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Head Turning Faith

Mark 5:21-34

This is a familiar story  that is found in 3 of the four gospel accounts.  This morning I wan to focus on a thought for the next few moments and talk about head turning faith (5:30, 32).  We have a phrase in our language that indicates something is a real attention getter.  Head turner.  There are many things that will cause a person to turn his head in another direction. This woman has been seriously ill for 12 years, and she has gone to great lengths to be cured of her disease.  I have read this to you before, but for many of you this is the first time.

“Take of gum Alexandria, of alum, and of crocus hortensis, the weight of a zuzee each; let them be bruised together, and given in wine to the woman that hath an issue of blood.

But if this fail, “Take of Persian onions nine logs, boil them in wine, and give it to her to drink: and say, Arise from thy flux.

But should this fail, “Set her in a place where two ways meet, and let her hold a cup of wine in her hand; and let somebody come behind and affright her, and say, Arise from thy flux.

But should this do no good, “Take a handful of cummin and a handful of crocus, and a handful of faenu-greek; let these be boiled, and given her to drink, and say, Arise from thy flux.

But should this also fail, “Dig seven trenches, and burn in them some cuttings of vines not yet circumcised (vines not four years old); and let her take in her hand a cup of wine, and let her be led from this trench and set down over that, and let her be removed from that, and set down over another: and in each removal say unto her, Arise from thy flux.” 

We really do not know what the doctors of the day tried to do, but we do know that she spent all that she had to get better.  But all that happened was that she got worse and worse.  But she was in that crowd that was thronging Jesus, and she thought to herself, “If I could just touch His garment, I will be healed of all my diseases.”  She reached out by faith and touched the hem of His garment, and she was healed immediately.  This caused Jesus to turn His head her way.  Here is the question for you this morning?  Is your faith the kind that causes Jesus to turn His head your way?  Do you possess head turning faith?  Let me encourage you by stating that every person who has come to Jesus for salvation has caused Him to turn His head.  Maybe you were a very young child, and with the faith of a trusting child you accepted Christ.  Maybe you were more like this woman who had tried numerous ways to be healed but nothing worked until she reached out to Jesus in faith.  Think about it.  You weren’t there when He was born.  You did not see Him heal the sick, and calm the storms.  You did not hear the nails being driven through His hands and feet.  You did not hear Him say, “It is finished.”  Most of you have not seen the empty tomb, but you accepted it all by faith, and God pulled you out odf the miry clay and set your feet on a solid rock, and you have not been the same since.  But there is more to our faith than our salvation experience.  I like to say that the Christian life is a journey of faith that begins at salvation and is not completed until we are ushered into His presence in glory. 

I think if we are honest with ourselves this morning, we would have to admit that rather than being head turning, our faith is often heart wrenching (tomb of Lazarus, and Mark 6:5-6). 

1.  Head turning faith is available to all.  The Word of God says you already have it. 

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Everyone gets their faith from God, and everyone has the responsibility of cultivating their faith.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Did you notice in our text that the woman exercised faith when she heard of Jesus?  The more we know of God’s Word, the greater our faith will be.  I know a person that said if Jesus hasn’t come by the year 2000, I will have to re-evaluate my faith.  Do you know that person is still happily serving the Lord?  When you read the Scripture and realize that 2000 years is only two days on God’s calendar, and know man knoweth the day or the hour, and God calls them that question His coming scoffers…It is best to live by faith, and just believe God and His Word.

Even the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith.

Luke 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.  It didn’t seem like it took much faith at all to leave their nets and follow Him, or to stop collecting taxes, etc.  But Jesus has just taught them some deeper things in Luke 16 and 17.  No man can serve two masters, you have to make a choice between God and mammon.  Be careful about offences, do not be a stumbling block, the reality of  hell’s torment, and real forgiveness.  When it comes to these things, and others, we ask for an increase of faith. 

2.  Head turning faith is not bigger faith.

Listen to how Jesus responds to their request.

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.  A mustard seed is pretty insignificant in size and stature. But amazingly enough, when it sprouts and grows, it becomes large enough for birds to lodge in its branches.  What is it about that mustard seed that allows it to bring forth this very large plant?  It is full of life.  When our faith becomes something we live by, we are learning about head turning faith. 

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Remember the story of the centurion who had a very sick servant, he wanted Jesus to heal the man.  Jesus was willing to go to his house, but the centurion said, Just speak the word and it will be done.

Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. “Faith is telling a mountain to move and being shocked only if it doesn’t.”  Faith is packed with power.

3.  Head turning faith has positive results.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Maybe you are here this morning and have never caused Jesus to turn His head in your direction.  All you have to do is to ask Him to save you and He will.

Perhaps you are one that has realized that you need to cultivate your faith.  Ask the Lord to increase your faith, get serious about His Word.

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