Jesus’ Healing Ministry

I read about Jairus and the woman who bleeds and I’m impressed with their audacity. Like so many people I know, they have a need, and these guys do something right and something weird. The “something right” is that they bring their need to Jesus. The “something weird” is that they tell God how they want Him to meet their need. Jairus doesn’t even ask: “Come lay your hands on her and she will live.” The bleeding woman is just as specific: “If I can just touch the hem of his garment, I’ll be well.”

    What? If He touches you first, you won’t be healed?

I don’t understand this mentality. It looks like these people are desperate for a miracle, but by no means broken. They still maintain their own level of control over the situation, and apparently over God. “I want a miracle and I want it on my own terms, thank you very much!”

That has always struck me as the height of self-centeredness, telling God how to do the business of miracles. It seems more appropriate to bring the need to Him and to invite Him to meet the need His own way, not to insist He do it a certain way.

The blind guys of v27 – 31 behave like that, the way that I always figure is the more appropriate method for approaching God. Their blindness is self-evident, and they simply cry out “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” What a good model, I tell myself: they bring their need to God and let Him decide the method. The blind guys in Matthew 20:30 ask in exactly the same way. What is it about groups of blind guys that they get it? Good job guys! Let Him do the miracle His own way!

But Jesus is nonplussed. In this passage, He has to ask them “Do you believe I am able to do this?” The next group of blind guys in chapter 20 He has to ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” Come on, Jesus, their need is obvious!

But their faith isn’t obvious, and that may be the point. Jesus clarifies for this group: “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” You could paraphrase: “What you expect is what you get,” or even, “God will bless you in the way that you have faith for.” It’s like God (in this case, through Jesus) is so stinking eager to bless people that He’ll find a way to bring that blessing when they come to Him, even if they limit His means.
And it looks – from this series of stories anyway – like He really wants to bring that blessing in response to asking with some level of faith: He appears to not care how much faith, as long as there’s something there to work with.

They blind guys were – as I so often am – so concerned with not getting in God’s way that they exercised no faith at all, they just shouted their need. It seems that God isn’t nearly as offended by people with specific expectations of how He work their miracle as I am.

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. “

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