How many of you love to be on time?
How many of you…ehh…being on time is not as big of a deal to you?
I LOVE to be on time.
I’m obsessed with efficiency.
Every night, before I go to bed, I plan out most of my next day…by the minute.
I know I’m getting up at 5:45, my goal is to be downstairs by 6:17, out of my driveway by 6:25, arriving at the office by say 6:33
And I literally run most of my entire day like that. With constant time goals to increase my efficiency (finish this next thing in 7 minutes, etc.).
“I even track my sleep so I know how I can get the least amount of sleep possible and still feel good enough to maximize my detailed plan for the next day.
This sort of philosophy is all well and good if you want to accomplish a lot with your life…but there are some inherent downsides to it J
Like…what if things don’t go according to plan?
What if something takes longer than I thought it would?
And of course, there’s a broader, spiritual impact as well.
What if God isn’t working according to my timing?
And today’s passage in Luke chapter 8 is a great reminder that, often God…doesn’t work according to our timing.
For the last year now, on-and-off, we’ve been going verse-by-verse though the Book of Luke in the Bible
Which is one of 4 books of the Bible about Jesus’ life
We have gotten to the end of chapter 8, and Jesus’ is in the midst of his ministry up in Galilee...which is north of Jerusalem.
Today we have two stories, in a sandwich form…that is one story, with another one in the middle of it. Take a look…
(Luke 8:40-56) – NIV
40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
THE WOMAN WITH BLEEDING
Let’s start with the woman in the middle of the story.
This woman has something wrong with her reproductive system.
She’s been suffering from abnormal bleeding for 12 years …
In fact, The Gospel of Mark adds that she spent all of her money on doctors trying to figure it out…and now is broke without a cure.
But in fact, things are worse for this woman than we might even imagine.
Not only is she chronically ill (and also in abject poverty…)
Culturally, her condition would have made her an outcast.
In Jewish culture, any irregular flow of blood would have made one “unclean” to society…excluding them from religious and social circles.
Additionally, anyone who even touched her would have then themselves been considered unclean as well.
And yet…much like the Leper we studied in Luke 5 who “risked the pursuit” of Jesus and left his leper colony and came into to town to find Jesus…
This woman, too, fights her way through the crowd, comes up behind Jesus, and touches his cloak.
And when Jesus asks, “Who touched me?” and calls for her…
She comes forth TREMBLING
She’s trembling because she knows she wasn’t supposed to come in contact with others (which she surely did navigating through the crowd)
And she’s trembling because by touching Jesus, of all people, some might think that HE was now going to be unclean.
But that’s not possible. He’s the Son of God.
His perfect cleanness has made her clean. Made her well.
And her FAITH, has saved her.
JESUS’ PERPLEXING DECISION OF TIMING
That’s great and all, but think about all of this from Jairus’ perspective.
Jairus is the leader of a synagogue (which is like a Jewish church) whose 12 year old daughter is about to die.
Jesus has agreed to help her and is on his way…but He stops to talk with this other woman.
If you’re Jairus...what are you thinking as you’re watching Jesus stop for that other woman??
If it’s me…and it was my daughter who was sick…I’m absolutely losing my mind at that point.
I’m thinking, “Excuse me Jesus, this woman has been suffering for 12 years, my daughter could die in 12 minutes…just come back and help her later”
Imagine you’re Jairus, and your heart rate is through the roof as you’re waiting for Jesus to finish speaking with this other woman.
And the minutes seem like hours…
And then, as you’re waiting, and pacing, out of the corner of your eye you see one of your relatives approaching with a look of dread on their face.
And they bring word that it’s too late…your daughter is dead
OH man, I’m not sure how I would react, but if I look deep into my sinful self, I’m fairly confident I would give Jesus a piece of my mind about His lack of time management.
I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOD? I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME?
Have you been here?
I think we all have.
We decided that God was supposed to come through…at a certain time…in a certain way.
And He did not.
And the MOMENT He doesn’t come through (according to our timeline)…can feel absolutely crushing.
Get into Jairus’ heart at the moment he hears the words, “Your daughter is dead”
What does He feel towards Jesus in that moment?
Because the passage says that Jairus got word about his daughter WHILE Jesus was still speaking to the woman.
And what does Jairus feel towards Jesus now?
Certainly, he may be losing His faith that Jesus is really who He said He was.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN HIM OR IN HIM ACCOMPLISHING YOUR AGENDA?
But why is it that we feel like that in those moments?
For many of us it’s because we’ve become too accustomed, especially in the modern world, to looking at life as if we are in control…as if we know the best path for the future.
But I think we all must ask this question:
Do you believe in Him OR do you believe in Him accomplishing your agenda?
Do you follow Jesus or do you just want Jesus to follow you…and assist your agenda?
Over the years, I’ve heard too many people say, “I used to have a lot of faith, but then…this happened.”
“My friend got sick…and didn’t get better”
“I prayed I would marry this person…and they broke it off”
Most of the time, when we’re upset at God, we’re upset because He didn’t come through…according to our agenda.
WHICH IS NOT THE SAME as Him not coming through.
Listen, Jesus did not come through according to Jairus’ agenda…according to the way Jairus had planned it out.
When that messenger came, from Jairus’ perspective, Jesus was too late…
Jesus had failed him.
But was Jesus late??
No, Jesus is ALWAYS ON TIME.
His timing is always right!
Think of it this way:
How many of you have had to have the cell phone discussion with your kid? Like, “Mom, Dad, can I have a phone? I’m ALERADY 7. I should be able to be on snapchat, right?”
“Um, okay, first of all…as you said, you’re 7. Second of all, no. Not now. It’s not the right TIME for that yet”
And what’s going to happen?
They’re going to react by saying, “I can’t believe you! You’re ruining my life! You don’t love me!”
They’re not trusting that your timing is right…or wise.
But that’s okay…because you know and understand some things about life that they, at age 7, or 12, or 15, that they just don’t understand.
And if you think there’s a pretty big chasm between your understanding and theirs, I assure you that the chasm between your understanding and God’s understanding…is infinitely bigger
HIS WAY IS ALWAYS BETTER
I have a pastor friend who every single morning, when he wakes up, the very first thing he says to himself is, “There is a God, and it’s not me.”
Christian maturity require constantly, sometimes painfully, acknowledging that God’s plan is always better than ours.
Even when we can’t understand it.
Even when they say, “Your daughter is dead”
His way is always better than mine. It has to be.
Otherwise then I should be God…and that’s not a conclusion I want to land on.
This is an easy thing to say; it’s not an easy thing to believe.
To me, one of the most gripping moments of this fascinating passage is when Jairus hears that his daughter is dead, and immediately, Jesus turns to him and says, “Don’t be afraid (repeat)…just believe”
When life isn’t working out like you thought it would, and you feel your body tensing up, and your heart questioning God…
Hear Jesus through this passage: “Don’t be afraid…just believe”
Listen, often when God seems to delay, it’s not because He’s late, often it’s because you were early.
He’s got something planned, and often it’s far greater than what would have happened if He would have come on your timing.
This isn’t always the case…sometimes the road ahead is even tougher.
But I can’t tell you how many times in my life that if God would have operated according to my timing, the results would have been significantly inferior compared to what he eventually pulled off on HIS timing.
Jesus is always on time.
If Jesus had come to Jairus’ daughter on Jairus’ time, Jesus would have just healed her from her sickness, which would have been great.
But on Jesus’ time, He raised her from the dead.
Jesus wasn’t late. Jairus was just early.
Jesus is always on time.
Do you believe that in your life?
THE WAY TO SEEING THIS IS BY LOWERING YOUR PRIDE
We said that we struggle with trusting His timing because we want to trust our own timing…but what is at the root of that?
The reason that so many in our time are lowering or even losing their faith in God when He doesn’t work when they expect Him to…the reason…is because of our PRIDE.
It’s pride that says, “I know…I know what He should have done and when He should have done it”
That’s unbelievable arrogance…and we all are guilty of telling Almighty God that we know better.
There’s another reason these two stories are sandwiched together in this way.
If you’ve read the Gospels before, who is it that Jesus is always connecting with first?
Over and over and over again, the people who are connecting with Jesus, the people that He is using, the people who actually experience His power…
Are the people who in humility (not pride!) KNOW THAT THEY NEED HIM.
And I will tell you this is an ENORMOUS obstacle to our faith in Suburban America.
Most of you aren’t all that convinced that you really need Jesus.
Which, if that’s the case, put your seatbelt on, because your Loving Father will do whatever it takes to prove to you that you have absolutely no control over your life
…to prove to you that you are not the one setting the timing and future course projections for your life.
And if you think you are…and you live like you are…you’ll never go to Him.
Think about Scripture:
It’s the deaf and the blind that run to Jesus
It’s the poor that run to Him
It’s those who know they’ve sinned mightily against God who run to Him and allow Him to transform them.
But it’s the rich, in the Bible, who walk away…and decide not to follow Him
It’s those who think they are holier than their neighbors that scoff at Jesus from a distance...and question his every move.
What is God showing us in Luke 8?
The woman with chronic bleeding…she knows she needs Jesus.
Jairus, who was successful and well-liked, might not have thought He needed Jesus…but when his daughter was hours away from dying, He too, He KNOWS, HE needs Jesus.
At that point, it didn’t matter how influential or successful or smart He was…He couldn’t save His daughter.
The woman had been suffering as an outcast for 12 years…while Jairus and his daughter had probably been healthy and well-liked for 12 years
But at the feet of Jesus…everyone is the same.
At the feet of Jesus, we acknowledge that we bring nothing, we control nothing, and we KNOW nothing…of His Timing.
…except that it is right.
But you won’t truly come to God until you realize those things.
Jesus is wanting every single one of us today…to confess our pride.
Whether that’s you coming to Him for the very first time or surrendering again to Him.
We need to confess our pride in telling Him how and when He should act.
“And if you can do that, you can get close to Him again…because you’ll know you need Him.
Jesus isn’t looking for you to come to Him and ask Him to bless the timing of your plans.
He wants us to come to Him, bow down, and let Him guide our lives wherever He wants them to go.
That’s what Jairus is able to do in that moment when Jesus tells him, “Don’t be afraid, just believe”
If Jesus has you in that same moment right now, the “your daughter is dead” moment…where you can not understand what He’s doing…
Or when He has you in that sort of moment in the future…
Whatever you do…do not shake your head and decide that Jesus’ timing is all wrong…
If you do that…you’re no different than if Jairus would have walked away in disgust.
Can you imagine??
Can you imagine if Jairus would have said, “No Jesus, I won’t believe…how could you have let my daughter die?! I’m out of here!”
And yet…is that not what we do sometimes?
In our arrogance…we scold his timing and his plan.
And in doing so we not only inject our hearts with coldness but worst of all, we refuse to see what He’s going to do!
He’s wanting to bring resurrection and glory, but all we see is death!
Those moments…when God doesn’t act according to our timing…as painful as they are, they are blessed opportunities to let go of your grip on your “agenda for your life”…and drop it at the feet of Jesus.
Do you believe…that if you were surrendered to Him…that He can run your life better than you can?
Then it’s time to let go.
It’s time to stop telling Him He’s made a mistake.
He doesn’t make mistakes.
Jairus…what an example for us…he takes Jesus at his word…and he tries not fear…he tries to trade in his anxiety and fear for faith.
And he follows Jesus back to his house, through the living room of weeping and wailing, into his daughter’s bedroom where her lifeless body lays.
And because He had faith in Jesus’ timing, and not His own…He gets to watch as Jesus brings his dead daughter back to life!
He gets to see with his own eyes, and now deep into his heart…that this JESUS…IS ALWAYS…ON TIME!
This is what Jesus wants you to see!
Don’t turn away because his timing doesn’t look like yours.
Don’t turn away, or you’ll miss it!
“And even if you never have that moment on earth where it all makes sense...even if from the perspective of earth’s side of history things never appear to work out…and even if death overtakes you…
Was His timing still not perfect?
If life hits you so hard…that you die…which the world calls the greatest evil…
“Doesn’t His forgiveness from the cross prove even the timing of your death to be right…and good?
For what is death but a momentary suffering that ushers the Christian into absolute glory and joy…for eternity!
Jesus is ALWAYS on time.
A few years ago, I read the true story of a Pastor in Illinois and his sister, and it’s always stuck with me.
Pastor Steve Yescheck had a sister named Judy.
Judy was a woman who, as Steve described her, was a party animal—a big drinker with a self-contented lifestyle.
She was someone everybody loved, because she exuded excitement and a thrill for life.
When Pastor Steve tried to share Jesus with her over the years, she would laugh it off and just keep partying.
But at the age of 44, her world caved in.
She found out she had breast cancer.
She later learned her husband had cancer, too.
Adding to the devastation of these two blows, she discovered her husband was having an affair.
He subsequently announced he didn't love her anymore and left her.
And an observer might say, “What kind of timing is that God?!?
But it was in that context that Judy began to ask eternal questions and soon prayed to receive Jesus as her Savior.
Jesus and his Word and purpose became her priority.
With the same gusto she lived life as an unbeliever, she now approached her new life in Christ.
Her greatest aim was winning others to Christ. She boldly shared her faith even as she was undergoing surgery after surgery, praying for a miraculous healing from the Lord.
However, Judy ultimately came to see that the greater miracle would be for her friends and family to come to know Christ.
And so she gave herself completely over to whatever HIS TIMING would be for her life…instead of insisting that He operate by the demands of her timing.
Even though she was struggling to now breathe, she talked her way out of the hospital about ten days before her death so she could be baptized and publicly proclaim Christ as the only way of salvation.
Judy invited absolutely everyone she knew to come to her baptism service.
Under the Spirit's anointing, she powerfully and urgently shared her testimony.
Her 84-year-old father came to faith in Christ that night and was baptized—along with her ex-husband, a number of nieces, a college roommate who was a New Age cultist, her aunt, her sister, and others.
Ten days later, Judy died.
But she wasn’t done.
When her brother Steve read the message she had prepared for her own funeral service, another 100 people prayed to receive Christ that day...at her funeral.
Jesus is always on time. Always.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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