We continue our series in the Gospel of Luke today by looking at Luke 8:40-56.

Doubting Jesus is not a recent thing. It's been going on for two thousand years. It happened in Jesus' day. And Luke is interested in addressing those doubts about Jesus, that skepticism about Him. In this passage it's interesting, even Peter is a little baffled with Jesus in this passage. And then later the people who are mourning in the household of Jairus are baffled with Him to the point that they laugh at Him. This is brought to our attention because Luke wants to put before us a truth claim about Jesus that flows out of something that He actually did, something that would have been indisputable to the people who saw it in that town, that is designed to address the doubts that they have about Jesus.

Luke knows that many of his initial hearers or readers of this story are going to have their doubts about Jesus. One of the things that we have said consistently in our study of this book is that he is addressing those doubts systematically as he tells the history of Jesus, as he shares key points in His life and ministry as he elucidates things about who Jesus is and what He did and what He taught and what He was here for, because skeptics of Jesus have been around for a long time. We have skeptics of Jesus in our own day and Luke in this story is addressing some of their own in their own time.

I want to draw your attention to both of the stories in this passage today to see how Luke does this. The first story is the story of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. By the way, the story itself is another proof to you, isn't it, that the Bible is true. The Jews were enemies of Jesus and of His followers in the days in which Luke was writing, and so you would expect every Jew to be portrayed as evil, as an opposer of Christ. That's not how you find it in the gospels. The closest followers of Christ were Jews. And even this man not numbered among the disciples, a man who is actually the leading elder of a local synagogue, has enormous respect for Jesus, and Jesus has a very evident love and concern for his wellbeing and life and family. It's just one of a myriad of testimonies that this Book is not made up. You wouldn't have written it like this if you were making up the story. This story only makes sense if it's actually recording what happened.

Well, this synagogue elder comes to Jesus imploring Jesus to come help him. Jesus immediately begins to make His way towards Jairus' house. That's when the second story interrupts the first story. As He's on the way to the house, a crowd of people is pressing in around Him and following Him and a woman who has had a discharge of blood for a dozen years. She had sought all the medical help she could possibly seek, she had spent the whole of her livelihood on it, and no doctor had been able to help her.

Well, this woman proceeds to follow Jesus into that crowd and she reaches her hand out to touch Him, and she touches Him. And immediately Jesus stops and says, "Who touched Me?" Peter's a little incredulous about this. Now Jesus is not asking this question for His benefit, He's asking this question for her benefit and for your benefit. And you see that in the follow up to it.

"Someone touched Me" - verse 46 - "for I perceive that power has gone out from Me." And when the woman realizes that she is not hidden, she comes and she prostrates herself before Jesus. This is the second person in the passage to bow before Jesus. Notice that both of these people that bow before Jesus believe that He is able to cure what ails them

But here's what I want you to see - had you been a skeptic of Jesus, sitting among the Jews hearing this read for the first time, and they see this woman who is unclean reaching out to touch Jesus, what is going on in their mind is, "No, no, no, no, no! Do not touch Him! He will be unclean!" And then Luke tells you this you see what Luke is saying to the skeptics of his day? He (Jesus) did not become unclean; she became clean. He will one day go outside the camp for her, but He was not made unclean by coming in contact with her. She was made clean because she put her faith in Him. That's why He says to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well." He's not saying that somehow faith magically did something for her. He's saying that faith in Him was the instrument, the means, the conduit, of the blessing of His healing grace. He is the one who made her well. God's grace and mercy and love and power made her well, but it was her faith by which she grasped it.

It's just the way it is in salvation, isn't it? Faith, in and of itself, does not save us. God's grace saves us. Christ's life and death and resurrection saves us. But we must believe on Him to receive the benefit of His life and death and resurrection - His saving work. Luke wants us to understand that. He wants even the most hardened skeptic to understand that. When you come into contact with Him, He's not made unclean, you're made clean, and He has the power to heal you immediately, even things that no one else can.

Well, the story continues on. By this time, the servants of the house have come to Jairus and said, "I'm so sorry, your daughter is dead. Don't trouble Him any more." Jesus does not waver, and notice what He says - "Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well." He makes His way to the household. The mourning has already started. They're weeping in the household, and appropriately so. What a tragic picture. The man's only child, a beloved daughter, and she's dead. She's gone. And Jesus walks in and says, "She's not dead, she's only sleeping. She will be well." And they laugh at Him. They don't know what to make of Jesus. Jesus enters in just with His inner circle of disciples - Peter and James and John - and just with the mother and father, and He reaches out and He touches a corpse. And every Jewish listener and every Jewish reader is saying, "Don't touch her! Don't touch her! You'll be unclean!" And He speaks to her like a parent awakens a cherished child in the morning - "Child, wake up." But He's not unclean and she's alive! And so once again Luke has testified to who Jesus is. He doesn't become unclean when He touches a corpse. He doesn't become unclean when He comes into contact with this woman who has the bloody discharge. No, they become clean, they become alive. You see what Luke is doing? He's telling you who Jesus is and he's saying this - believe Him. You can trust Him. You can stake your life on Him and He will not fail you.