Recall the story of Jesus touching Jairus’ daughter and the woman touching Christ’s cloak. Have each small group member trace one of their hands on paper and then write on their “hand” what they would like Jesus to TOUCH this week in their lives. People in the group may want to share what they wrote if they feel comfortable with that.
As a variation to this, have each person cut out the hand and then exchange it with another group member as a prayer reminder.
1. Read Luke 8:40-42. Jairus "fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him...," which was rewarded. When we approach the Lord in prayer, we would do well to consider imitating Jairus’ approach to Christ. What are some characteristics of his approach?
(Intent: Possible answers are humility, earnestness, trust, and simplicity.)
2. In the parallel passage Mark 5:22-23, Jairus says his daughter is "at the point of death" (NASB), indicating urgency. Despite this, while on His way, Jesus takes the time to address the woman who touched Him, ensuring that everyone knew she had been healed of her condition that by Jewish Law had made her ceremonially unclean. A. How does Jesus model the balancing of priorities and the pressures of life and death situations? B. How do you prioritize the various demands on your time?
(Intent: As the Son of Man, Jesus spent his life ministry walking in step with the Holy Spirit. We too must respond to the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit as we walk through life. With regard to our natural tendencies, those who are more relational must not lose sight of the overall task. Those who are more task oriented must not overlook immediate needs.)
3. Read Luke 8:43-48 and the parallel passage Mark 5:25-34. A. What are some characteristics of the woman who was healed? B. How do we deal with the fact that some people are healed and some are not?
(Intent: A. Lk. 8:43 and Mk. 5:26 indicates the woman was out of options. While her faith was likely born in desperation, it was genuine, as demonstrated by the risk she took in touching Christ’s cloak and possibly being reprimanded for disturbing Him. In addition to having faith in Jesus, she was humble and honest. B. See Hebrews 11:39, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised...”)
4. What are our options for responding to inevitable suffering? How can you prepare to make the best choice?
(Intent: We can choose to respond according to the flesh, with fretting, anger, frustration, control, despondency, or any host of the ways that the world around us responds. Or we can walk by faith, putting all of our “chips” on the table and putting our suffering in the Lord’s hands. The former is the response of a weak or sometimes immature faith; the latter is the response of a hopeful, humble, maturing, yet sometimes desperate faith. See Romans 8:18, “…our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”)
5. Contrast Hebrews 11:1 (faith defined) and 11:39 (faith not yet fulfilled). Share your experiences and struggles with maintaining faith and hope in the face of deferred or delayed answers to prayer. How can we be certain that our faith in God is well placed?
(Intent: Although experiencing the long term faithfulness of Christ builds our faith in Him, ultimately our faith is based in the assurance and conviction of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.)
6. Read Luke 8:49-56. This is the second time in Luke that Christ raises the dead. A. How does this affect your confidence that the Lord will eventually raise you? B. How do you feel about dying?
(Intent: This question may reveal our own inward fears. Some struggle with faith in this area for a variety of reasons: abandonment, death of a family member, a young or immature faith, and many other reasons. Be especially sensitive with these two questions. It may be difficult for people to respond with anything other than the “expected” answer.)
7. In Luke 8:56b, after raising the young girl from the dead, Jesus told the parents to tell no one what had happened. This directive is given by Jesus often throughout his ministry. Why do you suppose He says this?
(Intent: Some commentators believe Jesus wanted to avoid unnecessary publicity so He could continue His ministry with maximum freedom of movement. Another possible reason is that Christ’s ultimate aim is for people to repent and believe in Him as the Messiah, not just see Him as a miracle worker. See Matt. 16:15-17, “Who do you say I am?” Consider encouraging group discussion surrounding both possibilities, as well as other ideas.)
8. In question 2, we examined how Jesus balanced priorities and pressures. Consider your natural tendency: are you more relational or task oriented? Commit to any changes you could make to balance your natural tendencies to better respond to the Holy Spirit.
Luke 10:2 says “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the “field” of those with specific, sometimes hidden, needs and to intersect your path with theirs this week.