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our former lives were ENSLAVED, but now we’re FREE

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Read Galatians 4:1-7

Sometimes relationships with friends and family get overturned or upset for one reason or another. We’re emotional creatures and are prone to react poorly when we feel wronged or insulted. When restoration finally comes, all the joyful memories between us return and we realize what we’ve missed. Our emotional pendulum swings back and we hope to never experience that again.

Both participants in this story are in a strained relationship with those around them. Jairus was a leader in the Synagogue and since Jesus wasn’t held in high regard by the leadership of the Jewish faith, it’s likely Jairus shared that lack of respect for Jesus. Nevertheless, when his only 12-year old daughter becomes sick to the point of dying, his feelings of disrespect, which were once driven by the influence of others, are dropped. Disrespect vanishes when that person could possibly lead to the cure. So Jairus makes his way to Jesus to seek healing for his daughter. Imagine his desperation.

The unnamed woman, with information about her life limited to the duration and expense of her illness, had relational issues in her culture of a di erent sort. The people surrounding her believed she was unclean because of her bleeding. This forced her to shun and be shunned by her culture for almost 12 years. Imagine her loneliness.

Not only does touching Jesus’ garment and holding the little girl hand o er a healing encounter for each individual, Jesus begins to restore their fractured relationships, too. The woman is made whole and clean in the eyes of her culture and Jairus’ relationship with his daughter is restored through her renewed life. As sons and daughters of God, his heirs, our broken relationship with the triune God has been redeemed. Our former lives were enslaved, but now we’re free. Imagine our freedom.

Reflection and Response

What fractured relationship(s) do you desire to be mended? What might God be prompting you to do to move toward restoration? What good news do you have to encourage yourself to move toward reconciliation?

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By Rich Obrecht 

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