A weekly devotional designed to help you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, through practical application of spiritual truths from God's word.
Applying the Bible Krystal Craven Christian Music
- Religion & Spirituality
A weekly devotional designed to help you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, through practical application of spiritual truths from God's word.
On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” (Luke 9:10-13)
Jesus’ disciples had returned from their missions when He took them to Bethsaida, but the crowds were seeking Jesus out and following Him. Isn’t that in itself a beautiful picture? Jesus could barely arrive at a town before news would spread and people came seeking Him. Notice that Jesus didn’t get frustrated that He was being bombarded by crowds everywhere He went. He welcomed them to come and sit at His feet as He told them of the kingdom of God and healed the sick. Jesus was always willing to give of Himself for the mission His Father sent Him for.
Now when the day started to end, the disciples took concern that they were in a desolate place since there was nowhere close by to get provisions. But the disciples didn’t go to Jesus, express their concern, and ask Him what to do. This is where the first mistake was made - they told Jesus what to do in saying, “Send the crowds away…". Nevertheless, Jesus responds by giving them a command to give the people something to eat.
And Jesus’ response only seemed to baffle the disciples because they tell Him the amount of food they actually do have as if it was nothing. Now physically speaking, yes, five loaves of bread and two fish wasn’t realistically enough to feed about five thousand men, plus women and children. However, where had the disciples just come back from?
His disciples had just returned from being sent out on missions in which they took nothing for their journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra clothes – yet they didn’t lack anything in the process. And now they see a crowd of people in whom they rightfully have concern for their physical needs, but think it an impossible task when Jesus said, “You give them something to eat”. They already had some resources to work with, which was way more than they had taken on their missions.
Now we can’t just sit here and judge the disciples, because in all honesty we’d probably do the same exact thing. Have you ever gone to a retreat or a short-term mission trip and experienced God’s work in such an awe-inspiring tangible way? And yet when you return, when you “come back down from the mountain top”, sometimes things fade back to “normal” and you may not have taken away applicational truth, even though you experienced God’s work firsthand. I believe this is what happened to the disciples.
They had to have faith to walk in what Jesus told them to do on their missions and they went out mentally and spiritually prepared for what they might face. Yet when they came back, they in a sense stopped expecting God to work through them.
BUT, wouldn’t we rather respond with faith that can move mountains when Jesus tells us something like that, regardless of whether we’re on a mountain top, mission trip, in the city, at the grocery store, etc? How do we learn from this so that we don’t react in the flesh but instead respond with a faith that pleases God? It’s based on our mindset and resolution.
Expectations & Tools
If we go out to our days at work, school, wherever, with the same expectation and mindset as we do when we go out to retreats and mission trips, then we’ll be prepared for God to do amazing works and be ready to be used however He would like us to be u
Tell Him Everything
On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. (Luke 9:10a)
After the apostles were sent and given power, they went preaching the gospel and healing everywhere, AND they came back and told Jesus about it! Just because they were sent in power by Jesus doesn’t mean they were now forever going to be in a season of outreach. They came back and shared with Jesus what they had encountered and done.
Yes, Jesus already knows the things we do, He is the one who sends us out, BUT the act of coming before God and sharing with Him the stories of what we do when we’re empowered by the Holy Spirit is a special thing.
Have You Ever
Have you ever been shooting a basketball and then you make a 3-pointer shot or sink a layup? Or maybe you get out a sketchpad and draw and then end is a beautiful artwork. Or you organize your garage or another space in your house. In all these things, don’t you want to tell your family and friends and share that excitement with them?
What about when you get into a car accident, or you get injured, or you find out you’re being laid off at work – don’t you have the urge to tell others and have their support?
Created to Connect
This inclination to share our experiences with others was created into us. We are social beings in which God created in His own image. This means that God desires to be a part of our experiences and share Himself with us too. We were created with the intention of relationship with God, so to deny that aspect of our relationship with Him just because He is omniscient is to miss out on sweet moments with our Father, Savior, and Helper.
There is another aspect to sharing with God too. Along with the excitement of joyous moments is also the hardship, the questions, and thanksgiving. We cannot forget to be grateful to God for Who He is and how He empowers us to do the works we do. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing, so we’d be awfully remiss if we didn’t thank God for everything.
Let me ask you this –When the dust of the day has settled, you’ve eaten dinner, and it’s time to go to bed, do you consider God before you go to sleep?
I want to challenge you to try adding something to your routine at night. And if you already do this, that’s awesome, and if not, give it a try and see what kind of difference it makes in your relationship with God:
Try taking time before sleeping (it could even be while you’re lying in bed) and share with God all that you did that day, also being mindful to thank Him for what He did in you, through you, and for you that day. Share your excitements, your joy, your sadness, your hurt, your growth, and your hope. Jesus died, killing the enmity we once had with God through His body so that we might be reconciled, no longer being enemies but friends with God. God can truly be your very best friend, if you let Him. Will you try this challenge starting tonight?
I will leave you with these verses:
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:9-11)
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:8-9)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. (Luke 9:1-6)
This section where Jesus sends out His disciples is amazing, isn’t it? Jesus gave them authority to do the works He had been doing and sent them out on mission, except there was now 12 men to go out instead of just Himself.
Here are some really awesome nuggets from this that we’re going to focus on this week:
Called & Empowered
Jesus not only called His disciples to this work, but He gave them the power and authority to complete the calling. Jesus had already been equipping His disciples as they walked with Him daily and learned from Him. They may not have felt ready for this mission, but as we’ll see later on, when they stepped out in faith to walk in the calling, they indeed were empowered to do it.
When Jesus calls you to do something, you may not feel able and on your own abilities and talents you might be correct in that assessment. It’s not usually the people who are equipped in the worldly sense that God calls. Many times in scripture we see the opposite, that God didn’t call the equipped, but instead He equipped the called. You can trust that if God is calling you to do something, He’s going to equip and empower you to do it.
The Mission Goal
Their mission may seem to have many goals but in reality, the whole mission was simply to tend to the physical and spiritual healing of the people they came across. This would manifest as casting out demons, curing disease, and preaching the gospel message of the kingdom of God. They had heard Jesus preach to the multitudes on many occasions and had private conversations with Him about meaning of parables, such as the parable of the sower, so they were now ready to go out and practice what Jesus had preached, being ambassadors for Christ then as we are called to be today.
The empowerment the Spirit gave them to do things such as casting out demons and healing, may not be seen in our day and age like it was then, but it is still possible if God wants to. And preaching the gospel to all who will listen is most definitely still what we’re all called to today. It’s a matter of willingness to be a useful vessel for God’s glory. Are you ready to be used by God to further His kingdom, whatever that may look like in your life?
They were instructed to take nothing with them, no provisions such as a staff, bag, bread, money, or extra clothes. In those days, traveling around was by foot and could take quite a bit of time getting from town to town, so to not take even the most basic of necessities would take trusting what Jesus taught them in Matthew 6, that if they sought first the kingdom of God, their needs like food and clothes, would be provided by their loving Father. The only thing required for their journey was going to be their faith in God.
When God calls you to do something for Him, it may seem spur of the moment to you, but He would have planned that work for you to walk in long before you became aware of it. So if you don’t feel you’re equipped with the provision you need at the moment, don’t let that stop you from following His lead and letting Him provide in ways you can’t even imagine.
I just have to share this experience with you because it speaks so clearly to how God provides where He guides. A homeless ministry outreach team I was a part of had gone out with bags made up of food, water, basic hygiene necessities, socks, and a bible. The
As we wrap up this section in Luke 8, when Jesus healed the woman with a discharge of blood on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter in which He ends up raising her from the dead, we see a lot of contrasting aspects to the two situations and yet it’s also comparable in these individuals. Since we’ve been going through this section devotionally for the last several weeks, we’re going to switch things up this week. Let’s look at the contrasts and similarities first and then we’ll end with the entire scripture section.
Known & Unknown: Jairus was a ruler in the synagogue and would have been known publicly and held in high regard among the people. We don’t even know the woman’s name, but she had been ostracized by the people because of her uncleanness.
Same Number of Years Spent Differently: Jairus’ daughter was 12 years old, and yet for the length of time she had been alive, the woman had been suffering with a discharge of blood. For 12 years, Jairus’ daughter had been able to live her life, but for 12 years the woman had been suffering through hers.
Rich & Poor: Jairus being a ruler and important person in the culture, would have had more wealth than most, but the woman was poor because she had spent all her money on physicians trying to be healed.
Publicly vs Secretly: Jairus came publicly to Jesus to ask for a healing for his daughter, and the woman came secretly as if to be healed and slip away unnoticed.
Varying Thoughts on Healing: By Jairus’ actions, he thought Jesus needed to come perform a healing, and by the woman’s actions she thought she only needed to touch the fringe of Jesus garment to be healed.
Immediate vs Delay: Jesus immediately responded to the woman’s touch and had a personal experience with her, yet He responded to Jairus after a delay on the way to his house.
Silence vs Proclamation: Jairus’ daughter was healed in secret and Jesus told them not to tell anyone. The woman was healed publicly and proclaimed what had happened in the presence of everyone.
This isn’t a comparison of Jairus and the woman in an attempt to make one look better than the other. We are all unique and are all in need of Jesus in some way, yet we may live and suffer differently. Ultimately, both Jairus’ daughter and the woman needed healing, but who they were, their faith, their circumstances – they were very different. Jesus met everyone involved exactly where they were in exactly the way they needed to be met.
Your Own Healing
As mentioned before, physical healing may or may not be God’s will in your life, but spiritual healing is. You can trust God’s will for your life and find comfort in the fact that no matter where you are physically, emotionally, or spiritually, God can meet you exactly where you are. The thing that Jairus and the woman had in common is that they both purposed to go to Jesus for healing. Will you go to Him for yours?
We all face hardship in this life and while they may be similar in some ways, they are also different in other ways. We can understand one another by the similarities we face as human beings, but we also have to have grace and understanding, compassion and mercy for one another in our differences, the way Jesus did. Even if their suffering is because of their own actions, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance so anything short of kindness on our part is falling short of being a good ambassador for Christ. When you see other people suffering, are you moved to compassion and led by the Spirit in how to minister to them?
Last But Certainly Not Least
I’ll leave you with the whole section of Luke 8 because I hope and pray that as you read through this section again, the things the Holy Spirit has spoken to you over the last several weeks will be stirred again to remembrance and allow you to meditate on the truths He’s teaching you. I pray you believe and go in peace, my friend!
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him
A Desperate Touch
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” (Luke 8:42-48)
Could you imagine having an illness for 12 years and despite spending a fortune on doctors, only ending up poor and still ill? I wouldn’t be surprised if she had even spent money on snake oil that she knew may be just that, simply because after suffering for so long one becomes desperate to try anything that could help. Honestly, I can relate to this woman’s situation and the feeling of desperation as the years go on and the doctors’ help proves unsuccessful, and sometimes you just don’t want to hope anymore because it means you won’t be let down. But this woman placed her hope in the right place when she decided to go to Jesus.
An Unclean Touch?
This woman undoubtedly had heard about Jesus and the miracles of healing He had performed for others because when He came into town, she was determined to get to Him. Now according to Leviticus, to touch Jesus wouldn’t have made Him unclean, since Leviticus 15 outlines that if one touched the bed or where the woman sat then they would be unclean and need to wash themselves and clothes and be unclean until evening. Regardless of whether it would or would not have made Jesus ceremonially unclean in the process, the outcome would have simply been Him washing His body and clothes and being ceremonially unclean until evening. This is important because no sin would be imputed upon Jesus regardless.
However, the traditions of the times appear to have taught that even to touch anything the woman with the discharge of blood touched would make them unclean, so this woman probably lived in isolation for the last 12 years as she sought healing from the many physicians who could not heal her. The act of going into the crowd just to touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment shows a great amount of faith and hope in the Great Physician that Jesus is. She believed that if she could just touch the fringe of His garment she would be healed and her faith – that assurance of the healing she hoped for – gave her the strength to venture into the crowd that day to get to Jesus.
The Power to Heal
It is very interesting that power left Jesus without Him actively trying to heal her. It was the Father’s will to heal this woman in accordance to her faith and Jesus, although the Son of God, was still human and the vessel in which the Father chose to heal His daughter. Similarly, we read in Acts that, “God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.” (Acts 19:11-22) This doesn’t mean we can in any way steal healing or miracles from God, but just as Jesus and Paul were willing vessels for God’s glory, we too can be used in ways we may not even realize – if we’re willing.
Came Desperate, Left in Peace
Lastly, this woman began her journey into the crowd determined but timid, probably hoping she would touch the fringe of His garment, be healed, and be on her way without anyone even noticing. Yet because Jesus was determined to have a personal encounter with her, she got to de
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus' feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him… (Then the woman with discharge of blood was healed)… While he was still speaking [to the woman who had been healed], someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened. (Luke 8:40-42, 49-56)
Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue and was no doubt well aware of what his peers thought of Jesus. Yet when his only daughter was dying, he sought after Jesus and fell at His feet, imploring Him to come to his house. He had faith that Jesus, of whom he had heard of the miracles already performed, could heal his dying daughter and no amount of social shame was going to deter him from seeking Jesus out.
An Interrupted Journey
As they make their way with crowds of people pressed in around Jesus, I can only imagine what might have been going through Jairus’ mind. I’m sure he was wanting to get to his house with Jesus as quickly as possible and yet having a crowd pressing in around the very man he’s trying to lead to his house may have been a bit nerve wracking. But then to have Jesus stop and ask about someone who touched Him. I don’t know about Jairus, but I think I would have been about ready to burst into tears at the delay.
Right as Jesus was telling the woman who had just been healed that her faith had made her well, was when someone from Jairus’ house came to deliver the bad news that his daughter was dead. I can’t even imagine the heart sink feeling he had in that moment and the possible flood of emotions from sadness to possible anger that someone else got healed and yet his daughter died in the process.
Even though the messenger from Jairus’ house said, “do not trouble the Teacher any more”, Jesus without skipping a beat answered, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” Jesus encouraged Jairus' faith in a time when it would be understandable for his faith to falter.
Do Not Fear; Only Believe
This statement, “Do not fear” and “Do not be afraid” occurs 68 times in the bible. When an angel would come to people with a message from God, this was often the first thing out of their mouths. And we see it’s also the first thing Jesus said to Jairus after he received news of his only daughter’s death.
That word “believe” means to put confidence in and show an absolute trust in. Jesus was telling him to that instead of fearing, to only put his confidence in trust in Him and that she would be made well.
Fear and faith don’t mix together well and Jesus specifically focused Jairus to not fear and only believe. The order of this is important though because in order to fully believe, fear needs to be dealt with. Fear induces doubt, but faith has no room for doubt.
When Jesus said Jairus’ daughter would be well, that word He used in the Greek, sōzō, was literally saying He was going to deliver her from destruction and restore her to health – which since she was already dead, this meant He would raise her from the dead.