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Jan 07: Gen 13, 14 | Psa 17 | Matt 9

Reading 1 - Gen 13:8

"So Abram said to Lot, 'Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers' " (Gen 13:8).

Here is put into practice the Bible teaching of submission to one another (Eph 5:21; 1Pe 5:5; Gal 5:20; 1Co 3:3; 2Ti 2:24; Jam 3:16; Luk 22:24-26. "It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel" (Pro 20:3). "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Pro 15:1).


"FOR WE ARE BROTHERS": Brethren should dwell together in unity (Psa 133), especially in the presence of the "Canaanites".


"Here was the dominant factor which must guide and influence all relationships between Abraham and Lot. By comparison nothing else mattered. Before this overruling bond of brotherhood all else was unimportant. They were near of kin; they had travelled a thousand miles together, together they had shared the hostility of a new land and the special dangers of Egypt. And were they now to squabble over something which only the blessing of God had brought? We be brethren! A thousand times since Abraham, and another thousand times since God revived Abraham's Faith in these last days, men have become blind to this truth and its deep eternal obligations. Many a wrangle about trivialities of mundane level and many a bickering about spiritual truth of massive unimportance would have been still-born if only this simple wholesome truth had been written in larger capitals in home and ecclesia" (HA Whittaker, "Abraham" 30,31).


Reading 2 - Psa 17:5

"My steps have held to your paths" (Psa 17:5).

"Put all your eggs in one basket: direct moment to moment help from God. Cast out everything else, and stake all on this. Relying on God's continuous help does not mean just sitting and waiting for it. It does not mean just kneeling and praying for it. It means two things: studying His Word, and obeying His commands: constant thought, constant activity -- doing our own very best, but always realizing that if God isn't constantly directing, then it's all a sham and a charade. What guarantee do we have that He will? And how do we know when He does? Don't worry about that. Just do. You have nothing to lose by trying, and nothing to gain by questioning. We are promised He will, if we are doing our part. And let us not get the foolish and conceited idea that we are 'inspired' or 'have the Spirit' just because it seems to work. That's the quickest way to bring everything to a grinding halt. God can turn His help and guidance off as quickly as He can turn it on, and He is quick to deflate presumption. This life is merely for education and training. We can never actually accomplish anything. Anything we do for God He could do infinitely better and more quickly Himself. He is patiently teaching us, and preparing us to be useful in the future (if we are at last approved), and presumption will be corrected by allowing humiliating mistakes to teach us wisdom" (GV Growcott).

Reading 3 - Mat 9:18-25

"While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, 'My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live' " (v 18).


A RULER: "One of the synagogue rulers" (Mar 5:22). A president of synagogue, who had likely ignored Jesus until now. Some synagogues probably had more than one ruler (Act 13:15). "He WAS a ruler..." (KJV). Was Jairus later demoted through becoming a follower of Jesus?


CAME: He did not send for Jesus, as might one in his position; instead, he came to Jesus, as a lesser comes to a greater.


JUST DIED: Note progression in the resurrections performed by Christ: "about to die" (Luk 7:2); just died (Mat 9:18); about to be buried (Luk 7:12); and dead 4 days (Joh 11:39).


PUT YOUR HAND ON HER: There were various reasons for the laying on of hands:

  1. Blessing, or benediction: Gen 48:14; Mat 19:13,15;

  2. Transfer of sin to sacrifice: Exo 29:10,15,19; Lev 1:4,12;

  3. Confirmation by witnesses of a capital offense: Lev 24:14;

  4. Appointment to office: Num 8:10; Acts 6:6; 13:3; 1Ti 5:21;

  5. Outward sign of healing: Mat 9:18; Acts 9:12,17;

  6. Outward sign of imparting the Holy Spirit: Acts 8:17,19; 19:6; 1Ti 4:14; 2Ti 1:6.

*****


"Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak" (vv 19,20).


SUBJECT TO BLEEDING: Ceremonially unclean, and a social outcast (Lev 15:19-30).


TWELVE YEARS: Compare the 12 years of v 42. Whose misery was as old as the daughter of Jairus.


AND TOUCHED THE EDGE OF HIS CLOAK: With its border of blue (cp Num 15:37,38). To do so, she must have fallen to her knees.


*****


"She said to herself, 'If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed' " (v 21).


The reverse of legal restriction: 'If I touch him, he shall be unclean too!' A man who could touch unclean, and yet remain pure himself.


HIS CLOAK: "The sun of righteousness... with healing in his wings" (Mal 4:2), ie borders (Num 15:38 sw) of his garments.


*****


"Jesus turned and saw her. 'Take heart, daughter,' he said, 'your faith has healed you.' And the woman was healed from that moment" (v 22).


DAUGHTER: Mentioned in both miracles here in Mat 9.


YOUR FAITH: And not simply my power....


HAS HEALED YOU: With restored ability to bear children, as Hannah?


*****


"When Jesus entered the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, he said, 'Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.' But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up" (vv 23-25).


"Thy touch has still its ancient power;

No word from thee can fruitless fall.

Hear in this solemn evening hour,

And in thy mercy heal us all."


TOOK THE GIRL BY THE HAND: Christ touches that which is defiled. Death! the ultimate defilement, yet held no fear for Christ, who "tasted death" for all men.


AND SHE GOT UP: A parable of baptism: sleep of death, touch of Master's hand, words: "Arise" and "walk"! Baptism will "raise us from the dead", but we must "get up and walk" -- or it means... ultimately... nothing at all!

 

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