Mark 5:21-6:6 Sermon Manuscript

-Have you ever seen something amazing? Golden Gate Bridge, Ocean, mountains, I still remember the first time I saw the ocean and could hardly fathom how far it stretched! But hands down, the place that amazes me most is the mountains. 

-Got to go backpacking for a week when I first started ministry, sunsets were amazing, and we would see a herd of elk cross on the other side of the valley every night. Caught fresh mountain trout that a couple hours after catching became fish tacos, it was absolutely gorgeous!

-Backyard of our house in CO, front yard of our house, our walking path, Estes Park. Pictures can’t even begin to do it justice! But you know what’s even crazier? The longer you live there the less you start to notice just how beautiful those mountains are. You become so used to it that you forget to take time to just look at them.

-We’re going to look today and what happens when you become so used to something you start to take it for granted, almost like receiving a vaccine where you’re given a small portion of the disease itself so that your body knows how to fight against it in the future. But what happens when you view Jesus that way?


  1. Raising to New Life (21-43)

-Last week, Jesus took a little trip to the primarily Gentile area of the lake. Jesus was so tired from serving that He fell asleep in the front of the boat and slept through a giant storm. Eventually the disciples got so worried that they woke Him up and accused Him of not caring. After stopping the storm, He asked why they still have such little faith. Then he healed a man possessed by a large group of demons, and got run out of town, so they went back to the West side of the lake. Guess who was either there waiting for Him, or came as soon as they got back? There’s the crowd again! Once again, it appears that Jesus is doing what is typical of His ministry: teaching. 

-I was thinking this past week of some of what we’ve learned about the kingdom of God through our study in Mark. Jesus arrival ushers in a new era of human history marked by holistic healing, it’s something that looks tiny and insignificant, but over time completely transforms everything that exists. It comes about by word-based ministry. Have you ever thought of that? The way God’s kingdom spreads is by people who take seriously the word (both the written and living Word), and share that word with everyone they come into contact with. And what made me think of this reality was readying a book about Revelation, because one of the descriptions of Jesus’ return says that a sword will come out of His mouth. That is the means God will slay His enemies: through His Word. 

-Think of how tiny and insignificant we tend to think of words. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Yet words are the means God used to create everything, words are the means God uses to save people today, and we are commanded to be people of the Word! The Word that comes out as a sword at the end of time is the same word that is used to bring comfort to God’s people throughout history, so as we study the Word, let’s remember that it is God’s chosen means to transform us and make us more like Him. While it seems so insignificant (almost like a tiny little seed), we need more and more of it in our lives!

-This is the reason Jesus always brings things back to preaching. The Word is God’s chosen means of transformation in the world. And in the midst of another account of Jesus ministering (preaching) to the crowd, a desperate man falls in front of Jesus. But this isn’t just any old man, this is Jairus, a well-known man who just happened to be the ruler of the synagogue. What exactly is a ruler of the synagogue?

-Remember, the synagogue has been mentioned numerous times already in Mark’s Gospel. It’s the gathering place of the Jews for weekly Sabbath worship. This contained reading of the scroll, comments on the Scriptural reading, prayers, offerings, honestly pretty similar to what we do each week! But who do you think ensured the building was kept up? Who ensured the space was set up to accommodate people coming to meet? Who took care of the scrolls of God’s Word, and ensured the right scroll was pulled out for each week’s reading? That’s right, the rulers of the synagogue! This means these people would have been held in high regard, most likely wealthy, someone the local community would have looked up to. That’s communicated by the Mark recording his name! This was someone people knew! 

-How does Jairus approach Jesus?

-falls at Jesus’ feet right in front of the crowd. The man whom everyone would have known, yet Jairus had no shame or embarrassment! He ignored all the cultural norms, disregarded the entire crowd of people flocking to Jesus, and threw Himself down at Jesus’ feet, and begins begging Him to come and save His child. Now notice what Jairus asks of Jesus: to come touch his daughter. Remember what I said earlier about God using words? That will come up as well! But as we think of Jarius’ response, we also need to ask the question:

-What would you do to take care of your child? We had to take Ellie in for a surgery this week (adenoidectomy and tubes in her ears), don’t worry she’s just fine! In fact, she bounced back FAR quicker than we were expecting, and she made sure she didn’t miss movie night at Awana this week! I’ve had friends lose children and I can’t imagine trying to navigate that space. As a father, I would do anything I possibly could to protect and preserve my children, including bucking any societal norm I needed to.

-Remember, these stories are true! This recounts real people who lived in real time and space who are wrestling with real world issues. This is yet another reason we should trust that the stories contained in here are true, this would be EXACTLY how someone would respond to a sick daughter during the time of Jesus! If Jesus has been healing so many people, surely He could heal Jairus’ daughter! 

-Jesus goes with Jairus. The crowd is still there, but Jesus shifts his focus from the crowd to Jairus (not that they would be deterred), but we’re starting to see some of the ways people would interrupt Jesus’ ministry, yet He would still minister to them! Jesus isn’t trying to build a platform, isn’t seeking fame and recognition, He’s working to bring His Father glory, and the way that happens is by ministering to any and everyone He can! Keep that in mind for a minute, because that will come up again!

-Crowd once again serves as a foil! Pushing in from every side, but the crowd is merely there, the focus is on a woman.

-Some kind of hemorrhage for 12 years, look at all the ways Mark describes her situation: suffered much, spent all she had, grew worse. This would have led to her being a literal outcast, very similar to the leper in Mark 1. A woman’s bleeding rendered her (according to the Levitical code) unclean, and if anyone else touched her they were also viewed as religiously unclean. But if this bleeding never stopped it meant that she was never clean! She couldn’t even think of approaching the temple! On top of that, no one else would want to touch her because it would cause them to become unclean, so she would not only be a religious outcast, but a social outcast as well. How lonely do you think she was? Text doesn’t give us any specific history to this woman, but could have faced divorce, inability to have children, as well as trying to survive on her own for these past 12 years. How desperate do you think she was to get to Jesus? She was willing to risk making the entire crowd unclean just to try to be healed! 

-Let’s not forget where Jesus is going: to help Jairus! Let’s compare this woman to him. We know Jairus’ name, we know his occupation which makes him a leader in the society, well-known, well respected, in the people’s minds if anyone deserved healing or help, it would be Jairus! The woman isn’t even named. She was a cast off, forgotten, left out of anyone’s minds attempting to survive on her own. Isn’t purely sexist (plenty of women named in the Gospels and the demon possessed man doesn’t get named either), but portrays the point that no one is too low for Jesus’ attention  .

-Throughout this Gospel, we’ve seen Jesus’ interactions with both those on the inside, and those on the outside, but not yet in such close proximity to each other! And Mark puts these 2 stories next to each other like this so that we compare them to each other. Jesus goes to help Jairus, but even in his greatest hour of need, Jesus isn’t too busy to care for an unclean woman. 

-Continuing that idea of the difference between these 2 people, note how the woman approaches Jesus: tries to sneak in behind Jesus. 

-This is complete conjecture on my part, but I could very easily see the woman not daring to approach Jesus like Jairus did. She’s so used to being cast off that she doesn’t want to risk Jesus refusing her, so she tries the sneak attack! If I can just grab a piece of his garment, the lowliest thing connected to Jesus. She doesn’t feel the need to talk to Him, doesn’t even want Him to know that she was there! Get as close as possible, touch his clothing, and sneak out. No one will know, no one will dismiss her, but her life will be completely different. And that’s exactly what happened! At first. The instant she touched Jesus, she was changed, but Jesus wasn’t going to let her off that easily! As soon as she touches Jesus, He starts looking for her.

-Imagine the scene: huge crowd pressing in just to get near to Jesus, they’ve been following Him throughout His ministry, potentially waiting days for Him to return from His journey to the other side of the lake. They will not be deterred! The closest I’ve experienced something like this was back in the day when we’d go to Sonshine! Multiple stages, your favorite bands playing for a full week, camping together, eating terrible food, who wouldn’t want to go? But when you’re waiting for the band to start, the moment the first note begins there’s a huge surge of energy, people all around you, you feel like you’re suffocating, and in the midst of a situation like that, Jesus stops everything and asks “who touched me?”

-His disciples would have thought He was crazy! Jesus: everyone is touching you! You’re in the middle of a mob, everyone wants a piece of you, and you want to figure out who touched you? Look around, they’re all still here, AND they’re still touching you! 

-Jesus is undeterred, He continues asking the question, and the woman knows it. How do you think she was feeling as soon as she realized she hadn’t gotten away with it? The whole point was to sneak in and sneak out with no one else being the wiser! Notice how it describes the emotional state of the woman: fear and trembling. Just as she had been cast off for the past 12 years, is Jesus going to cast her off too?

-She realizes Jesus won’t stop until she admits it was her, so she has the same response as Jairus now: falls down before Him. There’s an interesting phrase Mark uses here to describe what the woman tells Jesus: “The whole truth.” She laid everything out for Jesus: the way she’s been bleeding, the abuse she faced at the hands of doctors, and anything else connected to that!

-Jesus doesn’t stop her, doesn’t brush by her to get to the more “important” things, He remains engaged and cares for this woman who had been healed.

-This leads to a question for us: do you believe that Jesus can handle your whole truth? 

-There’s a tendency to try to keep certain things hidden, to not acknowledge the way you’re really feeling, to be afraid that the whole truth will come out and people will dismiss you. Did you know that Jesus can actually handle “the whole truth”? Nothing you’ve ever done has ever surprised Him! Think about this: every sin you’ve ever committed came after Jesus died, and the penalty has already been paid for them! There’s nothing to keep hidden, nothing that Jesus doesn’t already know, why is there a tendency to try to keep “the whole truth” to just ourselves? This is a temptation for everyone! Before you’re saved the temptation is that Jesus couldn’t save someone like you so you’re convinced you need to clean yourself up before you come to Jesus, then when you’re saved you’re tempted to doubt your salvation when you sin so you continue trying to clean yourself up. This story is meant to remind us that we can’t clean ourselves up! We can’t sneak up on Jesus and just try to get the benefits, He wants us completely healed, and that comes about by being in a relationship with Him. Church: stop trying to clean yourself up, and instead fall on your face at the feet of the only one who can completely heal you.

-As Jesus ends his comments to this woman, all it takes is faith, put your entire hope, trust, and confidence in Jesus, and He will restore everything broken by sin. 

-Mark then shift back to Jairus, this unclean woman has been healed, but it led to the death of his daughter. Do you think Jairus was frustrated by the women or by Jesus at this point? He was so close to having his daughter healed, if only Jesus had just set His face forward to what He had agreed to do and not been distracted by this unnamed, unclean woman! 

-Yet God’s timing is always perfect. Nothing is a distraction to God and nothing can thwart God’s perfect timing, which Jairus is about to learn. But I also think it’s something we would do well to learn ourselves! People aren’t a distraction, people aren’t the problem, God has called us to go to people and give them the Words of life! Just as God’s timing is perfect, His plan is also perfect, and His plan involves you and I being faithful to sow the seeds of His word as frequently as we can. 

-Jairus is told that while Jesus was “distracted” by this woman, his daughter has died. But Jesus is right there! The word “overhearing” could also be translated “ignoring.” Jesus has an ulterior motive here, and He takes time to remind Jairus that things are still ok, and once again connects the healing to faith.

-Who’s on the inside this time? Peter, James, and John, the closest 3 to Jesus.

-As they approached they saw a commotion, which included people weeping and wailing. It was customary during the 1st. cent. to hire professional mourners. They served as a sign to the community to what had transpired, it was a reminder that death had visited this house. Yet in this case, the mourning was premature, and Jesus tells them so! 

-At first blush, this seems like a cruel joke from Jesus, doesn’t it? Seems to be flippant towards Jairus’ concern and He calls out the mourners who respond by laughing at Him (everyone seems fairly careless toward the needs of Jairus and his family) So Jesus responds by kicking everyone out (except the mother and father and 3 disciples) and moves toward this little girl.

-Jesus grabs her hand, which would once again make him unclean, then speaks a gentle word: little sheep, wake up. (Jesus spoke Aramaic, that mostly got translated to Greek, which we have now translated into English) We then see another connection to the unnamed woman: she had been bleeding for the same amount of time Jairus’ daughter had been alive! Everyone who saw it was amazed, yet Jesus wouldn’t let them tell, He’s still waiting for His glory to be revealed.

-Both Jairus (the well to do) and the unclean woman (whose name wasn’t even mentioned) were in need of healing from Jesus, healing that only He can provide if there is belief in Him. But this isn’t the only story! Jairus and this woman respond as they should, but then we see a group of people who outright dismiss Jesus:

  • Rejection of True Life (6:1-6)

-Jesus goes home, for what is likely the last time. Brought the whole crew! Nazareth would have been about 30 miles southwest of Capernaum, not too far away. But don’t forget about the last time we saw His family in Mark 3, they were trying to take Him away because they thought He was out of His mind! Can you imagine the tension at family dinner?

-As always, He goes to teach in the synagogue, people are amazed, but differently than after seeing Jairus’ daughter.

-They all knew his family, had seen Him grow up, knew his background, and didn’t believe what He was saying!

-These people have become overly familiar with Jesus without a recognition of who He actually was. Once again, this is a normal thing to happen in the course of human events! How would you respond to that friend from high school claiming to be God? Or imagine being one of His brothers! 

-And this is true of many people today! They grow up learning facts about Jesus, just enough to get inoculated against Him, but they don’t have any understanding who He REALLY is, and how that transforms everything. It’s not enough to just know facts about Him, it’s not enough to memorize every verse of the Bible, it’s not enough to go to church every week, it’s not enough to tithe every penny you own! What matters is your relationship with Jesus.

-And because of their unbelief, Jesus couldn’t do any mighty works, which is slightly ironic, because look at what Mark says next.

-Think of how noteworthy these miracles would have been if we hadn’t just read about all the healings that took place, but for Jesus they’re a footnote. Healing has become so commonplace that healing a few sick people is hardly worth mentioning!

-2 accounts of Jesus marveling: here and Luke 7:9 the Centurion’s faith. The polar opposites cause Jesus to marvel.

-Do we assume things about Jesus, getting just enough to be inoculated against him and force Him to be amazed at our unbelief? Or do we continue to be amazed by Him and fall at His feet in worship of Him?

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