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Worship Message-Conversations With Jesus #5-Healing

Conversations With Jesus - #5
Conversations of Healing

We continue to be in a series of messages on some of the conversations Jesus had during His ministry.

The series began with some conversations in which Jesus called certain men to be His disciples. Those conversations were often very short, at least in what is recorded about them. In each of them, the result was that those called immediately left what they were doing. They immediately began to follow Jesus.
We then considered some conversations in which Jesus forgave people, including two tax collectors. Tax collectors back at the time of Jesus had reputations for cheating people. And including two women, one caught in adultery, the other known as a home wrecker. That one had been married and divorced five times and was, at the time of the conversation, living with a man to whom she was not married.

In those conversations, there were good results. One of the tax collectors became another disciple of Jesus. Re other became a devoted, honest layman. The adulterous woman accepted forgiveness from Jesus and was challenged - I think empowered - to go and sin no more. The home-wrecker woman was so impressed by Jesus she got many from her city to meet Jesus and hear Him. Many of those people came to believe in Jesus as the Savior He is.

So far, most of the conversations we have considered have had very good results. In fact, the only one that did not have a positive result was between Jesus and a rich young ruler. The ruler was interested in eternal life, but when instructed he needed to sell what he had and give to the poor, he walked away from Jesus, choosing his wealth over spiritual salvation.

Forgiveness and choosing disciples have been at the center of the conversations we have considered so far. Let’s now move into a different center. Conversations related to Jesus healing people. Including two people healed in a portion of chapter 5 of the Gospel of Mark.

Mark 5, beginning with verse 21.

when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side… He had been on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. When He had crossed to the western side of the sea - as He was still beside the sea - a great crowd gathered about Him.

Coming to the crowd, for the purpose of seeing Jesus and talking to Him, was a man named Jairus, identified as one of the rulers of the synagogue.

A ruler of the synagogue. The synagogue in his city. What an important, respected position that was. A ruler was the administrative leader of a synagogue, responsible for the conduct of services. A ruler himself did not usually do the leading of any services, but it was up to him to allocate duties and then make sure they were carried out decently and in order.

A ruler of a synagogue was one of the most important and respected men in a Jewish community. That is the type of person Jairus was. Which makes it amazing that he went to Jesus. That is because Jesus was already, even early in His ministry, being rejected by the religious elite, most of whom avoided Him as much as possible.

However, Jairus needed help. His daughter was very ill. Because of his need, Jairus chose to overcome any prejudice he, like other religious leaders, might have had against Jesus, and he chose to rise above the social impact going to Jesus might have had if friends would question him and maybe reject him for going to Jesus.

Jairus also gave up the dignity of being an important man as, when he got to Jesus, he fell at Jesus’ feet. From that position he explained to Jesus about his daughter. He said, “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.”

It was risky religiously, socially, and personally for Jairus to approach Jesus, fall at His feet, and express a need, but his daughter was more important than prejudice or dignity. That is why he went to Jesus and asked Him to heal his daughter.

Who, by the way, was 12 years old. Her father still called her a little girl. To him, she was. However, according to Jewish custom, the girl, being 12, was a woman. She was  just at the beginning of her adult life. What is the phrase? She has her whole life ahead of her. But she was very sick.

The ruler knew of Jesus’ healing power. It was to Jesus he went. In the first part of today’s first conversation, he asked Jesus for help.

It is not recorded, but I assume Jesus might have said something to Jairus. Whether He did or not, He answered the request by His actions. As soon as Jesus heard the need, He went with Jairus.

The great crowd around Jesus continued to throng about Him. The crowd joined Jesus and the ruler on their way to Jairus’ house.

Along the way, another conversation happened. A short one that came at the end of a series of events. A series that is recorded, beginning with verse 25 of Mark 5.

In the crowd around Jesus, there was a woman who had had a bleeding problem for twelve years. I notice her problem was as old as the girl who was sick. I wonder if that has any significance.

Anyway, in the crowd around Jesus, there was a woman who suffered from a medical problem. A problem she had had for 12 years.

The woman had tried all sorts of remedies over the years, some superstitions, others from doctors. Over the years, she had spent all her money trying to get well. But she was no better. She was actually getting worse.

Can we imagine how discouraged the woman must have been that day? I wonder if each night when she went to sleep, she hoped that by morning she would be better. That she would be healthy. But each morning she was as sick or more so as she had been the night before.

The day reported in Mark 5, she heard Jesus was in the area. She had heard reports about Jesus, including about His healing power. That day she worked herself into the crowd around Jesus.
It needs to be mentioned that as the ruler should not, according to his religious colleagues and society, have approached Jesus, neither should that woman, according to religious law, have, not only approached Jesus. She should not have even been in the crowd because bleeding made a person unclean. Anyone unclean was to be separated from clean people. He or she was certainly not to be in any kind of crowd of clean people.

The woman should not have been in the crowd around Jesus that day, but that is where she was. I think she maybe hunched down, trying to stay out of sight, maybe even kind of crawling if the crowd was moving slowly enough.

The woman worked her way into the crowd. She worked her way until she was right behind Jesus. She touched His garment. She touched the robe He wore.

She had said to herself that if she could just touch His garment, she would be made well. That is what she did. She went to Jesus from behind and touched His robe.

Immediately - immediately - the bleeding stopped. Not only that. She felt in her body that she was healed of the disease. The disease that had interfered with her life for 12 years.

The woman felt in her body she had been healed. Jesus felt something as well. He perceived that power had gone forth from Him.

He stopped. He turned and started looking around the crowd. He said, “Who touched My garments?”

Isn’t that interesting? Jesus felt power go forth from Him. He didn’t feel the touch from the woman, but He felt power going forth. The power needed to heal.

But what an strange question He asked when He said, “Who touched My garments?”

The disciples reminded Jesus how strange the question was. They said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing around You, and yet You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ Duh. The crowd is large. All those near You have touched Your garments. What do you mean, Who touched You?”

According to Luke, all those around Him denied having touched Him, which did not make sense because of the closeness of the crowd. Obviously many of them had touched Him. But maybe they thought He was mad about being touched.

Jesus asked the question. He then continued to look around to see who had touched His garments.

It was perhaps His gaze she could not resist. In fear and trembling, the woman fell down before Jesus.

As was stated, maybe the woman had kind of crawled to Jesus. Hence the touching of His robe. The fringe of His robe according to Matthew and Luke. Now she fell down before Jesus. Perhaps sitting, but at His feet.

The woman told Jesus the whole truth. The truth about her bleeding problem, that she should not have been in the crowd, about her belief that just touching His robe would bring her healing, that she was the one who had touched His robe, that she was healed.

How did Jesus react? Did He berate the woman who was unclean for being in the crowd? Did He scold her for interrupting His walk to the ruler’s house, where He had important work to do? No. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go. Go in peace [the first peace she had had in 12 years], and be healed of your disease.” What a promise. A promise, as I read it, that she would stay healed from her problem.

What a joy that was for the woman. However, while Jesus was ending His conversation with her - while He was still speaking to her - there came from the ruler's house some who said to the ruler, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

The daughter had died. Because of that, there was no need for Jesus to continue the walk. There was nothing He could do then. The suggestion was that the ruler send Jesus on His way.
I read in one commentary that the tone might not have been consideration for Jesus, but rather a push to keep Jesus away. Again, Jesus had already been rejected by most of the religious leaders. His presence at the ruler’s house might cause problems for the family of the ruler. No need for Jesus now. Tell Him to go on His way. That was the suggestion.

However, ignoring the suggestion, Jesus continued the conversation with the ruler of the synagogue. He said, “Do not fear, only believe.”

I do not know that the ruler understood what Jesus said. I mean, his daughter had just died. What was he supposed to believe?

What Jesus meant was that the ruler should believe Jesus had the power to raise the girl from death, which would be a very extreme kind of healing. To help with that, Jesus continued his walk to the house of Jairus.

The crowd was suddenly smaller. Instead of the throng of people, Jesus allowed only the ruler and three of His disciples - Peter, James, and John - to continue the walk.

When they came near the house of the ruler of the synagogue, Jesus saw a tumult, and He heard people weeping and wailing loudly.

It was a Jewish custom for mourning a death to include loud weeping and wailing. Its purpose was to stress the desolation and separation of death.

Sometimes at the place of death and always at the graveside, mourners beat their chests, tore their hair, and tore their clothes. There were actually rules about the tearing of clothes. How much tearing. Where to tear - right side or left side, depending on the relationship of the person who died. How long - 30 days - the torn clothes were to be worn. Flute players were often called for as well to provide somber, mournful sounds to what was going on.

I am not making fun. Death is sad, even with the Christian hope we know about. But that is what was going on. Approaching the house, Jesus saw and heard a very public, very loud display of sadness.

Jesus and the small group with Him entered the house of Jairus - Jesus said to the mourners, “Why do you make such a noise and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”

That of course caused laughter. All the mourners laughed at Jesus. But He put them all outside. All the mourners were ordered out. He then took the young woman’s father and her mother and the three disciples with Him into the room where the child was.

In the room, Jesus took the girl - the dead girl - by the hand. He said to her, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

Immediately the girl got up. She not only got up. She walked.
The result was that all those in the room with Jesus and the girl were immediately overcome with amazement.

You think? The girl had been dead, now she was alive, strong enough to walk. What a miracle the parents and disciples had seen. Yes, they were amazed.

However, right before He gave instructions for the girl to be given something to eat, Jesus strictly charged them - the parents and the three disciples with Him - that no one should know what had happened. That ended the conversation with the ruler of the synagogue.

*      *      *      *      *

Two conversations around the miracle of healing. The healing of a woman who had suffered a medical condition for 12 years and the healing of a 12-year-old girl who had died. From those two conversations, what can we learn? And not so much learn, since we know these things. What can we be reminded about?

How about this? May we feel confident in going to Jesus.

Isn’t it interesting that both the ruler and the woman knew exactly who could help, that being Jesus?

Maybe you or I have other needs besides physical healing. Maybe you or I have some family issues or discouraged feelings or economic problems.

Jesus can help. Will we feel confident in going to Jesus for the help we need? We should be even more ready to do that than were the ruler and the woman. We have page after page, chapter after chapter, book after book in the Bible that tell of not only Jesus’ power, but His willingness to share it with people in need.

How about this? May we be willing to go to Jesus even if there are some pride or dignity or social issues we will need to overcome.

Remember Jairus. He overcame prejudice and the threat of ridicule and the possibility of rejection. He also had to lower himself to ask someone else for help.

You know, we can get kind of arrogant ourselves, can we not? We can get to thinking we ought to be able to make it fine on our own. First of all, that is not true. Second of all, we do not have to fly solo. Jesus is able and ready to help. He is willing to help and will help if we will just ask.

And remember the woman. She overcame social rejection. She did that because she knew Jesus was the one and only one who could help her by healing the problem she had.

Will you and I do whatever is necessary to admit we need help from the Lord? Will you and I ask for His help?

And how about knowing that Jesus is never too busy to help?

I am impressed that Jesus was, on the day of today’s conversations, very busy, surrounded by a great crowd of people who thronged around Him. Yet when He learned of a problem of a girl being sick, He detoured away from whatever it was He had planned to do. And on His way to help the girl, He was not frustrated or angry that a woman approached Him for healing.

Jesus is never too busy for us. Will we remember that? We need to remember that. It will make it easier to overcome anything else that might keep us from asking Jesus for help. It will help us to be confident in His ability and His willingness to help.

And may we also remember that the help He is ready and willing and able to provide is evidence of His love. Evidence that abounded for Jairus and for the woman  with  the  medical  issue. Evidence that abounds for us today. For those who ask Him for help. That is what we can learn from today’s conversations with Jesus;

today’s closing song is the chorus Jesus, We Just Want to Thank You.

Jesus, we just want to thank You,
Jesus, we just want to thank You,
Jesus, we just want to thank You,
Thank You for being so good.

Jesus, we just want to praise You,
Jesus, we just want to praise You,
Jesus, we just want to praise You.
Praise You for being so good.

Jesus, we just want to tell You,
Jesus, we just want to tell You,
Jesus, we just want to tell You,
We love You for being so good.

Jesus, we just want to serve You,
Jesus, we just want to serve You,
Jesus, we just want to serve You,
Serve You for being so good.

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