Mar 30 2013 - Luke 8:40-9:6 – Inexhaustible power
Jesus was on his way to the house of Jairus, a leader of the synagogue, to heal his daughter who was dying. Crowds surrounded Jesus and swarmed along with him. Among the crowd was a woman who had suffered with bleeding for twelve years. She had spent all that she had on doctors but none had been able to heal her. She remained "unclean" and unable to participate fully in society. She worked her way through the crowd until she was immediately behind Jesus. Then she touched the edge of his robe, and instantly she was healed. Jesus felt the power go out of him to heal this woman and asked, "Who touched me?" (Luke 8:45). The woman fell at Jesus' feet and told him her story. Jesus told her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace" (8:48). She can go in peace; untroubled by the guilt of having done some secret thing. She can go enjoying Shalom – wholeness within herself, with her society and with God.
Imagine the change in the life of this woman – the things she was now able to do that she could not do before; the places she was now able to go where she had not been able to go before. She would have experienced a wonderful sense of freedom – of new life. And imagine the difference it made also to those who knew her. They needed no longer fear that contact with her would make them unclean. They could visit her and talk with her and share in the freedom that she had come to enjoy. Just a touch of the hem of Jesus' garment had done for her what all the skill of others and all her own resources could not accomplish; it had made her whole.
Faith is the hand that simply reaches out to touch the Saviour. Faith believes that he can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and that no-one else can do for us; he can make us whole; he can make us again the people we were created to be; he is our Shalom – our peace.
And what I also find wonderful about this passage is that although Jesus felt power go out of him, there is no diminishing of the power left within him. When messengers come from Jairus’ house to tell him that his daughter has died, Jesus did not apologise that his power had left him and he can do nothing. He entered the ruler’s house and, with a word of command, raised the girl from the dead. Nor is this a power he feels that he must keep to himself for fear that sharing it might dilute it. Immediately after this incident, Luke records that Jesus gave power to his disciples that they might heal the sick and push back the boundaries of the kingdom of darkness.
Before his ascension into heaven, Jesus told his disciples that he possessed “all power in heaven and in earth”. There is no limit to his power. And because he possesses all power, he commands his disciples to bring the whole world under his authority – to make disciples of all nations. It’s a daunting task that seems quite beyond our power. And so it is. But it’s not beyond his power. And the hand that touches his robe draws on his inexhaustible power.
Lord Jesus Christ, I am glad that you possess all power in heaven and on earth. Power could not be in better hands. Help me Lord to stay close to you that I may know your power at work in my own life. Remove all that is unclean within me and give me the freedom that comes from a life made whole and new. Enable me also so to serve you in the power of your Spirit that the lives of those around me might be drawn into the glorious freedom of the children of God.