I have been re-reading Luke 8. It gives the impression that we humans are a pretty helpless and hopeless lot. We have proved we just cannot control four elements that have a major influence over our lives: nature, evil, sickness and death.
The disciples were caught in a storm as they crossed the sea in a leaky boat and were in fear of their lives. (I know that helpless feeling of being on a cruise ship in rough seas, sick as a dog and nowhere to go.) Jesus was asleep in the boat, but among the disciples there was no help and no hope.
The demon-possessed man had been in a really bad way for years with nowhere to go for release. (We can ‘treat’ this problem with drugs now, but not cure it.) There was no help and no hope for him.
The woman with the bleeding condition had spent a fortune on doctors who obviously had no cure for her. (Again, we can cure many physical illnesses with drugs and/or surgery, but there are many we cannot.) For her there was no help and no hope.
When the 12 year old girl died, they told Jesus not to bother going any further to her home to heal her. She was dead. Once dead, always dead. No help. No hope.
Helpless and hopeless.
But Jesus was present, willing and able on each occasion to meet their needs. He recognised the inadequacy of the people involved to deal with their situations: the disciples at the mercy of nature, the demoniac unable to resist the demons, the woman, broke and an outcast in her society because of her unclean condition, and death – well, who can resist death?
Some of the recipients of Jesus’ mercy had great faith. Others had little. But Jesus is Help for the helpless and Hope for the hopeless regardless of how much faith we have.
He has the power and authority over all aspects of human existence including life, not just raising people from death only to die again, but raising them to the life for which we all strive: eternal life without wants or needs or strife or angst or disease or sickness or death.
Eternal life and peace with him.