When All Hope Seems Lost-Part 2 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.
Last Sunday, in Part 1 of the message entitled “When All Hope Seems Lost” we spent most of our time looking at looking at 1 of 2 individuals in our current passage from Mark 5. That of the women who had been suffering with a 12 year issue of blood. An ailment that, based on the Levitical law, deemed her unclean, which brought with it a host of serious consequences. Anyone who touched her was considered unclean, in fact, just by touching her bed one would be considered unclean. For 12 years she had hardly experienced physical touch from anyone. If she was married, her husband was permitted to divorce her. If she had children, she would have been unable to touch them, hold them, walk hand in hand, physically comfort them if they were sad. She hadn’t been to the Temple or a synagogue in 12 years, she was an outcast! On top of that, she had spent every dime she had to find a cure and instead of getting better, she got worse. Then one day, she heard about someone Who gave hope to the hopeless, a man named Jesus, Who had a mysterious power, the ability to work miracles. He had healed many of various diseases. Given a paralytic the ability to walk, healed a man’s withered hand, cast demons out of people, even cleansed lepers. In fact, He was reported to actually reach out and touch a leper, and instead of the leper making Him unclean, His touch made the leper clean. Could it be, was it possible that He could do the same for her? She was considered unclean, could His touch make her clean, just as it had done for lepers? She had do know, and as a result, She Acted On What She Heard, she left the confines of her home, a place she spent nearly every waking moment for the past 12 years due to her being unclean, and silently made her way through the crowds, hoping against all hope not to be noticed, to see this Man that could make the unclean, clean. By the way, and this is just speculation on my part, I have no proof in Scripture, but when I think of this woman and her 12 year debilitating disease, a disease that seemed to get worse with every physician she saw, I get the impression that in some ways there may have been a miracle before the miracle that day. Let me explain myself.
The crowd that surrounded Jesus that day likely numbered in the thousands, and everyone present wanted the same thing, to get close to Him, touch Him if at all possible. In fact it was a dangerous crowd, dangerous to the point He could have been crushed. Yet here is a woman with a debilitating disease that had gotten worse almost daily over the course of the last 12 years, and somehow she was able to push through this crowd and get close enough to touch the hem of His garment. This is where I believe the miracle before the miracle took place. We serve a God Who misses nothing, His eyes see everywhere, not just everywhere in all of creation, His eyes even see into the minds of those He created. I picture in my mind that the Eyes of the Almighty were on that woman that day, watching her every step, but more than that, I believe He guided her every step, perhaps even nudging her along the way while opening the way in front of her. As a result, she soon made it through this incredible throng of people and touched Him with a Touch that was Infused with a Powerful Faith. Soon she heard the most beautiful words that had ever graced her ears “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.”
Last Sunday morning we talked about how countless people had touched Jesus that day, but experienced nothing as a result of that touch. We noted that her touch was infused with the power of faith and that faith brought about her healing. In other words, she came with expectations, and in the end her expectations brought about a transformation. Interestingly, the transformation went well beyond her expectations! Her expectations were for a physical transformation, she left with both a physical as well as a spiritual transformation.
I wonder, sometimes, if many that make their way to church, Sunday after Sunday, are more like the crowd that touched Jesus than the woman that touched Jesus. Far too many come to church with either no expectations, or perhaps the wrong expectations. Maybe they come out of a sense of duty, this is how they were raised. On Sunday you go to church. Or perhaps they come for fellowship, it’s a great place to see friends or maybe even family that you only get to see once a week. There are a whole host of reasons why people may go to church, and to be honest with you, there is nothing inherently wrong with those reasons, so long as they are not the only reason. But we need to come to church with the same motives as the woman that day, expecting a move of God in our lives. That is where the transformation takes place, and oftentimes the transformation that takes place goes way beyond our expectations. Why did you come to church today?
Now, let’s move into the other individual in this mornings passage. Let’s look at Jairus. We briefly looked at him last week, we will go into more detail now. That brings us to our first point from last week: 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 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. After bowing low, he 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 Unwelcome Interruption. Mark 5:25-34; Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48
We spent much of our time last week looking at the details of this Unwelcome Interruption, so we wont go back over those details this week. I’d like to look at this from a different angle this morning.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle much of the time with my patience. Oftentimes when I approach the throne of God with my requests, I not only have a specific time table-which is usually either now or 5 minutes ago, I also have a specific way I want God to answer my request. There is little doubt that Jairus are twins on this point. His expectation was a quick walk, better yet, how about a run! Then to have Jesus touch his SICK daughter and make her well. But Jesus had other plans. He had some valuable lessons He wanted to deliver that day that went well beyond a brisk walk, quick touch, and the removal of illness.
I want you to notice something else during this Unwelcomed Interruption, actually something impressive in the life of Jairus. In looking at all 3 accounts of this interruption in the Gospel’s, none give even a hint of Jairus impatience, and believe me, it is highly unlikely that there wasn’t a great deal of pent up frustration in his mind at this point. We get the impression that he quietly waited, watched, and perhaps more importantly listened. I say “listened” more importantly for a few of reasons. Next Slide
1. He came to Jesus requesting His touch.
As he watched this unwelcomed interruption, he saw a woman healed by nothing more than touching the hem of His garment. This had to have been reassuring to Jairus. He knew of Jesus power, but as far as he knew, Jesus power required Jesus touch, but here was a woman that was miraculously healed by touching the hem of Jesus garment. I’m wondering if he didn’t let out a sigh of relief at that point. Oh, I’m sure he still wasn’t thrilled with the interruption, but he was also reassured at the power of this One Who was making His way to his house.
The next reason his listening was so important is: Next Slide
2. He saw a heart of compassion.
Jairus rubbed shoulders with religious leaders on a daily basis, in fact he was a religious leader. And one thing that was pretty common among he and those he rubbed shoulders with daily, was prideful haughty hearts who gave little thought to the common people they would run in to. In Jesus, he saw something different. Jesus was compassionate! That was one of the many things that set Him apart from the Jairus and the other religious leaders he rubbed shoulders with on a day to day basis. They could care less about the common people, Jesus made them a priority.
There is yet one more reason why his listening was so important, this point is more speculative on my part, but I believe: Next Slide
3. Jairus saw a commonality between his daughter and the woman.
When woman began to speak to Jesus, Jairus quickly heard the number 12. This woman had been suffering for 12 long years. that number had to ring in his ears. We learn in verse 42 that his daughter was 12 years old. One thing I have learned over the years in my study of God’s incredible Word is, there really are no coincidences when it comes to God. Things don’t “just happen” when it comes to God. He has a plan and a purpose behind everything. This woman’s 12 years of suffering and this 12 year old dying girl were more than just a coincidence, they were a part of the plan of the Almighty. Jairus saw a commonality between the woman and his daughter and I am guessing his heart was both lifted and reassured that Jesus was more powerful than he previously understood, had a heart of compassion, and if He had no troubles healing a 12 year disease that baffled the physicians, He would have no trouble handling the illness of his daughter.
Perhaps that reassurance was short lived, because soon the: Next Slide
The Unwelcomed Interruption Brought About an Unwelcomed Message. Mark 5:35; Luke 8:49
We read in verse 35 that “While He (Jesus) was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’”
Jairus heart had to sink at the news of the death of his daughter. Any reassurance he had moments earlier likely disappeared, but rather than allowing him to linger in the depths of despair, we then see: Next Slide
The Unwelcomed Message Brought About a Welcomed Message. Mark 5:36; Luke 8:50
Quickly, Jesus heart of compassion stepped to the forefront when Jesus spoke to Jairus. We read in verse 36 “But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’” Based on what Jairus had already watched take place, Jesus Word’s of comfort surely lifted the spirits of Jairus.
Then Jesus exhibited a power Jairus may not have seen before. He sent the crowd on their way. Keep in mind that many in the crowd had waited as many as 36 hours on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for Jesus return. They didn’t wait all that time to be dismissed abruptly. But when Jesus chose to speak with authority, they had no choice but to obey Jesus, Jairus and only 3 of His disciples, Peter, James and John then made their way to the home of Jairus. I wonder if they talked along the way? Did the disciples mention what they saw the day before, with the man possessed by thousands of demons? Did they mention to Jairus that Jesus instantly calmed hurricane force winds and the waves that accompanied them with the words “Peace be still”? Or did they just walk in silence. We don’t really know, but before long they reached Jairus home. Before they ever got there, their conversations, or their silence was broken by the loud wails that accompanied 1st century Jewish deaths. Which tells you that Jesus time with the woman He had healed was anything but short. It was long enough that there was time for many paid mourners to assemble, musicians and all as we learn in Luke, st the home of Jairus.
As soon as they got to the house, Jesus confronted the paid mourners by saying “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” The mourning quickly changed to laughing and what they felt was an absurd statement from Jesus. These were professional paid mourners, believe me, they knew what death looked like, and this little girl was dead with a capital “D”!
Again Jesus displayed His authority when He put them all outside.
Then we see the: Next Slide
The Welcomed Message Led to a Loving Touch. Mark 5:40-41; Luke 8:54
I picture in my mind, just based on what we have seen in Jesus so many times in looking through the Gospel accounts, That the first touch here was Jesus taking the hands of Jairus and his wife and leading them into the room where their dead daughter lie, Peter James and John followed a step or two behind. I would imagine that Jesus either knelt by the bedside, or maybe He sat on the side of the bed. Then He did what no common rabbi would have done, He took the little girl by the Hand. By Jewish standards this would have made Jesus unclean. But, as we have learned as we have looked through the Gospel of Mark; Next Slide
Nothing unclean could make Jesus unclean, but His touch could make the unclean clean.
I can’t speak for you, but countless times I have approached the throne of Jesus filled with the filth of my sin and shame. Heart broken at a failure I had brought before Him many times before with my empty promises that this would be the last time. And each and every time He has reached down and cleansed me, washed me whiter than snow by the cleansing power of His blood. My uncleaness cleansed by His cleansing touch.
Next we see: Next Slide
Hopelessness Defeated. Mark 5:41-43; Luke 9:54-56; Matthew 9:25
After taking her by the hand, He spoke in Aramaic saying; “‘Talitha cumi’, which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’” And, as we see so often in Mark, he uses his favorite word “immediately” she got up and began walking around the room.
This brings us to Jesus displaying His authority in one more area we had not seen so far in the Gospel of Mark: Next Slide
Jesus Had Authority Over the Power of Death.
Please note, when Jesus worked miracles, they were both instantaneous and complete. There is nothing gradual about what happened that day. She didn’t slowly set up and then get up as she gradually regained some strength. No, the moment He spoke, she arose and began walking about the room, she was both instantaneously brought back to life and strengthened. His authority over the power of death is complete.
This past two Sundays, we have together watched as Jesus moved into situations of complete and utter hopelessness, and brought hope to the hopeless. He can do the same for us today. It is what He specializes in.
As we close out this morning, I want to go back to one of the earlier points of this mornings message. It was the 3rd point:
The Unwelcomed Interruption. You know, many times God’s most profound and powerful moves, come in the midst of unwelcomed interruptions. We pray for and want one thing and we want that one thing in a specific time frame. When things don’t happen how and when we want them to, often times we are filled with doubt that can easily bring us to the point of hopelessness. But I have learned in the pages of Scripture and through the already written story of my life, that God works behind the scenes in ways I cannot see, to bring about His perfect plan in His perfect timing.
To be honest, there have been those times when things didn’t happen how and when I wanted them to, that I worked behind the scenes to achieve not God’s desired outcome, but my desired outcome. The results has been painful and tragic. But the times I have trusted in Him and waited for His perfect will in His perfect time, I have seen Him move in profound and powerful ways.
Have you reached the point of hopelessness?
Take a lesson from the pages of Scripture, in the life of the women we looked at last week and the story of Jairus this morning. Both: Next Slide
Approached Jesus with A Humble heart.
Both the woman and Jairus humbled themselves before the Mighty Hand of Jesus that day.
Both: Next Slide
Approached Jesus with in Faith.
And as a result of their humble hearts, and their faith, they experienced the power of His touch.
The woman learned that: Next Slide
Jesus Isn’t satisfied with a Partial Transformation, He wants Complete Transformation.
The women wanted to quietly be healed and slip into the background. But Jesus wanted her to experience more than just a physical healing, He wanted her to be transformed from the inside out.
And lastly: Next Slide
Both Jesus Timing As Well As His Plan Are Perfect.
For Jairus and his wife, and also for the disciples that were there that day, they also learned that while Jesus may not do things in the way or in the timing we may want, He is at work behind the scenes in ways we cannot see to work about His perfect plan in His perfect timing. I am certain that this had a lasting affect on all of them.
All of these lessons are recorded that they might have a lasting affect on us as well. But like the crowd that was there that day, if we don’t approach Him with great expectations, we won’t experience great transformations.
Let’s close in prayer.