Summary: For Jairus in his desperation it must have seemed to be taking forever. "Lord I'm desperate here! Why this delay? My daughter is dead, and You can heal her with just a touch." Ever prayed like that?
Part 6 - Matthew 9:18-22 - LORD, WHAT'S WITH THE DELAY! I'm desperate here!
As a Pastor, I am now a Chaplain in an aged care facility. I start officially on Monday. Julie and I are spending time in a little holiday house in a town called Padanga in Australia before I start. There is NO INTERNET RECEPTION AND NO MOBILE PHONE RECEPTION HERE! How good is that? We can't contact anyone and they cannot contact us for 5 days! I look out the window at the water and some huge old trees.
As we left to come away, our grandson said to his mum, "I will miss Nanny and Pa". It is nice to be missed. But we will come back again. In Matthew 9:18 we come across a man who faced the situation of never seeing his daughter again. Not because he left but because she died. We know his name was Jairus from the book of Mark which tells the same story. DEATH IS NORMALLY SO FINAL.
Jesus has a crowd around Him as He seeks to make His way to the house of Jairus where the funeral is taking place at this very moment. I have noticed that a funeral is often a place where people seek Jesus. Obviously Jesus is the last chance for this man because JAIRUS ACTUALLY LEAVES THE FUNERAL in order to come to Him. He refused to accept the death of his daughter.
HIS DAUGHTER IS DEAD! He is about as desperate as you can get! Desperate faith is a powerful thing. Here is a synagogue leader, a religious man, kneeling before Jesus and declaring that He can heal his dead daughter! Now right there - THAT'S WORSHIP! WHEN DESPITE THE HOPELESSNESS OF MY CIRCUMSTANCES I STILL CHOOSE TO COME TO CHRIST AND BOW AT HIS FEET. In Matthew 9:18 (NLT) Jairus says "you can bring her back to life again if You just come and lay Your hand on her."
What would I say or do if someone came to me and made that kind of declaration? Would I pass it off as grief or genuinely seek God as to whether He wanted me to be involved in praying for life to return to a little girl?
Jesus is concerned enough about one person to get up and go to this man's house. People are crowding around Him on the way. Then all of sudden, THERE IS A DELAY. On the way a woman who has suffered from uncontrollable bleeding for 12 years is healed. Her faith is acknowledged. For Jairus in his desperation it must have been like a dream where everything slows down and you can't seem to achieve your purpose. "Lord I'm desperate here! Why this delay? My daughter is dead, and You can heal her with just a touch." Ever prayed like that?
For the last 12 years the woman who came to Jesus had been sick. For the last 12 years Jairus' daughter had been well. In a moment the woman had been healed after 12 years of sickness. In a moment a little girl had died after 12 years of health. In Matthew 9:22 (NLT) "Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "DAUGHTER, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was healed at that moment." There was a DIVINE DELAY on the way to Jairus' house. JAIRUS WANTED HIS DAUGHTER TO BE HEALED at that moment. But the moment belonged to ANOTHER DAUGHTER.
Couldn't she have waited. In order of importance DEATH SEEMS TO RATE HIGHER THAN SICKNESS. Afterall she'd waited 12 years. Couldn't she have waited a little longer? Couldn't I? Perhaps Jairus needed this delay to increase his trust in Jesus. Perhaps I go through "DIVINE DELAYS" TO INCREASE MY FAITH.
By the way, Jairus would have been horrified if this woman had touched him. She was considered unclean. She was to be ostracised. But Jesus responds to this woman's faith as well as to Jairus' faith. He looks past the RELIGIOUS EXTERIORS AND THE SOCIAL STIGMAS to what is happening on the inside of my life. All of a sudden I begin to get a perspective of others according to HOW JESUS SEES THEM. I also get a perspective of how He sees me.
How does this apply to me? When Jesus delays in order to heal someone else, can I love them enough to wait? Can I be patient enough to pray for them when I am in a hurry? Am I willing to see others healed and wait while my miracle is yet to come? Am I willing to love others enough to pray for their healing even though God has yet to intervene into my situation? Or is my miracle more important and my anguish too much for me to be patient with God? Do I see people around me as only delays to what God wants to do in my life? Before I answer I have to ask "What if it were my daughter?"
God bless you Church in the delays, as you wait for the miracle you need. It is often in the divine delays that He is working His purposes out.