Faith That Defies Defeat — Mark 5:21-43

Dominion Over Disease and Death —

One of the many perversions of our sin nature is our perverted sense of time. We have our own timetable that dictates our expectations of when God should act and accomplish X or Y. Our faith can limp along for a time . . . but it tends to give out once that internal alarm clock goes off telling us that the time is up; the opportunity for God to act is over; the delay on God’s part as far as we can tell has now transitioned to outright denial of our quest for deliverance;

A young woman longs to see God provide her with a suitable marriage partner. She prays diligently and seeks to order her priorities in accordance with God’s kingdom goals; yet nothing happens. It seems as if her time has passed her by.

A young couple desires to be blessed with the joy of parenthood. Month after month they get their hopes up only to be disappointed time and again. Finally they face the reality that stared Abraham and Sarah in the face back in Genesis 12 – How shall I give birth when I am so old?

A person who has been a Christian for many years understands God’s requirements regarding some life dominating sin issue … but they have been this way for so long . . . they just excuse their behavior and shrug their shoulders and say “That’s just the way that I am” and give up the spiritual fight for victory and deliverance. They sit in the pew every Sunday and listen to the truth of the Word of God … but have very little commitment to seeing God change their lives.

2 miracles – both hopeless situations from the human perspective

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO TRUST IN JESUS FOR DELIVERANCE —

NEVER MISINTERPRET GOD’S DELAYS TO BE GOD’S DENIALS

3 STAGES OF FAITH

I.   (:21-24) HOPE – LEADS TO THE INITIATION OF FAITH –

GET STARTED

A. (:21) Accessibility to Jesus is a Privilege We Take for Granted

And when Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side,

a great multitude gathered about Him; and He stayed by the seashore.

Disciples might have had to think twice about recrossing the Sea of Galilee after their recent harrowing experience

Look at the lengths these crowds went to in order to be in the presence of Jesus. They knew He had traveled over to the country of the Gerasenes … but here they were waiting for Him when He returned (near Capernaum) and they pressed up against Him. Word traveled fast that Jesus was back in Galilee – on the west side of the Sea of Galilee.

What type of access do you believe that you have to Jesus?

– denied?   Do you believe that Jesus is not interested in you or available to you?

– restricted? Do you believe that you must jump through certain hoops of works and worth in order to get His attention? Barriers that seem insurmountable and unobtainable?

– unlimited? What does the Bible say?

B. (:22-23) Faith Seeks to Engage the Power of Jesus While There is Still Hope

And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and upon seeing Him, fell at His feet, and entreated Him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, that she may get well and live.’

Jairus” = Gk form of Hebrew name Jair = he will give light

Concerned for Daddy’s little girl; she was only 12; an only child (Luke)

Borgman:implore” – earlier usages: 5:10 demon possessed man; 5:12; 5:17 the townspeople; 5:18 – earnest begging and beseeching from a variety of sources – moved Jesus
Constable:Synagogue rulers” were not priests, but lay leaders, who were responsible for the worship services and the synagogue’s physical facilities. This honorary title also described distinguished members of the synagogue. As such, “Jairus” (the Greek form of the Hebrew “Jair”: “he will give light or awaken”; cf. Num. 32:41; Judg. 10:3) undoubtedly enjoyed much respect in his community.

MacArthur: Matthew compresses the later information that came as they were moving toward the house that the daughter had died into a statement that the man, no doubt, said later, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” No, he believed Jesus could heal her. He believed that Jesus could raise her from the dead.

C. (:24) The Journey of Faith Can Have Many Twists and Turns and Unexpected Delays

And He went off with him; and a great multitude was following Him and pressing in on Him.

The pathway of faith takes you through a minefield of dangers and conflicts

What type of hope do you have in the power of Jesus to work on your behalf?

Is your hope engaging the power of Jesus by faith?

Have you started on that journey of faith?

Application: Get started – you can’t sit on the sidelines

Now the story ramps up in terms of drama and intensity – not just dealing with the challenge of faith for Jairus regarding his sick daughter … but now we add into the equation the complexity of the faith of another woman who comes to Jesus seeking deliverance from a 12 year bleeding plague … park Jairus over on the sideline for a moment and focus in on this new woman

II. (:25-34) CONVICTION – LEADS TO THE ACTIVITY OF FAITH –

TAKE ACTION – TRAJIC INTERRUPTION?? OR DIVINE APPOINTMENT??

A. (:25-28) Conviction Regarding the Power of Jesus Energizes Faith

1. (:25) Persistent Problem

And a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,

The Greek word that is translated “hemorrhage” or “flow of blood” here is the same Greek word used in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) in Leviticus 15:25-27, where laws about menstruation are set forth.

2. (:26) Discouraging Distress

a. Medical Failures

and had endured much at the hands of many physicians,

                    b. Financial Drain

and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all,

Healthcare costs were an issue back then as well

c. Deteriorating Condition

but rather had grown worse,

* * * * * * * * * *

Alan Carr: Her Agonies – A constant flow of blood, such as this, would have caused this woman untold suffering. Let’s take a moment to examine some of the areas in which she suffered.

1. She Suffered Physically – From the constant blood loss, this poor woman would have been weak and anemic. She would have been pale. She would have had no energy at all. The least of efforts would have worn her out. The word “plague” is the same word that is translated “whip” elsewhere. Her disease was like a scourge, constantly beating her down, day by day!

2.   She Suffered Medically – We are also told that she had tried all the remedies of all the physicians of her day. We are told that she “suffered” under their care.

An example of their “medical” techniques can be found in the Talmud. There are eleven remedies prescribed in the Talmud. Some are potions, most are simply superstitious nonsense.

Everything from carrying various concoctions of herbs; to frightening the sufferer; to having her stand over a ditch while someone says “Arise from thy flux” was suggested as a possible cure.

One remedy even called for the woman to carry an ear of corn taken from the dung of a white donkey. It is hard for us to imagine the kinds of indignities those doctors put her through.

3. She Had Suffered Socially – She almost certainly was not married, because through physical contact, she would defile her husband. If she had ever been married, her husband would have been probably divorced her. She could not work around others because of the danger of defilement. This reduced her to a life of begging scraps of food from a distance. Her condition left her on the fringes of society.

4. She Had Suffered Emotionally – Since the Bible says that she had been this way for 12 years, and considering the average life span in those days, it is safe to assume that she has probably been this way since just after puberty. She has lived her life moving from one rejection to another. She is lonely, isolated and desperate!

5. She Had Suffered Religiously – Under the Law, Lev. 15:19; 25-27, this woman was to be considered unclean. Anything or anyone that she touched was also considered unclean. As a result, she could not mingle with people in public, lest she cause them to be defiled. She could not go to the Women’s Court of the Temple, because she was unclean.

6. She Had Suffered Financially – The Bible tells us that she had “spent all she had”. The doctors and their useless remedies had not helped her. All they had done was drain her bank account dry. She has been left penniless and destitute.

* * * * * * * * * *

3. (:27) Aggressive (but Guarded) Approach

after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind Him,

and touched His cloak.

How could the unclean one presume to touch the most holy one?

Hendriksen: She is not going to come into physical contact with Jesus himself. She will merely touch his garment, and even then only one of the four wool tassels which every Israelite was ordered to wear on the corners of his square, outer robe (Num. 15:38; cf. Deut. 22:12) to remind him of the law of God.

4. (:28) Faith-based Mindset

For she thought, ‘If I just touch His garments, I shall get well.’

Constable: Mark described the woman’s plight with a series of seven participles. She was, before she met Jesus, incurable. She had faith in Jesus’ ability to heal her and a belief that she could obtain healing by touching His clothing (cf. 3:10; 6:56). She tried to remain unobtrusive, since her condition rendered her and all who contacted her ritually unclean (Lev. 15:25-27). Perhaps she had come from some distance, since apparently no one in the crowd recognized her, or objected to her being there.

Zeisler:there are all kinds of things that can put us in the category that this woman is in. A disease inside, an affliction, a problem that I long to be free of and yet I cannot turn myself loose from and it has done nothing but make life hard to live. There are folks who sense these things about themselves, who just like this woman have gone to physician after physician, participated in every medical fad, been in various therapy groups, had consciousness raised, read all the self-help books, listened to all the media preachers–people who, just like this woman, have spent hundreds and thousands of dollars getting the best training, Lifespring training, buying wheat germ and jogging suits and everything else, desperately hoping that, “If I just get this thin–if I just take this, join this group, buy this–it can free me” and ultimately they never work. The condition persists. It has not gone away, and the next opportunity is ruined as well.

B. (:29-34) Conviction Regarding the Power of Jesus Leads to Complete Healing

1. (:29) Physical Healing –

What did the Woman Feel?

And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up;

and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Borgman: “affliction” – not in the sense of trial; scourge; whip; some sort of chastisement – text give us no background about divine chastisement … but you could assume so

2. (:30-33)   Healing Attributed to the Power of Jesus and Humble Confession –

What did Jesus Feel? How did the Woman Respond?

And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My garments?’ And His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth.

Did the whole truth include some confession regarding sexual impurity or sin that was directly connected with her affliction???

Hiebert: She feared His displeasure because the healing had been secured without His permission. She may also have dreaded His anger because her touch had made Him ceremonially unclean until the evening (Lev 15:19).

3. (:34) Spiritual Healing Attributed to Faith

And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well;

go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’

Includes the forgiveness of sins and restoration of relationship of peace with God

Constable:Jesus did not rebuke her, even though her faith in Him seems to have been mixed with superstition. Yet He wanted to speak to her, lest she conclude that touching Him was what cured her. His words were full of spiritual sensitivity and compassion. She had nothing to fear from Him. Perhaps the woman was afraid because she had obtained Jesus’ power surreptitiously (stealthily). Still, we have seen that a typical response to the revelation of Jesus’ power was fear (cf. 4:41; 5:15).

Zeisler:At this point, Jesus had been on an errand that had life-or-death consequences. A little girl was dying. In fact, she died before he could get to her. An important man, a synagogue official, was involved, somebody who carried weight in the community; and a crowd of people were accompanying him, so many that Jesus was jostled on every side. His own disciples treated him as if he were a fool for stopping and could not understand why he seemed not to heed the urgency of proceeding quickly. Yet Jesus loved that woman enough to stop the procession, enough to set everything else aside.

Application: It’s not just enough to Get started in your faith; you must aggressively take action

Now we resume the story from the vantage point of the longsuffering father Jairus

III. (:35-43) ASSURANCE – LEADS TO PERSEVERANCE IN FAITH –

DON’T GIVE UP

A. (:35-36) God’s Delays Present a Threat to Persevering Faith

1. (:35) Word of Discouragement from the World

While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, ‘Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?’

            2. (:36) Word of Encouragement from the Savior

But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.’

Edwards: The present tense of the Greek imperative means to keep believing, to hold onto faith rather than give in to despair.

Cycle: Birth of a Dream

Death of a Dream

Fulfillment of a Dream

MacArthur: The delay has proven deadly. Did they know that Jairus was going to find Jesus? Certainly they did. Certainly he would have told his wife, family, friends, but now Jesus has delayed and she is dead. This is reminiscent, isn’t it, of Martha’s attitude in John 11:21 when they sent word that Lazarus was sick. Jesus was up on the Jordan and they sent word to Him that Lazarus, His friend, was sick and Jesus delayed. And when He finally arrived, Martha says to Him, “It’s too late…it’s too late. You could have done something if You had gotten here before He died.”

Deffinbaugh: “Where there’s death, there’s hope.”

B. (:37-39) God’s Perspective Provides Assurance to Persevering Faith

1. (:37) Training Opportunity for Devoted Disciples

And He allowed no one to follow with Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James.

They will have the opportunity to grow in their faith

Preparation for their leadership roles in their Great Commission ministry

2. (:38) Perspective of the World – Weeping and Wailing

And they came to the house of the synagogue official;

and He beheld a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing.

Typical expressions of grief at funerals in that day

They hired professional mourners – as well as family and friends

Quite a commotion

Hiebert: The Mishnah stipulated that even the poorest husband “in Israel should hire not less than two flutes and one wailing woman” when his wife died (Ketuboth 4.4). The custom of hiring such mourners went back to ancient times (Jer. 9:17; Amos 5:16).

3. (:39) Perspective of the Savior – No Problem – Peace and Tranquility

And entering in, He said to them, ‘Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.’

C. (:40-43) God’s Resurrection Power Demonstrates His Dominion Over Disease and Death

1. (:40a) The Mocking of Faith

And they began laughing at Him.

            2. (:40b) The Focus of Faith

But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was.

            3. (:41-42) The Exercise of Resurrection Power

And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, ‘Talitha kum!’ (which translated means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise!’). And immediately the girl rose and began to walk; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded.

they were amazed with a great amazement” – same thought in noun and verb

4. (:43) The Practical Instructions

a. Caution Regarding Stirring Up Opposition

And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this;

Strange request – you just raised someone from the dead; how is it even possible that no one should know about this?

b. Care for the Physical Needs of the Young Girl

and He said that something should be given her to eat.

Constable:When Jesus restored life, recovery was instantaneous (Gr. euthys, twice in this verse), not gradual, as was also true with former prophets (cf. 1 Kings 17:19-20; 2 Kings 4:33). Perhaps Mark mentioned the girl’s age because she was 12, and the woman whom Jesus had just healed had suffered with her affliction for 12 years (v. 25). The woman had begun living when she should have died from her incurable condition. The girl had died just when she should have begun living as a young woman. Jesus could—and did— deliver both from death. Everyone present expressed extreme amazement at Jesus’ power (cf. 4:41). The Greek word, from existemi, literally means they were “out of their minds with great amazement.”

James Richards: What does Mark accomplish by sandwiching the woman’s story into the story of Jairus? Jairus and the woman have only one thing in common: both are victims of desperate circumstances who have no hope apart from Jesus. Otherwise their stories diverge sharply. Jairus has a name and a position. As ruler of the synagogue, he has enough clout to summon Jesus to his house. The woman has none of these. Her name is not given (or remembered), and she has no position. Her only identification is her shame, a menstrual hemorrhage. She must approach Jesus from behind, whereas Jairus approaches Jesus face to face. Jairus, in other words, is a person of status and privilege. But in typical Markan irony, he does not hold an advantage regarding the one thing that matters. It is the woman who exemplifies faith, and in this respect their roles are reversed. Despite her embarrassing circumstances, she pushes through both crowd and disciples to reach Jesus. Her gender, namelessness, uncleanness, and shame – none of these will stop her from reaching Jesus. To this undaunted woman comes the healing and liberating word, “Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace.” When Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe,” how should Jairus understand the command to believe? What kind of faith should he have? The answer is that he must have the kind of faith the woman has (vs. 34)! The woman exemplifies and defines faith for Jairus, which means to trust Jesus despite everything to the contrary. That faith knows no limits – not even the raising of a dead child.

CONCLUSION:

–          Get Started — HOPE

–          Take Action — CONVICTION

–          Don’t Give up — ASSURANCE

Heb. 11:1-2Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.”

Heb. 12:1-2Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus , the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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