Deuteronomy 13:1-14:27; Luke 8:40-56; Psalms 71:17-24; Proverbs 18:1
NT: “When Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Just then, a man named Jairus came. He was a leader of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus’s feet and pleaded with him to come to his house, because he had an only daughter about twelve years old, and she was dying. While he was going, the crowds were nearly crushing him. A woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years, who had spent all she had on doctors and yet could not be healed by any, approached from behind and touched the end of his robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped… When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched him and how she was instantly healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” While he was still speaking, someone came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” When Jesus heard it, he answered him, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe, and she will be saved.” After he came to the house, he let no one enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s father and mother. Everyone was crying and mourning for her. But he said, “Stop crying, because she is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, because they knew she was dead. So he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he gave orders that she be given something to eat.” (Luke 8:40-44, 47-55 CSB)
What a day the disciples had! They sailed across the Sea of Galilee and nearly died in a sudden storm – but Jesus demonstrated His power and authority over the forces of nature by commanding the storm to be at peace, and they were all saved. Then they encountered a crazed demon possessed man that was completely out of control. Jesus demonstrated His power and authority over the kingdom of darkness by commanding the demons to leave the man. The man was completely set free and in his right mind. But the day wasn’t over yet. When they returned from their trip across the Sea of Galilee, they encountered two more people: Jairus, the wealthy and influential leader of the synagogue, and a nameless, penniless woman. Jairus had experienced 12 years of joy with his only daughter and was about to lose her to death. The woman had experienced 12 years of misery and wanted to be done with her condition once and for all. The two people came from opposite ends of the societal spectrum, but both were desperate, and both came to Jesus. In a matter of a few minutes, Jesus demonstrated His power and authority over sickness and death. The woman was healed by her faith in Jesus, and Jairus’ daughter was brought back to life. In each of the 4 situations, mankind had reached its limits and could do nothing further – but Jesus, a man filled with the power and authority of the Kingdom of God, did what no other man could do.
Psalms: “God, you have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim your wondrous works. Even while I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me, while I proclaim your power to another generation, your strength to all who are to come. Your righteousness reaches the heights, God, you who have done great things; God, who is like you? You caused me to experience many troubles and misfortunes, but you will revive me again. You will bring me up again, even from the depths of the earth. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. Therefore, I will praise you with a harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing to you with a lyre, Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you because you have redeemed me. Therefore, my tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long, for those who intend to harm me will be disgraced and confounded.” (Psalms 71:17-24 CSB)
The psalmist, who was currently experiencing a challenging situation, instead of becoming discouraged and hopeless, looked over his life and saw the faithfulness of God. He had followed the Lord from his youth, and he knew that God’s faithfulness would last into his senior years and beyond… even to the grave. Though he had experienced troubles and misfortunes in his live, God had always been faithful to renew and restore him… and he knew that God would do it again. Therefore, instead of being downtrodden, he would lift up his head to sing and shout for joy, and fill his life with praise to the faithful Holy One of Israel, who was like no other. Who or what do we place our faith in? Do we place our faith in government programs? Do we place our faith in our abilities? Do we place our faith in our nation’s economy? Do we place our faith in political movements? Do we place our faith in good-hearted people? There are numerous people, processes, or programs that we could place our faith in – but none of them compares to the Faithful Holy One. If we desire to be at peace and filled with hope, then we need to place our faith in the one who holds all power and authority and will never ever fail.