#5 (THE "DON'T BE AFRAID" SERIES)
"DON'T BE AFRAID OF GOD'S HELP!"
TEXT: Mark 5:21-43
INTRO: Fathers are suppose to be the strong authority figures in our homes, the leaders, the ones who have the answers! There is still a strong macho image in men today about their roles in the home, they still think of themselves as the one who must provide the main income, lead the family, have answers to life's tough questions, etc.
One of the biggest problems with men is their inability to express the need for help! It is almost as though we are afraid to ask for help because it might show us to be weak in some way! This is not only true of most other men, but of us too!
Like it or not, our kids like to see us as strong: the question then is what kind of strength will we show them, strength that admits no need of help, or strength that shows our kids where to find help when they truly need it!?
ILLUS:HILDING HALVERSON, A GOSPEL MUSICIAN OVERHEARD HIS SON ONE DAY TALKING TO TWO OTHER BOYS, THE BOYS WERE BRAGGING ABOUT THEIR FATHERS, WHICH DAD WAS MORE POWERFUL. ONE BOY BRAGGED, "MY DAD KNOWS THE MAYOR OF OUR TOWN!" THE OTHER BOY SAID, "SO, MY DAD KNOWS THE GOVERNOR OF OUR STATE!" HALVERSON'S SON WAS THE LAST TO SPEAK AND HE SAID, "THAT'S NOTHING, MY DAD KNOWS GOD!" UPON HEARING THIS HALVERSON OUICKLY SLIPPED AWAY TO HIS ROOM AND WITH TEARS IN HIS EYES HE PRAYED, "0 GOD, I PRAY THAT MY BOY WILL ALWAYS BE ABLE TO SAY, 'MY DAD KNOWS GOD!'" - Source Unknown
One of the finest things we can do for our families is show them that our strength does not come from our self, but that it comes from God, and our children need to learn that they should never be afraid of God's help in their lives!
Too many times we fail to run to God for help and thus our children fail to see this important example. It is no weakness to admit that we need help, in fact it shows our kids the proper place to go for help, if we fail to show this example they will only become frustrated in life thinking they had to do it all like their dad!
Just as our kids come to their father for help, we fathers need to go to our Heavenly father for help!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that we are to come to God for help! If we live in fear we will lose out on God's help in our lives, but when we come in faith asking God delights in helping us!
I. WHEN THE ODDS ARE GREAT! 5:21-34
A. Little Time! 5:21-23
1. We are introduced to a Father named Jairus who has a sick 12 year old daughter.
a. Luke 8:42 tells us she is 12 years old and is dying, not just sick!
b. Luke 8:42 also tells us that he is almost crushed to death by the great crowd around Jesus as he tries to get to Jesus!
c. Jairus was the ruler of the town Synagogue, a man of importance.
2. Though the leader of his house of worship, Jairus was a man who knew he needed help, and not just anyone's help, but God's help!
a. Man could not help him, religious duties could not help him!
b. The pride of being able to take care of everything himself was gone, he is a desperate man and he is not afraid to ask for help!
3. His desperation is shown by the fact that he presses through the crowd and falls at Jesus' feet!
a. He cares nothing at this point about what others will think of him, so what if he is perceived as the spiritual leader in town; he publicly humbles himself before Jesus!
b. He realizes the hour is late; his daughter will die any minute!
4. It is amazing how a crisis will help us throw off the fronts we put up to protect our pride, and how focused we become on what is really important!
a. This can actually be part of God's gift to us in allowing suffering and loss!
b. How we try to avoid these times, but they are useful in refocusing our lives
ILLUS:HOWARD RUTLEDGE, A UNITED STATES AIR FORCE PILOT, WAS SHOT DOWN OVER NORTH VIETNAM DURING THE EARLY STAGES OF THE WAR. HE SPENT SEVERAL YEARS OF MISERY IN THE HANDS OF HIS CAPTORS, BEING RELEASED ONLY AT THE WAR'S CONCLUSION. IN HIS BOOK "IN THE PRESENCE OF MINE ENEINIES" HE SHARES WHAT HELPED HIM SURVIVE THOSE YEARS. HE LEARNED FOR EXAMPLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN WHAT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT AND WHAT WASN'T. FOR YEARS IN HIS PAST HE HAD WORKED OR PLAYED HARD ON SUNDAYS AND HAD NO TIME FOR CHURCH. DURING THAT TIME HIS WIFE HAD REPEATEDLY ASKED HIM TO JOIN THE FAMILY AT CHURCH BUT HE HAD ALWAYS FOUND AN EXCUSE. SHE NEVER NAGGED OR SCOLDED HIM, SHE JUST KEPT ASKING AND HOPING, BUT HE WOULD ALWAYS IGNORE THE INVITATION. HE WAS TOO BUSY TO WASTE 2 HOURS A WEEK THINKING ABOUT SPIRITUAL THINGS. NOW IN A P.O.W. CAMP THEY NAMED THE "HEARTBREAK HOTEL" THERE WAS NO PASTOR, NO SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER, NO BIBLE, NO HYMNBOOK, NO COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS TO GUIDE HIM OR SUSTAIN HIM. NOW HE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT GOD AND CHRIST AND THE CHURCH, IN FACT HIS HUNGER FOR SPIRITUAL FOOD ACTUALLY OUTWEIGHED HIS APPETITE FOR PHYSICAL FOOD AFTER A WHILE, ALL BECAUSE THE SMELL OF DEATH WAS ALL AROUND HIM DAY AND NIGHT. IT TOOK PRISON TO SHOW HIM HOW EMPTY LIFE WAS WITHOUT GOD. -- Source Unknown
5. Jairus wasn't thinking about the next Sabbath responsibilities, he was only thinking of getting help for his daughter!
a. His duties as father outweighed his duties as a leader of others!
b. He comes pleading to Jesus for help!
c. His faith in Jesus is obvious from his statement: "please come and put your hands on my daughter so that she will be healed and live!" 8:23
6. Time was too precious for pride and what others might think of him!
7. Jairus knew where to go for help, do you dad?
B. Lost Time! 5:24-34
1. Jesus starts off toward Jairus' place with Jairus ... BUT!
a. Notice what happens: the crowd slows things down!
b. AND … now a sick woman appears and diverts Jesus attention away from Jairus' need!
2. How would you have felt at this moment when you realized that Jesus was being drawn to someone else's need when yours was so pressing!
3. Jesus gets sidetracked by a woman with a 12 year bleeding problem!
a. Jairus might have thought, "well, you're not dying, my daughter is! My need is greater right now!"
b. He might have thought, "Well, you've lived a much longer life than my little girl, why are you stopping Jesus from coming with me?"
c. This woman was socially "unclean" by Jewish law ... thus she should not have been touching anybody! Why was she there!?
d. She was there because she too needed help, and she was not afraid to seek it from Jesus, although she tried to hide her need!
4. It is interesting from the text that Jairus never raises an objection to this side-tracked need even though time was of the essence, and so Jesus stops to minister to this woman!
a. Jairus does not become angry with the woman in need.
b. He is not angry with Jesus for stopping to help her.
c. There is a certain confidence or trust in Jesus, this is faith!
5. This woman too has faith, she came and only wished to sneak in and touch Jesus clothes without being noticed ... WHY?
a. As a woman with a bleeding problem she was unclean!
b. She had been unclean for 12 years, (NOTE: this was the age of the little girl who was dying!) this meant she had no social contact or presence in the Temple, she was an outcast!
c. She had had so many other failed attempts at finding help, if this proved to be one more failed public attempt it would have been too much to bear!
d. If she made known her presence publicly and asked Jesus to touch her, the crowd might have become angry since no Jew was to touch an unclean person, much less a strange woman!
e. Instead she simply crawls through the crowd and touches the hem of Jesus' garment; she only wants to touch Jesus!
6. As she accomplishes her goal and she is immediately healed, Jesus stops in His tracks and asks who touched Him!
a. I doubt that He really didn't know, He asks so that she might be publicly made known, WHY? To end her expulsion from society; if she left there quietly healed others might no really believe she was healed and she would stay an outcast for some time yet, but, if she was identified right there before the public as healed she could re-enter society as "clean" again, right away!
b. Thus Jesus handles it publicly to clear her as well as heal her! He doesn't do this just to figure out who touched Him, but to clear her and correct her understanding about her healing, it wasn't the touch of the garment like some talisman, but her faith that brought about her healing!
7. This woman had lost everything up until now, Jesus was her last hope ... just like Jairus!
a. God will not cast off anyone that comes in desperation!
b. It is only those who hang onto their pride that will not come to Christ!
c. Once we throw away our sinful pride and quit thinking we can help ourselves, we will find Jesus ready to help us!
8. You will note too that her healing was apparent immediately in her body … no more symptoms continued, when God heals it is real not imagined, there is real evidence!
9. The woman confesses she was the one with the need that had touched Him, she will not hide in fear anymore, nor deny her need!
a. What a spiritual education we find here!
b. Though afraid at first, she does not avoid the truth, she faces it. This is part of the healing process for all of us!
c. Jesus now tells her she can go in peace, she is not only healed, but restored to society as clean!
10. What about poor Jairus who is waiting this whole time for Jesus to come with Him, remember his dying 12 year old little girl!
a. This delay would have been frustrating or at best fearful to anyone!
b. He says nothing however, perhaps he knew this woman since he was the leader of the local synagogue and so has compassion on her need too, after all this woman has been unclean during his daughter's entire lifetime ... 12 years!
c. Perhaps his daughter and this woman had never met because she was unclean!
d. At any rate, he never protests the delay of Jesus to come with him, this is faith and compassion at work in his heart!
11. Jairus somehow knew that his greatest fear could not be delay, only lack of faith in Christ!
ILLUS:YEARS AGO A MILITARY OFFICER AND HIS WIFE WERE ABOARD A SHIP THAT WAS CAUGHT IN A RAGING OCEAN STORM. SEEING THE FRANTIC LOOK IN HIS WIFE'S EYES, THE MAN TRIED UNSUCCESSFULLY TO ALLAY HER FEARS. SUDDENLY SHE GRASPED HIS SLEEVE AND CRIED, "HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM?"! HE STEPPED BACK A FEW FEET AND DID SOMETHING VERY STRANGE, HE DREW OUT HIS SWORD AND POINTED IT AT HER HEART AND SAID, "ARE YOU AFRAID OF THIS?" WITHOUT HESITATION SHE SAID, "OF COURSE NOT!" HE ASKED HER, "WHY NOT?" SHE SAID, "BECAUSE IT'S IN YOUR HAND AND YOU LOVE ME TOO MUCH TO HURT ME!" HE THEN EXPLAINED, "RIGHT, AND I AM NOT AFRAID BECAUSE I KNOW THE ONE WHO HOLDS THE WINDS AND THE WATERS IN THE HOLLOW OF HIS HAND, AND HE WILL SURELY CARE FOR US!" SHE GOT THE IDEA! -- Source Unknown
12. Jairus was not afraid to ask for help, he was also not afraid to wait patiently for God's help if necessary!
II. WHEN THE OPPORTUNITES ARE GONE! 5:35-43
A. Lousy Timing! 5:35
1. Now comes all the helpful and encouraging brothers to the rescue, notice their encouragement ... or should we say LACK of encouragement!
a. "Your daughter is dead!" they said to Jairus.
b. "why bother the teacher any more!"
c. Some kind of encouragement from friends! (Job had similar ones!)
2. These are the realists in the Church:
a. "Well, God might have been able to do something earlier, but now it is too late!"
b. Notice their view of Jesus, only as a teacher!
c. Jairus was not there to see only a teacher, he had come to get God's help!
d. These so called "scientists" who could report accurate facts were no help at all for his need!
3. There is a sense of rudeness in these friends, they are cold to Jairus' pain and need, they matter of fact pronounced the news that his only little girl is dead. (see Luke 8:42)
4. They try and force him to accept reality by telling him he is bothering Jesus now that she has passed away!
a. They no doubt thought they were helping him face the facts!
b. But who needs friends that can't see help from God!!!?
5. From the natural standpoint the opportunity for help was now past, it was gone, this is all these friends could see!
a. But from a faith standpoint, it is never too late!
b. We must be careful who we listen to!
c. Even when the time for hope seems gone, faith pushes on!
6. We must be careful not to quit when God puts it in our heart to have the faith to believe! Sometimes the rewards of faith only come when we persevere!
ILLUS:THE SIGN IN THE WINDOW READ, "BOY WANTED!" YOUNG JOHN SIMMONS, THOUGH HE WAS A LAZY BOY, THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE AN EASY JOB SO HE APPLIED. HE WAS HIRED BY THE ELDERLY MR. PETERS. HIS FIRST JOB, TO SORT OUT THE CONTENTS OF AN OLD CRATE IN THE ATTIC. IT WAS DINGY AND DARK, AND IT WAS A LONG BOX. HE WAS ASKED TO SORT OUT THE JUNK IN THE BOX FROM WHAT MIGHT BE IMPORTANT AND TO SAVE THE IMPORTANT STUFF. AFTER A FEW MINUTES OF FINDING NOTHING BUT JUNK HE QUIT AND RETURNED TO THE MAIN FLOOR. MR. PETERS WAS SURPRISED TO SEE HIM SO SOON AND ASKED IF HE WAS DONE ALREADY. THE BOY RESPONDED "NO" AND THAT THERE WAS JUST A BUNCH OF JUNK IN THE BOX ANYWAY. MR. PETERS WAS DISAPPOINTED AND PAID THE BOY FOR A DAYS WORK AND TOLD HIM NOT TO RETURN THE NEXT DAY. AGAIN THE "BOY WANTED" SIGN WENT UP. CRAWFORD HILL WAS THE NEXT BOY TO ACCEPT THE JOB. HE WAS GIVEN THE SAME TASK, AFTER MANY HOURS OF SORTING USABLE NAILS AND SCREWS FROM THE JUNK IN THE BOX HE FINALLY CAME TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BOX WHERE HE FOUND A $20 BILL! AT LAST THE STORE OWNER HAD FOUND A CONSCIENTIOUS WORKER WHOM HE COULD TRUST HIS BUSINESS TOO WHEN HE RETIRED. THIS YOUNG MAN BECAME THE SUCCESSOR TO THIS BUSINESS MAN, HE FOUND HIS FORTUNE IN A JUNK BOX! HE HAD NOT GIVEN UP EVEN WHEN IT SEEMED USELESS TO KEEP GOING AND HE GOT HIS REWARD! -- Source Unknown
7. The world will often say to us: "why bother the teacher anymore?" ... meaning of course that all is lost, or it is too late!
a. Yet we must never turn aside from Christ!
b. With God, it is never too late!
B. Lord's Triumph! 5:36-43
1. Notice that Jesus simply ignores these cold realists!
a. Jesus simply ignores what they had just said, He turns His attention to the man in need that had come to Him in faith!
b. God's attention is always drawn to those who look to Him for help in faith!
2. Jesus' first ministry to Jairus after receiving this news is to encourage him: "don't be afraid, just believe!"
a. Fear is the opposite of faith!
b. Fear will rob us of faith!
c. The antidote of fear is faith!
3. Sometimes the world has all the answers and we have none, sometimes the only thing we can do is "JUST BELIEVE!"
a. Some will mock us for this "blind faith" but God won't!
b. Sometimes when we can't explain how God can do something, we must simply believe!
4. Fear will make us run away; faith in Christ will make us stand!
ILLUS:STEVE BROWN TELLS THE STORY ABOUT A BRITISH SOLDIER DURING WORLD WAR I WHO LOST HEART FOR THE BATTLE AND IN FEAR DECIDED TO DESSERT AND RUN AWAY. AS HE LEFT THE FIELD AND HEADED FOR WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS THE COAST SO HE COULD CATCH A BOAT BACK TO ENGLAND THE SKIES TURNED VERY DARK. IT WAS SO DARK THAT HE BECAME HOPELESSLY LOST. IN THE DARKNESS HE CAME ACROSS WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A SIGNPOST. IT WAS SO DARK THAT HE COULD NOT MAKE OUT THE TOP OF THE SIGNPOST SO HE STARTED TO CLIMB UP THE POST SO HE COULD READ IT. AS HE REACHED THE TOP OF THE POLE, HE FOUND HIMSELF LOOKING SQUARELY IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST! HE REALIZED THAT RATHER THAN RUNNING INTO A SIGNPOST, HE HAD CLIMBED A ROADSIDE CRUCIFIX! SUDDENLY THIS REMINDED HIM OF THE ONE WHO HAD DIED FOR HIM, THE LORD WHO HAD ENDURED, WHO HAD NEVER TURNED BACK! THE NEXT MORNING HE MADE HIS WAY BACK TO THE TRENCHES. AFTER STARING INTO THE FACE OF CHRIST HE GOT A SECOND WIND OF STRENGTH TO ENDURE! -- Source Unknown
5. Jesus now dismisses all those who will not have faith, taking with him only His closest disciples and this simple father who still has faith!
a. As they arrive at Jairus' home, many people were already wailing with tears!
b. It may be that these were paid mourners because they laugh at Jesus when He suggests that there is still hope!
6. Jesus puts all of them out of the house, only the FATHER & MOTHER and the 3 disciples stay with Jesus in the room with the dead girl!
7. Jesus who is the resurrection and the life pronounces the girl as only "sleeping" not permanently dead, after all, He will raise everyone to life one day so in this sense all the dead are really not dead, just asleep for now!
a. This was a reference only to her body, her spirit was very much alive.
b. When we die our bodies may sleep for a while waiting until the resurrection but our spirit goes immediately to be with Christ if we are believers!
c. Jesus will simply call her spirit back into her body!
8. Who can resist the Word of God!? Jesus simply commands her to rise and she does!
a. Such is the power of God's Word!
b. This hasn't changed! ... God's Word still commands power!
c. While anyone else would have been made "unclean" by touching dead bodies or women with an issue of blood, the touch of Jesus is too overpowering to make Him "unclean" ... instead His cleansing power is so great that it makes clean that which He has touched!
d. This is why Jesus could eat with the publicans and sinners without being made "unclean" ... His very touch, His very presence made clean those who came into contact with Him by faith!
e. Notice too Jesus speaks the language they all knew so well!
f. God's Word still speaks to the world and its needs today in a language that is still clear!
9. While all the "scientists" and "realists" waited outside confident in their superior knowledge on what constitutes real death, Jesus inside does a miracle where there is faith and trust in Him, by people who were not afraid to ask for help!
a. How about you, are you afraid to ask God for help?
b. Are you worried about how it might look to others if you admit your need of God's help in your life?
c. Would you rather be on the outside with all your scientific knowledge or on the inside where God makes all the difference in the world?
10. Even with faith they are all completely astonished!
a. Jesus went beyond reasonable hope!
b. She was completely made whole, she walked around!
c. Perhaps they might have hoped for some life, but she is walking around whole again!
11. Jesus is very practical, Dad and Mom are instructed to take care of her physical needs again, such as hunger!
a. Christ's miraculous power in our lives doesn't exempt us from practical ministry!
b. Miracles don't remove responsibility, it returns it to us!
12. Jesus' final instructions are interesting here too, He asked that they not tell people about what happened!
a. It would have created too much of a reaction to Jesus' ministry too early on,
b. and also, Jesus is not interested in people coming only for the sensational stuff!
c. Those that would come just for the sensational nature of His power would not stay long!
d. It was the message that was important, not just the miracles!
13. A desperate father who was not afraid to ask for help for his family found a God who would not disappoint him, and this is still true dads and moms!
a. Are you too afraid to confess your need of God for help with your family?
b. Have you given up hope because it all seems too late?
c. Are you willing to come to Christ and ask for His help, He will come and help you!
CONCLUSION: Two people found help from God only when their fear of asking for help was replaced by faith! When they ran out of time and out of solutions they ran into God who alone could help them! Don't ever be afraid to come to God for help ... but come in faith, not fear!