Faithlife Sermons

Desperation (Matthew 9:18-26) (Slide 1)

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Opening Joke

Twin seven year old boys were always getting into trouble. Their parents knew if any mischief was reported in town, the twins were probably involved. Their mother heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually. The mother sent one boy in the morning, with the other boy to see the preacher in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice, sat the boy down and asked him sternly, "Do you know where God is, son?" The boy made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open. So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?!" Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD?!" The boy screamed, ran directly home and hid in his closet. When his twin brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?" His brother replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time! GOD is missing, and they think WE did it!"


I hate the feeling of being desperate more than just about anything else. Think about it. Desperation is what happens when you have passed fear, passed anger, you find yourself feeling desperate when you are at the end of your rope. When you need answers and whatever it is fixed.
(Slide 2) El Capitan. A story of desperation. When you are past fear and have no hope. The feeling that there is no way to win. It would be better to give up and die.
Now that you hopefully have at least an idea of the feeling i’m talking about lets move on to an example of desperation actually turning into a good thing.

Faith Because of Desperation (Slide 3)

Jairus (Slide 4)
Matthew 9:18–19 ESV
While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.
Let’s talk about Jairus
Things about Jairus
Jairus was a man of great reputation and wealth.
Jairus was a ARCHISUNAGOGOS. This meant that he was the elder in charge of public services and facilities maintenance. He was over all the other elders of the synagog. He was the highest ranking official of Caperneum.
This also made him someone who knew how much the other Pharisees HATED Jesus and wanted Him dead and gone. Fact of the matter is he up to this point was probably very involved in the whole conversation.
We see Jairus has a daughter who is very sick. This puts Jairus’ life in front of his “job.” In his mind he had to do whatever it took to save his little girls life. I think we can all relate.
Who knows what he had tried up to this point.....everything. He had the money and resources at his disposal and you have to assume because the Bible doesn’t say that he used them and they all failed. He had one option left and Jairus was going to take it.
Jairus came and knelt before Jesus showing respect or maybe trying to butter Jesus up.
We know that Jairus’ daughter was sick and in the book of Luke and Mark it says that when he went to see Jesus his daughter was near death. She was on death’s doorstep. Jairus had tried everything. The only thing he had left was to go to his enemy, Jesus and beg for him to come and heal his daughter.
Maybe Jairus remembered the what the psalmist said in the Bible. (Slide 5)
Psalm 50:14–15 CSB
Offer a thanksgiving sacrifice to God, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call on me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor me.”
We would love to say that Jairus showed great faith here. He did show faith but I argue it wasn’t as great as we want to make it.
Jairus’ faith in this situation was because of belief in the savior. Jairus’ faith was there because of desperation. Jesus was his last resort.
And even though He knew who Jairus was, and what was coming, Jesus started to go with Jairus.
The Bleeding Woman (Slide 6)
Matthew 9:20–22 ESV
And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
This woman had been suffering for 12 years. The same amount of time Jairus’ daughter had been alive.
She had been bleeding from some unknown problem, most likely a tumor or a disease of the uterus.
The Other Books (Mark and Luke) She used all her money and got no results.
Instead of being rich and powerful, she was a poor pariah. She couldn’t worship like the other women.
Leviticus 15:19–25 ESV
“When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. Whether it is the bed or anything on which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening. And if any man lies with her and her menstrual impurity comes upon him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean. “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean.
Get the point. She was considered unclean. In fact the only people that were looked at as lower on the society chain were the lepers.
The only thing other than being a Jew that this woman had in common with Jairus was desperation.
Instead of taking a party of people and making a scene she saw things differently.
She fully believed that all she had to do was touch Jesus garment.
She got on her hands and knees, crawled under the crowd and touched Jesus clothes.
Mark tells us her though process when it says...
Mark 5:28 (ESV)
For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”
The “hem” she touched was most likely a cord that all Jewish men wore to remind them that they were indeed God’s people.
The Bible says that Jesus felt the power being drained from him. I LOVE THAT! When he questioned who touched him. After the disciples questioned his sanity, Jesus turned and had the woman tell him her story. (slide 7)
Mark 5:32–34 (ESV)
And he looked around to see who had done it. 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. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Just like Jairus her faith came by way of desperation. Not because she admired Jesus as God. Jesus was her last resort. Not her first.
And Again He didn’t question. Even though her faith came through desperation Jesus honored that faith.
Jairus part 2 (slide 8)
Matthew 9:23–26 ESV
And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district.
While Jesus was healing this woman, Jairus’ daughter died.
I would be ticked......
The mourners were there wailing and crying. This little girl wasn’t almost dead at this point, she was gone. The people knew she was gone. Jesus knew she wasn’t.
Maybe to make Jairus feel better, most likely because Jesus knew this girl would be alive soon, Jesus tells Jairus that the girl is just sleeping.
Jairus had nothing to loose at this point. Whatever dude, lets go. What is the worst that could happen.
The people laughed at Jesus. THE GAUL OF THESE PEOPLE.
They laughed because in their minds the girl was dead and this crazy man that they had made fun of so often was off his rocker.
Do we only go to Jesus in desperation because we think we know better?
I struggle to understand these people. Maybe they had made fun of Jesus so much that they had no respect for him. Regardless Jesus tells them to get out.
Jesus then tells the girl, TALITHA KOUM (Little girl I say to you, get up.) And she does.
Jairus daughter immediately was healed. She was sick and needed to eat to get her strength back. Jesus had them bring in food and she was restored.
Whether because of the situation or not Jairus and the bleeding woman showed faith because of their desperation.
(slide 9)
Psalm 107:6 (ESV)
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
We can look at them with disappointment but we shouldn’t. We ask why it took so long, that they should have went to Jesus sooner. Yet as Christians today we have more reason to believe then either Jairus or the bleeding woman yet all to often we find ourselves i n the same type of predicament. Maybe instead of having faith because we have no choice , we should have.....


“Though my natural instinct is to wish for a life free from pain, trouble, and adversity, I am learning to welcome anything that makes me conscious of my need for Him. If prayer is birthed out of desperation, than anything that makes me desperate for God is a blessing.” - Nancy Leigh Demoss (slide 11)
We forgot to study for the test....Jesus please help.
I cannot afford food and gas......Jesus where are you?
Look at all the hate on tv......Jesus step in.
My child is sick......Jesus please heal them.
We saw an amazingly horrific act of evil this week. A man killed 19 children and 2 adults. How do you make sense of it. I cannot. Believe me I have tried this week. I know that Jesus was there holding those kids. I know He is with those parents crying with them. Tragedy happens and then when we are desperate, then we call out to Jesus.
We want Jesus when we NEED Jesus. We are desperate for Jesus when we need Jesus.
Jairus and the woman did nothing wrong. They turned to Jesus. Whether big or small they had Faith.
When we go to Jesus because of desperation, we are going to Him in faith, but my question is a simple one. Why are we desperate for Jesus only when we reach the point of no return.
I struggle with where the church is at in our country right now. A recent report said that church attendance is down 40%. You can blame covid, you can blame a lot of things.
We see evil running rampant in our own backyard.
We are not getting closer to God we are moving farther away.
And what are we doing about it.
This is NOT a political thing this is a Christian thing. Imagine if we were desperate for God all the time.
We need to be desperate for Jesus all day every day. We need to seek Him in every decision we make big or small.
If we want to see our world change, WE need to change it.
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