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On Desperation, Superstition, Fear-- and Faith

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Analyzing the reasons people "come" to Christ, and the only way that actually leads to adoption as a child of God.

Text: Luke 8:40-48
Date: 12/04/2022, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 85

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After leaving the "reborn" demoniac in the land of the Gerasenes, Jesus and His disciples return to Capernaum where He is immediately and urgently beseeched by a ruler of the synagogue to come and heal his dying daughter. On the way a woman who has suffered from an incurable flow of blood for 12 years sneaks up behind Jesus to touch His robe, hoping to be healed. Despite the fact her belief is intermingled with desperation, superstition and fear-- she is instantly healed. Jesus recognizes that healing power has gone out of Him and surprisingly stops and asks the jostling crowd around Him who touched Him. Realizing she has been found out, the woman falls down before Jesus, who assures her that because of her faith, she has not only been healed physically but spiritually as well. There are deep Christological and soteriological issues in this short passage that we will attempt to analyze and discuss. Questions like: "What was the nature of the woman's faith?" And "How active was Jesus' human nature in this healing?" And "How did she become a member of the family of God?" Ultimately we will realize that although desperation, superstition and fear may lead us to Jesus, it is only through God's gift of regeneration, faith and adoption that we gain membership into the family of God.

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 8:40-48.
A. Context
B. The woman with a flow of blood.
1. A miracle within a miracle, vs. 40-42.
a. Comparing the crowds, Mark 5:21.
i. A different crowd, Luke 8:37.
ii. Not so different after all, Matt. 11:23.
b. Jairus' request, vs. 41-42a.
i. Introducing Jairus.
ii. The desperate plea, Luke 8:28.
iii. The reason for the plea, vs. 42a, Mark 5:23.
c. Jesus heads to Jairus' house, vs. 42b.
2. The unnamed woman, vs. 43.
a. The discharge of blood.
i. The nature of her illness, Lev. 15:19, 33.
ii. Twelve years of misery.
iii. Jesus, friend of the defiled, Luke 5:12, 8:27, 7:39.
b. An incurable illness, Mark 5:26.
i. Grounded in superstition.
ii. Resulting in sheer desperation.
3. The miraculous "touch", vs. 44.
a. The nature of the "touch".
i. A clandestine touch, Matt. 9:21.
ii. Touching the fringe of His garment, Num. 15:38-39.
iii. More than just a touch, Luke 7:14.
b. The woman is healed, Matt. 9:22, Mark 4:39, Luke 8:35.
4. Jesus' reaction to the healing, vs. 45-46.
a. A seemingly ridiculous question, vs. 45.
i. Feeling the touch, vs. 45a.
ii. Peter's "not-so-surprising" reaction, vs. 45b.
b. A profound Christological revelation, vs. 46.
i. When Jesus healed, it depleted Him physically.
ii. Jesus' divine power and human will.
1) What exactly did Jesus know?
2) What kind of faith was it?
5. The woman's confession, vs. 47.
a. The reason for her fear.
b. The importance of public profession, Luke 8:39, Rom. 10:9.
6. The woman's salvation, vs. 48.
a. Go in peace, Luke 8:50, Phil. 4:7.
b. Defining "your faith".
i. Many see it as the woman's faith.
1) Explaining the healing from this perspective.
2) Questions on this perspective.
ii. But her faith is a gift from God.
c. Saving faith.
i. A most unusual address.
ii. Reasons for interpreting this as "saving faith", Luke 7:48, 8:21, John 1:12.
d. The absolute necessity of adoption, Eph. 2:3, John 3:16.
III. Application
A. What kind of faith will save you?
1. "Coming to Jesus" out of desperation.
2. "Coming to Jesus" in superstition.
3. "Coming to Jesus" out of fear.
4. Coming to Jesus with true faith, Jer. 29:13, Acts 16:31.
B. Adopted into "the family".
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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