Divine Designs of Delay and Desperation ~ Luke 8.40-56
Divine Designs of Delay & Desperation
Text: Luke 8.40-56
Introduction: About twelve years prior to this day, in Galilee, a little girl is born to a joyful mother and a proud father. They are moving up the ranks in Jewish society, which will eventually culminate in him becoming – The “ἄρχων τῆς συναγωγῆς,” – “The Ruler of the Synagogue.” This was a position of high regard and influence in the community. It is quite possible that a lot depends upon this birth. A barren woman was believed to be one without the blessing of God on her. Certainly, God has blessed them with the birth of what would be their only child. You can imagine the joy of celebration in the house at the news of the birth of the new child. There was probably a great feast with many family, friends and influential persons of social, political and religious ranks coming over to take part in the parent’s joy.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the same part of Galilee, a woman begins what will become a living hell. She begins to issue blood. She begins to seek professional help. She pays exorbitant amounts to rid her of this plague with no results. Soon she comes to the conclusion it is not going to stop. What could it be? Had she sinned some great sin? It is alarming to her as well as embarrassing. With this, who would ever marry her? She would be an outcast from all of society, her family, friends and worst of all God. According to Levitical laws of purity, she would be “Unclean” her entire life.
Luke 8.41-56 – Two Lives Collide by Divine Design of Delay & Desperation
I want to speak to you under the topic Divine Designs of Delay & Desperation.
There are providential times in each of our lives in which the Lord moves us into desperate situations in order to cause us to trust Him wholly and to trust Him alone. We recognize the situations as completely removed from the help of any man. We cannot help ourselves. There is no help from the outside. The wisest among us, has no answer. What do we do? Is there any hope? Any Help? Is there an Answer? I am here this morning to tell you there is Hope, there is absolutely Help! It is these exact situations in which we find ourselves in the best possible place – totally shut up to God. Often we think this to be the worst of conditions, but in actuality this is the best place to be. It will take a divine moving for there to be relief, peace and salvation.
Notice first, the manner in which Jairus comes to Christ – he “fell down … and begged Him…” This is the only way in which any man comes to Christ. This is a ruler of the synagogue, the established religion and social hierarchy. This is a man who is of the highest rank in this community. He is a part of the religious and political machine, that incidentally, want Jesus eliminated. Yet, he is now turning his back on his power and his religious and political connections. He does not even care what they will think. In humility, he bows to Christ indicating he recognized the vulnerability of his life at this point. He may have been a ruler of the synagogue, but he is now brought very low. He is desperate. There is no help from anywhere else. He is shut up to God. Interestingly enough, Jairus comes from the Hebrew name Jair meaning “He enlightens.” What can he do now that he has no wisdom, no answer and no light? He does what he can and casts himself before Christ and in doing so admits – “I am desperate. I cannot handle this myself. You, God, I trust you.”
Verse 42 – And, there is a good response to his actions and request, Christ begins to go with him to his daughter. “As He went…” This shows the accessibility and the availability of Christ. This just beautiful! There is no discussion given. It is a part of Luke’s narrative that Jesus went with him to his daughter. Hope must have filled his soul when Jesus goes with him. What thoughts must have gone through his mind: “I hope we are not too late.” “Certainly, the Lord has blessed me that this man they are calling the Christ is coming to my daughter.” But, how quickly are our hopes dashed? Have you ever been in a desperate way and it looked as though things were going to come around and then the rug be pulled out from under you?
Verse 42 – That little word BUT makes all the difference in the world, doesn’t it? “But as He went…” the crowds swarmed Him and the other character of our story burst into the midst of things and disrupts Jairus’ hopes for his daughter.
Twelve years she has suffered. Can you imagine the physical affects! Loss of blood all the time; always weak; always deficient of energy must have taken a significant toll on her. Worse than that, there must have been severe social affects. Leviticus 15.19 states “If a woman have an issue if blood…she is ceremonially unclean.” This means she was separated from everyone for 12 years! She could not go to synagogue, she could not be with her husband or if she did not have a husband, she could give up hope on ever having a husband. She could not touch her children or be touched by her children. She was an outcast.
However, having come to the place to being shut up to God, she like Jairus does not care what society thinks, she risks going out into public and getting to Jesus. She touches the hem of His garment, believing that she will be healed. “He may not take the time for me. Certainly, He a righteous man like Him would not risk contact with me. But, if I can only touch the hem of His garment, that will be enough to heal me. What faith! And she is healed!
Here is one of the most profound things Jesus ever says, “Somebody touched me, for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.” The power of God is not impersonal. What a truth! God is not impersonal. God feels that power that flows into us. No one receives the power of God without an involvement from God. It is not something impersonal like touching a TV for healing. It is a personal, living, intimate union of life with the living, eternal God.
She had not considered her social standing. Even though her bleeding has stopped, she is still an outcast and what about her spiritual status before God? This is amazing! Jesus stops and makes it known to all her new status and she is forced to come forward. She couldn’t hide. God has no one His Kingdom incognito. He says to her, “Daughter, (He never called any other woman that.) Thy faith hath made thee whole (a better translation is – Thy faith has saved you. The word is σῴζω, the word used for saved).” She is not only healed physically and socially, she is restored to God spiritually. Jesus leave nothing undone.
Jairus most certainly must have been completely undone. “Not this! Not Now!” Have you ever had that kind of thing happen? Not this! Not now! Jairus must have wanted to say, “All this time wasted, She is well! I am happy for her, but my daughter is dying!”
And at that very moment, Jairus’ world as he knows it comes crashing down! “While He yet spake…” Doesn’t it happen just like that? Someone comes and gives a report: “Your daughter is dead.” Suddenly, it is like Mary and Martha, “Lord, if you had only been there, she would not have died.” Aren’t we so weak in faith? Now, Jairus is at rock bottom. “Your daughter is dead, Do not trouble the Teacher.” It is over. She is dead. What a run of emotions! Jesus is coming to your daughter and all will now be okay, but as the events unfold, someone else’s good becomes your miracle. You might think, had it been a storm that came up and prevented Jesus from getting there, well, I might be able to understand and handle that better. But, this is the good of another person that prevents the good for you. What would our reaction be? He proves that He has the ability to heal, but the healing of this woman has been costly to him. It is too late. All hope is gone.
Verse 50 – “But when Jesus heard it…” God is not unaware or caught by surprise. Here is the beauty in these Divine Designs: Jesus hears those troubling words and immediately speaks to Jairus. “Do not be afraid.” What comforting words. No matter how dismal the situation is; no matter how dismal the message is; Fear not! Many times we run into troubles like this where it appears absolutely hopeless. I want you to understand that it not only appeared hopeless; It was hopeless. However, “with God, nothing shall be impossible.” This is the Living God.
Now notice, Jesus does not tell Jairus, “Fear not Jairus, everything will work out.” Or “Don’t worry, be happy,” as if there were something comforting in words. It is important to notice that Jesus directs Jairus to Himself. “Only Believe!” What does this mean? “Cast yourself on Me. Trust Me. Listen to the Lord’s promise in Isaiah 41 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 43 – “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. (Listen to this – this is Great!) When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”
It is very important to see that “Fear not” goes with “Only Believe.” The Lord did not separate the two. It means we rest everything on God. It is a monumental activity. All other places of trust are to be distrusted to the point of everything rides on God. Job said this, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
“Fear Not, Only Believe and she shall be made whole” and again, a better translation is she shall be saved! It is σῴζω again, just like the woman who interfered. Now this is more than healing. He shows that He has power over disease, but what about death, that ultimate enemy? He promises a resurrection. This is the Living God we are talking about today. He brings healing, salvation and life.
A. First, Know and Understand that God is sovereignly in control, on the scene and knows all that is happening. He especially knows and understands your emotions.
B. Second, Realize that God’s promises and undertakings are as sure as He is. They arise out of His freely determined purposes. Therefore any delays, any moments of desperation are deliberate, purely Divine, and according to His wonderful good purpose. It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “God is too good to do any wrong.”
C. Third, When there is any delay or any desperate moment we ought to remind ourselves that even the delay was initiated by God – began and brought about to further His purpose for our lives.
D. Lastly, we should remember that God never goes to plan B. He has only one program. The program never changes according to the events. God is doing something that must be done in order to perfectly fulfill His will in our lives.
There is a great contrast in the narrative: a man and a woman, a ruler and an outcast, the revered and the vilified, the affluent and the poor, the respected and the rejected. It matters not your status in this life, God is no respecter of person. We are all equally needy and without hope, but if there is one of you who are in a desperate way this morning – I want you to know there is Hope. The Living God has designed this very moment for you. Want you come to Him? Fall before Him and Believe – You will be saved!