Sunday, May 21, 2023

Jairus and his Sick Daughter: Don't be Afraid; Just Believe

"One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy protested, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that's all that matters."

Here is a similar illustration:

During the terrible days of the Blitz, a father, holding his small son by the hand, ran from a building that had been struck by a bomb. In the front yard was a shell hole. Seeking shelter as quickly as possible, the father jumped into the hole and held up his arms for his son to follow. Terrified, yet hearing his father's voice telling him to jump, the boy replied, "I can't see you!"

The father, looking up against the sky tinted red by the burning buildings, called to the silhouette of his son, "But I can see you. Jump!" The boy jumped, because he trusted his father. The Christian faith enables us to face life or meet death, not because we can see, but with the certainty that we are seen; not that we know all the answers, but that we are known." -Donner Atwood

I think it’s very important for us to understand as Christians that our God is fundamentally a God who loves to heal. He healed people thousands of years ago, and he continues to heal people today. But the requirement on our end is faith. We must have faith in God. Even when we can’t see. Even when we don’t know the future. Even when it seems impossible. Faith.

The Lord Jesus heals people physically, mentally, spiritually, he heals our past sorrows, he heals our broken memories, he washes away our sins. Our God is a healing God. That is fundamental to his character.

As we’ll see today in the gospel of Mark, we find Jesus again healing people.

It says in Mark 5:21-24: "When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him."

We want to bring our concerns to Jesus, just like Jairus does in this moment. He has faith that God can help him. And sure enough, Jesus goes with him.

Whatever is concerning you today, bring it to God. Sometimes we get so focused on the problem we don’t bring it to God. Instead we worry about it. We stress over it. Stop a second and realize, I need to pray right now, at this very moment. Then bring it God in faith.

We’ve got a situation setup here. Jesus is going with Jairus to his daughter who is sick. But then the unexpected happens. A woman in the crowds, is searching for Jesus, and she believes that Jesus can help her.

It says in verses 25-29: "A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering."

It's a divine interruption. These kinds of moments happen in life all the time. We’re super busy doing what we’re doing, and God interrupts the moment with something he wants us to do. Be sure to be willing in the moment to follow God’s leading.

This woman had been sick for 12 years. That’s a long time. She had suffered. She had wasted all her money on doctors and hadn’t gotten better. I bet many people here can relate to that statement. Been to doctors for years, but it never seems to get better. Eventually you start to give up on doctors, your faith in doctors fades away in the face of the problem you’re facing. But there is a faith with this woman, if she can just touch Jesus, she will be healed. And sure enough, by her faith, it is done for her. She is healed.

In verses 30-34: "At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”"

By her faith, she was healed. The combination of faith and the presence of Jesus, and Jesus heals her. Her part is to have faith. Jesus part is to do the healing. How is your faith today? Do you have a strong faith? A growing faith? It’s simple, yet profound, a trust in God, that he can and will help you. And he calls her daughter. Your suffering is over. Be healed.

Just like that, after twelve years of sickness and bleeding, this woman is healed by Jesus. That’s what God does. He breaks cycles of suffering. The bleeding had gone on and on for years. For me, I was caught in many cycles, repeating loops, troubles that never stopped, depression, laziness, lying, slowly growing cold in my heart. Even after all those years, Jesus breaks the cycle. What cycle do you need Jesus to break in your life? Believe he can help you. He will help you. Turn to Him.

But we turn back to Jairus and his daughter. Verse 35-36: "While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”"

This is the key scripture here in this whole chapter, I believe, is: "Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Make that the motto of your life: Don’t be afraid, just believe. Make that your goal on a daily basis. Don’t be afraid. Believe God. Trust God. Commit to God. Agree with God. Stay in Faith. Have faith as your baseline, your go to, your consistent mindset. Simple faith. Powerful faith.

Then Jesus takes his inner circle and goes to the home of Jairus, in verses 37-40: "He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him."

We see a contrast here between the faith of the woman with the bleeding issue and Jairus, they both had faith, but these people laugh at Jesus. So he clears them out and goes in. He wants people of faith surrounding him as he ministers to this young woman.

Similarly, in your life, surround yourself with people of faith. Surround yourself with people on the same mission as you. Then your faith will be built up. But if you spend all your time with faithless people, you may find your faith torn down and negatively impacted by others.

Jesus gets gathered with people of faith, and goes in.

In verses 41-43: "After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat."

Three people’s lives were changed on that day. The woman with the bleeding issue, she was healed at last, and her life was changed forever. She would not bleed again. Second, the little girl Jesus raised from the dead. She was dead, now she was alive again. Thirdly, Jairus himself. He saw his little girl raised from the dead. He would never be the same. But first he believed. Then the miracle came. It’s easy to believe after the miracle. But what about before the miracle? Can we believe then?

Who is this man Jesus who did such impossible things? How can this be? Has anyone in the history of planet Earth, ever been able to raise people from the dead? Buddha never did, none of the Hindu gods ever did, Muhammad never did, only Jesus Christ. No one has ever done anything like Jesus has done. No one has ever changed people and changed history like Jesus. That’s why we gather to learn more about Him, and help lead others to Him. No one else can help. No one else can save. No one else can deliver. No one else can heal. Only Jesus. Only Jesus. And if you’ll believe, really believe in your heart, you’ll see your life changed. You’ll see healing. You’ll see victories. You’ll see forgiveness. And he will change you forever, into a new person. But it takes faith. Will you dare to believe? Will you take a leap of faith? Because that’s what Jesus commands from His followers: Have faith; don’t be afraid.

Like the little boy who can’t see his father, but his father says, jump! Could you jump when you can’t see? That’s faith. Trust in God. Believe he’s there, and he can help you. Jesus can help you. So turn to Him now. Believe in Him. Call out to Jesus Christ and he will save you! Amen.