Today Jesus acts on behalf of three people: a demon possessed man, a woman with an incurable health condition, and a man with a dying child. All three have one thing in common; they are desperate. And they need healing that can only come from Christ.
So after the shaky boat ride from Capernaum across the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and the disciples arrive in a small town where Jesus meets a man who is demon-possessed and living like a wild beast among tombs. Jesus asks for the demon’s name, “And he said, ‘Legion,’ because many demons had entered him.” So all the demons beg Jesus saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.”
The evil spirits are many, and they are united and organized in their attempts to steal, kill, and destroy. However, Jesus comes to give abundant life (John 10:10). So Jesus does not allow the demons to destroy this man who is made in God’s image. Instead, He sends the evil spirits into the pigs as they requested— “Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.” Thus the evil spirits carried out their intended goal to steal, kill, and destroy.
Now the man who was delivered from the evil spirits by Jesus has an amazing testimony! So when he asks to go with Jesus, Jesus commissions him by saying, “‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has compassion on you.’ And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.”
Then Jesus travels back across the sea to the Galilean side. There He meets one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus, who begs Jesus to come and heal his dying twelve year old daughter. While Jesus is working His way through the crowds to get to Jairus’ house, a woman who has been suffering for twelve years with a terrible and incurable blood flow illness touches Jesus’ garment in a desperate attempt to be healed. Jesus asks who touched Him, and Peter pipes up saying, “the multitudes press on You and You ask who touched You?!”
However, Jesus knew this was a different kind of touch. This wasn’t just people carelessly pushing on Him. This was an intentional and deliberate act of faith on the part of the woman, and Jesus desires to heal way more than just her bleeding condition. He desires to heal her spiritually and publicly so she can walk in freedom! So when the desperate and faithful woman comes forward and fearfully falls at His feet, Jesus lovingly says to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
Once again we see when a person who is deemed unclean by the Law touches Jesus, Jesus does not become unclean. The one who comes to Him in faith is made clean, healed by His power because Jesus came to restore those who are once on the fringes, without hope and without community, into the family of God.
Now, “While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.’ But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.’”
To the human eye and the natural man, Jairus’ situation appears hopeless. However there is always hope to be found in the word of God, and Jesus gave His word that she would be healed. And since Jesus never disappoints, He gives new life to Jairus’ twelve year old daughter just as he gave new life to the woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years. “And her parents were astonished but He charged them to tell no one what had happened” because His popularity, as well as animosity toward Him, was growing there and His time had not yet come.
Tomorrow Jesus sends out His disciples, so keep reading. (Mark 5:1-20, Matthew 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-39, Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, Luke 8:40-56)