joy 30 day devotional through the gospel of luke

Luke 8:40–48 (NLT) On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him. 42 His only daughter, who was about twelve years old, was dying. As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. 43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

The Encounter painting by Daniel Cariola

“Who touched me?”  Have you ever been in a crowd of people where you can’t take two steps without bumping into someone with a constant, “Excuse me,” “Pardon me?”  This is the scene when Jesus was summoned to the home of Jairus to heal his daughter.

In the crowd was a lady who had been bleeding for 12 years.  She was desperate.  We’re told she had exhausted her savings in search of a cure, but to no avail.  Plus, she had another problem.  She was ceremonially unclean and therefore not allowed to worship in the Temple.

So in her desperate state she vowed to touch Jesus.  Weaving her way through the crowd, “Excuse me,” “Pardon me,” she made her way to Jesus’ feet.  Through the crush of the people, she touched the tzitzit (tassels) on His garment.  She was healed immediately.  Can you imagine her joy of being delivered from this awful sickness?

Jesus asked, “Who touched me?”  The disciples thought, “Who touched you?  The answer is everyone!”  As Jesus looked through the crowd, I can imagine His eyes falling on this lady.  Trembling, she fell at His feet (which is something any wise person would do) and confessed.  Jesus was not asking because He did not know.  He was asking so that she could bear witness as the Scriptures say, “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.” (Psalm 107:2).

The Prophet Jeremiah was frustrated with the people’s apathy toward his preaching.  He determined to stop sharing the word of the Lord with people who weren’t interested. Then he declared, “But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not” (Jeremiah 20:9).  Jeremiah understood what the disciples experienced, “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20).

In 2009 a Catholic priest was leading a project to build a guest house on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee when they discovered the ancient city of Magdala.  This is the home of Mary of Magdala who you know as Mary Magdalene.  Magdala was a small village on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus visited this place many times and taught in the synagogue.  When we visit that spot, we know for certain that Jesus walked those ancient streets.  In the guest center is this painting of the woman touching Jesus’ tassels that takes your breath away.

So What?  Share how the Lord’s deliverance has given you joy.

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