So here we are week 6 of our Walking Dead series, we’ve had an opportunity to look into many saved lives over the past 5 weeks. This week we are looking into of the only three timesJesus himself raise someone from the dead.
To give us some context here we find Jesus at one of the highest and lowest times in his ministry. It was a high time because he has the twelve with him and they are strong and growing inunderstanding and knowledge of him, and he is healing and teaching everywhere he goes. That reason, is a good and bad this because the low point is that he is becoming known by the Sanhedrin who will ultimately play their part in killing him.
Mark 5 opens with Jesus delivering a man possessed by demons on the Gentile side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus climbs into a boat and crosses to the other side. And this is where we pick up our story today.
21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name wasJairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet,23pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
Picture a large crowd all waiting to see, to touch, to hear Jesus and one man pushes his way to the front and falls down at the feet of Jesus. The scriptures tell us that his name is Jairus he is the leader of the local Synagogue. Why is this Significant?Jairus would have been a man of considerable wealth and social standing in the Jewish culture, not to mention he belonged to the same group of people who would eventually accuse and help sentence Jesus to a roman death. For him to ask for the help of this ‘teacher’ would not have been a decision he would have arrived at easily. But when he did I’m curtain because of his standing and position he would have prepared how he was going to talk to and ask Jesus for his help. But with Jarius as with each of us in our time of need, our practice our formalities go out the window. The desperation of Jairus pours out of him when he comes face to face with Jesus. This man of great formality and ritual falls on his knees and begins to beg Jesus. He tells Jesus that his daughter is dying and she needs him to touch her and heal her.
Jesus agrees to go with him and where Jesus went the crowd was sure to follow. On the way to Jairus’ house something happens.Scholars call this next section of text the interruption. You almost have to expect that tis crowd isn’t going to just let Jesus walk away without speaking to them or healing the various others that would have been there needing the help of Jesus.Jairus and his daughter are not the only people in need. In that crowd was a woman suffering.
25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse.27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe.28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”
This woman is desperate, here we have Jairus who insists on Jesus coming to his home to heal his daughter and this woman who seemingly doesn’t want to inconvenience Jesus, she simply wants to touch his robe. What an incredible amount of Faith; She is saying ‘ Jesus I believe that you are so powerful that even though doctors and priests can’t fix me and my family has deserted me all I want is to touch the clothes on your back to be healed’.
This woman had only heard of Jesus, she hasn’t met him all she has is roomers of this teacher from Nazareth healing people. So she pushes through the crowd to reach Jesus and she stretches out her arm to touch him.
29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
She was healed. For 12 years she had suffered, for 12 years she was a burden an outcast. And with one touch she is healed. Joy fills her but only for a moment and it is replaced with fear. She hears Jesus stop and address the crowd.
30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” 31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?'”
Who touched me? You can almost picture the disciples looking at each other saying. Seriously, we are in a crowd people are pressing in on every side.
This woman was considered unclean because of her illness.Levitical law stated when a woman was bleeding in the manner in which she was for the past 12 years she was Unclean. And touching someone else would make them unclean as well. It was viewed at that time that until you were cleansed you could not be used by God. She made Jesus unclean.
32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done.34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
35 While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
Jairus day just went from bad to worst his daughter was no longer sick but she was dead. This interruption, this delay, this woman had killed his daughter.
36 But Jesus overheard* them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”
37 Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James).38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing.39 He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
40 The crowd laughed at him. But he made them all leave, and he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying.41 Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!”42 And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed.43 Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat.
So what can we learn from this story today. I believe that there are four things we can learn from this encounter with Jesus.This is not an exhaustive list by any means but here we go.
God works in his own time.
Often when trials or difficulties come our way we want things fixed immediately but more often than not God takes his time. I’m sure that each of us can think of a time in our lives when we wanted something so bad in our live that we couldn’t wait;An answered prayer, a healing, a voice to tell us what to do and where to go, a problem fixed or even the solution soonerrather than later. God always gives us what we need more often than not God gives it to us in a way and time that we may not have expected. God may have even met a need for you when it wasn’t convenient; you know an answer when or how you didn’t expect it. And looking back I know youwouldn’t change how God did things. We all have needs, wants, and desires. Sometimes it just good to realise that God works in his own time and that chances are we are not the only person in the crowd. Just like Jairus and his Daughter.
Jairus has a valid need but the need of the woman who was bleeding for 12 years was just as important. God is outside the scope of what we can see or begin to understand. Unfortunately saying this is easier than doing it at times. It takes faith to trust that Jesus will do what he says.
Faith is required
Jesus mentions the need for faith twice in this passage, first to the Woman and second to Jairus. For the woman Christ tells her that it was her faith that healed her and for Jairus he points to that same faith as the source of healing that will come.
A lot of times we talk about how it is hard to have faith, faith in others, or faith in God. I think that that is just the devil working in our minds to trick us into doubting what we know is certain. The reality of it is this we are creatures of faith. Everyday every action we take requires faith. I’m not getting spiritual just yet. I mean literally the everyday and the mundane of our lives takes faith. The chair you sit in today is a prime example of your faith. You sat down believing that it would support you.
How many of you here today have a license to drive… and how many of you take that liberty on a daily basis… good so you get into your car and drive on the road and do you once think about the brake pedal not working? You have faith that it will. How about all the other drivers on the road? You have faith that the laws and systems that our society has set up will be followed by everyone else on the road. Another example; How many of you have ever taken a drink from one of these? It’s an ordinary can of soda/pop. When you purchase one of these you do what any sane person does you open it… and take a drink… right? You can’t see inside this can. You don’t know where has come from, or who placed the contents in this can. But you open it and take a drink because you have faith. We are creatures of faith.
I’m not trying to scare you I’m just trying to open your eyes to the fact that your faith does not have to be difficult we were made to trust and have faith in God. Our faith is a necessary part of who we are but far too often we exclude it from our daily walk with Jesus.
Death is defeated.
In this story Jesus has not yet gone through a mockery of a trial and he has not yet been killed and raised again, but he is still death’s master.
39 He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
He is in control of life and death, to the point that for him raising someone from the dead is as easy as waking them up. He was not saying that the people outside the house were wrong, she was indeed dead. He was telling them that his power was greater than anything they could understand.
This series title The Walking Dead is merely a ploy, a gimmickto peak your interest. The harsh reality behind it is that if you do not have Jesus in your life you are the walking dead. Sure when we sin we don’t look as bad as a zombie on the outside, but on the inside we do.
Most of us know the story of the Lost Son. After he has spent all of his inheritance and he is living in poverty he realizes that the servants in his father’s house live better than his current accommodations. He returns home.
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.*’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast,24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house,26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on.27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him,29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!'”
Your Brother was dead and now he is alive.
None of us are physically dead before we meet Jesus face to face, but we are not truly alive either.
Some of you may have been having a hard time at first seeing the connection between your lives and the lives around you with this theme of the walking dead. Let me break it down a bit for you. The basic function of a walker is to kill, mame and literally devour anyone it comes in contact with, it is a selfish self-serving purpose. A person without Jesus in their lives ultimately is only looking out for themselves, and their most basic of needs. A walker cannot help its self; it can’t just one day stopbeing what it is. Someone without Jesus cannot help themselves, it’s in their nature. Paul talks about this sinful nature, we received it from Adam, and they can’t do it alone. In order for a walker to stop devouring everything in its path it must die. This is where the metaphor begins to breaks down. In order to stop this sinful pattern in our lives we must die and be reborn. A walker cannot change who it is, but God can change who we are. Jesus came for one purpose to give glory to his father by dyingon the cross.
Our souls, our insides are dead. When is something truly alive? When it is doing what it was created to do. Before we meet Jesus we are the walking dead. There is a disease in us that rots us to the soul; our sinful nature. But when Jesus comes to us touches us and says “get up”, he gives us purpose. Our lives have reason. You may not have discovered what your purpose is yet but remember it is in God’s timing not ours. We are alive because he has defeated death.
Maybe today some of us are the walking dead and others are if you’re honest with yourself, you’re just death warmed over. In other words Jesus spoke into your life but you haven’t change much.
Maybe this is where you are today. Jesus died on the cross to bring Glory to God and we get to reap the benefits of his death.
You are alive
Basically- I am alive because, I’m alive in you. It’s all because of Jesus, I’m alive. Steve Fee