Some years ago, there was a man who showed up for worship one Sunday and it was quite noticeable. Although unaware of his presence in the first half of worship, it became clearer to others when he arrived. Parishioners who sat near him said that they could all of a sudden feel a cold draft behind them. They glanced to see if the door was open and they saw a man sitting a few pews back from them. While the man chose to sit at the back of the church, the parishioners were alerted to his presence by the cold temperature they were experiencing. I know that sounds weird, but that’s how it was described by the people sitting closest to him.
At the end of the service, during the singing of the last hymn, the man got up from his pew and made his way to the center aisle. He walked toward the front of the church, thrusting his Bible back and forth in the air and was speaking rather loudly about how all of the people would be going to straight to H-E-double LL, Hello.
Fortunately, the music was louder than the spoken words of the man so most of the people just kept singing. About 10 feet from the front of the sanctuary, the man was briskly escorted out in what seemed like one fluid motion. I gave the benediction and people began to ask me questions about the man and what happened that he left so quickly.
We found out later that the man was a local and was known as a self-proclaimed evangelist who was pretty much a nut case. When he forgot his regular scheduled medicine, he’d venture into churches and did exactly what he did. He was most definitely a presence that condemned the actions of others. Most of the time he was picked up for being a public nuisance and he’d be put in jail for a day or two. He’d be released from jail and get back on his medicine and the cycle would begin again. That was most certainly a memorable day.
21 After Jesus crossed over by boat, a large crowd met him at the seaside. 22 One of the meeting-place leaders named Jairus came. When he saw Jesus, he fell to his knees, 23 beside himself as he begged, “My dear daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live.” 24 Jesus went with him, the whole crowd tagging along, pushing and jostling him.
Jairus was an important official who was responsible for arranging all that happened in the meeting place. He would know about the miracles that Jesus had performed in Capernaum and he would also know that many officials opposed Jesus. This would require a bit of courage for Jairus to approach Jesus in public. Putting aside his own importance, he was humble enough to go down at Jesus’ feet. He loved his daughter and that caused him to have the faith to ask Jesus for help.
25 A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years— 26 a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—
Because her illness made her bleed, the woman was unclean. This meant that she could not take part in worship in the Jewish meeting place and people would avoid her, so she would be lonely. She had tried to get help from doctors, but they had not been able to cure her. All her money was gone and her illness was worse.
27 had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. 28 She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.”
It would have been difficult for her to ask Jesus for help in public. She did not want to touch Jesus himself because her illness made her unclean. Anyone whom she touched would also become unclean so she touched the edge of his clothing.
29 The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
30 At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
Jesus knew that someone had touched him. When he cured people, Jesus felt some power go from him to them.
31 His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!”
32 But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it.
Jesus insisted on finding out who had touched him.
33 The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.
Perhaps the woman was afraid that Jesus would be angry with her. To speak about what had happened to her would be difficult in front of so many people.
34 Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”
Jesus called her “daughter” which was a kind word and it meant that she was no longer unclean. She belonged with all the other people who believed in Jesus, and in God as their Father. He said that her faith had made her well. It was not some kind of magic in the edge of his clothing. We can see Jesus’ power over illness.
Without the aid of your eyes, when have you been able to sense a person being around you? How would you describe the feeling you had in sensing the other person around? Have you ever had, what I call, a kryptonite moment when you felt energy being drained from you into a person or persons? When have you been in a gathering and you have felt a sense of power in a person? What was that like for you? Have a day!
In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what it feels like when a principal walks into their room at school
Remember in Prayer: Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue
And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela
Prayer: This new day begins in you, O God. We thank you for each day and for your daily provision. Give us just what we need to be in this day and to serve you. Amen
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©2017 Lucia Oerter
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The Message Bible
A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX