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Divine Delays

Divine Delays

Words of Faith 6-19-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 8

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

       ([8:42b-47] The Healing of the Woman with the Hemmorhage)

       [49] 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."

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

   [51] 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. [52] Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep."

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


     And now, the REST of the story, as Paul Harvey says.

     What happened to that fellow and his sick daughter? Remember him? Jesus had returned to Capernaum from his encounter with demons on the "other side" of the lake. The first order of business was a request from Jairus who fell at his feet pleading that Jesus come and heal his only daughter who was dying.

     Most would have seen this as a unique opportunity. Jairus was an important, wealthy and influential man. As the "ruler of the synagogue", he was in charge of the Torah services there as well as the building. The synagogue at Capernaum was a beautiful structure with special rooms for celebrations and a gallery to look down upon the service. You can visit the remains of the second century structure there today. The approval and endorsement of Jairus would have been a strategic move. For most, it would have been a top priority to rush and respond to this family.

       Yet Jesus allowed Himself to be delayed. He did not rush. He allowed time for the healing of a very poor woman who could barely crawl through the crowd. He must have been aware of her presence. He may have even slowed His progress through the crushing crowd just to be sure that she could reach out and touch the tassel of His garment. He then took the time to respond and speak to her personally.

       But the delay seemed to have come at a high price. Suddenly word came from the house of Jairus. Don't bother. No need to come. Your daughter is dead. Shwew.

       Something about being a daddy and having a daughter makes those words hard to type and blurry to read. There must have been a stunned moment of despair with the hearing of those words. But the word of comfort was immediate. Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed." Somehow, instantly, from despair to hope.

       As they moved toward Jairus' house, no one was saying the thought on many minds. Jesus, if only you had hurried. If only you had moved through the crowd. If only you had not stopped to talk to that woman. That little girl would be alive! That woman could have been healed anytime! You put that poor woman ahead of the synagogue ruler? And now you have touched that unclean woman, so you are also ceremonially unclean.

       Jairus might have been very angry but something called him to faith. Perhaps it was the wonder of being the presence of the Lord. Apparently, Jairus believed because he allowed Jesus into the house in spite of the fact that He was "ceremonially unclean".

       Jesus quickly silenced the wailing and the mourning that had already begun and proclaimed that the little girl was only asleep. It is interesting that the people laughed at him. There was not a great gathering of faith there. In fact, Jesus only invited three disciples into the house-- Peter, James and John-- along with the Jairus and his wife.

       The simplicity of the miracle may be most lovely of all. When called to get up, the spirit of the little girl returned to her and she stood up and was restored to her parents. It is difficult to imagine the joy of that reunion.

       So what happened here? Everything was fixed in the end. But did Jesus mess up and have to do a larger miracle to cover His mistake? Not even close. It seems clear that Jesus knew exactly what was going on and He had a larger plan.

       Most important, Jesus knew that being rushed past the woman who had suffered for so many years did not reflect the Kingdom of God. Putting the needs of the wealthy or influential ahead of a person of less means was not at all His way.

       Jesus was walking in the divine timing of God. No one ever walked more perfectly with God. The divine plan may appear out of sync to us. The timing of God often will not match what we think should be happening, but it is His timing. He is at work, in His way and in His time.


       Lord God, help me to walk in Your timing. Help me to listen and wait upon You and not to run ahead. Help me to see that You are at work even when things seem to have gone awry. Help me to trust You until the end of the story. In Jesus' name.