Mark 5: Twelve Years Lost and Saved

Hello everyone,
who is from Malaysia or Indonesia or Singapore?
Selamat Hari Raya!
 
Last year at this time I was living in Malaysia.
It was like Christmas.
Who recognises these photos?
Yes, all the yummy food in the Ramadan markets!
In fact, on this Sunday of Hari Raya weekend exactly one year ago
I visited the Malaysian Prime Minister’s house and had a big feast!
Who is missing the food?
 
But today we are not going to Malaysia. 
 
I want to start by introducing you to two people in Israel.
 
—————-

Introduction

 
A man is sitting by a bed in hospital.
There’s that cold white light, that hospital smell.
His name is Jairus.
 
On the bed is a little girl, 12 years old.  His only daughter (Luke 8:42).
She can’t wake up.  She is very sick.
There are pipes and tubes and wires coming out of her.
There is a screen with a little wiggly line – her heart beating.
 
Jairus listens to the beep beep beep.
He is very afraid it will stop, that his daughter will die.
 
 
Some doctors come in.
He asks.  “Will she get better?”
They say “we don’t know.  It doesn’t look good.”
They say “leave us with her for a while.”
 
He goes out to the hospital cafe.  He hasn’t eaten all day.
He buys a strong coffee to keep awake – he hasn’t slept all night.
He buys a pie.
But his stomach is sick with fear, he can’t eat.
 
 
On the table is a newspaper, the “Galilee Herald”.
He turns the pages, but all he can see is his little girl.
 
Then he sees a headline “Man Healed of Skin Disease”.
In the article he sees a name “Jesus”
On the next page is a photo: a man jumping up and down with a big smile.
The title says, “Yesterday this man couldn’t walk”
Again Jairus sees that name, Jesus.
 
On the back page, another headline, “Who Is This Man?”
“A local boy, Jesus of Nazareth, is famous.
Hundreds of people are going to hear him speak.
Many people are being healed from all kinds of sickness.
Early this morning, Jesus will be speaking near the hospital.
On the beach beside the lake of Galilee”
 
Jairus puts down his cup.
He grabs his coat.
He runs out the door.
 
———————-
 
Now let’s meet the second person, a woman.
 
A long time ago, she had a good life.
She was rich, she was happy.
On the street, people smiled and said hello and treated her with respect.
 
Then 12 years ago – 12 long years – it began.
She started to feel sick.
Her stomach was bleeding inside.
It did not stop.
She felt weak and tired all the time, because she was losing blood.
 
What’s worse, in her culture, people thought this meant she was spiritually dirty, unclean.
So she lost all her friends.
Even her family turned away.
 
She went to her doctor.  He had no idea.
He sent her to another doctor.
He sent her to another doctor.
They sent her for tests at the hospital.
Expensive tests, painful tests.
They showed nothing.
 
All the doctors cost a lot of money, but they didn’t help.
She just got worse.
 
Her money ran out.
She had to sell her nice house.
Now she lived in a dirty little room in a dirty part of town.
All alone.
 
She had seen those newspaper headlines about Jesus healing people, doing amazing things.
But she had no money left to travel and find Jesus.
No friends or family to take her.
 
Early one morning she couldn’t sleep ­– her pain was too bad.  She went outside.
There were a lot of people on the street.
She asked someone, “Where is everyone going?”
“Don’t you know?  We are going to the beach by the hospital.
Jesus is in town today!”
 
She pulls her scarf over her face, so no one will recognise her.
She hurries along with the crowd.
 
————————————–
 
21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue [church], whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently [very hard] with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
 
24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. 25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe [clothes]. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition [sickness].
 
30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
 
31 His disciples [followers] said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
 
32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling [shaking with fear] at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
 
Mark 5:21-34  
 

Lesson 1: Jesus Cares About Everyone

 
Jairus finds Jesus by the lake.
He is desperate.
He falls down and begs, “Jesus, please come and save my daughter!”
 
Jesus is busy teaching the crowd,
But he cares about people in need.
He goes with Jairus
 
Jairus is a good man with a good job,
He is a leader in his synagogue – like a church.
People like him and respect him.
Someone like Mike or Gordon.
 
This woman is very different.
Nobody wants to touch her.
 
Jairus comes openly and speaks to Jesus.
She just creeps up behind so no one will see her.
 
Jesus also cares about her.
He doesn’t say go away.
 
In fact, Jesus said,
“Whoever comes to me, I will never drive away.”
“I will never reject them”
John 6:37 (NIV, NLT)
 
Isn’t that good?
 
If I am rich and popular, like Jairus:
Jesus cares about me.
If I am poor and have no friends, like the woman:
Jesus cares about me.
 
No matter who you are or what you have done.
A winner or a loser,
He loves you and has time for you.
 
 
————–

Lesson 2: Jesus Has Power To Heal And Save

 
Here’s another good thing about Jesus:
not only does he care, but
he has power and authority.
 
Three weeks ago Heather talked about Mark chapter 4.
The wind was blowing hard, waves were crashing into the boat.
Jesus’ followers were afraid they would die.
Jesus said to the wind, “Stop blowing!”  And to the waves, “calm down!”
And everything was still.  They were amazed.
 
Jesus had authority over the forces of nature.
Today we see he has authority, power, over sickness.
 
For 12 years, the woman had gone to every doctor she could find.
Maybe she travelled to seespecialists in Egypt or Greece.
She took all kinds of medicine.
She had all sorts of tests
And none of it worked.  She just got worse.
Think about that: 12 years, that’s 144 months, or 624 weeks, or 4384 days.
That’s a long time to be sick.
 
Then she came to Jesus.
Just one little touch.
And in an instant, after 12 years of suffering and struggling.
She was healed.
 
Jesus is the true doctor, he is the healer
 
 
Jesus doesn’t just heal her body, make her well physically.
Here’s what the Old Testament of the Bible said about women like her:
 
If a woman has a flow of blood for many days …  she is ceremonially unclean…
Any bed she lies on and any object she sits on during that time will be unclean…
Anyone who touches her will be unclean…
Leviticus 15: 19-27
 
How would you feel?
For 12 years, no one touches you. 
No one gives you a hug or even shakes your hand.
In a shop, the owner is scared to take your money in case they catch your disease.
 
When the woman touched Jesus’ robe, her body was healed.
But she still had that shame, that fear inside – 12 years of rejection in her heart.
so she tried to hide and run away.
 
Jesus wouldn’t let her disappear,
he looked for her.
Last week, Mike said God wants everyone in his family.
We see that here: Jesus treats the woman like family, he calls her “daughter”
 
Jesus says in front of everyone, “Daughter, you are well.”
He wants them all to know she is healed and accept her back into society again,
So she’ll have no more rejection.
 
Jesus heals her sick body, and he heals her lonely heart.
 
 
But there is more.
Jesus’ healing goes even deeper
In those days, many people thought sickness was caused by sin.
Sin is bad things that we do, that come out of badness in our heart.
Some people probably thought God was punishing the woman for her sin.
 
And she wasn’t allowed into the Temple, the church of the day.
Her uncleanness shut her out from God.
 
Jesus said that was wrong: most sickness is not a punishment from God. (John 9:2)
 
But in a way,
sin is like a disease.
It destroys our life and our relationships.
It separates us from God.
 
And like a disease, sin spreads:
maybe Mike says, “David, you’re a useless preacher, that sermon was very bad.”
I am hurt.
Maybe for years hatred grows in my heart.
I become an angry person and so I say things that hurt other people, and so the evil spreads.
My touch makes you unclean.
 
Maybe I realise my heart is sick.
I try hard to be a good person.
I go to counsellors and psychiatrists; I follow all sorts of religious rules.
Like that poor woman trying all the doctors and medicines.
 
But then something happens, and I get angry again.
I say unkind hurtful words.
And I realise the disease is still there inside.
Like this woman, no matter how hard I try, I cannot cure myself.
 
Hopefully most of us are more healthy in our bodies than this poor woman.
But all of us have the sickness of sin
We all need Jesus to heal our soul.
 
 
So what happens when the woman touched Jesus? 
People thought her uncleanness would spread and make Jesus unclean,
as that Old Testament passage said.
 
No!
It was the holiness and purity, the spiritual cleanness, of Jesus that spread,
and made the woman clean.
His goodness is stronger than our sin.
His light shines so brightly it drives out our darkness. (John 1:5)
 
 
Her body was healed of disease.
Her heart was freed from rejection.
And after 12 years, she could go back into the Temple.
Come again into the presence of God.
She must have worshipped with so much happiness.[1]
 
Physically, emotionally, spiritually, in every way, Jesus heals. [2]
 
 
Maybe there is something in your life.
Like for this woman
A slow secret bleeding inside that has lasted for years
it takes away your energy.
It makes you feel unhappy and unclean.
 
Last week, Mike told us about his life.
he disobeyed his father when he was a teenager, and then his father died.
For years he carried that guilt and shame inside of him – a bit like this woman.
Then Jesus touched him and healed him inside and set him free.
 
 
That’s the way that
Jesus wants to heal you and save you
welcome you back into relationship with God,
and set you free.
 
—————————————-

Lesson 3: Jesus Can Raise The Dead

 
So we’ve learnt that Jesus cares for everyone.
We’ve seen that Jesus has power to heal and to save.
 
 
Now let’s get back to Jairus and his daughter.
While all this was happening with Jesus and the woman,
how do you think Jairus felt?
 
Jesus was looking around saying, “Who touched me?”
I bet Jairus was thinking:
What a silly question!
Like Jesus’ followers said, everyone is touching you!
Hurry up Jesus!
My daughter is dying.
Stop wasting time!
Come on, before it’s too late!
 
Let’s read on and see what happened.
(yes, I did change the story a bit by saying hospital instead of Jairus’ home!)
 
 
35 While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
 
36 But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”
 
37 Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James). 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing [crying]. 39 He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
 
40 The crowd laughed at him. But he made them all leave, and he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. 41 Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” 42 And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed. 43 Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat.
 
Mark 5:35-42
 
 
It was bad news, the worst news.
The news Jairus had been afraid of.
It was all over.  It was too late.
His daughter was dead.
 
 
Has there been a time like that in your life?
You lost something very important to you.
Maybe you lost your house or job, you failed a big exam,
you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Someone died.
It seemed like the end of the world and you would never be happy again.
And there was no more hope.
 
That’s how Jairus felt.
But Jesus said to him, “Don’t be afraid.  Just have faith.”
Trust me.
 
At the house, a lot of people had come for the funeral.
Musicians with flutes were playing sad tunes (Matthew 9:23)
Everyone was crying.
But Jesus says, “don’t worry, your daughter is only asleep.”
 
Most of them laughed at him.
They didn’t have ambulances and hospitals and operating theatres like today,
but they were not stupid.
They knew when someone was not breathing and their heart had stopped.
They knew she was dead.
 
Jesus knew something more:
he knew that for God, death is really just like sleep (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:10)
 
Jairus didn’t know this yet.
How do you think he felt?
His little girl, his only daughter – just 12 years old, the joy of his heart,
was lying there cold and white and dead
 
Then Jesus took her hand.
He said, “little girl, get up!”
 
Maybe Jairus held his breath – could it be true?
A moment of silence – could he dare to hope?
 
Then his daughter took a breath.
She opened her eyes.
She sat up.
And turned to Jairus and said, “Daddy, I’m back!” 
 
 
Jesus had power over the storm.
Jesus has power over sickness and sin.
Jesus has power over death
 
 
It is the great fear, above all fears.
One day, this body of mine will stop working.
Everything I have done, and loved and lived for will come to an end.
 
 
But here’s the good news.
The Bible says that, “death is swallowed up in victory.”  (1 Corinthians 15:54)
Jesus has defeated death.
 
He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  (John 11:25)
 
If I know Jesus, I don’t need to be afraid of dying.
Yes, one day my life will end – none of us can avoid it.
 
But one day after that, Jesus will come and take me by the hand,
and he will say to me, “David, my son, get up!”
 
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:14
 
————————–

Conclusion

 
So what have we seen today?
 
Jairus, a leader in his church, a popular man.
A poor unclean woman – we don’t even know her name
Jesus cared for them both.
 
Whoever I am, whatever I done.
Jesus loves me and cares about me
 
 
The doctors could do nothing to save Jairus’ daughter.
The woman spent everything she had but she only got worse.
Jesus is the true doctor,
he healed the woman for free, he gave new life to the girl.[3]
He wants to do the same for us today
 
 
Are you struggling with something right now, are you afraid?
Is there a slow secret bleeding inside that has lasted for years?
 
Like the woman, maybe you have tried everything and nothing helps.
Then remember: Jesus has the power to heal and to save
 
Does it seem like you have lost everything and there is no use going on?
Jesus can raise the dead.
He can give you new life.
 
 
As Jesus said to Jairus,
“Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”
 
Faith means trusting in Jesus like this woman did.
She didn’t know a lot, she didn’t have a degree in theology.
She just hoped in Jesus to help her and heal her.
She simply reached out and touched him.
 
 
So here’s the choice for you and for me:
Will you laugh at Jesus – like the crowd at the house?
Are you too afraid to trust?
 
Or will you reach out and touch him?
Will you let him take your hand and say to you,
“My daughter, my son,
Do not be afraid.
Your faith in me has made you well.
Get up and go home in peace.” [4]
 
 

Questions

 
What sort of people does Jesus care for? 
 
How do we see that Jesus has power to heal and to save? 
 
Have you experienced his care and healing power in your life?
 
What does it mean to you that Jesus can raise the dead?
 
“Don’t be afraid, just have faith”
What are you are most afraid of?
Can you trust Jesus with this?
 
“Go in peace.  Your suffering is over”
Do you sometimes feel ashamed and unclean, bleeding inside? 
            Can you ask Jesus to heal you?
(you don’t have to share, but feel free to ask someone to pray with you)
 
 


[1] At the end, Jesus said to her, “Go in peace”.  In Hebrew, “peace” is a beautiful word: shalom.  It means wholeness and health in every way.  In our bodies and in our souls.  In relationship with people, and with the good earth that God has made.  And with God our Father himself.
[2] The word for “heal” in this passage is actually “save”.  Jesus is the Healer and he is the Saviour.
 “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 2:17)
[3] The woman was rich, but she gave everything she had to the doctors, and she just got worse.  Jesus was rich, but became poor and gave up everything he had for our sake, so that we might share his riches (2 Corinthians 8:9)
[4] God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever.  Revelation 21:4

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