Fear Not, Believe Only
Luke 8 tells the story of the woman with an issue of blood. It’s popular for Sunday School lessons and in pulpits across America. We all know the story.
Luke 8:43 begins with Jesus being thronged by a crowd of people.
“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.” (KJV)
She was healed with just one touch of Jesus’ garment! This passage alone launched a thousand sermons and songs about God’s wonderful, merciful healing power. It still amazes us today how a simple act of humility and faith changed a woman’s life forever.
But, I’m not here to talk about the woman with an issue of blood. I want to talk about a man named Jairus.
Let’s back up to Luke 8:41.
“There came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.”
Jairus was obviously a man on the edge. In spite of his lofty position, he fell at the feet of a carpenter’s Son in utter despair over his daughter. He finally had the Master’s attention and almost got Him back to his house. But then…
This woman came out of nowhere and caused a big scene. Jesus stopped to talk to her. They had a whole conversation right there. While Jairus waited on the Lord, a servant from his house found him and said,
“’Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master’” (Luke 8:49).
Here Jairus was in dire need of a miracle, and he was so close to getting that blessing. And, not only does someone sneak in and steal Jesus’ time, but his window of opportunity closed.
I bet you can identify with Jairus. We have all waited on God and have seen others step ahead of us in line. It can feel like our blessing completely passed us by while God was busy doing something else.
I know I have felt like Jairus before. Years ago, I petitioned God for a husband. I fasted and prayed with the utmost faith that I would find real love.
I did not, but my roommate did — and so did the roommate after her. I’ll never forget the empty feeling I had as I watched friend after friend meet their respective Prince Charmings, fall in love, move out and move on.
I don’t know what Jairus thought, but I had a tough time not questioning God. “Uh, Lord, I’m happy for all these girls, but this isn’t fair. I’ve been here the whole time. Have You forgotten about me?”
Lucky for us all, God knows our hearts. Even though Jesus stopped to bless another, He didn’t forget about Jairus.
Jesus heard what the servant had to say and told Jairus in Luke 8:50,
“’Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”
I like to think that if this were occurring in our modern-day, Jesus would have said, “Don’t panic.”
That’s our first reaction after all. When we think that we have missed our chance, we freak out, go into mourning or sulk into bitterness. But that’s not always necessary.
Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Hold on to your faith, and you’ll have what you ask for.”
Eventually, Jesus made His way to Jairus’ house. In the midst of the wailers and mourners, He said rather calmly, “
Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth… Maid, arise” (Luke 8:52, Luke 8:54b).
I love that. It is so easy to think that our dream is dead when it may only be sleeping. With one word from Christ, it can rise again.
I don’t know what you are facing today, but at times we all find ourselves in Jairus’ place. Whether you feel passed over or completely ignored, I encourage you today to not give up.
You’re never an afterthought to the Prince of Peace. He knows all, sees all, and is touched with the things that trouble you. He knows your suffering and how it hurts sometimes to wait. However, He is on His way to your house to take the remains of your dream and resurrect it.
Just have faith. “Fear not, believe only.”
What Can We Learn from the Woman with the Issue of Blood?
Jennifer Heeren, Crosswalk.com
Scripture Quotes about the Woman with the Issue of Blood
The woman with the issue of blood is mentioned in three of the gospels—Mark, Luke, and Matthew.
Mark 5:25-34 is the longest passage about her.
A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
Luke 8:43-48 accounts for the same story but adds something notable.
When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
Luke notes that the whole crowd heard her explaining to Jesus why she had touched him. Sometimes our acts of faith need to be shared with many other people. The more acts of faith I see, the more I am likely to step out myself.
Matthew 9:20-22 is the shortest account of her story.
Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
Matthew seemed to think that the healing happened after Jesus blessed the woman, whereas Mark and Luke wrote that the healing happened as soon as she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. Maybe this discrepancy was simply because Matthew hadn’t paid enough attention to this miracle. Of course, he did realize the most important part. The woman was healed.
I can easily miss seeing miracles too, simply because I’m busy or I’m not paying enough attention or my focus has been drawn elsewhere.
What Can We Know about Her Disorder?
According to the law (Leviticus 15:25-27), excessive blood flow made a woman ceremonially unclean. Any furniture she touched was unclean as well. If other people touched anything that she had touched, they would be unclean as well.
This woman was very alone. No one would have wanted to be around her. She couldn’t go out in public. She couldn’t be hugged by her family. Twelve years is a long time to be quarantined from all people!
Not only was she considered unclean, but she probably felt it as well, having to deal with the logistics of trying to have clean clothes and linens for twelve years.
She had tried to get well. She had gone to many doctors over the years. She spent everything she had trying to be cured. According to William Barclay’s commentary, the Talmud gave at least eleven possible cures for her ailment. I’m sure that this poor woman had tried all of them. But, nothing worked and she even got worse!
She was tired, worn out, and intensely lonely. But she was also desperate, which can be a very good thing. Desperation keeps complacency and self-pity away.
What Can We Learn from the Woman with the Issue of Blood?
She was desperate for healing. So much so that she didn’t worry about what other people would think or at least she didn’t let her worries stop her. She also had great hope that Jesus’ power could heal her. Faith and determination are of great worth in the Lord’s sight. For without faith, it is impossible to please God. Know who he is and come boldly with any request you have. Jesus isn’t afraid of the supposed uncleanliness that disease may bring. People with physical ailments need help and mercy, not isolation and condemnation.
Jesus didn’t have to acknowledge the woman. Her faith to touch the hem of his garment was enough to heal her. It seems that he wanted to look her in the eye, not to yell at her for bothering him, but to see the beautiful, genuine faith emanating from her heart. He wanted to acknowledge that she didn’t have to suffer anymore. She was free. Physical healings don’t always happen but sometimes they do. So ask and keep on asking with the faith and determination of the dear woman in this story. But even when there isn’t physical healing, there will always be healing of your heart and soul when you repent of doing things your way and thank God for making a way for your sin, shame, and pride to be completely covered. You can be free. He will say, “Daughter (or Son), your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Raising of Jairus’ Daughter
(Luke 8:40-42, 49-56)
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, jesuswalk.com
Luke 8: 40-42, 49-56
 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.  Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house  because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him….
 While 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.”
 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
 When 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.  Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.  But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.  Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
Who Touched Me?
I was reading about a missionary who was ministering in a church in Mexico when a young girl came forward for prayer. She said that she had a ball-shaped tumor behind her ear. She had not gone to a doctor because she was afraid of the diagnosis. The missionary asked her if she could feel the tumor now and she said that she could. As they prayed, the missionary saw a vision of the young girl taking the tumor and throwing it to God, which she felt symbolized giving it to Him.
So, she asked the young girl to do just that as an act of faith in God healing her. The girl acted out taking the tumor from her head and throwing it to God. This action of her faith released joy and peace in the situation. After a little more prayer, the girl felt for the tumor and it was gone! She could not feel it. The missionary checked on the girl several more times during the trip and the tumor had not returned. It was gone!
The Bible tells the story of a woman who had constant bleeding for 12 years and could not find a cure. She came behind Jesus in the crowd and touched his garment and immediately she was healed.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Luke 8:45 (NLT)
Everyone denied touching him but he said that someone had deliberately touched him because he felt the healing power come out of him. The woman came forward and the whole crowd heard her explain her situation. She confessed that she was the one who had touched the hem of his garment and that she was immediately healed. Jesus spoke to her and said,
“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48 (NLT)
Some may ask why doesn’t Jesus just heal everyone in the world who is sick? Doesn’t he recognize the need? He does. By his death on the cross, our healing was provided for in the atonement. So then, the healing doesn’t come based on our need, it comes based on our faith!
“But I had faith and I wasn’t healed,” some may say. I know. When it does and when it doesn’t happen can be mysterious and controversial.
Remember that Jesus taught us to have faith like a grain of mustard seed, the smallest of seeds which grows into a large plant. Our faith does grow, especially as we see his touch in our lives and in the lives of others.
Like the woman in the crowd, when we reach out and touch Jesus by faith, his healing comes to us. It’s not enough to believe he can heal. We must believe that he will heal us when by faith we reach out and touch him.
The 700 Club reports on a viewer, Judy Snipes, who suffered from severe pain and headaches for years. Hosts Terry Meeuwsen and Gordon Robertson had words of knowledge from the Lord that pertained to her healing. Judy knew that God spoke to her for healing and by faith claimed it as her own. She was instantly healed and continued to be pain-free from that day forward.
The Bible teaches us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Without faith, we cannot receive the miracles that God has for each and every one of us.
Whatever your need, reach out and give Jesus the reason to say, “Who touched me?”
Grief-stricken Jairus’ Request (8:40-42)
“Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.” (8:41-42)
But now this highly respected citizen of Capernaum (for that is where we assume this took place) comes up to Jesus in the multitude of pushing and shoving individuals. They make way for him out of respect, but he is not there to pay his respects to the rabbi. He has been the one responsible for inviting Jesus to participate in the synagogue services since Jesus has taken up residence in Capernaum. But he doesn’t come to greet an old friend.
His face is ashen, his hands tremble, and when he finally reaches the Master he falls upon his knees before Jesus. The Greek word in Luke’s and Mark’s accounts is pipto, ” ‘fall down, throw oneself to the ground’ as a sign of devotion, before high ranking persons or divine beings, especially when one approaches with a petition.” Matthew uses the more specific word proskuneo, “(fall down and) worship, do obeisance to, prostate oneself before, do reverence to, welcome respectfully.” I see his head bowed, his shoulders trembling with emotion. Here is a paradoxical scene: the well-to-do synagogue president utterly humbling himself before the simply-dressed Jesus. He has been waiting for Jesus to return — hoping he would return in time, and now his is here. Jesus is Jairus’ last hope.
Mark records Jairus’ plea: “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live” (Mark 5:23). Jairus is on his knees “pleading” with Jesus. The Greek word is parakaleo, which is variously translated, depending upon the context. Here it means, “request, implore, appeal to, entreat.” Please come! Please! So Jesus goes with him.
Have you been where Jairus is? Desperate? Exhausted with worry? Sick with concern? This isn’t just a daughter, one of a dozen children. Luke tells us that this is “an only daughter” (Greek monogenes). You get the idea that she is the apple of her father’s eye — “Daddy’s girl.” And now she lies near death. She is twelve years old. We would consider her a child; I’m sure Jairus still did. But girls were considered adults at twelve, and boys not until thirteen. She was of marriageable age, and yet she lies at the point of death. Jairus is grief-stricken.
You can probably identify with Jairus. Perhaps you’ve been where he is. But now step back for a moment, oh disciple, and consider his faith. What is the condition of his faith? He has heard the report that Jesus’ boat is coming, and so he has left his daughter’s side and gone down to the beach to see Jesus as soon as he lands — he and hundreds of others. From his words in Mark he seems to believe: “Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live” (Mark 5:23). He believes that if Jesus will just touch the girl, she will be healed and live. The centurion knew that Jesus didn’t even need to be present to heal, just to speak the word (7:7). The hemorrhaging woman had faith that if she could touch even the fringe of his cloak, she would be healed (Mark 5:28). But Jairus is staking his faith on a touch from Jesus’ hand to pull his daughter back from the brink of death.
Jesus consents, and begins to move toward Jairus’ home across town. But the crowd is so overwhelming that it is difficult to move at all, much less make rapid progress. Then, on the way, a woman touches him for healing, causing Jesus and the entire crowd to stop and listen to her story. Jairus hopes they will not arrive too late.