AGCC Sun. a.m. 8/30/98
INTRO: The subject of healing in
many churches is ignored or relegated to a first century experience only. So
many people, including many Christians, find it difficult to believe that God
still desires to heal. They find the idea of miraculous healing a difficult
concept to embrace. (until of course they find themselves very ill!)
YET, many of these same people have no problems believing in many other
crazy things, so many will read papers like the National Enquirer when they have
headlines like the following:
ILLUS: I've always been amazed by what people will believe. In recent grocery store tabloids, the following headlines were observed:
* Dinosaurs Honked Like Buicks
* Cow Mattresses Help Cows Produce More Milk
* Mom To Be On Diet Of Only Chicken, Lays Huge Egg
* WWII Bomber Found On The Moon
* Woman Gives Birth To 2 Year Old Baby: Child Walks & Talks In 3 Days
* Adam & Eve's Bones Found In Asia: Eve Was A Space Alien
People will read and believe this nonsense, but
refuse the evidence concerning God and Jesus Christ.
It is unfortunate that people miss out on God's desire to minister to us
in every way, spiritually and physically, He loves our entire being. Evidence of
this is that He saves our soul and one day will resurrect even our bodies! One
of the names of God that He revealed to us is Jehovah Rapha, translated,
"The Lord that Healeth You" … and it is
present tense, not past tense.
Does God sometimes NOT heal someone, yes, but there may be times when He
will, but we need to ask in faith, Healing is possible!
The Bible teaches us that God's healing power is still available. As with
all gifts from the Lord we must ask in faith. Faith is the key to all God's
I. THE "CLEAN" BUT NEEDY!
A. Faith 5:21-24
1. Two healings are intermingled in one story here, the first character that approaches Jesus for healing is a Synagogue ruler named Jairus. He was seeking healing for his daughter who was dying.
a. He represented the "clean" and acceptable segment of Judaism.
b. He was a respected man who help led worship and attended spiritual matters for others.
c. Here was a man who already had an understanding about God.
d. To approach Jesus for help could put his respected position in jeopardy since many of them rejected Jesus as the Messiah!
e. So many of the religious leaders hated Jesus or saw Him a threat.
2. Like many Christians today, he was taught healing took place only in an earlier Biblical time, during the time of the patriarchs, but not in his modern world!
a. Many Christians today think healing only took place in the first century New Testament era and not in our modern times.
b. Yet, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
3. To go to Jesus for healing of his daughter would be endangering himself as a "clean" respectable Jewish leader.
a. However, there comes a time when our heart cries out for God, a God that cannot be boxed in by our orthodox theology that comes from man's opinion.
b. He decides to seek out Jesus, perhaps HE is God's Messiah, and even the Jews expected the Messianic age to be full of miracles!
c. Once this decision was made to go to Jesus however, there would be no
turning back again!
ILLUS: When Cortez landed at Vera Cruz
in 1519 to begin his conquest of Mexico with small force of 700 men, he
purposely set fire to his fleet of 11 ships. His men on the shore watched their
only means of retreat sinking to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. With no means
of retreat, there was only one direction to move, forward into the Mexican
interior to meet whatever might come their way. In paying the price for being
Christ's disciple, you too must purposefully destroy all avenues of retreat.
Resolve that whatever the price for being His follower, you will have to pay
it. -- Walter Henricksen,
Disciples Are Made -- Not Born
B. Fearful 5:35-40
1. Unfortunately, this nice "clean" respectable Jewish Synagogue ruler's request got sidetracked while Jesus dealt with an "unclean" woman who had interrupted their progress toward Jairus' house to have his daughter healed.
a. How frustrating this may have been to Jairus, to have Jesus stopped en route by an "unclean" woman.
b. Because this woman had an issue of blood for 12 years, she was "unclean" according to Jewish law. This meant she could not worship with the rest of God's people or even touch them!
2. It must have been a fearful thing for Jairus to realize that Jesus allowed an "unclean" woman to touch Him, much less give her all this time and attention while his daughter lay dying!
3. Sure enough, news arrives while Jesus is still speaking to this woman that his daughter had indeed died!
a. His fears were now realized!
b. He had already put his reputation on the line, now it was all for nothing!
4. He had decided to believe, but unlike so many others, he had acted on his belief!
a. Many people say they believe but never act on it!
b. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people don't act on their
Allstate Insurance Company recently surveyed
Californians in earthquake-prone regions. Sixty-four percent of respondents
believe a massive earthquake will hit in three to five years; but only one in
four has earthquake insurance. -- UPI, Leadership, Vol. 19, no. 2.
5. The attitude of those who brought the bad news was classic: "Your daughter is dead … Why bother the teacher any more?" 5:35b
a. They only saw Jesus as a teacher!
b. Christ was still the healer, not just the teacher!
c. Too bad that some today won't let Jesus still be a healer too, they will let Him be "Lord" (limited however to what they are comfortable believing!).
6. Jesus however tells him, "Don't be afraid, just believe!" 5:36
a. Healing like all gifts from God must come through faith!
b. Those who don't believe in healing should not be surprised that they never see anyone healed, it does require faith!
7. Though Jesus had ministered to the "unclean" woman, He was not indifferent to the "clean" man's need either.
a. The "unclean" woman was healed because of her faith.
b. The "clean" man's daughter would be healed yet too if he had faith!
c. The conditions are the same for all, ritually clean and unclean - FAITH!
8. When Jesus arrives at Jairus' house, he gets rid of all the scoffers and unbelivers, He only allows those with faith to stay in the room.
a. The environment of faith is necessary for us to minister in.
b. If it was critical then, it is critical now!
C. Favor 5:41-43
1. Christ very simply commands the dead little girl to "get up"!
a. God's favor came upon this family who looked to Him in faith.
b. In Christ's presence with a room full of faith the devil and death had to flee!
2. Christ has not changed, He is still the resurrection and the life…He still has power to heal!
3. It should not be surprising that in an atmosphere of God's presence and
in a room full of faith that God does great things among His people!
Dr. E. Stanley Jones, the famous missionary,
wrote a charming and delightful autobiography called A Song of Ascents. He tells
about a layman, a newspaperman, a mutual friend, who was called upon to conduct
a funeral service. Being an exact man, he wanted to do it properly and in the
best Christian tradition. So he turned to the New Testament as the original
source and example of how Jesus conducted a funeral. And he found that Jesus
didn't conduct funerals at all. All He dealt with were resurrections.
4. Every recorded dead person Jesus came into contact with was raised from the dead!
a. God is concerned with our whole being, not just the soul!
b. God's favor includes healing of our bodies too.
(1. Even if we are not healed in this lifetime, our bodies will be healed when they are resurrected, so in this sense every Christian will experience physical healing!
(2. But like other future blessings, God many times in the present reveals
something like an "earnest" of our
inheritance, so that He at times will heal the sick today as evidence of His
desire to fully heal us all in the future.
II. THE "UNCLEAN" BUT NEEDY!
A. Faith 5:25-29
1. Now we are introduced to another person in need, an "unclean" woman by Jewish law!
a. She had a bleeding problem for 12 years, this rendered her "unclean" by the law! (Interestingly enough, Jairus' daughter may have been around 12 years old too, or perhaps a bit younger!)
b. As "unclean" during this entire time, she was not permitted to worship with God's people, so she was not only "unclean" physically, she was an outcast spiritually!
(1. This meant being shunned socially, spiritually, and even emotionally.
(2. Perhaps she had even been a member of the Synagogue Jairus was ruler in!
2. This woman was desperate, for 12 years she had sought out the doctors help, but instead of getting better, she actually got worse!
a. Interesting to note that in LUKE'S account of this same story, LUKE the DOCTOR leaves out the term "doctor" completely, he only says, "No one could help her". (see Luke 8:43)
b. While this woman had lost faith in doctors, she has faith in Christ!
3. She has a dilemma however, how can she touch Jesus without making Him ceremonially unclean? Unclean people were not allowed to touch others, but her faith was driving her on to touch Jesus - she would instead just touch the hem of His garment!
a. She would try and sneak in unnoticed so as not to raise questions too.
b. In the midst of a huge pressing crowd she could touch Jesus without raising any undo notice…or so she thought!
4. She would not however lose this opportunity to touch the Lord!
ILLUS: Matthew Henry went to London, met a young lady of the nobility, who was also wealthy, and they fell in love. She went to ask her father if she could marry him and he said, "He's got no background, you don't know where he's come from."
She said, "Yes, I know, but I know where he's
going and I want to go with him."
5. Her concern was the present and future. So faith is alive in her
B. Fearful 5:30-33
1. Sure enough, as soon as she touched Jesus she was completely healed!
a. Her physical healing was complete, it was real and not imagined, she knew right away she had been actually healed! But Jesus wanted to heal her emotionally, socially, and spiritually also, so He does not let her slip away unnoticed!
b. Jesus immediately asks who touched Him.
(1. As was often the case, the disciples couldn't figure Him out on this one, wasn't the whole crowd pressing in on them and bumping into Jesus…what kind of question is "who touched me?" ?
(2. They were only thinking of getting to where they were suppose to be.
2. Jesus' reasons for exposing the woman were actually to finish off her healing!!
a. By publicly pointing her out and her healing, Jesus set the stage for no one to question whether she was "unclean" anymore!
(1. This would permit her back into society, allow her to worship with her friends and family again, and remove her isolation so she could be touched as well as touch others without their shrinking away from her!
(2. Of course she doesn't understand this at first, and she is terrified
that Jesus asked who had touched Him, in her fear she comes forward!
ILLUS: Richard Halvorson tells the
story in Leadership about the frog who fell in the pothole and couldn't get out.
Even his friends couldn't get him to muster enough strength to jump out of the
deep pothole. They gave up and left him to his fate. But the next day they saw
him bounding around just fine. Somehow he had made it out and so they asked him
how he did it. They said to him, "We thought you couldn't get out." The frog
replied, "I couldn't, but a truck came along and I had to." --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton:
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 385.
b. Having just been blessed by the Lord, though afraid, she openly confesses that it was her!
(1. Rather than embarrass her however, Jesus praises her for her faith!
(2. And in doing so Jesus shows others that they too are free to come. He won't be bound by laws that keep people from God, all are welcome to come to Him in faith!
3. Christ stopped to minister to an unclean woman on the way to ministering to a clean man's need!
a. Both were recipients of God's love and grace - through FAITH!
b. God knew what they both needed!
C. Favor 5:34
1. When Jesus says to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" He no doubt had more in mind that just her being freed from her physical suffering, but she could now go in peace because she was restored physically, socially, and spiritually!
a. God's healing power does far more than just physical healing!
b. In fact, some of these other types of healing can be even greater!
2. God's favor rested on her as it did on Jairus and his daughter because of faith.
3. Heb 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
a. Both of these had sought out Christ and rather than let their fears rule, their faith triumphs. They both discovered that with Christ healing is possible!
b. Are we willing to have faith in God too when we are in need?
4. Healing is Possible … for those who believe!
CONCLUSION: Both the "clean" Synagogue ruler and the "unclean" woman needed God's healing touch. One did not have a greater standing before God than the other, they both found God's favor when they came in faith! It is still faith that God responds to, a faith that reaches out to touch Him no matter what! Faith is the key that unlocks God's power in our lives.