Posted by: pmarkrobb | May 2, 2012

no “x” only equation

At times I struggle to help my oldest son with his Math homework.  Certain things are crystal clear to me, and others confound me to the degree that I wonder how I ever passed 8th grade Math.  To determine the value of “x” in an “x” only equation could be done with both calculators tied behind my back, but add “y” and you might as well fire up the Macbook, because YouTube is in our future. 

I came across multiple factors in this week’s focus on the parallel accounts of Jesus healing a woman and a young girl.  One was plain as the nose on my face, but the other was not quite as obvious.  As I read and quietly considered each of the accounts, however, I wondered how I had ever missed it.  I am very familiar with the individual accounts of each healing.  I’ve had the opportunity to read them many times.  Reading the part where Jesus palpably feels the power leave Him when the woman touches the hem of His robe always intrigues me.  I completely get how that would happen, but I would love to experience something similar just once.  I have worked with electricity and experienced the awkward tingle or jolt of current that is the guaranteed result of even minor carelessness.  Did it feel something like that?  Whatever the feeling, both Mark and Luke’s accounts reference Jesus stopping and addressing the crowd immediately after it happened.  So it would suggest that Jesus experienced something truly physical.

In the story of the young girl, I resonate with the one who suggests to Jairus that he not continue bothering Jesus after learning that his daughter had died.  Jairus went to Jesus as the only hope for his critically ill daughter and pleaded with Him to heal her.  Did he know in his heart that Jesus could heal her?  Was this the equivalent rolling temple dice?  Or maybe he had been a Thomas-like witness of other healings?  Whatever the motivation, he went to Jesus in the knowledge that his daughter was still alive.  But what now, when he hears news of his daughter’s death?  The Bible doesn’t speak of his response, but I wouldn’t be in a place to judge if his heart agreed with the suggestion to release Jesus of the burden.  I know how fragile my emotions are when hope seems lost.

As I quietly considered both stories and the gospel writers’ accounts, my mind began to see past my previous curiosities and resonance to another factor that I had not fully considered.  Where you might be tempted to say that this is an “x” only equation, with the “x” being Jesus’ power to heal, it is not nearly that simple.  To see this other factor more clearly, let’s consider Jesus’ work in His hometown in Mark 6:5. 

And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them…

Does Jesus have the power to heal? Yes!  Is belief a factor?  Mark 6:5a says, “Yes!”  Is Jesus’ power to heal limited by unbelief?  Mark 6:5b says, “No!”

…except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.

Life is not an equation.  Faith is not an equation.  Jesus’ healing is not an equation.  If it was, some people you know (perhaps even you) would have been healed by now.  Understanding those truths, the Bible clearly states that belief is a factor in healing.  It was belief that caused a woman who had “…suffered a great deal from many doctors” (Mark 5:26a NLT) to fall to her knees and reach out to touch the robe of Jesus.  It was belief that drove a leader of the synagogue to his knees to plead with Jesus to “…Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” (Mark 5:23b NLT)  It was belief that fueled his steps with Jesus all the way home even after the news of his daughter’s death.  And it was unbelief that was the singular factor that limited the miracles Jesus could do in his own hometown.

Whether you or someone you know is in need, believe that Jesus can heal.  Look no further than our readings this week to know that He has, and He does. 

If there is a need for healing, reach out to us at journeyonwordwithus@gmail.com.  We would love to come alongside you in prayer.  If there is a need to know the Jesus who heals, reach out to us.  We would love to come alongside you and share the good news of Jesus.  Believe today!


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