Mercy along the Way

And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

Mark 5:24-36

I find the gospel accounts of the healings wrought by our Savior remarkable. It is never a challenge for Him to heal or help. He makes no great show of His power. Many times Jesus instructs those He healed and those who witness the healing to tell no one about what He did. Jesus was not healing or preaching to have fame and recognition in the world. Jesus came to heal and save. In a word, Jesus came to show mercy.

In this account, Jesus was traveling to help Jairus, a ruler whose twelve-year-old daughter was dying. He was going to perform a very great miracle, so many people were following Him. During the trip, a woman pushed through the thick crowd and simply reached out to touch the hem of his garment. When she did, she was immediately healed! Jesus did not show a great physical performance or stage a dramatic scene for this healing. If Jesus had said nothing, the woman might have slipped away, and only she and He would have known that this miracle had occurred.

This woman had spent all her money as she sought help from others, but none were able to heal her. She had actually suffered under the treatment of these physicians. When Jesus asked who had touched Him, she became very afraid because she knew what great power had flowed from Jesus to her. But Jesus did not rebuke her or require payment for His work. He comforted her. He reminded her that she had used her God-given faith to come to Jesus for help.That is what our faith is for! It brings us into a deeper trust in our Redeemer.

Jairus was traveling with Jesus back to his house when this miracle and conversation occurred. Jairus needed to see and hear this act of comfort from the Savior, for while this was happening, his daughter had died. This would certainly be a blow to any father. I know I would be greatly frustrated if I had come to someone for help, and they delayed! Jesus immediately comforted the grieving father. Jairus had come to Jesus in faith, knowing that Jesus could help. He witnessed Jesus healing the woman and comforting her for acting in faith. Now, Jesus comforted Jairus first, reminding him that he had come in faith seeking help. Jesus encouraged him to keep believing because Jesus would raise his little girl!

James teaches us a similar lesson about prayer in his epistle:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

James 1:5-7

James instructs us to ask God for wisdom and expect to receive it. Why can we have this confidence? God is pleased to make us wise in His counsels. When we come to God in faith, we have no need to fear. We can be comforted when we see God acting. We also can be comforted before God moves. Why?  He has promised to be with us all the way. He is plenteous in mercy!

The gospel, when embraced by faith, gives us comfort that God has already saved us from our sins, and gives us hope of our ultimate redemption in the resurrection!

Dear one, if you believe that Jesus died for you, that means He has given you the faith to trust Him. So, when times are hard, trust Him. He will raise you up at the last day, but He is also here to help along the way!

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