Pastoral Message – June 27, 2021
Have you ever wondered and asked yourself “How much faith in God do I have?” Or “Has my faith changed and been actualized in words and deeds?” Or “How am I supposed to share my faith with others around me?” Such questions relate to the message God is offering us this weekend.
In the gospel today, we hear that Jesus performed two miracles and these two miracles are interrelated. First, Jesus healed a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years. After that miracle, he resurrected a young girl who was twelve years old. We can identify, then, with some key themes of today’s gospel including “Death” and “Faith.” Jesus has the power to cure and heal any threat that could shatter human life. So Faith in Jesus can save us from death.
Everyone has some sort of faith. One way to describe faith is as our belief in God that also grounds our own view of who we are. Our faith is connected to our sense of personal identity. Looking at the faith of the woman with hemorrhages one might think she has a strong faith in Jesus: “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” What a sample of faith! To some, especially in ancient times, it might be considered superstitious to want to touch a material object in order to attain some desired effect. In ancient times, many people believed in magic. When people would touch someone or something they perceived as powerful, they expected to be healed. Somehow, by God’s grace, the woman did something very simple that lead to her healing. Somehow, God gifted her heart and mind with faith in Jesus as One who possessed heavenly power. This woman is healed because of her faith in Jesus as he himself tells us in the Gospel for today. Also Jairus, who is a synagogue officer, obviously had a strong faith in God, and Jesus healed his daughter. We can see it doesn’t matter how big or how small our faith is. God will save us from death if we just have faith in Him. Remember the gospel two weeks ago Jesus told us that: “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.” We just need to have a little faith and God will do the rest.
The woman has nothing. She is an outcast, a sinner, she is bleeding. She is not allowed to attend the worshiping community in this condition. She has become a nobody of sorts. Her name is not worth mentioning. Jairus, on the other hand, has everything. He has power, social status and influence. He is in charge of public worship in the synagogue. He is a person of importance. These two people, with many differences between them, are alike in that they recognize their need of Jesus. The woman desperately realized her need can only be fulfilled by Jesus. The man with so much power can see that he has a problem that can only be solved by Jesus. These two people from two very different worlds have the same faith. Their ultimate and shared needs as vulnerable creatures can only be fulfilled and fixed by Jesus.
As we’ve learned, it doesn’t matter how big or how small our problems might be. Jesus’ love has no boundaries. If we just have a little faith, our faith will save us from death. That is the good news that Jesus wants all of us to hear. Just learn and pray to have more FAITH in GOD and share your FAITH with others, however different they might be. As he told the woman he will tell them, anyone with faith in him, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”