When All Hope Seems Lost-Mark 5:21-43
The Gospel According to Mark • Sermon • Submitted
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As we prepare to start this morning, would you turn with me in your copies of God’s Word to the Gospel According to Mark 5:21-43. We will read from this passage a little later.
The goal of Mark when he, moved by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, penned what is contained on the pages of the Gospel of Mark, was the same as that of Matthew, the same as that of the physician Luke and the same as that of the Apostle John. It was:
“to declare to the world that the one Savior from sin has come, and He is none other than Jesus Christ the Son of God.
The four Gospels then lead us to one great, final conclusion, recorded in John 20:31, that sweeps back over all four of them: “These things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have eternal life in His name.” Four Gospels written with the (one) purpose of giving evidence, proof concerning the fact that Jesus is the one and only Savior from sin.” (John MacArthur-sermon titled “The Power and Pity of Jesus-Part 1” preached Jan. 12, 2010)
So far, in our journey through the Gospel According to Mark, we have witnessed Jesus unparalleled power and authority.
In 1:23-26 we see His authority over the demonic realm when he cast a demon out of a man.
In 1:30-31 we see His authority over sickness when He heals Simon Peter’s Mother-in-law.
In 1:40-45 we see a different type of authority in the Cleansing of a Leper. Different because with leprosy, the healing could not be complete without body parts-fingers, ears, the nose and other body parts that had fallen off, being restored. This meant that Jesus had the ability to create!
In 2:1-12 we not only see His authority to heal a paralyzed man, but also his authority to forgive sin. Remember that before He healed the man, He declared his sin’s forgiven. Then for the disbelieving and appalled Pharisees, He proved that authority by saying to the paralyzed man “‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.’ 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all”.
In 3:1-6 we see His authority to heal a man with a Withered Hand.
In 4:35-41 we see a whole new authority, the authority over nature, over creation when He spoke “Peace be still!” and instantly the wind and the waves obeyed.
Then, last Sunday when we looked at 5:1-20, we saw His incredible authority over as many as 2,000 or more demons at one time, when He cast them out of the The Gerasene Demoniac.
Mark has gone to great lengths to provide proof after proof that Jesus is, indeed, the very Son of God, God in flesh.
But He’s not done yet, in this morning’s passage we will see 2 more powerful evidences of His authority, while He, at the same time gives hope to the hopeless. With that in mind, will you please stand in honor of the reading of God’s Word? Next Slide
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” 35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
May the Lord add His blessing to the reading of His Word. Please be seated.
In Lukes account of this event we find out that many in the crowd that met Him had been waiting for Him. He’d been gone for at least a day, could have been 36 hours, but many were so hungry for more of His touch, more of His teaching, more of His presence, that they waited along the shoreline near Capernaum for His return.
While there was a large crowed gathered, this mornings account is really only about 2 individuals, 2 individuals who, while they lived in the same area, were worlds apart from one another.
They’re an interesting duo. They have no relationship to each other. There’s no reason they would even know each other. But they’re brought together in the text of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They’re two, a man and a woman; one rich, one poor; one respected, one rejected; one honored, one ashamed; one leading the synagogue, the other excommunicated from the synagogue; one with a twelve-year-old daughter dying, and one with a twelve-year-old disease suffering. They remind us of what Mary had said in her Magnificat in Luke 1:52 when she said, “God was a Savior who brought down rulers and exalted those who were humble.” Here is a perfect illustration of that.
The man is the ruler, the woman is humble. He is brought low, and she is lifted high: the ruler and the outcast. (John MacArthur-sermon titled “The Power and Pity of Jesus-Part 1” preached Jan. 12, 2010)
That is the story that unfolds for us in this morning’s passage.
Now let’s break the story down. To begin with we see: Next Slide
Forced Humility. Mark 5:22; Matthew 9:18; Luke 8:41; Philippians 2:10-11
Here Jesus is, He has returned to the northeastern side of the Sea of Galilee. Those from the region of the Decapolis, on the other side, had asked Him to leave, those in Capernaum were excitedly waiting for His return. A huge crowd had assembled. We get the impression from later verses that they were pressing in tightly against Jesus. Since Jesus was coming from the Sea, once He met the crowd they would have been walking towards Capernaum. That would mean that Jairus was probably walking in their direction. I picture in my mind that as Jairus approached, the crowds parted like the Red Sea, clearing a path for him. He was a ruler of the Synagogue, in fact many believe that he was The Ruler of the Synagogue in Capernaum. In other words he was a prominent leader. Prominent leaders expected and received privileged treatment. As they parted and watched as Jairus approached, they would have likely anticipated a confrontation. That is generally what took place when religious officials approached Jesus. The crowd was probably riveted as they watched the encounter unfold and they would have been stunned at what took pace when Jairus came face to Face with Jesus. When you consider the animosity and outright hatred the Jewish religious leaders had for Jesus, I would imagine the jaws of everyone present dropped when Jairus arrived and fell at the feet of Jesus. These men bowed before no man, let alone Jesus. Yet here Jairus is, bowing on his face before Jesus, and when I say bow, the word used in the original language is of one falling completely on his face, arms and legs stretched out. Rest assured, Jairus had tried everything else before approaching Jesus. Finally he was at the point where he realized Jesus was his only hope.
Jairus had to know that Jesus had a mysterious, unexplainable power. Most likely he had been present the day Jesus cast the demon out of the man in the synagogue. The same was true when Jesus healed the man with the withered hand in the synagogue. And surely word had reached his ears of all the other miracles Jesus had done. While Jairus approached him humbly, he also approached him confidently. He had to have, because his approach of Jesus in the way he did, was likely career ending for him. It is hard to imagine the Pharisees and other religious leaders would permit him to continue as the ruler of the synagogue after this. His hope was now in the only one Who gave hope to the hopeless and thus he approached Jesus and bowed with his face at His feet.
Then came: Next Slide
The Desperate Plea of The Humbled. Mark 5:23; Matthew 9:18; Luke 8:41-42
With a thoroughly humbled heart, he brought his desperate plea to the Miracle Worker, to the only One Who had proven to give hope to the hopeless. He had seen it with his own two eyes, and he had heard of more with his own two ears, and his sources were both reliable and believable. But there was something else he had seen and heard in Jesus, Jesus was compassionate! That was one of the many things that set Him apart from the religious leaders Jairus rubbed shoulders with on a day to day basis. They could care less about the common people, Jesus made them a priority. He bowed low, then lifted his face towards Jesus and made his plea; “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your Hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” The first phrase of verse 24 is actually quite beautiful. Here Jesus is standing before, what many would have considered an enemy, who had a request of Him, and without delay Jesus honored the request. None of the animosity that often times is present in our lives, just a soft heart, filled with compassion.
Following The Desperate Plea and the swift response, we then see: Next Slide
The Unwelcomed Interruption. Mark 5:25-34; Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48
Rest assured Jairus was less than thrilled with the large crowd that thronged them on every side, but at least they were moving, however slow it might have been. Walking step by step, side by side they made their way towards the home of Jairus. His nervous stomach must have been turning inside of him. Any parent who has been at the hospital with a child that had an unknown ailment, would know exactly what was going through his mind. The answer can’t come soon enough.
Then, all of the sudden Jesus stopped in His tracks. Turned around and spoke to all present there; “Who touched My garments?” The disciples, in particular Peter, we find out from Lukes account, are baffled at Jesus question. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, pressed in on every side of Jesus. What do you mean “Who touched My garments”? Ummm, everyone touched Your garments! In Lukes account Jesus answers Peter’s understandable question, letting him and the crowd know that He sensed healing power leave His body. Please note here, this did not mean that He had lost some of His power, it just meant that He could sense when power left him.
During this Unwelcomed Interruption, we see; Next Slide
The Completion of The Transformation. Mark 5:33-34; Matthew 9:22; Luke 8:47-48; Philippians 1:6
It seems likely that the woman’s intent was to slip away quietly, but Jesus had other plans. While Jesus healed to many to count during His public ministry, it wasn’t physical healing that moved Him. It was transformed hearts. At this point, the woman had been healed, but she hadn’t been transformed. Jesus didn’t ask His question because He didn’t know the answer. Keep in mind He had the ability to read the minds of everyone, including the religious leaders! There is little doubt that Jesus knew exactly who had touched Him, but there was still work to be done. In Philippians 1:6 we read; “And I am sure of this, that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion”. Jesus wasn’t content with just healing this woman, He was looking for complete transformation.
Upon being discovered, the woman was filled with fear, but the fear wasn’t so much because she had been discovered, it was more a result of the reality of Who it was that discovered her. Her fear was very much the same as that of the disciples in Mark 4 after Jesus calmed the storm by speaking “Peace be still”, all of the sudden they were beginning to realize Jesus was not of this world. It was like the fear of Isaiah in Isaiah 6 when he suddenly found himself in the presence of the glory of God and he responded by saying; “Woe is me! For I am lost!”
Her heart was gripped with a holy fear as the reality of what had just happened to her began to sink in. Realizing she was in the presence of deity, she came and fell down before Him and publicly related the whole truth about both her malady and her healing (cf. Luke 8:47). MacArthur, J. (2015). Mark 1–8 (pp. 260–261). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.
Jesus then completed her transformation by giving her: Next Slide
A New Identity. Mark 5:34; Matthew 9:22; Luke 8:48
Jesus did not want her to continue in fear so, He speaks reassuring words to her. We see in verse 34 that Jesus calls her “Daughter”. This is the only instance in the Gospels that Jesus uses this term in reference to a woman. It is, no doubt, a reassuring term to this transformed woman. Especially when you consider the reality of what she had discovered about Jesus, as a result of her miraculous healing. The reality that the One Who’s garment she had touched was, in fact, God in the flesh and now He was calling her daughter! Let that thought sink in for a moment. God in the flesh has just called her “Daughter”! In other words He is declaring her a child of God! Perhaps we may look at this as almost a trite word, I mean we frequently use family terms like this in the church. But for this woman, Jesus, God in the flesh, calling her “Daughter” was huge.
The results of this woman’s 12 year issue of blood had been devastating to her. According to Levitical law, she would have been ceremonially unclean. This meant that anyone who touched her, was also unclean. Can you imagine going 12 years without experiencing physical touch from anyone? If she was married, it didn’t just mean her husband couldn’t touch her, in most cases it meant he would divorce her. If she had children, she couldn’t hold their hand, couldn’t comfort them when they were down, couldn’t hold her young child on her lap, wipe his tears away. She hadn’t set foot in a synagogue or the temple in 12 years. On top of all this, this also brought with it a terrible stigma. Most assumed that this malady was the result of unconfessed sin in her life, and based on the type of illness, most would assume a sexual sin. She had been carrying all of this for 12 years. But the pain didn’t end there, we learn in verse 26 that she had spent everything she had to find a cure and instead of getting better, she got worse. For 12 years she had been humiliated and rejected at every turn and then she met Jesus. Not only did He heal her, not only did He not reject her, he accepted her and declared her to be a part of His family.
She had a New Identity. There are 2 other keys in her story of transformation, I don’t want you to miss. To see these, let’s look back a few verses. The first one is in verse 27:
She Acted On What She Heard. Mark 5:27
We read in verse 27 that; “She heard the reports about Jesus”. While her action was important, she would have had no opportunity to act had she not heard. Someone had to tell her. Either she heard directly or she heard indirectly, since virtually no one wanted to touch her. Or maybe she had a loved one, someone who had stayed in contact with her, at least a socially distanced contact, that saw Jesus in action and brought a report to her, but somehow she heard a report about Jesus. Like the demoniac from earlier in this chapter, the one who spoke to her probably had little knowledge of Jesus, but what they knew they proclaimed. Jesus was a miracle worker, He had the power to heal. That brought about a determination inside of her to stop at nothing until she touched Him, even if it was just the hem of His garment.
Her touch was accompanied by something else, something of extreme importance.
Her Touch Was Infused With The Power of Faith. Mark 5:28 & 31, Matthew 9:21; Luke 8:44 & 45
This is clearly seen in Mark 5:28 and Matthew 9:21. Both state that she had faith that if she but touched His garment, even just the hem of His garment, she would be made well. But the power of her faith is made even more clear in Mark 5:31 and Luke 8:45.
Take a moment and look at Mark 5:31 in your copies of God’s Word, particularly the disciples response to Jesus question of “Who touched My garments?”. How did they respond? (“You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’”) Now let’s look at Luke 8:45. Next Slide
45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!”
What do you see in both of these passages in reference to people touching Jesus? (He was being touched by a multitude of people!)
So, here he was being touched by a multitude of people, in fact the Greek word Luke choses to use for “pressing” in the phrase “pressing in on you”, means to “to press on all sides, squeeze, press hard, of pressing out grapes and olives”. He was practically being crushed by the crowd on all sides. But of all the people that touched Him up to that point that day, only one experienced His healing power. It is highly unlikely that she was the only one who needed healed, that was touching Him, but she was the only one who’s touch was infused with the power of faith. She may have only had the faith of a mustard seed, but the faith she had moved the mountain of her 12 year decease.
We will finish the story of Jairus and his daughter next week, and believe me, you don’t want to miss that powerful conclusion! But as we close out this morning, there are 3 Action Points I want to make sure we grab hold of before leaving here today. Next Slide
1. We must proclaim the Power of Jesus to transform Lives.
Somehow she heard reports of what Jesus had done. Someone had to make those reports known, whether directly to her or whether she heard them indirectly, we don’t really know, but someone declared to any listening of Jesus power to transform lives. They didn’t wait for a complete knowledge of Him or His Word, they just spoke of what they had seen or experienced. And their sharing changed her life....let me change that, their sharing changed her eternity. We have got to make sharing what Jesus has done for us and in us a priority. Eternity is at stake!
Next, if you haven’t already: Next Slide
2. You must act on what you have heard concerning Jesus.
This woman took a huge gamble on pursuing Him in a crowd of this size. Ceremonially, everyone she touched became unclean, had someone noticed her, she would have been more ostracized than ever, more rejected, more of an outcast, who know’s what might have happened to her. But nothing was going to stop her from experiencing the Touch of The Masters Hand. She acted on what she had heard.
Lastly: Next Slide
3. We must act in faith.
As we mentioned a moment ago, Jesus had been touched by many that day, many a need went unmet by those who touched Jesus, because their touch came from hearts that had no faith. She went away healed, transformed, complete, in peace with God, a God Who now called her daughter. Because she acted with a believing heart and a focused mind and as a result, she lived out the words penned by James almost 15 years later;
1:6 “Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like the wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his way.”
You may not be facing an “issue of blood” like she was that day, but many of you are facing other issues. Take hold of the faith of this transformed woman, make it your own, knowing like she knew that day, that there is nothing He cannot do in your life.
You’ve all heard about what Jesus can do, now act on what you’ve heard, and back your action with faith in the One Who gives Hope to the Hopeless!
Let’s close our time this morning in prayer.