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Jesus Exceeds Expectations

00:00 / 15:59

30 Jun 2024

Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Mark 5:21-43


-       Gospel reading a story within a story. We can learn much from it.

-       Jairus: lay-ruler of synagogue. Demonstrates faith and humility:

‘(Jairus) fell at his feet, and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.”’

Mark 4:23

-       All is well. Jesus, the crowd, Jairus go.

-       Unknown to Jairus, a woman with ‘an issue of blood for twelve years’ touches Jesus.

‘And Jesus…turned about in the crown and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’”’ Mark 4:30-31

-       In any reasonable scenario, this delay is incomprehensible.

-       Critical issue of little girl dying. Time is running out. Compared to chronic problem faced by older woman, who has been healed anyway (5:29). Issue of triage, intensive care, etc. Not standard medical practice.

-       Imagine unbearable anxiety and tension in Jairus. What is Jesus doing? Is he ever going to come? Is he sincere? My daughter could be on the threshold of death right now.

More than expected

-       Why did Jesus stop? Jesus is always doing more than expected of him.

-       We laugh at disciples and others always trying to rush him, tell him what to do.

- Woman was made to come to him in public and to confess what had happened.

‘But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”’

-       She wanted to touch him and leave. He had other ideas. More on that in a minute.

-       Whilst conversing with the woman, Jairus receives the news: his daughter is dead.

-       Jesus’ response, “Do not fear; only believe.” 5:36

-       Cynicism of those around:

‘Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him.’ Mark 5:39-40

-       Jesus goes into the girl’s room with mother, father, and three disciples, takes the girl by the hand and says, “Talitha, cumi”, “Little girl, I say to you arise.” 5:41

-       “Talitha, cumi” – intimate expression: little lady, sweetheart.

-       The rest is history.

Two Lessons

(At least) two great spiritual lessons here:

1)    God is always doing many things at once.

-       We cannot possibly understand because we do not have Godlike perspective.

-       What did Christ want to teach Jairus? Patience and deeper faith.

-       Any future delays would bring about a very different perspective:

-       Maybe there’s a situation like that for you now. Can you learn patience?

-       Take advantage of future delays to say: “Okay, Lord. I don’t understand this delay. But it’s about your plan, your timing.” Imagine standing by the Lord as he delays and say these words to him.

2)    God wants to do more than we imagine, ask, or expect.

-       The woman wants healing, she gets a public confrontation.

-       The man wants healing, he gets a revival from death.

‘Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…’ Ephesians 3:20

-       Beautiful verse, but are we prepared for that?

-       “I can imagine quite a bit.” Hans Solo, Star Wars. But can you imagine that delay, tension, suffering, can be a part of God’s purposes for you?

-       What did Christ show the woman? Great love and compassion.

-       Woman was ritually unclean according to Law (Lev. 15:25), an outcast. Nobody had time for her. But Christ did.

-       Christ wanted to give the woman not just healing but himself.

A Severe Mercy

-       One of my favourite books: A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken.

-       Not necessarily about delays but about God wanting us to know him above all things.

-       Severe mercy = what God must do to turn our hearts towards him. Sometimes a hard thing: delay, pain, suffering, tension, anxiety.

-       Are you waiting, hoping, suffering, looking to the end of something? Don’t waste it. Use it to let God give you himself.


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