The Healing of Jairus’ daughter and the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage
REDEMPTIVE MIRACLES #7 & #8 COMBINED
Matthew 9:18, “While He was saying these things to them, behold, came a synagogue official and bowed down before Him saying, ‘My daughter has just died but come and lay your hand on her and she will live.’ And Jesus rose and began to follow him and so did His disciples. And, behold, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she was saying to herself, ‘If I only touch His garment I shall be well.’ But Jesus, turning and seeing her said, ‘Daughter, take courage, your faith has made you well.’ And at once the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd in noisy disorder, He began to say, ‘Depart, for the girl is not dead but is asleep.’ And they were laughing at Him. And when the crowd had been put out He entered and took her by the hand and the girl arose. And this news went out in all that land.”
As we come to the end of these redemptive miracles, he is bringing the whole spiritual ministry of Christ to a consummation. Let me just mention the four for you, and then we’ll pick up the first two of those. The seventh miracle is the healing of Jairus’ daughter and raising her from the dead; chapter 9:18&19 and chapter 9:23-26. And then the eighth redemptive miracles is the woman with the issue of blood in chapter 9:20-22. This miracle is split up, and in the middle of that miracle you have this miracle. Then redemptive miracle #9 is the healing of the blind man, Matthew 9:27-31. Finally, the climactic miracle of all is Matthew 9:32-34, the demon possessed dumb man. I think if you were writing these miracles and I was writing these miracles we wouldn’t end with a dumb man. We’d probably end with the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead and say, “That’s how it all ends. Boy, that’s a climax; bringing someone back from the dead!” However, that’s not near the climax as the healing the dumb man. I’ll show you why when we get to that.
Let me suggest a simple outline of the way I’d like to look at this. First of all, since God, in a unique way by sticking redemptive miracle #8 in the middle of redemptive miracle number 7, has brought those two miracles together, I’d like to study them together. Why are they like that? Why are they together? Then I’d like to look at redemptive miracle #7 in order to get the revelation of Christ and then I’ll take redemptive miracle #8 in order to get the revelation of the Lord Jesus.
Redemptive Miracles #7 & #8 Combined – A Miracle within a Miracle
Let’s look at redemptive miracles 7 & 8 together. These miracles are recorded three times in your New Testament, and every time they are recorded like this—with the seventh miracle broken up and the eighth one right in the middle. It’s found here in Matthew 9 and also found in Mark 5:22-43 and in Luke 8:41-56. Each time, the Holy Spirit split redemptive miracle #7 and sandwiched in between redemptive miracle #8. There’s an interruption. And then in verse 23 the miracle is resumed again. This is the only miracle where He does this; doing a miracle within a miracle.
I believe that the arrangement of these miracles is very instructive. We learn a lot about the Lord because of this strange uniting of miracles. Before I give what I consider to be the revelation of the Lord, let me try to bring you along with me as we try to enter into the situation. We learn from another record that this synagogue official, as he is called in verse 18, is named Jairus. He had only one child, she was twelve years old, and was ready to die. Those of us who have children can probably enter into that.
In Matthew 9:14, “My daughter just died.” But if you read the other records you’ll find out that she was as good as dead but there was still a spark of life left in her. One record says, “She was at the point of death.” When Jairus left home his twelve year old daughter was gasping her last breath. He didn’t know for sure when he got there whether she would be living or dead, so he just poured out of his heart, “My daughter is dead,” even though it was if she was dead, but she was still alive.
I wonder if we can feel for this father and enter into his life. Remember that we know the record. We slap onto it everything we’ve read. He didn’t have a New Testament. It wasn’t written yet. He only had the Old Testament. We know Jesus can raise the dead, but up until this point He had never done that. Jairus didn’t know if He could raise the dead, or would. There was no record of that. Lazarus hadn’t been raised up yet. The widow’s son hadn’t been raised up yet. Obviously, those who came to life at the crucifixion hadn’t been raised up yet. This was a first. Jesus had given the blind sight, and had given the lame legs, and He had given the deaf ears, and He had shown His sovereignty over the demons of hell, and He had shown Himself strong and King over nature, but He never yet illustrated His power over the realm of death. So, Jairus as he approached Him didn’t have the scriptures that we have at our disposal. He knew one thing; that he had a twelve year old daughter, and she was in critical condition and close to death, and it was very possible that by the time he reached Jesus she would be dead.
Try to enter into the agony of this poor father. When he left his daughter, there were only a few sands left in her hour glass. Her time was running out, and she was almost dead. It’s hard to try to put yourself in her shoes. If it was me and my child, I don’t think I would have done what he did. I think I would have stayed until the end by her side. I would have held her hand, brushed her brow, talked and maybe prayed with her, or sung with her, or something. I don’t think I would have left, especially if I were an official like him, and had many servants all around. I probably would have sent somebody else to summon the doctor or nurse.
I believe Jairus was full of faith. His problem was desperate, and I think that’s why he came himself and left his daughter’s side. I think he was so firmly persuaded that Jesus could help, that he didn’t trust anyone else with the message. He wanted to make sure that message was delivered. Maybe I’m reading that in but try to enter in. The story is written with great urgency. Everything about it seems to say “hurry up” and “quickly”. In a very literal way, time was running out in this situation. The idea of delay when your daughter is ready to die, and of being slow or hesitating, is inconsistent with the nature of his problem. Jairus’ case was not like the leper or the paralytic. Even though they had a lot of problems, they had them for years. In that case, what’s a couple of days? Even if Jesus didn’t show up on Monday, it would be alright if He showed up on Wednesday. The demoniac lived a long time on the hillside among the tombs, and in his case it’s the same thing. Sure, he was in bad shape but what’s another couple of hours for him? Even the paralytic who was let down from the tiles in the roof, he could have been healed on Monday, or Wednesday, or Friday. But Jairus’ case was desperate, and there is no tomorrow for him. You’ve got to do this now or never. She’s dying and there’s no delay here. This is an emergency and a now situation.
I looked up the word “emergency” from the uninspired Webster’s Dictionary and he said, “A sudden need for immediate action”. His second definition was, “action without delay.” His third was, “a crisis emphasizing a life and death nature of a situation.” This was an emergency. Try to enter into the sore trial in this father’s heart. Look at verse 19, “And Jesus rose and began to follow him.” If I were desperate and the situation were an emergency, when Jesus healed the leper, at least He said to the leper, “I’m willing. Be thou clean.” When the Centurion came to Jesus for his paralyzed slave, at least Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” When they lowered the paralytic down through the roof through the tile, at least Jesus said, “Take courage, my son, your sins are forgiven.” And even when they were on the stormy sea, Jesus spoke; even though He rebuked them, He spoke. When they said, “Lord, save us; we’re perishing,” he said, “Why are you timid, you men of little faith.” But at least He said something. But when Jairus comes with a desperate need in an emergency situation, life and death, Jesus doesn’t say a word.
When you read Matthew’s record He doesn’t say a word. In Mark’s record He doesn’t say a word. When you read Luke’s record, He doesn’t say a word. He didn’t say yes, or no, or maybe, or wait, or go away. He said nothing. That’s great! You’ve got an emergency situation, you run in desperation to the Lord Jesus, and He doesn’t say a word. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that He didn’t encourage him. He did. In verse 19 it says, “He rose and followed him.” That’s encouragement. If I went to a doctor’s office, and in the presence of all those who were waiting in his waiting room I announced an emergency situation, and the doctor didn’t say anything but began to follow me, that would be a pretty good encouragement. But be honest, look at verse 20, “And, behold, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of His cloak.” You know the rest of the story.
Tell me, parent, and those of you who enter into this as Jairus, the father of a dying daughter, would that bother you if Jesus were on His way to your emergency and stopped for somebody else? Matthew makes it a whole lot quicker than it really was because if you read the other accounts, Mark and Luke, you see the tremendous detail. This woman reaches out and touches Jesus. He stops and looks around, and then He begins querying the audience, “Now, who touched Me?” And then the disciples come and say, “Don’t be silly. Everybody is brushing against you.” Then He explains the difference, and finally this woman comes in humiliation and confesses. That’s delay and, on the level of earth, wasting an awful lot of time. It’s not enough that this woman reaches out, but then the Lord Jesus seemingly delays on purpose, and strikes up a very boring conversation (from the standpoint of Jairus), “Who touched Me?”
What a sore trial for an agonizing father. I think I would, at least in my heart say, “Hey, lady, I don’t mean to be cruel, and I don’t mean to cut down your problem, but can’t you wait just a little while? You’ve had your problem as long as I’ve had my girl, twelve years, and she’s ready to die. Can’t you wait another hour or another day? It’s not going to make any difference to you, but it’s going to make a whole lot of difference to me.” I would feel that way. I might not say it, but I might even be angry in my heart, and I would feel awfully bad that this woman was interrupting.
There are no emergencies with God.
If I understand human nature, I have an idea that the Lord was intentionally wringing Jairus’ heart that day, bringing him into a furnace, and doing a work in his life that he would never forget. I believe this is why the Holy Spirit puts this miracle in the middle of the other one; to call attention to this delay and hesitation. By meditating on this delay there are some wonderful truths of the Lord, and wonderful spiritual principles of life. There are many ways to state it. Let me word it this way and say, “No matter how great the emergency seems to you, God is never in a hurry.” Have you found that to be so? No matter how great the emergency seems to you, God is never impatient and God never strives. Or to word it another way, there is no such thing as an emergency with God. When the Lord tarries, it’s for a reason. When He learned that Lazarus was sick and drawing near to death, He tarried there, also. He tarried, but He didn’t lose control. He’s never surprised by what we call emergencies.
Hold that a moment. Mark 5:36 has these words, “As soon as Jesus heard the words that were spoken,” that is, my daughter is dead, “He said…” See, God has a clock of His own. He has a schedule but He’s determined to run it on His own clock. God’s clock is perfect and everything is on time and nothing is delayed and nothing is hindered and nothing is hastened. Seeing Jesus stop on the street to talk to this woman on the way to an emergency may have looked like on the outside that He didn’t care too much. On the other hand, seeing Him move so quickly at the end of this miracle, to encourage Jairus’ faith, as soon as He heard it, He spoke and came like lightening to the rescue.
Let me give four principles that I get from the blending of these two miracles. I’ve already stated this, there is no such thing as an emergency with God. Please notice that I said “with God”. I’m not saying that there is no such thing as an emergency. Down here it may be an emergency. I’m not suggesting that if your house catches on fire, that you read the Daily News before you dial the fire department, or if a loved one is suddenly taken ill, that you don’t call the rescue, No, you call immediately. What I’m saying is this; those heart attacks, those strokes, those accidents and those financial burdens don’t come as a surprise at all to God. They come suddenly upon us. We throw our hands up in despair and scream, “Oh, no, look what’s happening. Lord, did You see that?” God says, “Yes I see that; from the foundation of the earth I’ve seen that.” It’s not an emergency to Him and, therefore, we may rest in Him.
In this connection, because God never hurries and never rushes, may I encourage you to be real careful about those people who try to make you rush in your Christian life, and try to make you rush into the will of God. A lot of people come in with these great programs and say, “We’ve got to move now. This is the hour, and it’s a great opportunity, and the door is closing fast. Let’s move now. If you call before nine, God still has the time to save money, so we’ve got to move now. If you don’t buy this house now and you don’t buy this camp now and you don’t buy this building now, then that opportunity of Christian service will be gone. Work now and move fast.” Never rush into God’s will. Do you know that verse in Psalm 84:11, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” If you hold back, you are safe. When someone wants to rush, hold back. He’s not going to withhold it from you. No good thing will He withhold. Many who listen by tape are single. May I suggest that you not rush into marriage! No good thing will He withhold for those who walk uprightly. The servants of the Lord are never pressed over delays. If you missed the building, you didn’t need it.
Sometimes it gets a little frustrating because God never hurries dealing with our loved ones. Have you noticed that? He never hurries. You look at it and say, “Lord, this is an emergency. This guy is in bad shape. This girl is in bad shape. This woman is in bad shape. Did you see my neighbor? You’ve got to move now, Lord. It’s an emergency.” He just seems all the time to take his sweet little time about moving. See, He’s dealing with eternal souls and if it takes a little time, it doesn’t bother Him at all. He’s not under the law of time. Our hearts cry out with the Psalmist which makes it scriptural, “Make haste, oh God, to deliver. Make haste to help me, oh God.” “Hurry Up!” But God is not in a hurry. He puts a little seed here, and then He waits for the whole harvest to come. Long years pass, and then He puts another seed in, and then another long waiting period. Meanwhile we’re getting frustrated, and we’re praying and crying and longing and living consistently, I trust. See, what looks like a desperation and an emergency to us, God knows the hard case, and it’s not an emergency, not with Him. He is always calm, He’s never nervous, He never gets anxious, and He never frets.
The invitation to enter His rest is not a rest that He gives you. It’s the rest He has. You can be as carefree about all of your emergencies as He is. He is in control, and you can enter His rest, and have that same Spirit. He patiently, persistently and definitely deals in the lives of our loved ones, and He’s in the process of bringing them low, and working in their lives the very best methods to bring them to the place where they’ll be open to Him. May I suggest that you relax in God’s dealings with your loved ones? He’s not in a hurry. Don’t get too jealous or angry at those He stops to minister to on the way to your emergency. Jesus was on the way to Jairus’ emergency and He stopped to help others. The temptation is to look at that and say, “He never does anything for me. He helps her, and helps him, and saves this one, and that one, and saves his husband and their wife, and that kid, and never does anything for my family.” He’s probably on the way to your house as He stops to help all those people. God is not in a hurry.
Relax concerning God’s own slow dealing in your own life. He’s not in a hurry in your own life, either. Don’t view your growth in Christ as an emergency. You look at your own life sometimes and you say, “Will you do something, God? It seems so slow and nothing is happening. I’m the same toad I was five years ago. Change me and do something. I don’t think anything is happening.” He’s doing an eternal work in your life, and He’s not in a rush. Growth is imperceptible, and it’s slow, and it’s tedious, if it’s of God. Don’t worry about that. The seed grows secretly. Growth is His business.
One time a Christian asked another, “How long will it take me to grow in the Lord?” And He answered, “That depends if you want to be a squash or an oak. Well, if you want to be a squash, it might be a little faster but if you want to be a strong tree it’s going to take time. God is conforming us to His Son, and He’s in no hurry. Because He’s not under the law of time, what are years to Him? You’ve got to plod through day by day, but not Him. If it takes twenty years for Him to teach you one thing, it’s no big deal. It took eighty years to show Moses one thing. He didn’t learn it right the first time, so he went through the wilderness for forty years, and finally he learned it. That’s not wasted. That’s good time. You are going along for forty years and you finally get there. That’s a long time for us, but not for God. What is fifteen, thirty, forty years? Don’t be impatient with God. He’s not in a hurry. There are no emergencies with Him. That’s the first principle.
We don’t need a definite word from God
The second principle that I learned from blending these two miracles is this, that I don’t need a definite word from God. Jairus had no word from God. Verse 19, “He rose and began to follow Him.” Some people get all shook up if they don’t have God’s blueprint all spelled out for them. I don’t need to know what God is doing. It’s enough that God knows what God is doing. You don’t need to know what God is doing. It’s enough to know that He knows. Your understanding of what God is doing doesn’t make it more right.
We have friends in Maryland who some years ago lost a little baby. His name was Scotty. God didn’t give a reason to the parents for the loss of that baby. He didn’t say a word, didn’t explain a thing, and didn’t give any excuses. He said nothing for He Himself drew near, like He did for Jairus. They entered into a realm they had never known before; into a silent walk with God, a wonderful union with the Lord. They just silently walked together, and had quiet fellowship. It’s been many years since Scotty went to be with the Lord, and the Lord still hasn’t said much about it. We can look back and see some wonderful things that sprung out of it.
I think about Bible Study Ministries. I don’t often mention it when I’m teaching. I think of some of the wonderful foundation stones God has used to build this ministry. To my mind one of the most precious stones in the foundation is the death of Scotty Schein. The foundation of our ministry is the death of a little baby. Hundreds of people have turned to the Lord because that baby died. I don’t know if that’s the whole reason. God is silent, but He knows all the reasons. And for Jairus, He didn’t say a word. He just walked with him. He doesn’t have to explain anything. When God allows something in your life, don’t demand an explanation. Just walk with the Lord as Jairus did. If you know God, you don’t have to know why. He knows and that’s enough. God doesn’t have to tell you, or me, or anybody what He’s doing. He knows what is going on, and it’s always good. We can rely upon that in those times when He doesn’t say anything. How Jairus’ heart must have thrilled as the Lord Jesus walked with him on the way to his emergency.
We can trust His perfect timing in our life
The third principle overlaps what we’ve already said but it’s good to emphasize again. Not only is there no such thing as an emergency with God and not only do I need no word from heaven and all I need is His presence, but also I can trust His perfect timing in my life. He runs His train on His schedule. We often look at the watch on our own wrist in order to see when God is going to move. They might have looked at their clock as they did in verse 35 of Mark, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher anymore.” That’s the same as to say, “It’s too late now.” What that I get out of this is that wonderful Bible truth that the longer God delays, and the more obstacles He overcomes, the greater will be His miracle when He finally arrives. When God’s clock strikes, it always hits two times. The first gong is maximum glory for Him, and the second gong is maximum benefit for us; right on the button and perfect timing. That’s why He said, “My hour had not yet come.” What was the hour? Then it says, “When the hour came that He should be glorified.” That’s the hour, the hour that He gets the glory, and we get the benefit. All of His delays in our lives are merciful delays, and God will not abort the blessing by coming early. He knows the blessing to bring into our lives, and He will not miscarry because He loves us too much. He’s on time for what He knows He will do, and He’s not on time for what we think He should do. He’s God and He always will be.
When I need a word, Jesus will give it
There’s another principle I get from the story but it’s not from Matthew’s account. It’s from Mark’s account. When Jesus arrived with Jairus in Mark 5:35, “The news came your daughter has died. Why trouble the Master anymore?” Well, at this point you can expect Jairus’ heart must have sunk like lead to his feet. I don’t know what kind of expectation rose in his breast when Jesus got up to walk to his home, and what frustrations came when Jesus delayed along the way, but I have an idea that his heart sunk when the news came, “She’s dead. It’s too late. Send Him away.” At this point Jesus was swifter than the lightening in the sky. No more delays. In Mark 5:36 in the NASB it says, “And Jesus overheard what was spoken, and said…” or the KJV says, “As soon as Jesus heard those words, ‘She’s dead,’ He turns to Jairus and he speaks for the first time.” He hadn’t spoken before. And now Jairus’ heart is about to die in him, and Jesus speaks. As soon as he hears it, He gives a word and here is what He said, “Do not be afraid any longer. Only believe.” This time He wasn’t delaying.
The principle can be stated in these words; God knows my needs, and when I need a word, He’ll give it. See, before, Jairus didn’t need a word. It was enough to walk with the Lord in an unbroken union. But as soon as he came to the place where he would have died, and his faith would have failed, God spoke. He gives the word when we need it, and He speaks comfort and peace, and invites us back to faith. Only believe. Brothers and sisters in Christ, here is a strange paradox in the Christian life. The more you go on in the Lord, the less He will speak because He wants us to live by faith, and to walk in silent union with Him, and just abide in His presence. There is no deeper spirituality than a silent walk with God, knowing that He is in control. But you know your heart and mine, and we are weak and frail, and if there is two ways to do it, the right way and the wrong way, you know which way we are going to choose. If we fail and get weak, and if we need a word, He’ll give it. He deals with us where we are.
Putting out a fleece
In this connection let me say a word from the book of Judges, and the expression is “putting out a fleece”. It comes from the story of Gideon, the judge, and he was uncertain of God’s will, and he wanted to make sure. So, he said, “I’m going to put out a fleece.” He took the wool of a sheep and he put it out in the yard and said to the Lord, “This is a sign of how I’ll know Your will. If that fleece is covered with dew in the morning, soaking wet, and the ground all around it is dry, then I’ll know that’s your will.” Then the next morning he went out and the wool was soaking wet, and the ground was as dry as a bone. He said, “I wonder if that was a coincidence.” So, he said, “Lord, I want to make sure this is Your will. So, we’ll do it again tonight, but this time I want the ground wet and I want the fleece as dry as a bone.” The next morning the ground was soaking wet and the fleece was as dry as a bone and Gideon walked away worried. He still didn’t trust in the Lord, notwithstanding the fleece, notwithstanding the sign. Then later on God gave him a dream of a rolling cupcake, and it assured his heart. Isn’t that amazing!
Here’s the point. Many have taken that idea about putting out a fleece and said, “I want to be spiritual, and I want to know God’s will. I’m going to put out a fleece. That is, it’s a test. That is, I want to know God’s will. So, if this certain school accepts me, then I’ll know that it’s God’s will.” Or they say, “If such and such money comes in by such and such a date, then I’ll know that it’s God’s will.” Or they’ll say, “If God sells my house, then I’ll know that it’s His will.” Or, “If God provides the car, then I’ll know it’s His will.” Does God honor the fleece? The answer is, “Yes.” Those listening by tape are wondering why Pat is laughing, I shook my head no and said, “Yes.” You see, here is the truth of the Bible. God will honor the fleece if you need it. He’ll speak a word if you need it. He’ll give a sign, if you need it. I encourage you, don’t dictate your signs to God. He knows what sign you need. Gideon’s sign didn’t work. He needed a different sign, so God gave him a different sign. If you need a word from God, and you need an experience from God, and if you need a gift from God, a feeling, He’ll give it. It’s just His gracious way.
Many put out a fleece and nothing happens. They say, “I’ve been trusting in the Lord and if He does this, this and this, then I’ll know. And He doesn’t do anything for me. He does it for others but He doesn’t do it for me. Then I go away disappointed feeling like He’s not close to me. He does it for others. How come He never talks to me, and how come He never makes it rain for me? How come He never does miracles for me?” Now watch. The opposite is true. It doesn’t show you’re weak when He doesn’t do it for you. It shows you are strong. If you were weak, He would do it, but because you don’t need it, He doesn’t give it to you because He’s trying to teach you to walk by faith, and he’s trying to teach you to walk silently with Him, and to just leave it up to Him. God is in control, and He knows what He’s going to do. Signs are for the weak and the unbelieving; they aren’t for the child of faith. When we get weak and unbelieving, then you better believe God will rescue us as He rescued Jairus; as soon as he was ready to fall on his face, the Lord gave a word and raised him up again. It’s the marvelous grace of the Lord.
It’s better, of course, to walk in silence and never have a subjective proof. If the Lord never gave you a visible answer to prayer, and never showed you one person that was blessed through your life, and never again gave you the sense of His presence, and He never again opened this book and spoke to your heart, would you still love Him, and still serve Him? Would you still know that you are in close fellowship and union with Him? Or do you have to have all of those signs? He’s calling you to an objective faith. He’s with me whether I feel Him or not; it’s the fact of His presence. I don’t need the sense of His presence. If I never see an answer to prayer, it doesn’t change a thing. He’s answering my prayers. If I never see one person affected by my ministry, so what. He’s using me mightily. I know that; by faith. He’s using you, and you don’t need to see it. He only shows those who are weak. He would rather walk with you in silence, and have you walk in faith. That’s what He was teaching Jairus. But if you need it, He’s gracious. As soon as you need it, He’ll speak. He’s patient and He’s not in a hurry. If it takes twenty years, and you need to have all these loose spurs under your spiritual saddle He didn’t clear, He’s a great God. He’ll give you feelings, and He’ll give you emotions, and He’ll make you cry, and He’ll give you gifts, and He’ll show you that you can be mightily used, and do miracles, if you want to be a baby. If you would rather just walk in silence with Him, that would give more pleasure to His heart. That’s what He’s trying to get every Christian to do, to be conformed to the image of Christ.