Today Pastor Ed preached a second sermon in the series titled "Fantastic: incredible stories from Jesus' life and their significance for us." This one covered the passage in Luke 8:40-56, where Jesus heals a woman sick for years and then raises a little girl from the dead.
First, Jesus is asked to come to a synagogue leader's home to heal his daughter, who is very sick. Along the way, he's interrupted when a woman touches him -- and Jesus feels power going through him to heal her.
We have to admit, that is a weird thing for him to say!
For those who'd like to domesticate Jesus, this encounter is deeply disturbing.
This goes way past bizarre to fantastic.
God's power is real. And it's huge. We shouldn't be surprised when it has a physical effect.
Then the synagogue leader is told not to bother Jesus any longer, because his daughter is dead. But Jesus goes to his house and brings the girl back to life.
There were three conditions surrounding these healings: Desperation, faith (those two are cousins), and the presence of Jesus.
His presence is here today.
There are two reactions to this:
- You can't be serious.
- I believe it. But what's wrong? Why don't we see more of this?
To the first, we say: Yes, we're serious. We have seen Jesus' power.
Please, examine your doubts and your worldview. When the rational approach favors faith, we turn to doubt. Put your doubt under the same scrutiny as your faith. Science doesn't prove a materialistic worldview, it assumes it.
To the second (Why don't we see more of this?), we look at Philippians 3:16 and 4:9. We need to put into practice what we've already attained.
Why is our boldest prayer, "Help the surgeon's hand?"
I'm still processing my response to this message. But even as I write that, I wonder if that's a way of distancing myself.
How about you? What's your reaction? What thoughts and feelings did the message stir up? Does anyone have stories of feeling God's power?