Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thoughts from Church: Mark 4:35-5:43

Today Pastor Troy taught on Mark 4:35-5:43..

The first section recalled the time when Jesus and the disciples were on a boat and a storm (squall) broke out. Jesus was asleep and that disciples were freaking out! Jesus told the storm to be quiet and the disciples freaked out again when the storm obeyed Him.

Mark then tells us about a time Jesus had an encounter with a man possessed by a demon. Jesus confronts the demons possessing the man and casts them into a herd of pigs. In 5:19 Jesus tells the former demoniac to tell everyone how much the Lord had done for him. In vs. 20 the man tells everyone how much Jesus had done for him. It was apparently not a mystery or confusing in any way to suggest that whatever Jesus was doing was also the work of the Lord.

The next two stories involve Jesus agreeing to heal Jairus' daughter who was very ill. On the way, a woman who had been ill for a long time gave Jesus reason to pause.

Poor Jairus. He came to Jesus in a frenzy to request his help as time was running out on his daughter's life. He must have been relieved when Jesus agreed to come with him, but all the more frustrated when Jesus stopped on the way to chat with a woman who bumped into Him.

In order for the trial of this woman to end, Jairus' trial must be extended. Perhaps that occurs even in our own lives from time to time.

Jesus stopped and asked, "Who touched me?" which is an odd thing to ask when the crowd was squeezing in on Him at that moment. "Who wasn't touching him?" would have been a better question to raise. But just like our churches and Christian music channels, many are bumping into Jesus because they are around Him in some capacity. They are not trying to touch Him per se, but are caught up in the frenzy around Him. This woman was different. She set out on a mission to touch Jesus intentionally. She had faith that being near Him would produce wonders that contemporary science, medicine, and efforts could not yield. She touched Jesus on purpose. It was not an accidental brush in a crowd. It was the climax of a plan birthed out of faith.

From the moment He asked the question, "Who touched me?" her heart must have begun to race. While the crowd at that moment was puzzled by the question and sarcastically responded in their minds, "What is this guy doing? Two dozen people have touched Him in the past 2 minutes and He wants to know who touched Him?" This woman, however, was cut to the quick. While many had touched Jesus that day, she knew she had touched Him because she had set her heart on it. He knew that someone had touched Him in a way all together different than the shoulders and elbows of the strangers surrounding Him. To this woman, he said, "Daughter, your faith has made you well."

Jesus, as He is pronouncing this blessing over the woman, is told that Jairus' daughter has now died. Did Jairus rage internally at Jesus' delay? Did his heart break at the news of his daughter's death? Was he surprised when Jesus still wanted to continue on and visit her?  She was dead after all.  What use was trying to "heal" her now?

Jesus found the dead girl and said to her, "Talitha Cumi," or "Little girl, get up." These are akin to the sentiments of "Honey, it's time to get up now," of a loving parent trying to slowly rouse their slumbering child. This is not a violent shaking and screaming, "Get up!!!!" This is tender, personal, intimate, and gentle.

The woman who touched Jesus' cloak had been fighting this illness for 12 years. The girl who died and was raised back to life was 12 years old. That means for the entirity of this little girl's life that woman had dealt with sickness. The joy of those 12 years for Jairus with is healthy daughter was mirrored by 12 years of frustrating, sickness, and isolation of the woman in agony.

If someone said your 6 year old daughter had only 6 years left to live, it would seem too little. If someone said your 6 year illness still had 6 years left to go, it would seem too much.

12 years is a short time to live. 12 years is a long time to be sick.

Because of Jesus a little girl celebrated her 13th year of life.
Because of Jesus an older woman put 12 years of sickness behidn her and began her first year of life as one healed.

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