On The Verge

Categories: On The Verge

We’re going to be in Luke 8 today. We’re going to explore a story about a man who believed he was on the verge of a miracle. He had plenty of chances to give up. To stop believing. To walk away. But he didn’t do it. He believed Jesus. He trusted Jesus. He followed Jesus. And he got his miracle.

Let’s pray and then we’ll go straight to the story.

Luke 8, starting in verse 40. “Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

[Skip to verse 49] “While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.” (Luke 8:49-55, NIV)

Obviously the main point of this story is the miraculous, healing power of Jesus. But there is another angle, and that’s actually the angle we’re going to take today. We’re going to look at this story through the eyes of Jairus.

Jairus approached Jesus and begged Him to come to his house. Jairus had a 12-year-old daughter who was dying. He believed that Jesus could do something about it. He had heard of Jesus’ power to heal, and He begged Jesus to come and heal his daughter. Jesus agreed and they set off for Jairus’ house.

At this point, Jairus is flying high. He fully believes that he is on the verge of a miracle. His little girl is going to be healed. His faith increases with every step. This is really going to happen. He is right on the verge of something miraculous.

But then comes something very unexpected and unwanted. They were delayed on this trip. Jesus actually stopped on His way to Jairus’ house to perform another miracle. He stopped to heal someone else. That was awesome for the woman who was healed. Everyone in the crowd was in awe of the healing. But to Jairus, this miracle was a costly delay. A very costly delay. Look at what happened next.

In verse 49, Luke wrote, “While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” (Luke 8:49, NIV)

Sometimes we are guilty of cleaning up the Bible. We sterilize it. We rob the people in the Bible of real, raw human emotions. Just put yourself in Jairus’ place. Try to imagine what he is feeling.

He was so sure that he was on the verge of a miracle. He found Jesus. He convinced Jesus to come with him. They were on the way to his house. He just knew that his little girl was not going to die. She was going to be healed.

Until Jesus stopped to focus on someone else. That delay appeared to cost Jairus’ little girl her life. Imagine the emotions. Jairus is overcome with unbearable grief. He is furious that Jesus would delay. He is totally confused, because this is not the way it was supposed to play out. This isn’t what he prayed for. This isn’t what he sought Jesus for. This just can’t be happening.

But now, let’s look at what happened next. Everything hinges on the next thing that Jesus said.

“While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8:49-50, NIV)

This is it. This is everything. How Jairus would respond to this would make or break everything. He had just been devastated by the news from home. His daughter was dead. He was completely crushed.

And Jesus simply said, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe. Believe in my goodness. Believe in my power. Believe in my love. Believe that I can change this whole situation. Believe that I can work a miracle.”

This moment was everything. Jairus could do the normal thing, which would be to walk away from Jesus and grieve the loss of his daughter. Or he could do the crazy thing, which would be to believe Jesus. To trust that He could change things. To trust that He could and would do something miraculous.”

If you’re on the verge of a miracle, you’ll always have “the moment.” There will always be the moment of decision. The moment when you decide to believe, or you decide to walk away.

Miracles don’t come cheap. They don’t come easily. Miracles come with a price tag attached, and we pay that price in the moment of decision. Am I going to believe? Am I going to trust? Or am I going to walk away?

Do I trust that God really can heal my broken marriage? Do I believe that God really can do something in my unemployment? Do I have faith that He really can heal what’s broken in my life? Do I believe that He really can (fill in the blank)?

If you’re on the verge of a miracle, you will have “the moment.” The moment when everything in you says, “Walk away.” The moment when you will have to believe something that defies logic. The moment when you will have to ignore the naysayers and critics and unbelievers that surround you. The moment when you will have to take the leap and trust God, even though you’re not sure if He will catch you after you jump.

Jairus had “the moment. Read what Luke wrote in verses 49-50 again. “While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8:49-50, NIV)

“The moment.” Jairus had to decide who he was going to listen to. Was he going to listen to this person who had come from his house? Probably someone he had known for most of his life. Someone he trusted immensely.

Or was he going to listen to Jesus?

This person from Jairus’ house said, “Your daughter is dead.”

Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe, and she’ll be healed.”

And in that moment, Jairus had to decide. Who is he going to listen to? What is he going to believe? There is nothing harder than “the moment.” There is nothing more gut-wrenching, more soul-twisting than “the moment.”

But “the moment” is where the door for the miracle is swung open or slammed shut. It happens in “the moment.”

It looks so easy to us when we read this story because we know how it ends. We know that Jairus’ daughter was eventually raised back to life. But right here in “the moment,” Jairus didn’t know that. All he knew is that his daughter was dead, and Jesus said the most audacious, crazy thing in the world. “Don’t be afraid. Just believe. Totally ignore what this person just said. Just listen to Me. Believe Me. Trust Me.”

That’s what it’s like in “the moment.” But if we can’t navigate “the moment,” we’ll never see the miracle. Only God knows how many miracles have been short-circuited because someone walked away in “the moment.”

And this is something that I’ve been reminded of so many times as we prepared for today.

Here’s what we believe…we believe our church is on the verge of a miracle. We believe that God is setting us up for something miraculous. Something that is so big and so incredible that we obviously could never have done it ourselves. Something that is so amazing that we could never do it on our own. Only God could do it.

We believe that is what God is about to do as our church relocates. As we trust Him. As we take this huge leap of faith. We absolutely, wholeheartedly believe that we are on the verge of a miracle.

But this also means that we’ve had to navigate “the moment.” In fact, we have more than a few moments. We’ve had more than a few moments where it would have been so much easier to abandon the vision. To stop pursuing this mission. To just walk away.

Jairus had to choose who to listen to. So have we. We have received some kickback and some criticism because of this vision. Some of it has been strong. But just like Jairus, we had to decide who were going to listen to.

We have had “the moment” when it came to finances. When it came to the extra work and volunteers that it would require. When it came to leaving the comfortable in favor of the uncomfortable and the convenient in favor of the inconvenient. When it came to changing our name. We haven’t just had “the moment.” We’ve had all kinds of moments.

But the reason we were able to share the big news today is because we navigated the moments. We didn’t quit. We didn’t give up. We didn’t walk away, even though that would have been a million times easier.

If we had walked away, I can tell you this. I would have gotten a lot more sleep over the last few months. Our leaders would have had far less anxiety over the last few months. Our leaders and their families have had some really tough times through this whole process. Absolutely everything would have been easier over the last few months if we had walked away.

But if we did walk away, we would have lost something far more precious and valuable than sleep. We would have lost the miracle. You can forfeit the miracle in “the moment.” And we simply said, “No. We’re not walking away from the vision that God has given us. We’re not going to quit when we’re on the verge of something miraculous.”

Look at these verses again. There’s something else really important to pull out of this. “While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8:49-50, NIV)

The person from Jairus’ house said, “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

This person had a very limited view of Jesus. Jesus wasn’t the Son of God. He wasn’t the Messiah. He wasn’t Emmanuel, God with us. He was just “the teacher.”

And if that’s who Jairus thought that Jesus was, he would have walked away. If Jesus is just a good teacher, or a nice, moral man…if Jesus is just a collection of Bible stories or a sacred religious tradition…then walking away is the only thing we can do, because that person can’t work a miracle.

But if Jesus is the Son of God…if He is the risen conquering King…if He is alive and He is with us…then that changes everything.

The decision you make in “the moment” is determined by the decision you’ve already made about Jesus.

And that’s what has driven us to this point. That’s what has brought us to where we are. Because we don’t believe that Jesus is a bunch of stories on the pages of our Bible. We don’t believe that Jesus is a tradition to be maintained.

We believe that He is the living Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the omnipotent King, the Creator God, the risen Savior and the Lord of all. That’s who our Jesus is.

And if our Jesus can create this world from nothing, and then come into this world to redeem it…if our Jesus can die on a cross and rise from the grave…if our Jesus ascended to heaven and is coming back again for His people…if our Jesus can do that, then our Jesus can certainly handle our church moving out of a building and into a ballroom. Our Jesus can certainly handle the problems and issues that will come as a portable church. Our Jesus can certainly handle the unanswered questions that we still have.

What helped us decide in “the moment” is what we’ve already decided about Jesus.

And we see that in the story of Jairus. He had “the moment.” Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe and your daughter will be healed.”

Look at the next verse. “When [Jesus] arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.”

Whoa. Something happened in between these two verses. What happened what Jairus decided in “the moment.” He decided that Jesus wasn’t just “the teacher.” He was something more. And He chose to trust Him. He chose to believe Him. He chose to have faith that he was on the verge of a miracle.

“When [Jesus] arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.

Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.” (Luke 8:51-55, NIV)

Jesus arrives at the house. People are wailing and mourning at the little girl’s death. But Jesus said, “Stop wailing. She isn’t dead. She’s asleep.”

We need to key in on what happened next. The people laughed at Him. The people laughed at Jesus. And by extension, they laughed at Jairus for believing Jesus.

Jairus faced ridicule. He was faced with the prospect of looking like a fool. He was on the verge of a miracle, but there seemed to be opposition everywhere.

And nothing has changed in our time. If you’re on the verge of a miracle, expect opposition.

We’ve definitely had our share of it as we have pursued the vision to relocate. We’ve had opposition from people. Opposition from circumstances. Opposition from financial institutions. There hasn’t been a single thing that has come easily…which is one good sign that we’re on the right track. Because if you’re on the verge of a miracle, then opposition is to be expected.

And it’s not going to stop after we make the move. We are admittedly moving into a situation that is less convenient and less comfortable. It’s going to take more work. And it’s not going to be perfect.

Portable doesn’t mean perfect. Everybody say that out loud with me. Portable doesn’t mean perfect. One more time. Portable doesn’t mean perfect.

We are not moving into a perfect situation. We’re well aware of the limitations and drawbacks that come with being a portable church. There will be new challenges there that we don’t face here. Portable doesn’t mean perfect.

It’s not perfect to move all our stuff in and our every week. We are spending a lot of money on a system that is designed to roll in and out as easily as possible, but it’s still not perfect.

In a portable situation, there will be weeks where we have to navigate added distractions and problems. It’s not perfect.

Portable doesn’t mean perfect.

But what we have realized is that, even though it’s not perfect, moving to our new portable location in Eastgate does address a lot of the problems that we do face in our current location. And most important of all, it gives us a bigger and better platform to reach lost people for Jesus.

And that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about our comfort. It’s not about our convenience. It’s not about a cool new facility. It’s not about finding something that perfectly fits our every want and desire.

It’s about making heaven more crowded. It’s about connecting more people to Jesus.

Jairus believed Jesus in the midst of a ton of opposition. People were laughing at him. Jesus asked him to believe the impossible. Jairus had a million reasons to walk away, but he didn’t. In “the moment,” he decided to trust Jesus. He believed he was on the verge of a miracle.

And what happened? His daughter was raised from death to life. It happened because he chose to believe. It happened because he didn’t walk away.

You know what’s going to happen because we didn’t walk away? You know what’s going to happen because we chose to trust Jesus when it would have been easier to give up?

More people are going to cross over from death to life.

In John 5, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24, NIV)

That’s why we’re moving. To show people Jesus. To preach the gospel. To connect them to the One who can move them from death to life.

That’s the miracle we’re seeking. That’s the miracle that we believe is coming. And that’s why we won’t quit. That’s why we won’t walk away.

Because we’re on the verge of a miracle.

Author: Mike Edmisten

Senior Pastor