It was interesting when we decided to do camp in the city. I was a youth pastor for many years and anytime we did camp, we went out to the outside of the city we had at campgrounds and there were woods. And the woods are all kinds of critters and crawlers that you don't want to get into. And somehow this week the camp theme of critters and crawlers occurred on my body. I have a poison ivy rash, which I have no idea where it came from, and chiggers as well. So the camp is not complete without poison ivy and bugs, and we had it even here in the city somehow.
That is a hard act to follow, but we are going to try and do that. And I want to begin by reading a passage of scripture from the book of Matthew in chapter nine, beginning in verse 18. And I want to invite everyone to this morning stand if you are able. One of the reasons why we stand when we read scripture is out of respect or reverence. Scripture is the Bible is essentially a library of books. It's a combination of all sorts of books of poetry and history and teachings, and we believe that it is the inspired word of God. And so it's not just a book, it is in inspired by God. And so we stand when we read so that we are able to posture ourselves in order to receive what God says. And also it's good to get our blood flowing again, right? We've been sitting for a while and it'll help us to wake up a bit. So we're going to read out of Matthew nine, and I want you to listen for a word or a phrase or a thought or an idea, something that captures your attention in this scripture and just kind of make a mental note of that. Here we go.
A while Jesus was teaching, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, my daughter has just died, but she come and put your hand on her and she will live. Jesus got up.
Sorry, I lost my place here. Jesus got up and went with him and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, if I only touch his cloak, I will be healed. Jesus turned, saw her take heart, daughter. He said, your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed from that moment when Jesus entered the synagogue leader's house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 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 news of this spread through all the region. This is the word of the Lord.
You may be seated. Definitely an interesting passage of scripture with lots going on. Jesus was out teaching as he so often did. He was teaching his disciples. He was teaching the religious leaders of his day. He was teaching the bystanders, the people who were listening. And in the midst of that, this religious leader of his day, the synagogue leader came to Jesus and said to him, my daughter has died. Can you come and heal her? Now, this in and of itself is a very interesting claim that this synagogue leader makes because the religious leaders of his day were trying to determine if Jesus was credible and if he was in fact who he said that he was. And so as parents, when our children are ill or are in need, we will do just about anything in order to try and get them the help that they need.
And we're not really sure of what this synagogue leader thought about Jesus, but we know that most likely he was skeptical of him. He didn't know if he fully believed in him or trust in him, but his daughter was in need. And so he makes some sort of confession and says, if you go to her, she will live again. And so Jesus gets up from where he is and he begins to head to this person's house. And on his way, there's a lady who for 12 years has had this horrible condition with no relief and she muscles her way through the crowd and gets close enough to Jesus just simply to touch his garment. And he sees her doing this or feels her doing this and stops and says, you have been healed. Your faith has made you well. And so the crowd you can imagine is probably bustling around trying to figure out what exactly is going on.
Jesus shows up at this house that he was asked to go to and all of the friends and family that were gathered there, they had already begun preparing for preparing her body for burial. That's what the pipes and the music is about. They are there mourning. And Jesus says to them, why are, don't mourn for she is just asleep. And what happens? They laugh at him, right? They mock him and Jesus sends them away, goes into the room, picks the girl up by the hand, and she lives again. So we have this story with these two different incidences playing out amongst one another, the faith of the woman who is healed, who has had this condition for 12 years, the crowd that had gathered around Jesus and didn't have faith, that he is who he says that he is, and they mocked him. And then the Father who desperately cries out to Jesus to heal his daughter.
And she in that moment as is healed. It's interesting to see all these different perspectives going on, perspectives about Jesus, trying to figure out who he is, what he is about, and what does he have to offer to all of the people in the story. Now, as I was reading through this, a couple of thoughts that I had was first of all, that when this leader, the synagogue leader comes to Jesus, it would've been very easy for Jesus to mock him, right? It would've been very easy for Jesus to say, oh, so you believe now, right? You've been questioning me and doubting me, and now that you need me, you are coming to me for help. But that really sums up the difference between oftentimes I'll just put myself in there, me and Jesus, right? I could see how Jesus might feel that way, and we could even justify perhaps when people are in difficult situations when they lash out at somebody or they do something that is rude or questioning their motives. But Jesus didn't do that. Jesus accepted his request and went to help him as soon as he was asked.
This, I think as we are talking about the differences between us and Jesus brings us to a very interesting point. Jesus oftentimes tells us that we are not to judge as one of the most common things that He points out is that people are not to judge. And the reason we are not fit to judge is because we don't tend to hold ourselves to the same standards that we enforce upon others. And so Jesus gives us example of him that he's not going to shame the religious leader or question his motives. He is going to move just as if this guy was one of his closest friends and the world that we live in today when someone has a differing opinion than us, when someone wants to challenge our beliefs or question our credibility, we are tempted by the patterns of the world to respond in the exact opposite way that Jesus did, right?
We move to cancel somebody who disagrees with us or discredit somebody who disagrees with us or shame them or talk bad about them. But what Jesus is calling us to is something much more significant than that, that we would look past the labels that people carry or even the way in which they treat us and respond to them with grace. This past week with kids at Steam Camp, we were talking about what does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made? And one of the takeaways that we tried to help everyone understand is that if we are fearfully and wonderfully made, then that means everyone else is fearfully and wonderfully made. And so when we recognize that, then the way in which we interact with others, the way in which we treat others is validating the fact that they are uniquely and wonderfully made. So we have this father who comes to Jesus.
We have this woman who comes to Jesus, and the result of these interactions for in both circumstances are healing and wholeness, healing and wholeness. I don't know exactly where each of us are today. I don't know what your life right now is holding in store for you. You might be up on the mountaintop, you might be in the valley. You might find yourself somewhere in between. For most of us, it's kind of moment by moment, right? We take it moment by moment as it comes. But regardless of what we face, here's what I want to want to want us to really focus on and try to comprehend today, that regardless of what we face, the power that generates healing and wholeness in these situations is with us. Jesus is here, he is with us. You and I are bodies that house the same power, the presence of the Holy Spirit. We are skeletons, we are skin and bones, that house the Holy Spirit, that house the same power that restored health and wholeness and healing in these instances. And if Jesus is with us, not just when we're gathered here, but at every moment of every day, then what we face, we are able to endure because Jesus is here. No matter where here is, Jesus is with you. So we don't have to understand exactly what everyone is going through. We don't have to know all of the answers or have everything determined or figured out.
We can trust that Jesus is with us. And because of that, we can live in his presence and be examples of His presence in all the places that we go.