almost by accident, and her story is interwoven with the narrative that is provided for us by Saint Luke about another encounter that Jesus had with somebody altogether different. Let's look, if we might, at the Biblical text that gives us this history. It's found in the eighth chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Luke, beginning in verse 40. We read these words, So it was when Jesus returned that the multitude welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus' feet and begged him to come to his house.

Let me just interrupt the reading of the text at that point. We have very little information about this gentleman, but the information that is given is extraordinarily significant. We're told that he's a ruler of the synagogue, and as we read the Gospel narratives of Jesus' life, we know that the most hostile people toward Jesus were those who were connected with the religious establishment of his day.

But here we have a noteworthy exception. A man by the name of Jairus, who is a ruler of the synagogue, who is not hostile to Jesus, but very much like the rich young ruler whom we've already met along this way, came up to Jesus and fell on his face before him. And he put himself in a posture of obeisance, and the Scripture says that he came to Jesus begging him.

The ruler of the synagogue had suddenly become a mendicant. He had become a beggar. For a person of that status and that station in life to go up to a complete stranger on the street and begin to beg him indicates a drastic condition, a real crisis situation that would reduce him to that sort of behavior. How many times in your life have you been reduced to begging?

It takes a serious matter, doesn't it? Well, this man had a reason to beg, perhaps the most obvious reason a man can have. We read, he fell down at Jesus' feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. Now when your only daughter, your child, is dying, you will beg. I remember before I was even a Christian going to a hospital in Pittsburgh where my sister was in an operating room hemorrhaging, and the doctors were very grim about her prognosis, and we were preparing ourselves for the worst. And I can remember in the midnight hour standing in front of the elevator and watching the needle go up and mark the levels of the floor going up and coming down because I knew what floor my sister was on, and I also knew what floor was the morgue. And I was watching the numbers change to see if the numbers were moving from my sister's room to the morgue. I'll never forget that. And finally in my desperation, as I said I wasn't a Christian, I left that lobby in front of the elevator, and I went to the chapel, and I got down on my knees, and I started to beg God for my sister's life.

Please God, don't let my sister die. And we all understand when we're in life and death situations like that, that it is no embarrassment whatsoever to beg. And so Jairus comes to Jesus begging him to come with him. Now there's a huge crowd there, and the crowd is not aware of this crisis of Jairus.

They're not interested in his problems. They have come to hear the speeches of Jesus, and this man is really asking Jesus to interrupt his busy schedule, to go out of the way, to come to the man's house and do something to help his daughter who is dying. And Jesus agrees.

Now let's listen to what happens. But as he went, the multitudes thronged him. Have you ever seen a famous person being thronged by a mass of people that people, they need bodyguards to keep the crowds away? Jesus was a celebrity. The people came to hear him speak.

He's not going to give an address. Instead, he leaves with this poor man, and you can imagine how the word goes through the crowd like wildfire, Jesus is going to heal a dying girl. And they're pressing and milling and pushing and shoving as they crowd around Jesus, and they want to be eyewitnesses of his next spectacular work. Now we have an intrusion in the narrative, a parenthesis, an interruption if you will. Now a woman having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of his garment, and immediately her flow of blood stopped.

Listen to that narrative. This miserable woman had been sick for twelve years. She had had no relief from this condition of hemorrhaging. She had gone to every doctor. She had tried every remedy. She had taken every conceivable medicine and nothing worked. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that she had spent all of her money that she had seeking a cure. Do you know people like that? Like that woman in Miami, no relief for ten years.

People like that will try anything. And so this woman who had heard the gossip about Jesus, in her desperation she comes up. She doesn't kneel down in front of him. She doesn't come begging like Jairus had.

What does she do? She comes up behind Jesus just to touch the hem of his garment. This woman is thinking, if I can just get close enough to him to touch him, maybe that will help. And when she touches him, the Scriptures tell us that instantly, immediately, the hemorrhage stops.

Now think about it. Twelve years without cessation, and in an instant, it stops. She can hardly believe it. But not only does the blood stop, but Jesus stopped. Now remember what Jesus is doing.

He's about to go deal with Jairus' daughter who is dying. He stops and turns around and he says, who touched me? Now what's the response of the disciples to that question?

I mean they had enormous respect for Jesus, but sometimes they were frustrated with him. And you can sense their frustration here in this narrative because they're saying like, what do you mean who touched you? There's thousands of people bumping up against you every second.

The whole crowd's milling around. How are we supposed to know who touched you? What are you, Jesus? Suddenly a prima donna that you can't stand to have somebody bump up against you? No, they knew better than that.

But to them it was a ridiculous question. Who touched me? Isn't it interesting that a religious song has been written from this occasion? I can remember at the end of his life, Jimmy Durante, of all people, recorded an album of religious music. And the lead song on that particular album was the popular religious hymn, Who Touched Me. And there, I'll never forget listening to Jimmy Durante singing, he touched me. He touched me. Yes, he touched me.

And it was almost funny except in his old age this comedian, the way he sang that song wasn't funny at all. He was singing to the world that he had felt the touch of Christ on his life. And I was moved when I heard Jimmy Durante sing that song, he touched me. Is anybody who's a Christian knows what it means to be touched by Christ? Well, on this occasion it wasn't that Christ touched the woman, it was that the woman touched him. And Jesus turns and says, who touched me?

How do we know who touched you? Jesus ignores all of that and he said, somebody touched me because I felt the power go out of me. That's a poignant, poignant statement by Christ. And when we look at the portrait of Jesus that we have in the New Testament and the power that is manifest in him, his life is a blaze of miracle. And we have the tendency to think that Christ performed all of these powerful acts strictly under the cloak of his divine nature and for which it's nothing.

But if we look carefully at the Christology of the New Testament, we see that in the incarnation the human nature of Christ is endowed with an extraordinary empowering from God the Holy Spirit that takes place at his baptism. And that when Christ exercises this power, there is a significant loss to himself. There is a loss of the power that has been invested in him. There is a draining of that power from his own humanity.

I say that for this reason. Ladies and gentlemen, don't think that the ministry of compassion that was exercised by our Lord was done without great personal cost to him. It's not by accident that in the kenotic hymn of Philippians 2, the apostle uses and chooses the word to empty, to refer to the earthly ministry of Christ who willingly emptied himself. Anyone who has ever been in ministry knows how emptying it can be, and Jesus found it necessary on a regular basis to withdraw from the crowds and leave the multitudes to get alone with the Father, sometimes spending all night in prayer because he was being emptied and drained constantly.

I perceived power going out for me. Verse 47, Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling and falling down before him. And she declared to him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched him and how she was healed immediately. And he said to her daughter, be of good cheer. Your faith has made you well.

Go in peace. She was frightened. Who wouldn't be frightened?

The very power of Christ was enough to terrify people. And now he stops. After she's received this great benefit, she's very thankful. She wants to go home and write him a thank you note and just sort of sneak out of the way. And Jesus stops, and this poor woman is caught. She just interrupted the teacher.

Who touched me? And he turns around, and he's looking, scanning the crowd, and his eyes fall upon this woman, and she realizes that she can't hide anymore. And she's terrified. And so she comes up to Jesus, and the Bible says she's trembling. And again, she falls down before him and explains that she had touched him out of her desperation.

And Jesus senses her terror. He says, it's okay. Cheer up. Be of good cheer. Your faith has made you whole. Go now, go on home, and go in peace.

You see, he not only gave her wellness, he gave her peace, which was even more valuable than the physical healing that she experienced. Well, while this drama is taking place, there's another interruption. Somebody else intrudes on the scene as we read it here. While he was still speaking to this woman, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, your daughter is dead.

Do not trouble the teacher. He comes with the bad news. Jairus, it's too late. Let the master go back about his business. Time for you to come home. The whole household is in mourning.

Let the teacher go. She's dead. But the obvious point is it wasn't too late. It wasn't too late for Christ. When Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, do not be afraid. Only believe and she will be made well. What he's saying to her is not to have some cheap religious experience of faith. When he says, only believe, he's saying to Jairus, Jairus, trust me. Is there any more difficult time to trust God than when the news has come of death? Jesus says, trust me.

And he keeps going. I want you to love to be able to interview Jairus and ask him what was in your mind when you heard the news that your daughter was dead and Jesus said, let's keep going. We're going to go home anyway. I mean, weren't you hoping against hope, believing against belief that it wasn't too late after all? When he came to the house, he permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John and the father and mother of the girl. Now all wept and mourned for her, but he said, do not weep. She is not dead but sleeping. And they ridiculed him knowing that she was dead. Jesus is not trying to play games here and when he says she is not dead, he's not saying that she has not succumbed. Jesus knew very well that the girl had died and Luke understands very well that the girl had died and everybody in the house understood very well that Jesus had died.

And he's not just speaking euphemistically, but what he is saying to these people is don't be afraid. This death is not permanent. I have the keys to life and death. I have power over death and if I call her back from death, she will come just as you can come in the morning and row someone who is sleeping so I can row somebody who is dead. But he put them all outside and took her by the hand and called saying, little girl, arise. And her spirit returned and she arose immediately and he commanded that something be given to her to eat. Little girl, arise.

What an incredible scene that must have been to see the one through whom all things were made raising that young girl back to life. This is the Tuesday edition of Renewing Your Mind. I'm your host, Nathan W. Bingham.

What you just heard was R.C. Sproul from his Face to Face with Jesus series. This series is 13 messages, more than you're able to hear this week on Renewing Your Mind, so I encourage you to request your own copy with a donation of any amount at renewingyourmind.org. Learn more about others who encountered Jesus in the New Testament, whether the woman at the well or the Apostle Paul. Request your copy on DVD along with digital access to the messages and study guide when you call us at 800-435-4343 or at renewingyourmind.org. Your support helps the good news of the Gospel go out to the nations, calling people to cry out to God for their salvation, and helps equip Christians to know God and follow Him according to His Word. So thank you for your generosity. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who was caught in adultery to Jesus, and it's that encounter that we'll consider tomorrow here on Renewing Your Mind.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-19 02:39:18 / 2024-03-19 02:46:52 / 8

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