Faithlife Sermons

Death Defeated

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Opening Illustration

Lord of DEATH and DISEASE
OPENING ILLUSTRATION
What do you cling to when things get desperate? Where do you turn when at the end of your tether?
Well here is a crystal ... many around us today are taking this seriously and are convinced that a personal crystal will be a great asset
Well ... what could this do for its owner?
They are said to "activate and enhance the pituitary and pineal glands, it stimulates brain function, amplifies thought forms, dispels negativity, receives, activates, stores transmits and amplifies energy, alignment with the higher self, emotional and mental clarity and balance and is excellent for meditation”
For many their crystals protect them and help them in times of need believing emphatically that they alter their lives and future
There’s quite a few who are Buddhist and Bahai .. majority of the Scripture in Teven /Tintenbar school .. there’s still a number of people convinced that their stars are influential - 80% people read them
So sad when faith is directed at idols
Today we are going to focus on two people from different ends of the social spectrum - both in desperate need .. and both show us where our faith has to lie
And we’ll also see the WORST RESPONSE POSSIBLE to the ministry of Jesus .. and it’s from the religious people
Let’s take a look
We know Jesus was asked to leave and they head back to home territory .. Galilee
He's popular, it seems like he's loved, people want him around... Jesus is a modern day celebrity. There's an air of mystery surrounding him. He's like Robin Hood and his merry men... without the stealing bit. He and his posse wander around the countryside cutting down to size those uptight little Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, spouting interesting and yet ultimately enigmatic stories about farmers and seeds and thorns and birds, raising the dead, healing the sick, casting out demons... and in between all of this dropping hints that the Kingdom of God was near.
If in first century Palestine they sold New Idea - Jesus would have been front cover material.

A Desperate Man

There’s no doubt Jesus is popular, it seems like he's loved, people want him around... Jesus is a modern day celebrity. There's an air of mystery surrounding him. He's like Robin Hood and his merry men... without the stealing bit. He and his posse wander around the countryside cutting down to size those uptight little Pharisees and Teachers of the Law.
If in first century Palestine they sold New Idea - Jesus would have been front cover material.
Jesus preaches a great but uncomfortable sermons.
And .. does amazing and confronting miracles .. He has this AUTHORITY .. over the ELEMENTS .. DISEASE .. DEMONS .. DISFIGUREMENT
There’s all this talk of the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN .. is this Jesus the KING? Who is He?
Jesus talks of ushering in something NEW that will utterly replace the OLD system of things .. new wine into new wineskins .. it’s the only way it’s going to work
So .. Bursting through the crowds comes an important man .. 18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples
A Synagogue was ruled by a board of elders - one man was the head ruler .. in this case .. Jairus ... he had to maintain good order within the synagogue service .. it is a well respected and important position .. they were wealthy and had a great deal of prestige
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples
A Synagogue was ruled by a board of elders - one man was the head ruler .. in this case .. a man called Jairus () ... he had to maintain good order within the synagogue service .. it is a well respected and important position .. they were wealthy and had a great deal of prestige
This is quite remarkable, Jesus wasn't no.1 pin-up boy in the official circles and Jesus had caused quite a stir last time he was in the synagogue (if it is Capernaum again)
Yet this important man pleaded with Jesus and fell before Him on the dirty road .. His 12 yr old daughter .. an only child .. was as good as dead .. no doubt Jarius has been able to afford the best of doctors but nothing is working .. funeral arrangements were being made
ILLUSTRATION
That’s a tough time when our kids are ill .. I remember coming home to a note on the table .. Matthew (son) had been rushed off to eye hospital .. a chicken pox virus threatened his sight .. you feel totally helpless .. especially when you see the confusion in the eyes of your children .. situation : DESPERATE!
Jairus no doubt had heard and seen the power and authority of Jesus
Whatever hatred, resentment, scepticism he may have had of Jesus has dissipated - He is convinced that this one can heal his daughter
The simple fact is that he is desperate - in great need and nothing else offers hope - there is a flicker of faith
Jesus immediately sets out with Jairus - there is no hesitation
The gathering crowd must have been excruciating for Jairus as now he and Jesus were slowed down like an ambulance in heavy traffic. And then to Jairus' dismay everything comes to a halt
Enter the haemorrhaging woman.

A Desperate Woman

There’s a woman who has a desperate problem and we can only imagine how exasperated she would have been 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment

For the same length of time that Jairus’ daughter has been alive she has had this bleeding condition - perhaps a chronic bleeding from the womb - she has tried many "cures" and Mk tells us suffered a great deal under the care of the physicians .. what little money she had was gone on medical bills .. instead of getting better she deteriorated the condition was incurable .
For the same length of time that Jairus’ daughter has been alive she has had this bleeding condition - perhaps a chronic bleeding from the womb - she has tried many "cures" and Mk tells us suffered a great deal under the care of the physicians .. what little money she had was gone on medical bills .. instead of getting better she deteriorated the condition was incurable
The Talmud listed no less than 11 cures for this specific illness - potions and superstitious remedies
Eg. drinking a mixture of wine and powdered rubber, alum and garden crocuses
a dose of Persian onions cooked in wine administered with the words "Arise out of
your flow of blood"
sudden shock
ash from an ostrich egg carried in a certain cloth
Added to her physical problems she was ceremonially unclean in Jewish society () and she was a transmitter of uncleaness to all who came into contact with her - if she had been married her husband would probably have divorced her by now - she was ostracised from normal society and debarred from worship in the synagogue and Temple
This poor nameless woman had no money, her health was deteriorating, there is no cure ..she was cut off from home, society and worship - she was at the bottom
So it is no surprise to see her throw caution to the wind she is at her wits end - she too has heard of this healer from Galilee and maybe she too had seen the miraculous
Wanting to stay as inconspicuous as possible and believing as many did in that day that the garments of great and godly people would bring healing, she thought " If I just touch His clothes I will be healed."
There may be even some quasi -magical notions mixed with her simple faith but as her frail hand reaches out and touches the cloak .. ZIP .. something happens
Then, in a vivid technicolour moment which is etched into her memory, she feels the healing course through her body - immediately the bleeding stops and she knows she has had the incurable cured .. the UNCONTROLLABLE .. controlled
Without a word this time the power of the God had gone forth (unlike the calming of the storm and the calming of the demoniac) and rewarded the woman's struggling faith
Jesus is sovereignly in control and knows the events happening around Him - He is conscious of the work of God going on and so in this case Jesus seeks to draw out the person involved so that He can make an important point
So He says "Who touched me?" (the tense is continuous and would indicate repeatedly saying "Who touched me?")
The disciples are flabbergasted .. ah Jesus .. hello .. "There are so many people jostling and pushing and you want to know who touched you ?" - "Take your pick"
And for Jairus his world has just stopped - if he didn't say it he may well have thought " Come on Jesus, my daughter is dying and your worried about someone touching you?!"
But Jesus looks around - scanning the faces of those in the immediate area
Now imagine the woman - her heart pounding with joy and fear - she has been delivered from this dreadful condition that has plagued her for 12 long years
Jesus wants to give clarity to what just happened ... for her sake, and for Jairus, for the crowd and for us
Shaking all over she falls at the feet of Jesus and confesses the whole story
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment
Jesus wanted her to do this for her sake, and for Jairus, for the crowd and for us
The woman's faith at its core was ignorant faith
Her thinking needed correction - any magical, superstitious quality had to be done away with and of course not only the woman but all of us must see that it is not faith itself that saves us but faith in Christ - He is the object of our faith and all around them that day must acknowledge that Jesus has the power of God because He is God
Faith in ourselves, or astrology, or Buddha or the Labor party etc will not save us
v.34 "Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering"
Jesus uses an affectionate expression - daughter (only recorded instance in the NT) - your faith (not magic or superstition) has healed ( lit. saved) you
The assurance is that she has wholeness - realising who Jesus is .. putting faith in Him has brought freedom - perhaps her soul as well as body
She has weak faith in a strong bridge which is far better that strong faith in a weak bridge (Spurgeon)
What is Jairus to make of all this - his fledgling faith hopefully will be boosted - a miracle has happened ...His hopes for healing for his daughter grew more confident UNTIL ..he is stopped in his tracks as he approaches his house .. there are pipes playing .. his world just fell apart .. pandemonium had broken out as people had already begun funeral preparations - minstrels professional mourners were performing their duties (even poor people were required by custom to hire a minimum of 2 fluteplayers and one prof. mourner ) - relatives, friends, other synagogue officials would be gathering to bury this little girl there would be loud wailing and chanting and clapping
For all this to have proceeded we can be assured that the doctors treating this little girl have pronounced death
Jesus on seeing the scene rebukes the inappropriate behaviour - the child is asleep not dead
The professional mourners doctors etc burst out with scornful laughter and jeer at Jesus they know this girl is dead
NB Jesus responds to these crowds of wailers
“Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him
Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him
Jesus ignores all the others .. now Jairus and the crowds will see a NEW .. Jesus the KING over life and death .. this is not an account of healing, but ... resurrection
So now He takes the disciple leaders Peter, James and John and Jairus and the missus - it was these that witnessed this act of God and Peter later relates through Mk
For all this to have proceeded we can be assured that the doctors treating this little girl have pronounced death
Jesus on seeing the scene rebukes the inappropriate behaviour - the child is asleep not dead
The professional mourners doctors etc burst out with scornful laughter and jeer at Jesus they know this girl is dead
The authority of Jesus in the situation comes through again - He tells the crowd to go outside
Jesus defiles Himself and takes the dead girl's hand and she got up .. her spirit returned to her.
This is a resurrection
Can you capture the scene in your mind - the creator's words falling on these cold, lifeless ears and breathing in as it were life again - her eyelids flutter and open wide - the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus who is the resurrection and the life -
This girl is 12 yrs old and she walks around - immediately she is totally restored - the tender touch at he end as Jesus instructs them to give her something to eat (no doubt hungry after days of illness and to prove that she isn't a ghost or vision - like Jesus in the upper room after resurrection)
We can imagine the deep sorrow and grief that turns to inexplicable joy - hugs and kisses all round .... Deliverance ! Deliverance from death itself
Who is this that can raise even dead people to life ?
It is the Son of God - the Messiah
APPLICATION
What are we seeing here? 2 desperate people .. from both ends of the social spectrum .. no matter how wealth or important their are times when things are HOPELESS and we are entirely HELPLESS
And while we might have struggling faith that is limiting God’s response to us - we are not all at the same level of spiritual understanding .. and we ought to take courage in that - ... God doesn't withhold blessing because of our inadequate understanding
The bottom line is Faith that pleases God puts their trust in Him, and loves Him, and serves Him - it is not the exclusive possession of the informed elite - the theological giants
And it’s encouraging to think that God has noticed our situation - our anxieties, the deep things that trouble us - in world of Christian people how could God keep track of my life my prayers - my woes seem insignificant in comparison to others - Do we believe the Bible when we read
" Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Or
" Humble yourselves therefore under God's mighty hand, that He might lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."
Maybe we are praying for the wrong things and maybe we are concerned for the wrong things and the Lord will teach us that ... while we too often only come to Jesus when things are REALLY BAD .. absolute desperation .. we should be disciples who are WALKING with Christ .. keep prayerfully bringing our lives before the Lord ... praising Him and raising our concerns .. knowing He is in control
That’s life isn’t it .. things that stretch us .. sometimes events in our life ramp up to put us at the end of our tether .. whats God doing!!
James tells us
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; 8 they are double–minded and unstable in all they do.
Which isn’t pretending that this is fun .. it’s remembering what God is doing
.. we need to pray that God will shape us with experiences we are going through - ask Him to break down our anxieties, yes God can restore health to our bodies or give us grace to bear up, can provide jobs for us, strength to cope with traumatic situations .... restore love in troubled relationships / marriage ... which might involve a long hard look at ourselves and working with some other gifted people to help us
We really have to ask ourselves some tough questions
"Do I believe that I can handle everything that comes my way?" "Am I someone that acknowledges my helplessness?" "Do I honestly feel that I only need Jesus every now and then - that I don't have to seek His direction or will specifically for my life?"
Jesus helps even when we are imperfect disciples but what we need to do is to keep cultivating the life that enjoys the love and interest of our heavenly Father
As we move through difficult days let’s not ever doubt God’s love for us ... He isn’t sleeping as we go through the traumas .. and He might not deliver us from illness .. or even our loved ones who are critically ill .. sometimes He gives grace to die well
The Fathers love is forever seen in sending Jesus .. the sinless Son who lived and died on the cross so that we can be forgiven and that act has brought us confidence to come into the presence of God - Jesus has done it for us - His righteousness becomes credited to our account - we are no longer bankrupt but have available to us the unsearchable riches of God .. we no longer fear but take up His invitation to come to Him ..
““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””
( NIV)

HEALING and HERESY

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
Here’s 2 blokes .. Blind but believing .. even calling Jesus Son of David .. a messianic title … and according to their faith their SIGHT is restored .. the work of the MESSIAH !
And there is a MUTE who is possessed by demons and brought to Jesus .. bit of a tough one .. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
History is being turned on it’s head … YES .. something radical and NEW has broken into this little nation .. this is AMAZING!!
Yet .. the crowds reaction is vastly different to the Pharisees .. what the Pharisees say is UNFORGIVABLE heresy
“It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
To say the work of God is the work of the devil is the greatest sin imaginable

“It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”

CONCLUSION
Luke draws a stark contrast of people in the society in this passage - the plight of a high-standing influential official and that of a poor outcast woman
For the last 12 yrs each had lived such different lives - Jairus was rich, enjoyed prestige and prominence was accepted and significant and enjoyed the joy of family life the love and care of a wife and daughter
The nameless woman is a social outcast, poor, unclean, untouchable, lonely, deteriorating health
Both plummeted to the very bottom of desperation realising they were beyond natural help - they were helpless
The small grain of infantile faith was fanned into life as they came to the source of life itself
This week, as you face I don't know what, - is it your desire to faithfully entrust yourself to Christ and to follow where He leads?
Have confidence in the Lord's strength - His power
Let us put our faith, impoverished as it is, in the Christ as revealed here in the Scriptures for what we need is not great faith in God but faith in a great God. Amen
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