Asking the Seemingly Impossible? Mark 5:21-34

Text: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?”

Matthew 7:11.

Good morning, impossibly needy Christian!  You believe, and have perhaps been genuinely saved and on the road serving Christ for many years.  Yet, you have a very profound need in your life, in the life of a child; or a family member perhaps, that seems just too impossible to be met.  This need is so seemingly impossibly great that you are wary of even praying to the Lord God for it to be met.  If this describes you, beloved Christian Reader – read on, for the Word of the Lord has good news and encouragement for you today.

“Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he/she that seeketh findeth; and to him/her that knocketh it shall be opened.”  (Matthew 7:7-8)

In our March in Mark’s Gospel this morning, we find the case of a man called Jairus, asking the Lord Jesus Christ to do what was seemingly impossible.  Jairus was a ruler of the local synagogue, with religious authority in that location – but he was powerless to do anything for his seriously sick daughter, who was by then lying, “…at the point of death…”  (V.23)

Jairus did what we believers all must do in such seemingly impossible cases – he did the very best thing he could do – he took his unsolvable problem to the Lord God in prayer, and beseeched Him to do the impossible: “…I pray Thee, come and lay Thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.” (V.23)

Fervent prayer to the Lord God should be the FIRST thing we believers do, when all else seems humanly impossible!  Divine power is Sovereign and unlimited!

So often when we have brought our seemingly impossible prayer requests to God, we want a miracle to happen right away, for our human patience is at all times challenged by waiting.  However, the Lord God is a Sovereign Lord God, and always works in His own Sovereignly ordained time frame.  But the Lord will often send us HOPE and encouragements, as we wait upon Him to answer our sincere prayers.

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart (entire essence of being): wait, I say, on the Lord.”  (Psalm 27:14)

The Gospel writer, Mark, continues on in this account of events, and reveals the fact of Christ’s encouragement of Jairus, as he journeys with Christ towards the eventual healing of his seriously ill daughter.  Jairus could well have been thinking, ‘Oh dear, this is all taking too long.  Jesus will never reach my home in time to heal my poor daughter, it seems impossible that I can receive the help I need for her.’

The Lord Jesus had agreed to go with Jairus to help his daughter, and as they travelled to Jairus’ home – “…much people followed Him, and thronged Him.”  There always seems to be hinderances placed upon Christian service, by others, and in the case of healing Jairus’ daughter, there was no exception.  Jairus must have begun to despair of ever reaching his daughter in time to save her life.

Proof of Christ’s Healing Power:  What greater encouragement could the Lord Jesus give Jairus at this time of profound anxiety about his sick daughter, than to actually show Jairus His power to heal a dear woman along the way?

This dear woman had tried for twelve full years – all the entire lifespan of Jairus’ daughter – to have physicians heal her “…issue of blood…”, without any success.  But fully believed that, by merely touching the hem of Christ’s garment as he travelled nearby – she could indeed be every whit healed.  This is true Christian faith in action!  Praise God!

“For she said, If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole.  And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”  (V.28-29) Hallelujah!  With God, nothing shall be impossible!  (Luke 1:37)

“And He said unto her.  Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”  (V.34)

Jairus had been also renewed in hope/faith that Christ could heal his sick daughter also.

J.C. Ryle Comments:

“Let us mark, in the second place, how different are the feelings with which people draw near to Christ. We are told in these verses that “much people followed” our Lord, “and thronged him.” But we are only told of one person who “came in the press behind,” and touched Him with faith and was healed. Many followed Jesus from curiosity, and derived no benefit from Him. One, and only one, followed under a deep sense of her need, and of our Saviour’s power to relieve her, and that one received a mighty blessing.

“We see the same thing going on continually in the Church of Christ at the present day. Multitudes go to our places of worship, and fill our pews. Hundreds come up to the Lord’s table, and receive the bread and wine. But of all these worshippers and communicants, how few really obtain anything from Christ! Fashion, cus­tom, form, habit, the love of excitement, or an itching ear, are the true motives of the vast majority. There are but a few here and there who touch Christ by faith, and go home “in peace.” These may seem hard sayings. But they are unhappily too true! (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)

I believe it was a much more encouraged Jairus, a Jairus granted a real boost of renewed faith, that travelled on with Christ in his journey home to heal the daughter he loved.

Thought: “Thou art coming to a King – large petitions with thee bring.”  (John Newton, 1725-1807).  Pray on, needy Christian, the Lord's healing is on its way.

Testimonial Power! Mark 5:1-20

Text: “...Jesus saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee...”

Mark 5:19.

Good morning, delivered Christian!  Once you were blind, now you can see.  Once you were lost, now you are found.  Once you were enslaved by sin, now - through the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ - you have been set so truly free.  Surely that’s something to tell others about? Praise God!  (Acts 1:8)

“And they overcame him (Satan) by the Blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”  (Revelation 12:11) 

Jesus knew the power contained in a redeemed person’s spoken, or written, testimony; that is why He sent the delivered man in tonight’s Scripture passage home to “...tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”. (V.19)

The Lord could have kept the delivered man with Him and allowed him to give a word of testimony as they travelled through the various regions of Palestine - yet He didn’t, He sent the man home to tell his story.  Why?  What was Christ’s logic in working this particular way?  (Proverbs 5:1)

Testimonial power is at its most potent when given before hearers who have known the individual woman or man BEFORE that person was born again, redeemed by the Lord Jesus; BEFORE Christ Jesus regenerated that individual’s spirit.  (John 3:3-8) (1 Peter 1:23-25)

Why is this so?  Because people who have known us BEFORE we are saved, can actually see the change God has made in us by His transforming grace. 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.”                  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Others whom we meet and associate with AFTER we are saved, have no prior experience of us, or of the character we were before Christ Jesus called us to Him by the Gospel message of Salvation.  Therefore, they see only the transformed, regenerate, persons we now are, and have no comparison image of us with which they might evaluate the Spiritual transformation.  (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”  (1 Peter 2:9-12)

Is it any wonder, therefore, that “...all men did marvel...” when the delivered man gave his testimony throughout his home region of Decapolis? (V.20)

These people had probably thrown the demented man out of their region because of his foul spirit and untameable violence. (Vs.2-5)

Now, he was back - fully clothed, in his right mind; and telling all who would listen about the miracle that Christ had done in his life.  (V.15)

The proof of the man’s testimony was stood before them, leaving no one in any doubt of Christ’s redeeming power.  What a testimony!  What a Lord God!  Hallelujah, what a Saviour! Amen! 

“Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods (small g!)?  Who is like Thee, glorious in Holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)

“NOTHING is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

J.C. Ryle Comments:

“We see, in the last place, from these verses, how com­plete is our Lord’s power and authority over the devil. We see it in the cry of the unclean spirit, “I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” We see it in the com­mand, “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit,” and the immediate obedience that followed. We see it in the blessed change that at once took place in him that was possessed: he was found “sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind.” We see it in the petition of all the devils, — “send us into the swine,” confessing their consciousness that they could do nothing without leave. All these things show that one mightier than Satan was there. Strong as the great enemy of man was, he was in the presence of One stronger than he. Numerous as his hosts were, he was confronted with One who could command more than twelve legions of angels. “Where the word of the king is, there is power.” (Ecclesiastes 8:4)

“The truth here taught is full of strong consolation for all true Christians. We live in a world full of difficulties and snares. We are ourselves weak and compassed with infirmity. The awful thought that we have a mighty spiritual enemy ever near us, subtle, powerful, and malicious as Satan is, might well disquiet us, and cast us down. But, thanks be unto God, we have in Jesus an almighty Friend, who is “able to save us to the uttermost.” He has already triumphed over Satan on the cross.”  (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)

The PROOF of the Spiritual pudding is in the actual witnessing of a Salvation miracle performed upon some soul of whom we have personal experience.  Let us, therefore, exercise this personal testimonial power at every opportunity, and win others all around us to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thought:  Do YOU think enough of your Salvation to talk about it?

 

Jesus: Ruler of the World! Mark 4:35-41

Text: “And He, (Jesus) arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still! and the wind ceased, and there was great calm.”

Mark 4:39.

Good morning, peace-filled Christian!  You possess perfect peace within because you are a possession of the Prince of Peace - Jesus, the Risen Christ, Supreme Ruler of the world.

Give thanks and praise today, beloved believer, our peace is Eternally secured through the Cross of Christ. Hallelujah!

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth (trusts, and continues to trust) in Thee.”  (Isaiah 26:3)

The wind is a wayward and awesome elemental force; so powerful and contrary that mankind, with all his scientific and technological advances, cannot harness such a whimsical force or deter its destructive whims.  But what is utterly impossible with mankind, is at all times possible with Christ Jesus.  Praise God!  What a Redeemer Lord!  What a Sovereign Saviour indeed!  (Mark 10:27) (Luke 1:37) (Jeremiah 32:17)

Of Will and Wind 

Hark! Hear the wild and whispering wind;

Wailing on her fluted way.

Sobbing through field, town, and grove,

Like soul, demented, from the grave.

Whistling, whispering, screaming shrill,

Rising raucous, rising still.

What awesome quill has penned your moan?

From what huge heart is your dirge torn?

What Godly bellows blasts your force -

Devoid of mercy, frosty fierce?

Who hold your reins; plots your course?

Who wills your whims or knows your source?

Here - then gone to other places,

Free from fetters, ties, or traces.

Blowing, blowing, banging shutters;

Stealing tiles, and bending gutters!

Dancing, dancing, wildly prancing;

Squealing through the knot-holed fencing!

Roaring, roaring, madly soaring;

Bearing whirlwinds - wanton siren!

Unchaste, untamed, unleashed, unnamed -

What umbral regions hast thou reigned?

Maelstrome`d maenad, bacchant blaster,

Who can chide thy blatant bluster?

“Peace, be still!”, a Voice replied!

At once, the tossing tempest died. 

Dr C.K. McClinton

(1984)

J.C. Ryle Comments:

“These verses describe a storm on the sea of Galilee, when our Lord and His disciples were crossing it, and a miracle performed by our Lord in calming the storm in a moment. Few miracles recorded in the Gospel were so likely to strike the minds of the disciples as this. Four of them at least were fishermen. Peter, Andrew, James, and John, had probably known the sea of Galilee, and its storms, from their youth. Few events in our Lord’s journeyings to and fro upon earth, contain more rich instruction than the one related in this passage.

“Let us learn, in the first place, that Christ’s service does not exempt His servants from storms. Here were the twelve disciples in the path of duty. They were obediently following Jesus wherever He went. They were daily attending on His ministry, and hearkening to His word. They were daily testifying to the world, that, whatever Scribes and Pharisees might think, they be­lieved on Jesus, loved Jesus, and were not ashamed to give up all for His sake. Yet here we see these men in trouble, tossed up and down by a tempest, and in danger of being drowned.

“Let us mark well this lesson. If we are true Chris­tians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other men. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace by the way and glory at the end, —all this our Saviour has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. He loves us too well to promise that. By affliction He teaches us many precious lessons, which without it we should never learn. By affliction He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world, makes us long for heaven. In the resurrection morning we shall all say, “it is good for me that I was afflicted.” We shall thank God for every storm.  (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900) 

Life’s storms can threaten to blow away our every hope and dream.  Yet, each time such circumstances occur, and they will occur, we have God’s sure promise of lasting stability and an overcomer’s outlook on life.

Fear not therefore, sincere, yet sorely tried Christian, the Lord is ALWAYS merely a prayer away from helping us and blessing us with His perfect peace.  Keep right on looking to Him.  (John 14:1)

Thought:  Mid the storms of life - we have the perfect peace of the risen Christ.