Luke 8:40-56

40Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45"Who touched me?" Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you."

46But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."

47Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."

49While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," he said. "Don't bother the teacher any more."

50Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."

51When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child's father and mother. 52Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep."

53They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54But he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" 55Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened. (NIV)

Main Points

1. Jesus calls for a faith that testifies to others about Him and His mercy (vv. 40-48).

Contrast Jairus' bold confession of faith (v. 41) with the timidity of the woman (v. 47). It is not as if her faith lacked genuineness: "She said to herself, 'If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.'" (Mt 9:20-21; see also Mk 5:28). What Jesus wanted from her, however, was a public acknowledgment of His power and mercy before others, just as He wanted from the man healed of demon possession in 8:39.

Jesus gives sober warnings to professing believers who refuse to confess before others that they belong to Him (Mt 10:32-33; Lk 12:8-9; see also Paul's words in 2 Tim 2:11-13). Yet, boldness in identifying oneself with Jesus is something that all Christians need to grow in - compare Peter's initial cowardice with his later boldness (Lk 22:54-62; Acts 4:8-13); also, note the struggles that Timothy - the Apostle Paul's young co-worker - had with the fear of people (2 Tim 1:3-12).

Discussion Question #1: How does this account of the healed woman encourage you? How does it convict you?

Discussion Question #2: In what ways can we overcome our fear of testifying to others about Christ?

2. Jesus calls for a faith that is patient and without fear (vv. 49-50).

Though this passage does not say so, it is easy to imagine that Jairus was losing patience with Jesus, since the Lord would not continue his trek to Jairus' house until he knew who had touched him. And then, after being given the news that his daughter had died, Jairus could have even become angry.

And yet, Jesus assures Jairus that his faith will not be in vain.

Discussion Question 3: Read Isaiah 55:8-9. How do verses 49 and 50 of Luke 8 provide an example of what's being said in this passage? What should encourage us about the ways of God, though we may not understand them?

3. Jesus has power over disease and death (vv. 43-44; 51-55).

His healing of the woman, and His bringing Jairus' daughter back from death, are great previews of what He will ultimately accomplish for His people when He comes again (1 Co 15:52-56; Rev 21:1-4).

4. Jesus does not want to be known as a miracle-worker, but as One who gives His life so that others may have life in Him.

This may explain why he did not want Jairus and his wife to tell anyone about His healing of their daughter. It would have possibly caused an even greater number of people to demand miraculous signs from Jesus, and he viewed such demandingness as spiritual adultery (Mt 12:38-40). Instead, Jesus spoke of his main mission as being the Saviour to lost sinners, by paying the penalty of sin in their stead (Mk 10:45; Lk 19:10) so that all who trust in Him may have eternal life (Jn 3:16).

Discussion Question 3: What are the some of the ways in which we can distort the person and mission of Jesus in the church today? What can we do to avoid this danger?