The Book Ends of Faith

womanMark: According to

Part 27

Mark 5:21-43

The Book Ends of Faith

The eventful trip across the sea was over. The demonic man had been healed and Jesus was asked by the people that lived nearby to depart for His casting out of the evil spirits has caused the pigs to drown in the sea, which upset the towns people greatly. Once more, Jesus and his disciples cross the sea. “Now when Jesus had crossed over again by Boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea.”

I have often found this portion of Mark to be difficult to comment on because in reality there are two stories and two lessons incorporated into this section of scripture. The request of Jairus for his daughter to be healed, but because of the delay in getting there she died and Jesus raised her from the dead. The second story is what caused the delay. That story being the multitude that followed and the woman who was healed by touching the hem of His garment. These are what delayed Jesus healing of Jairus’ daughter.

“And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.”

I can admire the faith of this man in asking Jesus to come and heal his daughter. Obviously, he had heard of Jesus and perhaps he even listened to Jesus teach and his being one of the rulers of the synagogue may have even been present at the healing of the man with the unclean spirit. This must have left quite the impression with him for there seems to be no hesitation on his part in asking Jesus to come and heal his daughter.

Perhaps in this simple request there is a lesson for us all, that whatever our request is for healing, it should be something that brings glory to God and not bring glory upon ourselves. When we give the glory to God then as Paul puts it, we can “Come boldly before the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). “So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.”

I enjoy watching a good baseball game and my wife and I used to attend games on a regular basis. When the crowd is near capacity and the game finished with that final out in the 9th inning all begin pressing for the exit. As we move toward the exit it is sometimes hard to stick together and it takes quite a while before the exit is reached. I have often wondered if this is what it was like for Jesus and His disciples along with Jairus as they walked toward Jairus’ home. When the ball game is over, we are anxious to leave and get home, so would Jairus be anxious to return home and to his sick daughter as the scriptures point out who is near death. Jesus on the other hand was continually slowed down, offering a word of encouragement to this person or that person and all the while the disciples are trying desperately to make room for Jesus to walk, attempting as much as possible to speed the journey to Jairus’ home.

25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.

Because of this embarrassing condition, she was considered unclean both spiritually and physically and also because of the nature of her dieses she was left weak, for some have thought this left her body depleted of iron that is necessary to bring energy and vitality to the body. But it is clear from scripture that whatever this condition was, it had been present for 12 years and in seeking cures, she had used up all her money and so now desperate and alone, she came seeking Jesus the great physician, the source of life Himself.

Tired and weak it is a miracle that she made her way through the crowd at all, but slowly she elbowed her way through the crowd until she was near Jesus. Embarrassed and unwilling to speak of her condition at all, she did not ask of Jesus to be healed, but instead reached out with her boney hand, lunging with all her might to just touch the hem of Jesus garment.

What faith this woman showed us, in that she believed so much in the healing power of Jesus that she didn’t feel it even necessary to speak to Jesus. She knew that just a simple touch of faith on the hem of His garment would result in her being healed.

Yet all the while Jairus was anxious and worried for his daughter pleading with his eyes and words that Jesus would indeed hurry.

Mark states it so wonderfully as he penned her thoughts, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well. 29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ 31 But His disciples said to Him, You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

31 “But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.”

What music this must have been to ears of this poor woman who for so long had been sick and in need of healing, she heard these words of comfort coming from the lips of Jesus, “Daughter, Your faith has made you well, Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

Many of you may be saying so what. Jesus performed another miracle and this woman was healed because of her faith in Jesus healing power just as he had healed many others. You are correct, it was her faith that healed her. But there is a rich spiritual lesson in this healing, that perhaps we do not always see in Jesus other miracles.

The Jews were caught up in the keeping of the law. Often, most often, in fact the laws they seemed to be caught up with were the ceremonial law and the manmade laws and traditions which in some way, at least in there way of thinking, had become more important than the actual law of God which of course is the 10 commandments.

On the garment of every faithful male Jew there was to be sown into that garment along the hem a blue thread or ribbon. This blue thread or ribbon was to remind them of the law of God. The very law that was cut out of the very throne of God and written upon with God’s own finger. These are the 10 commandments, that are cut as it were out of the very foundation of God’s throne meaning that the law of God is from his very foundation and can therefore never be changed. (see Exodus 24:9-12 confer Ezekiel 1:26; and Ezekiel 10:1 for description of God’s throne)

This blue ribbon or thread would have been in the hem of Jesus garment and when this woman and others (also see Mark 6:53-56) touched the hem of Jesus garment, their faith caused them to be healed.

You see, there is power in the law of God to heal us from the affliction of sin. A problem that has caused us to spend our money looking for a cure, when the cure has been there all the time, and that is looking upon Christ and his perfect law of liberty. Please do not get me wrong, I am in no way saying the law will save us, but it is our guardian pointing us to the one of whom the law is a reflection of his character and that is God Himself.

God is the great physician and healer and it is the purpose of the law, to point us to God, and Christ came to show us what a life that lives in harmony with the law looks like. His life reflected the character of His, and our heavenly Father.

The law in turn is like a mirror that shows us were we fail to live up to the character of Christ. Without the law, we would have no mirror to reflect back to us, where we are spotted and blemished by sin, and in this way, we can call upon God to heal us and wash away our sin so that through His blood we can be washed clean and made whiter than snow.

So, the law of God is nothing to run from, yet it is our natural reaction because of sin, but it is through the power of the Holy Spirit, that you and I can look at the law and now tremble and fear, knowing where we fall short, yet we can rest assure upon the promise that God’s grace is there to make up the difference.

James chapter one verses twenty-three thru verse twenty-five states: “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

The purpose of the law, the ten commandments is to show us where we fall short of the glory and character of God. It is when we look into the law and continue in it that we see how we fail to live up to Christ’s character.

In this way, the law is there to point us to the author of that law, which is God the Father and within that law we have perfect freedom.

It is when we grasp onto the law through faith, believing the law to be representative of God’s character that we can be made whole through Christ’s atoning sacrifice and can finally be made complete in Christ.

As the woman was made whole through faith by grasping unto Jesus, you and I are made complete when we by faith grasp unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Therefore, what is the delay. Aren’t you tired of suffering under the burden of sin and sorrow. Then like the woman, reach out and touch Jesus.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock, If anyone hears My voice and opens the door I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20)

All the power of the Holy Spirit lies within the grasp of those that reach out to Christ. Today, bow your head a say, Father, please, I ask you to heal me from this wickedness of sin. I am reaching out to you asking for forgiveness and healing. Amen.

 

 

 

Published by The Bible In Your Hand

Hi, I am Pastor Lester Bentley, a devoted husband, father, and Pastor for the Northeastern Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. I am committed to the great gospel commission as stated in Matthew 28:19, 20.

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