THE MASTER’S TOUCH
And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
Jairus had heard about the Master’s touch. Many people had been healed all around Galilee. Before now, the healings had been quite troubling to Jairus, after all he was the ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum. He had warned people about fanatics like John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. He had told the members of his congregation to stay away from these religious extremists, he had taught against what he considered to be false prophets and frauds. That was before today, before his little daughter had become sick. She was really sick, death was knocking on her door. Now Jairus began to reconsider. What if those stories were all true? What if the people were really being healed? He had to find out for himself. Jairus realized that without a miracle, his daughter would be gone. He could not imagine that. He decided to humble himself, eat his own words, and join the crowds trying to reach Jesus. As Jairus made his way to the Lord, something strange began to happen. He felt his hope changing to expectant faith. He knew in his heart something life changing was about to happen. As he found himself looking into the Master’s face, he heard himself say,” My little girl is at the point of death, but if you will come to my house and touch her, she will live”. By the time they had come to Jairus’s house, she had already died, Jesus grabbed the little girl by the hand and told her to get up. Instantly, Jairus’s daughter got up and began to walk around the room. Jairus received his little girl back from the dead.
Maybe you feel like something or someone has just died in your life. All you need is one touch of the Lord’s hand. How will it happen? It may happen as you read the Bible and hear the voice of the Lord saying “Rise and be healed”. Or maybe it will be in a time of worship, or maybe, like Jairus, you will bow down before Him with your prayer. He comes in so many ways, He is just looking for someone who “needs” His touch. Today, swallow your pride and call out for His help. I heard He has been in the area, you never know, maybe today He is coming to your house.
EVERYTHING TO LOSE
Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
Jairus had it all. As the ruler of the synagogue, he was one of the leading men in his community. Like today’s preachers, he had what most men were looking for. He was known by everyone, he had political influence, some level of monetary success; he was pretty much set for life.
Jairus had a problem. His daughter was sick. She was really sick. She was at the point of death. He had heard about Jesus of Nazareth. People were rumored to have been healed by His touch. But here is where it becomes complicated for Jairus. The religious leaders in Israel were not happy about Jesus and the stir that He was making. They were putting people out of the synagogues for following Jesus. Jairus had a lot to lose; his reputation, his means of income, his power and influence and the spiritual life that he loved. But his daughter was sick.
He had made his choice, he was going to see Jesus. By the time Jesus came to Capernaum, his daughter was at the point of death. It seemed like it was too late, too late for his miracle. Jairus had made up his mind, he was going anyway. He was hoping against hope. He was ignoring the circumstances, just trying to get to Jesus. Suddenly, there he was. Now was the moment, He was face to face with the Lord.
“My little girl is sick. Would you pray for her?”
A hush must have fallen over the crowd. Everyone knew who Jairus was and what this meant. After all, they had been taught by Jairus all their lives. He was the one who had warned everyone to stay away from the fanatic from Nazareth. But Jairus had a sick little girl. This had changed everything.
How about you ? Do you have something to lose if you get too close to Jesus?
Will it cost you your friends and reputation if you make a stand for Christ? Or do you recognize the greater need in your life.
Jairus realized there were more important things in life that reputation, money and so called friends. He discovered that Christ was the beginning of life itself.
Oh, by the way, Jairus got his miracle that day. Jesus came to his house. He raised the little girl up from death. Maybe something has died in your life. Maybe it’s time for you to take a risk. Look to Jesus. It may cost you to follow Him. It will definitely cost you if you don’t.
GOD IS GLORIFIED, I AM SATISFIED
Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
God loves to display His Glory. He shows His Glory all around us everyday in countless ways. We see His glory in creation, in His word , in His redeeming grace, and in this instance, in the healing touch of Jesus. The people were amazed by this miracle, and they began to glorify the Lord.
Jonathan Edwards always spoke of the Glory of God seen in all things. In his book, ” The End for Which God Created the Earth”, he describes God’s Glory being displayed through the happiness of man, not just because He meets our needs in life, but because God Himself satisfies the hunger of our hearts. As Edwards says ” God is my good”. Now this changes everything. The lame man came to Jesus looking for healing, but he got so much more than that. When his sins were forgiven, He was brought to God. He found Himself looking into the eyes of God. He found the source of life that day. God became his good.
Jonathan Edwards says it like this,
“God in seeking his glory seeks the good of his creatures, because the emanation of his glory (which he seeks and delights in, as he delights in himself and his own eternal glory) implies the communicated excellency and happiness of his creatures.”
God communicates His Glory, Himself, to us. This is where life, happiness and, yes, healing is found. Today, you can experience the Glory of God and the greatest happiness of all. In the Presence of the Lord is fullness of joy, at His right hand are pleasures evermore. Just as the lame man found far more than he bargained for that day, you can find more life than you ever imagined as you draw near to God. He loves you so much that He wants to give you His best. Maybe you are just looking for a healing, or a financial breakthrough; when you get close to Him you will find more than you hoped for. You may get your miracle, but you will also get His best gift, Himself. After today you can join together with Jonathan Edwards and say “God Himself is my good.”
THE DOUBLE CURE
But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
“How can this man forgive sins? Who does he think he is? Only God can forgive sins.”
The Pharisees were angry. They felt the words of Jesus were blasphemous. They were indignant at what they were seeing and hearing that day. They had a detailed system in Judaism to deal with sin. Animals had to be sacrificed. They had no idea who Jesus was. He was actually that sacrificial lamb. He was the fulfillment of all the old testament types and shadows. Not only is He the promised messiah, He is the Lamb of God that takes away our sin. He could forgive sin because He was going to die for our sins. He was telling the lame man that he was taking responsibility for his sin. That is why He could say, “Your sins are forgiven”.
Sin has caused mankind all sorts of misery and suffering. Until sin entered the world, our world was filled with life and health. When sin came, all of our problems began. Think of the problems you are facing in life. Ultimately, all of them stem from our sin problem. When Jesus died for our sin, He brought the answer to all of life’s dilemmas. Today, Jesus has a solution for every situation you are in. The answer begins with forgiveness, “Son, your sins are forgiven”.
This is where your life begins.
This paralyzed man thought he was coming for a healing in his body. He had no idea he needed healing for his soul. As he felt the cleansing power of God sweeping over him, he realized how enslaved he had been. He had been imprisoned by the guilt and shame of his past. That was all over now. His sins were forgiven. He was healed. He had received the double cure. Not only could he live a normal life, finally free from paralysis, but he was free from sin. Jesus had given this man new life. What about you? Draw near to the Lord. Confess your sin to the Lord, you have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. Your sins are forgiven, Jesus has made you whole.
” HE CALLED ME SON ”
“Son, your sins are forgiven you”
“Son”, that was the greatest word this paralyzed man had ever heard. Jesus’ words carried more than pity, they were filled with compassion. The Lord recognized the actions of desperate faith, and he responded by calling him son. To be called God’s son is the greateast privilege imaginable in this world. If you are born the son of a poor man, it brings certain limitations in your life. If your father is wealthy or powerful, it brings certain privileges and blessing. If you are born the son of a king, you are born into a life far different from anyone else. To be a son of God, brings privileges far beyond anything we can think of or comprehend in this life. In the life to come, eternal joy and satisfaction increasing through the ages will be ours.
Paul spoke of this sonship in the book of Romans.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
The paralyzed man could never be the same after that day. When he looked into the eyes of Jesus, he saw love like he had never seen before. He forgot about his disease at that moment. He was lost in this incredible love. Suddenly, he felt life going through his legs. He was healed! What a moment. All he had thought about for years was his paralysis, when it didn’t matter, suddenly he was made whole. What kind of love was this? Love that saves your soul and heals your body. Suddenly he was on his feet and running toward his home. He couldn’t wait to tell his wife and all his friends. He had found a love better than life itself, now he knew why he was alive, to glorify his new friend, Jesus, and to tell everyone about His amazing love.
When Jesus saw their faith.
Jesus saw something when He looked at the paralytic and his friends. He saw an expectant faith in their faces. Where had this faith come from? They had heard stories of others that had received a miracle. Maybe their friend would get a miracle. As they drew near to Jesus, this hope began to change. When they looked through the hole in the roof, something awakened in their hearts. Something was about to happen, they just knew it. They had come to Jesus, something great was about to happen for their friend.
What is this thing Jesus saw in these men? What is faith? The author of Hebrews called faith a “substance”. What kind of substance is faith?
Faith is the effect grace has upon the human heart. Faith is the imparted ability to perceive the spiritual realm. Faith is the opening of our spiritual senses, so that the things of God’s kingdom become real to us. This is what David described when he said “Taste and see that the Lord is good”.
When the paralytic and his four friends came near to Christ, their senses began to be flooded with light. Grace and truth are in Christ. Their faith came alive and a miracle was birthed. Maybe you are facing circumstances that are beyond human remedy. Maybe you feel like faith is dim, and the Lord is far away. Actually, He is nearer than you can imagine. He is a very present help in times of trouble. Today, He is in your house, ready to impart faith into your life. How could that happen? Faith and love are in Christ Jesus. You do not have to work it up. Just get close to him, whatever it takes. Press through the crowd, climb up the tree, tear off the roof, or lift up your voice in desperation. The Lord is near and your miracle is in His hand. You do not have to depend on human faith, but you have access to God’s faith. As you get close to Him, your faith is awakened. He pours His faith into you and then looks into your heart. What does He see? He sees a glimmer of faith. Like He said to the paralytic,”Your sins are forgiven. Pick up your bed and go home”.
THE POWER OF DESPERATION
Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He (Jesus) was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
These men were desperate. Their friend was in trouble. Only a miracle would do for them. They needed to get to Jesus. The Bible is full of stories of desperate men and women. There is the woman with the issue of blood, there is tree-climbing Zacheus, of course the nobleman who walked from Capernaum to Cana (twenty miles) to receive a healing for his son. How could we forget the screaming of Bartimaeus or the persistence of the Caananite mother with the demonized daughter or Jairus who risked his career and reputation to see his little girl healed.
The Bible is full of stories of desperate people calling upon the Lord. These four friends in Capernaum did not leave disappointed. What would happen if they tore off a stranger’s roof? Would Jesus respond to their desperate action? What will He say when they break through the tiles? Their desperation was changed into faith when they came near to Jesus. He looked at the men, then looked at the paralytic, and He saw their faith.Their dreams were then realized. “Son, your sins are forgiven. Pick up your bed and go home.”
Maybe today you are in a place of desperation. It may seem there is no escape from your circumstances. Take courage, be not afraid. The Lord responds to the desperate cry. Make a determination to let your desperation bring you to Christ. Take some desperate measures to find Him. Maybe you can’t climb upon a roof, but take some new steps to seek after the Lord. Open your Bible, search the scriptures, you will always find Him there. As you approach Him, His eyes of compassion begin to search you heart. He picks up the smallest glimmer of faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed. Then He sends out His Word, ” Your sins are forgiven, go in peace, and be healed from your affliction”.
MEDICINE FOR YOUR FLESH
Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.
Jesus always preached the Word, after all He is the Word of God. It would be easier for the sun to stop shining, than for the Lord to stop declaring God’s Word. His creation is constantly declaring His Word, as David said,
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech”
God’s words are healing words. That day, Jesus was preaching in Capernaum, in Peter’s house. The house was filled, filled with people and filled with expectancy. Four men brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They were looking for a miracle. Jesus spoke His Word to this man. “Your sins are forgiven”, Jesus said. Then He said, “Pick up your pallet and go home.”
Without hesitation he got up and headed toward his house. The people in the house were stunned, stunned by the miracle and stunned by Who was standing in the room. The creator of all things was there, healing was inevitable.
Today, nothing is any different. Jesus is here, His Word is being preached, and healing is in the air.
20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
You can find healing for you soul and your body in God’s Word. Dig into the Bible. As Solomon said, it is healing for our flesh. Jesus is in the house. The Word is in His mouth. As you search the scriptures, more than information is going into you. Christ Himself is the Word of God. Life is in every word of scripture, that life is healing you, your soul and your body. Jesus is in the house, He lives in the Bible, today He wants to live in you.
POWER PRESENT TO HEAL
Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
The Presence of the Lord was in the room. Luke said “the power of the Lord” was present to heal. Luke was describing the power, dunamis, of the Holy Spirit. Of course God had anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power to heal the sick, but this was different. There was an unusual presence in the house. Something incredible was about to happen. Shortly after this, there was a noise on the roof. Four men were tearing a hole in the roof! Then, they began to lower a paralyzed man down in at the feet of Jesus. Within a few moments, the paralyzed man was on his feet. He was rolling up his pallet. He was going home. He was going home, healed! The people were filled with amazement and began to glorify the Lord. What else could you do? God’s power had been seen. The lame man was well. Our only response can be adoration of our Blessed Lord.
Jesus has not changed. He is pouring out His power in these last days to glorify His name. Maybe you or someone you know needs a miracle. Don’t despair, the power of the Lord is still being poured out. His presence is here now to heal you of your infirmities. How will it happen for you? Maybe through the laying on of hands, or during a time of intimate worship, or during the preaching of God’s Word, or maybe during your Bible reading time. He heals many different ways. The power of the Lord is present to heal. The atmosphere is beginning to change, something wonderful is about to happen. Put yourself in a position to receive. Get hungry for God. Maybe you won’t tear off someone’s roof, but press in, a miracle is coming toward you.
ENTER IN TO THE TREEPLANTER’S REST
Psalm 100:1-2 ESV
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
Serving the Lord with gladness is one of the perks we have as Christians. Most people relate work, or serving, with duty which lends itself to serving out of obligation rather than delight. There is a spiritual place available to us where we can enter into a place of rest and service regardless of what the
circumstances may be.
One of my first experiences with this supernatural service took place in the mountains of Oregon and Washington when I was doing reforestation work to support our Bible school in California. Parris and I lived in the mountains with our infant son Jeremy for seven months. We would camp with our team near a river, and live in our tent village. The living conditions and working conditions were quite difficult.
Tree planting takes place in the fall and winter months, and is especially cold and rainy in the mountains of the Northwest. Planting trees on the sides of those mountains for 10-12 hours per day was quite difficult and rather dangerous. Because of the conditions, without serving the Lord with gladness, you could be quite miserable. I experienced a number of those miserable days. One of the things we were taught by our Pastors was what they called “entering in”! The author of Hebrews describes this in Hebrews 4:11. “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of
You could embrace the work with joy if you embraced the Lord and His presence while treeplanting and if you saw the work connected to the ministry. Our physical work was advancing the kingdom, believing and acting on this changed everything. Planting trees in the mountains proved to be a great joy in my life. I was able to learn how to “enter in” and embrace the Lord in the midst of unpleasant circumstances. I was learning to serve the Lord with gladness.