Thursday, March 9, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 39

                             Image result for Book of Matthew

Day 39: Big or Little, Jesus Can use Our Faith

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 9: 18-25

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

"While he was saying this.." What is verse 18 referring to? Well, in the verses we read yesterday, Jesus was telling John the Baptist's disciples that He, Himself, is the like the bridegroom that has come to us and the message He preaches is new. Grace has come. Just as Jesus finished talking, a synagogue leader came to him and asked Jesus to 1. come back to his own house, and 2. touch his daughter - "and she will live." Jesus immediately got up and followed this leader back to his home with his disciples. 
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Another interruption. Jesus had been talking to John the Baptist's disciples and then the synagogue leader interrupted. Then Jesus is on His way back to the leader's home, and a woman on the street stops Him for healing. Jesus is not only gracious, but uses this particular interruption to build faith in the man who asked Him to heal his daughter. God uses all the 'hic-ups' in our lives for our good! We just have to stop running to our destination and see that Jesus has stopped too. We need to take a moment and see what He wants us to see.

Could you imagine being the synagogue leader? He was probably very anxious that his daughter was dying. He was probably walking fast, pushing the crowd aside to make way for Jesus to follow him home, BUT then a woman stops Jesus. The leader doesn't want Jesus to stop. He wants Jesus back at his home as quickly as possible to save his daughter's life. His faith is being put to the test. He might have thought, "What if my daughter dies before Jesus gets to her? NO! this cannot be happening! Jesus has stopped on the road to help a woman. He can help her later! My daughter is dying!' But what are the words the synagogue leader hears, in the midst of his own anxiety and fear? " 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment." I believe Jesus knew the leader was afraid and loosing faith. I think Jesus, in his compassion for the synagogue leader or Jairus (as told to us in the Book of Mark and Luke) allowed a miracle to take place before the Jairus' very eyes, to help him have faith for his own daughter's healing. Jesus is gentle. He does what He can to build us up in our faith so we can face the trial that lies before us.

Jesus was interrupted this time while He was saying, "34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34) I'm thinking that those words are the very words that the synagogue leader needed to hear. Why? And what is the trial this synagogue leader is about to face? He returns home with Jesus, but is greeted with the horrible news that his daughter had died while he was gone. The mourners are already there. Everyone knows she is dead. It has been confirmed. The little girl is dead.

In the Books of Mark and Luke, the story is a little different.
"35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:35-36) and in Luke chapter 8, "49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader's house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.26 News of this spread through all that region." 

Jesus heals Jairus' daughter too. The woman on the street, who had the issue of blood, had more faith than the synagogue leader, but Jesus healed them both. Jesus loves us right where we are at and I believe all the trials we go through God uses to bring us closer to Him and to increase our faith.

Pray with me:
Jesus, Thank you for allowing me to witness your goodness, kindness, compassion and miracle power on the faithful and faithless. Thank you that you love me so much that you use the hard stressful time and the good times to bring me closer to you and knowing your heart of love. Jesus, I want to be more faithful, and if that means going through some trials, than I accept it. I want to be your faithful servant. I love you and want to follow you with all my heart. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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