Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Luke 8:41-56, Galatians 1:11-19

The Gospel and the Epistle readings for today have a common message. Do Not Fear! Have Faith! Receive Christ’s Salvation! Do the work of one who has been saved — through acts of kindness and charity to all.

In today’s Gospel we read of two encounters with Jesus. The first was a prominent man of means by the name of Jairus and his sick daughter, he fears she might die without immediate attention from the Lord...the Great Physician.

And the second encounter interrupts the first one ... a woman with uncontrolled bleeding. For twelve years the woman had suffered at the hands of many doctors. No medical treatment or physician had been able to alleviate the bleeding. She reaches out her hand — just one of many hands in the crowd reaching to touch Jesus. As Jesus passes by, the woman touches Him and is instantly healed.

This encounter inspires our faith ... faith which proclaims ... "All things are possible with God." In faith, this woman reached out and touched Jesus ... and was healed.

This story inspires us to have faith at all times ... no ills which affect our bodies and souls are incurable ... no matter how serious or long-established they may be.

Even where apparent spiritual death is concerned, one must take heart and have hope against all hope.

During this encounter with Jesus, a message is brought to Jairus that his daughter has died. The grieving father cries, "Jesus, if only You had been there, my daughter would not have died." Jesus responds, "She is not dead, just sleeping."

As Jesus makes His way to the home of Jairus, a large crowd of people follows Him, many ridiculing Him for such a statement. Arriving at the home, Jesus reaches out and takes the girl by the hand, commanding her to arise ... to wake up ... and she opened her eyes and stood up.

To prove she was indeed alive, Jesus asks her mother to give her something to eat and drink.

In every aspect of our lives, we must have faith and not despair, either for ourselves or for others. We must never say: "there is no hope ... nothing can be done ."

In these extreme cases, one can no longer count on human intervention ... Jesus Christ alone can perform the miracle ... it was the Apostle who said, "Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever." Jesus Christ is our Healer ... Jesus Christ is our Savior.

As the Great Physician, Jesus Christ can heal anyone of anything. Though we may pray and have great faith, people are not always healed of physical problems ... sometimes they die ... but Jesus our Lord and Savior always heals our spiritual bodies and meets our spiritual needs. When we repent and believe and ask ... Jesus Christ is always merciful. Jesus Christ is our merciful Savior. The God of all mercy.

Oh yes, in the story of Jairus’ daughter ... Jesus put all those who did not believe out of the room ... all the doubters ... all the skeptics ... "and He took the girl by the hand ... He touched her ... and she came to life."

This great message of hope ... of faith ... introduces the season ushering in the Advent of Christ.

In its own way, the Gospel today speaks clearly of the victory of light over darkness. We are again confronted with Christ’s invitation to step from the darkness of despair into Him and into His light. In Scripture, Jesus is called "the Light of the world." Our hope is built on Jesus Christ ... nothing else ... and nothing or no one else is needed ... only Jesus Christ.

The Apostle in today’s reading says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God — not because of works lest anyone should boast."

Someone once penned the words ...

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
look full in His wonderful face
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace.

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