A DEAD GIRL AND A SICK WOMAN
“An Unnatural Progression"


It didn’t flow, it wasn’t in order, it wasn’t natural…and my mind couldn’t get around that fact! In Luke chapter 8, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, pleads with Jesus to come to his house and heal his dying daughter.  While on the way there, a woman with an issue of blood grabs the bottom of Jesus’ cloak and is immediately healed.  Within moments, a messenger from Jairus’ house arrives and informs him of his daughter’s death.  Zondervan’s NIV Bible has subtitles separating portions of the chapter and the title for this section was, “A DEAD GIRL AND A SICK WOMAN”.   For about a week that title drove me crazy because it didn’t flow and it wasn’t in order.  It just wasn’t natural!

Natural is something that “conforms to a usual or ordinary course of nature”.  It is something that is “expected and accepted”.  It is not natural to speak of death before speaking of sickness. Usually, illness comes first.  And certainly, it isn’t natural to speak of a child dying before an adult.  Normally, death comes to the aged.  Therefore, in the Biblical account of a dead child and a sick woman, the story does not have a natural progression.  Progression is the “act of moving forward to a higher, better or more advanced stage”.  In other words, it is forward movement to a set place or goal with success determined by whether of not you reach your destination.  1Corinthians 13:11 states, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”  It is a natural progression to go from childhood to adulthood, from thinking and acting in a childish manner to thinking and acting in a mature manner.

Unnatural is something that is, “in violation of a natural law.  It is inconsistent with an individual pattern or custom, abnormal.”  Something unnatural is, “in violation of natural feelings; inhuman.”  When Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded with him to come and heal his daughter, Jesus, along with his disciples, readily went with him.  (A natural progression).  On the way, the people thronged him.  Among them, the woman with the issue of blood pressed her way through the crowd behind Jesus and touched the hem of his robe, and was instantly healed. Jesus, knowing that virtue had gone out of him, stopped and turned around.  (We have the beginning of an unnatural progression)!  Considering the multitude that followed him, Jesus asked what would seem to be a crazy question, “Who touched me?”  Trembling, the woman came forward and in front of everyone told him why she had touched him and how she had been healed.  At that moment, men from Jairus’ house came and told him that his daughter was dead.

It was unnatural or seemed inhuman for Jesus to waste precious time talking to a woman who had what she wanted, her healing, and leave a child to die.  What must Jairus have been thinking and feeling at that moment?  He had run to Jesus believing that he was his daughter’s only hope.  As they were on their way back to his house, I believe Jairus was walking beside Jesus doing everything he could to hurry the procession along.  I can almost see him pulling on Jesus’ arm.  Every second was precious to him.  When Jesus stopped and made a commotion about someone touching him, Jairus must have thought that he was crazy.  Naturally, when you are surrounded by a group of people someone is going to touch you!  He might have thought that Jesus’ actions were abnormal.  In every emergency room it is customary to care for the individual that is most seriously injured.  Jairus’ daughter was at the point of death while the woman with the issue of blood had lived with that condition for twelve years.  Not only that, Jesus could have kept on walking.  After all, the woman was healed. 

I have heard it said that the sick woman intersected with Jesus as he was on his way to Jairus’ house.  I contend that she did not intersect; she interrupted!  Most of us have had intersection moments.  You’re driving down the road and come to a four-way stop.  The law says that the first one at the stop sign has the right to go first.  Sometimes, the other driver will give you that little wave and you are granted the right of way.  But I do not believe for one teeny, tiny second that Jairus waved to the woman with the issue of blood to go ahead of him and get her healing while his daughter lay dying.  He was traveling on a direct route with Jesus, and he had clear and legal right of way when the woman made her own intersection and interrupted their course. Often, when such an interruption occurs at an intersection someone loses their life; in this case, Jairus’ daughter.

What was the connection between the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus’ daughter? Obviously, both were female.  They were both healed or resurrected by the same man, Jesus. Both of those miracles were witnessed by the same man, Jairus.  But the real connection was time, twelve years to be exact.  The same twelve years!  The Bible says that the child was twelve years old when she died, and that the woman had been sick for twelve years.  I believe that at the moment the child was born, the woman became ill, and at the moment the woman was healed, the child died.

At the beginning of the twelve years, we start out with a natural progression.  It is natural for a child to be born while an older person is starting to get sick.  That is a natural progression of life.  On the other hand, at the end of those twelve years we end up with an unnatural progression.  It is not natural that an older woman would be healed while a child dies.  That would seem to be in violation of the natural law of life and death.  In fact, it would not seem like progression at all.  It would seem more like regression.

Regression is “a movement backward to a previous and especially worse or more primitive state or condition”.  It is “the power or right of passing back, to return”.  When Jesus stopped and turned around, it would seem that he was regressing or going back to a more primitive condition.  Yet, our sub-theme is “An Unnatural Progression”.  That means we must be talking about a situation that is progressing but in a way that is not normal or expected.  How can you progress, move forward, by regressing, moving backwards?

An old TV show, “Seven Days”, was about a man that worked for an institution that had a time machine.  That machine had the power to send a person back in time, but they could only go as far back as seven days.  The process was called a Backstep Mission.  In one episode, the White House was bombed and the world leaders assembled there killed.  The star of the show, Frank Parker, went back in time, defused the bombs, caught the bad guys and ensured the governments of many nations.  Frank Parker did heroic works weekly but he seldom got credit for them when he returned to his own time.  Why?  Because once he changed the past, a new time line was established, and the old future was obliterated.

Any time you can go backwards, change the past and come out ahead in the future, you have progression!  Perhaps this is a better example; if some of us could revisit our past and fix some of our mistakes, we would be a lot further down the road than we are now.  When the sick woman touched the garment he wore Jesus felt the virtue or power go out of him.  That release of power coupled with his step back as he turned around, sent Jesus on a little “back-step mission” of his own, without the aid of a time machine!  A few years ago, while stopped at a red light in our little town, I was thinking about the possibility of time travel.  I said, “Lord, will there be a machine that can take us back in time someday?” and God said, “You’re making too much of this.  People travel in time All the time.”  My favorite minister is from Zimbabwe, South Africa, a country whose time zone is 6-7 hours ahead of ours.  So when he travels to America he literally travels back in time!  In principle then, time travel is possible; all you have to do is enter another zone.
           
In the Spirit, in his heart and his mind, Jesus went back twelve years, to a time before the woman became sick.  In that time zone, he fixed the malfunction in her body that would cause her illness.  By going back, he changed her future and since the outcome was positive, we have progression.  When you change the past, the course of history is changed.  After he accomplished his back-step mission, there was no present record of that woman being ill. Therefore, the question, “Who touched me?”  After Frank Parker went his missions, he alone remembered the past and that was only because someone had to tell the story.  The same is true with the woman with the issue of blood whose testimony has inspired many to reach out and touch the hem of His garment.

The worlds of Star Trek, Time Tunnel and Seven Days are very natural to me.  I feel as if I have logged more space hours than most astronauts.  Star Trek is about space travel, but they are always traveling from one time zone to another.  One fact never changes in time travel…whatever you are carrying with you when you reenter the past goes back with you! Jesus had one person in his heart and on his mind when he stepped back in time – Jairus’ daughter.  When he went back, she went back, twelve years to the exact minute the little girl was being born.
 
Remember, while Jesus was speaking to the woman, members of Jairus’ household came and reported that his daughter was dead.  Jesus immediately said to Jairus, “Be not afraid, only believe.”  When they arrived at Jairus’ house, the people laughed at them for Jesus said the girl was not dead, only sleeping.  He took her by the hand and said, “Damsel, I say unto thee, arise,” and she got up.  In the first scenario, before Jesus went on his back-step mission the girl was dead.  But when he went back in time to the exact moment of her birth, it triggered a rebirth and in the future, she was born again.

Does it seem to you that every time we take a step forward in God, the devil knocks us two steps back?  One step forward, two steps back, one step forward, two steps back, and so froth. According to those calculations, we will never break even much less make progress in our relationship with God.  Unless…!  Unless we know a God who works in mysterious ways and turns the equation around.  Now, it becomes two steps forward, one step back and in the end, the step back doesn’t count against us.  Unless…!  Unless we serve a God who can transverse time zones without any limitations.  He took our sins; the past, present and future ones to the cross and nailed them there, permanently.  Unless…!  Unless we love a God who can take past sins and past failures and somehow make them All work together for good in the future.  If you know, serve and love a God like that you will never experience actual regression.  It might not seem like going back could take you forward because it is so abnormal, but it is still progression.

It almost seems like God planned for us to make progress during times of regression.  What would be His purpose for allowing Satan to hinder our progress and force us to fall back just when we are within reach of our destiny?   I believe God hides us in “backness” to confuse the devil.  During times of unnatural progression, the devil believes we are simply regressing and leaves us alone for a season.  But God is with us working undercover to bring us to our destination.  Actually, it is during the times when Satan knocks us two steps back that we make the most progress in God!

Imagine this…there’s a train on its way to the old Western town of Dodge City carrying a shipment of gold.  Unbeknownst to the conductor, masked robbers have blown up the tracks two miles down the road and are waiting to steal the cargo.  Progression has been derailed. That train will not be moving forward!  As the train grinds to halt, the robbers ride down over the hill thinking victory is within their grasp.  At that point, a wise conductor will make the only decision possible to ensure the safety of the gold.  He will put the train in reverse and start backing up. Now, imagine that You are that train and you are carrying the gift, the talent and the anointing that God gave you.  Your destination…Ministry City, is almost in sight when an explosion in your life stops your progress.  Satan, who lit the fuse to the dynamite, is ecstatic.  You are not going anywhere!  His smile fades a little when he sees you reverse position and start backing up but he’s not really worried.  After all, regression will only take you farther away from your destination and so for a season, he loses interest in you.  Even the Saints can see that you are heading in the wrong direction, many think you are a lost cause.

The devastation that hindered you has driven you back, back, back – and you begin to believe that you will never reach your destiny because you see no progress.  That’s because you are looking for natural progression and God is using an unnatural method called regression to move you forward.  The success of this regressive method is based upon two immutable facts. Number one… the world we live in is round.  Number two… what goes around, comes around!  Let’s say the west side of Chicago is your destination.  If you start on the east side of Chicago, back up and go all the way around the world, eventually you will come to the west side of Chicago.  Because the world we live in is round, and what goes around comes around!

There is an unexpected benefit to reaching Ministry City by the regressive method.  If you enter the city by the progressive method certain pitfalls may await you.  Being the new kid on the block, you have to prove yourself worthy of the ministry to which you have been called.  All eyes are on you to see if you measure up.  When you enter Ministry City from the other side, you get to skip the trial period and go into full-fledged ministry without the “test” period.  All the trials you went through on your “Back-Step Mission” qualify you for the job!

 

Sherry Wyne
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