SERMON TITLE: Unexpected Power (pt 2)
TEXT: Mark 5:21-43; 6:53-56 (ESV)
SPEAKER: Josh Hanson
It’s good to be with all of you this weekend at Gateway Church. And one thing I want you to know — even if it’s your first time with us — I want you to know that God loves you and I love you too.
And we’re in week four of our Unexpected series — as we’re finding Jesus doing and saying things that are unexpected in the gospel of Mark.
So if you have your Bible with you, please turn with me to Mark chapter 5. We’ll be looking at verses 21-43 and a few verses from chapter 6.
And, if you’re a guest with us, something I like to do is answer your questions. So if you have a question you can text it in to the number printed on the bottom of the sermon notes sheet or you can submit it on the Gateway app.
One of the amazing things about the Bible is its consistency. The Bible is one big story written over the course of a few thousand years, by dozens of people who were all inspired by God to write the words in this book — which makes it a book like no other. And one may expect — in a book written by dozens of people over the course of thousands of years — for the Bible to have some inconsistencies. But not so.
It’s one consistent, continuous story of God’s great love and compassion for His people and the extent to which He was willing to go to save us from our greatest problem — our disease of sin and rebellion against Him.
Jesus made this clear — earlier in Mark’s gospel — when He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor — sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:17b NLT)
Jesus says He came to make healthy — to make righteous — to make right with God — people who know they’re eternally sick because of their sin disease.
So let’s turn to our story for today and see how this truth plays out in an encounter Jesus has with a woman and a little girl. A story of power displayed in God’s love and compassion towards those who are sick.
RE-ANNOUNCE AND READ THE TEXT
Here are the words found in Mark 5. Beginning in verse 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.” (Mark 5:21-43)
And in Mark chapter 6 we again see Jesus’ power to heal. “When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.” (Mark 6:53-56 ESV)
For three weeks we’re looking at stories from the life of Jesus where we catch glimpses of His power. And the overarching theme — for these three weeks — is this: Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must rely upon His power above all others. Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must rely upon His power above all others.
Last week we looked at Jesus’ power over the demonic. Next week, Ben will show us His power over nature. And today we’re going to catch a glimpse of Jesus’ power over disease and death. And the big idea for us is this:
Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with our mortality. We must trust Him with our mortality.
So what does it mean to trust Jesus with our mortality? Well these two intertwined stories — of an older woman and a sick young girl — help us understand what it means to trust Jesus with our mortality. And the first thing we learn is this.
TRUST HIM WITH OTHERS
Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with the sickness of others. We must trust Him with the sickness of others.
Let’s begin in verse twenty-one. “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 (Jesus) went with him. ” (Mark 5:21-24a)
Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with the sickness of others.
Jesus and His disciples are back on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They went from this side of the lake to the other side last week — and now they’ve gone back — most likely to the town of Capernaum.
And when they land, Jairus — the man in our story with the sick daughter — approaches Jesus. And we learn that Jairus is a synagogue ruler — a respected position in the community. He wasn’t a priest, but as the synagogue ruler he oversaw the care of the synagogue as well as the administrative duties — sort of a modern day church office manager.
Yet Jairus didn’t let his position keep him from humbling himself before Jesus. For when he approaches Jesus — we read — that Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet. He humbled himself. He’s a father in a desperate situation and he wasn’t going to let his pride or position get in the way of his daughter being healed of her sickness.
So he tells Jesus, “My little girl’s at the point of death.” “Jesus she’s dying. She’s at death’s door.” And he believes that Jesus can do something about it.
Now we don’t know if Jairus had seen Jesus heal before. But what we do know is that he believed in Jesus’ power, so he approaches Jesus trusting that He can do something about his daughter’s situation.
And I love how this part of the story ends. “And Jesus went with him.” (Mark 5:24a, ESV) Jesus shows compassion. He doesn’t have to go, but He does. He may’ve had other plans, but He drops them to go with Jairus to see his sick little girl.
Jairus believed that Jesus had the power to heal his daughter. And this belief compelled him to go to Jesus, humbling himself as he asked Jesus to go with him to see his dying girl. Jairus trusted Jesus with his daughter’s sickness — he trusted Jesus with her mortality.
And because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with the sickness of others.
Now if you know this story, you may be thinking, “Well of course it was easy for Jairus to trust Jesus. His daughter’s going to be healed.” But remember, Jairus had no idea what would happen.
Now something very true is this: Not everyone experiences the healing we hope they will experience. I pray often for my boys to be healed of their diabetes, but — and don’t miss this — more importantly I pray that God would be glorified in their life.
So if their diabetes keeps them dependent upon the Lord — giving Him glory — because they know their bodies are not the way they should be — then God don’t take away their diabetes. But if in healing them, they won’t lose their dependence AND will glorify You more because of the healing — then Lord heal them — but do what brings You the most glory.
But what I don’t want, is for my boys to be healed of their diabetes only to become rebellious towards the Lord as they live independently of Him. Being healed of diabetes isn’t worth their eternity. They’re mortal. Diabetes isn’t their biggest problem — their sin and rebellion against God is. “So Lord if having diabetes keeps my boys dependent upon You, then thank you for diabetes.”
And I tell you this — not to make much of me and my prayer life — but because it took me a long time to be able to pray this way — that’s not how we want to pray for people who are sick. We often think that someone being healed of cancer, or diabetes, or a heart condition, or depression, or whatever it may be — is always what’s best for them — when instead — we should be praying for what would glorify God most in their life.
But when we pray, we must pray trusting that Jesus does have the power to heal them — He can heal — as we’ll see. He has the power to heal, so we must go to Him believing and trusting that — as we pray — He does have the power to conquer any sickness those we love are facing. But His healing them and — God being most glorified in their life — might not be the same thing.
And I know it can be frustrating not knowing with certainty whether them being healed or not will bring God the most glory. But never forget…He can heal — oh can Jesus heal — He has the power to do so. Pray for them to be healed — but pray with God’s glory being what’s most important in their life.
But there’s more.
Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with our sickness. We must trust Him with our sickness. Now this becomes personal.
Look with me in end of verse twenty-four. “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."” (Mark 5:24b-34)
Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with our sickness.
Jairus went to Jesus with his daughter’s sickness — this woman goes to Jesus with her own trouble.
She’s sought medical help to no avail.
In fact, her condition has only gotten worse with time.
Other things about her — that aren’t quite as obvious — are things like her uncleanness.
According to the Jewish law, her medical condition would’ve made her ceremonially unclean. This would have resulted in her being isolated from other people because anyone who had contact with her would become ceremonially unclean.
Why does this matter? Well being unclean would’ve kept her from participating in the Jewish feasts and sacrifices — her ability to worship God was affected by her medical condition. She would’ve been just as much of an outcast — in this town — as the demonized man was in our story last week.
So this helps us understand why she approaches Jesus the way she does — she wasn’t allowed to be in such close proximity to other people. So she did the only thing she could do in her desperate condition. She approached Jesus secretly. Sneaking up from behind. Putting everyone in the crowd at risk of being made ceremonially unclean — including Jesus.
But she believed Jesus’ power could heal her. And like Jairus, we have no idea where this trust of hers came from. But she believes — she trusts that Jesus has the power that could heal her of her sickness.
And when she touches Jesus’ garment — she’s immediately healed.
And I love the details Mark makes sure we’re aware of. Jairus wants Jesus to go and touch his daughter to heal her — this woman wants to touch Jesus. Both Jairus and the woman know there’s something powerful in the touch of Jesus.
Which leads us to an important question. Have you been touched by Jesus’ healing power? I know you may not have a medical condition that you need to be healed of — oh except for this little old thing we call mortality — but your and my biggest sickness isn’t a physical or mental condition — it’s a spiritual one. We’re dead in our sins — the Bible says. We’re unholy. We’re all in a hopeless condition without being touched by the healing power of Jesus.
Like the woman in our story, have you reached out to Jesus in order to experience His healing power?
You may feel unacceptable.
You may be an outcast in society.
You may feel unclean.
Like the woman you may feel like you have to sneak up behind Jesus — but regardless — have you reached out to Him and experienced His healing touch?
Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with our mortality.
Now the woman’s story doesn’t end here, so we can’t leave her just yet. As soon as she touches Jesus’ garment she “felt” — that means she “knew” — something had happened to her. She knows she’s been healed — yet Jesus seems to not know something. So He asks a rather odd question. Jesus asks, “Who touched me?” What’s up with that?
Now we’ve seen that the woman has faith — she believed Jesus had the power to heal her — but in the Bible — faith always requires confession — belief requires a public declaration. So — in asking “Who touched me?” — Jesus is giving her an opportunity to confess — to make public — her faith in His power. “I’m the one who touched you,” she’d have to say, while the crowd gasped that the unclean outcast was among them. And in confessing to Jesus that it was her — did you see what she did — she fell down at His feet.
The demonized man — last week — fell at Jesus’ feet. Jairus — when he first meets Jesus — falls at His feet. And this woman does to.
In the midst of a crowd that would’ve been in shock — and probably angry thinking they’re now all ceremonially unclean because of her actions — Jesus tells her she’s been healed. “Go in peace,” He tells her. “You’re healed.” And she believes Him.
And not only does she know she’s healed, but the crowd knows it too. She’s no longer to be an outcast. She’s no longer to be considered unclean. She’s no longer sick — for she trusted in the healing power of Jesus and she was made whole.
And — like her — we must trust Jesus with our mortality. I came across a quote by a pastor that’s really helpful in applying this story to our lives. And the quote is helpful when you remember that the woman isn’t the only person in close proximity to Jesus — there’s a large crowd. So imagine people being all over each other — an introvert’s nightmare — no personal space — a large crowd around Jesus.
Like someone coming out of a courthouse for a high profile case and the news cameras and journalists are all on top of them. There’s a lot of crowding going on. Everyone’s trying to get their camera and microphone right in the face of the person.
So the woman isn’t the only person close enough to touch Jesus. But she’s the only one who’s healed by His touch. Now why is that — why is she healed and others aren’t? Why her? Which leads to the quote.
“Now that’s pretty frightening actually. There are an awful lot of us who have crowded Jesus for a long time, and yet we’ve never touched him. Have you not seen this? A lot of us have felt inspired when we were part of that little church back home we grew up in, but when we moved away from it, God wasn’t very real. Or we were inspired and helped by the religious practices of our family or this group of friends, and then we moved away from that crowd. Jesus wasn’t real. What does that mean? It means we experienced the experience of those who were experiencing Jesus, but we never experienced Jesus. We never touched him. You can throng and crowd him, but you need faith if you’re going to have any connection at all to him.” (Tim Keller)
Are you just part of the crowd or have you reached out to Jesus in faith? Are you just part of the crowd here at Gateway or are you a part of the group within the large crowd who have reached out to Jesus in faith? This should frighten us — many people in the crowd were within reach of the healing power of Jesus and yet they failed to experience what was within their fingertips.
Who are you more like? The woman who touched Jesus and was healed or the people who crowded around Jesus yet did not touch Him?
Jesus came to this earth to live, die, and conquer death so that everyone who reaches out to Him — in faith — experiences His healing power. Have you reached out to Him?
One final thing.
Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with death. We must trust Him with death. Yup — we’re going there — everyone’s favorite topic — death. Verse thirty-five.
“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.” (Mark 5:35-43)
Because Jesus has the greatest power of all, we must trust Him with death.
Jairus’ daughter is dead. She was nearly dead when he found Jesus, but now she’s dead. In fact, Mark now uses a different Greek word to describe the little girl than one he did back in verse twenty-three — when Jairus said she was dying — now the word used by Mark — means “dead.” As Miracle Max would say, “She’s not mostly dead. She’s all dead. Time to look for loose change in her pockets.” That was a Princess Bride reference for all of you Millenials. Jairus’ daughter is dead.
“But Josh, Jesus said the girl was sleeping, not dead.” You’re right, He did. But He’s speaking figuratively. He wants Jairus to not fear death — even the death of his own daughter. Death — for those who trust in Jesus’ power — is nothing more than falling asleep.
But did you catch the first thing said to Jairus once his daughter died? Some people tell him, “Don’t bother Jesus any longer. Your daughter’s dead.” Some don’t believe that Jesus has the power to conquer death — and that’s a tragedy.
But not Jairus. Jesus tells Jairus not to fear — instead — he should believe. So Jairus takes Jesus to his home. And when they get to the house, there are professional mourners present. Believe it or not — in this time period — when a person died — the family had to pay professional mourners to weep over the death of their loved one.
So this isn’t legitimate grief over the little girl’s death. They’re paid to be there. But their mockery is legitimate. They laugh at Jesus when He speaks of the girl as being nothing more than asleep.
You see — for Jesus — raising someone from the dead is no more difficult than waking someone up from sleep. But these people don’t trust in His power — and because they don’t — they’re kicked out of the house. Because of their unbelief they don’t get to see Jesus’ power at work — they won’t witness the girl’s resurrection from the dead.
So the large crowd gets dwindled down to just a few. Peter, James, and John — along with the girl’s parents — and Jesus go into the room where the little girl lay. And Jesus goes up to her and he grabs her hand — He touches her — just as Jairus had first asked. And like the woman earlier — to touch a dead body — according to Jewish law — meant that you were made unclean.
But not for Jesus. You see He has unequaled power and when He’s touched by — or touches — something unclean — He doesn’t become unclean. Jesus is different than us. Unclean things don’t rub off on Jesus. And that may seem like amazing power, but that’s not where His power stops. You see, not only does Jesus not become unclean — whatever He touches becomes clean — now that’s power — Jesus rubs off on whatever He touches. And for this little girl — for this dead little girl — His power went through His touch and she is raised from the dead.
The Christian faith — as you know — is based on Jesus having conquered death. On the cross Jesus died. He wasn’t asleep — He was dead. For three days in the tomb — He was dead. Yet the power of God raised Him from the dead and everyone who believes in Him and — like the woman — confesses their belief in Him — experience His resurrection power.
Jesus told this young girl to “arise” — a word most often used in the New Testament to describe the resurrection of Jesus. The sick woman was described as one who had “suffered” — a word used primarily to refer to the suffering of Christ as He was murdered for our sins.
And because Christ suffered — and because He rose from the grave — He demonstrates that He has the power to heal all who come to Him in faith — those who believe that He can heal them of their greatest sickness — sin — and can heal them of their greatest fear — death.
The people in our stories couldn’t have been more different. Jairus is a male — a leader of the synagogue — a man of distinction — he has a name in our story — and he publicly approaches Jesus with his request.
The woman — on the other hand — is nameless — she’s unclean — an outcast — she has no honor — she wasn’t allowed in the synagogue — and she couldn’t publicly approach Jesus — she had to sneak up to Him from behind.
Jairus had a home — he's a man who was well off. The woman had spent all of her money on doctors even though they didn’t help. He has a daughter while — most likely — her bleeding meant she had no children.
Two people who couldn’t have been more different — yet one thing unites them together. They both believed in Jesus’ power. They believed He would be compassionate towards them. So they reached out to Jesus when others in the crowd merely looked at Him.
Will you reach out to Jesus? If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved — He has the power to save you — you can be healed. And know that Jesus will be compassionate to you for He came — in power — to heal those who know they are sick — who know they need Him to make them right with God. And He will tell you — in having healed you — “Go in peace. Your faith has made you well.”
Will you reach out to Jesus in faith? Will you trust in His power to heal you? Let’s pray.
Heavenly Father, remind us often that Jesus has the power to heal. Help us — Jesus — to trust You with those we love — to trust you with ourselves — and to trust you with our fears — especially our fear of death. But no matter what healing we may experience in this life — may You be glorified in our lives and in the lives of those we love.
Spirit help us to believe this Good News: Jesus has conquered death and He has the power to heal and rescue every person who believes in Him and confesses that He is their Savior and Lord. Help us to share this Good News with all people, so they too experience the healing power of Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.
BENEDICTION (PRAY FOR: Sickness; healing; want to experience Jesus’ healing touch)
May you go reaching out to Jesus — experiencing the power of His healing touch. Amen.
God loves you. I love you. You are sent.