Hunkered Down Devotion

Luke 8:40-48 (Voice)
40 When Jesus and His disciples crossed the lake, another crowd was waiting to welcome Him. 41 A man made his way through the crowd. His name was Jairus, and he was a synagogue official. Like the man on the other side of the lake, this dignified man also fell at Jesus’ feet, begging Jesus to visit his home 42 where his only daughter, a girl of 12, lay dying. Jesus set out with Jairus. The crowd came along, too, pressing hard against Him.
43 In the crowd was a woman. She had suffered from an incurable menstrual disorder for 12 years [and had spent her livelihood on doctors with no effect]. It had kept her miserable and ritually unclean, unable to participate fully in Jewish life. 44 She followed Jesus, until she could reach Him. She touched the fringe of the robe Jesus wore, and at that moment the bleeding stopped.
Jesus (stopping and looking about): 45 Who touched Me?
Some in the Crowd (everyone speaking at once): Not me.
Another in the Crowd: It wasn’t me either.
Peter [and those with him] (intervening): Master, what kind of question is that, with this huge crowd all around You and many people touching You on all sides?
Jesus: 46 I felt something. I felt power going out from Me. I know that somebody touched Me.
47 The woman now realized her secret was going to come out sooner or later, so she stepped out of the crowd, shaking with fear, and she fell down in front of Jesus. Then she told her story in front of everyone—why she touched Him, what happened as a result.
Jesus: 48 Your faith has made you well again, daughter. Go in peace.

This is truly one of my favorite passages in all of scripture.  It holds this place in my heart and mind because I believe it quickly and beautifully highlights the heart of Jesus and the message and the heart of the gospel.

To fully understand what is going on here, we need to understand the political, cultural, and social dynamics at work here.  Jairus, and other politically and religiously connected leaders could have been the key to the kind of worldly influence that anyone starting a movement – or trying to gain power, influence, and status in this world.  

This was a big opportunity, and all Jesus had to do to seize this chance to gain a powerful ally was to do something right in his wheelhouse – heal and save a dying girl.  Anyone with any sense would have been in a serious hurry to get to Jairus’ house and save his daughter.  So, when Jesus, trying to make his way through the bustling crowd, pushing in on him stops and asks the seemingly ridiculous question, who touched me?  

I mean, I know we shouldn’t say things like this about Jesus, but this is a ridiculous question, right?  Who touched you?  I mean, Jesus, who didn’t touch you?  Right?  But, of course, Jesus isn’t foolish, he isn’t dense, so what is he doing?  Why is he wasting time seeking out this woman?  

The answer is that Jesus isn’t wasting time at all.  The time it takes to heal and restore the woman in the eyes of the community is time well spent and there is nowhere else he would rather be.  Due to the nature of her affliction, the woman was considered ‘unclean’ which meant that no one – not even her family – was allowed to have any close or physical contact with her.  

As Jesus stops and ensures that all of the community knows that this woman has been healed and is now clean, he is healing the brokenness in her relationships and restoring her into a welcome place among her community.  

This is the message at the heart of the gospel.  Jesus didn’t come for influence or power or any of that.  Jesus came to bring healing.  Jesus came to bring wholeness.  Jesus came to bring restoration, healing, and wholeness to all the broken, disconnected, and sick.  

Jesus is never on the way to something or someone more important when we are the ones in need.  There is never somewhere else he needs to be.  Jesus came for you and me and all of us that need help and healing.  Make no mistake, the good news that Jesus came to bring is for you, no matter your status, no matter your station.  

Sharing God’s Love, 

Prayer:   Lord, thank you that there is no one more important to you than me.  Help us to respond to this amazing gift.  Amen.

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