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Studies in Mark - Part 28

"The Difference Faith Makes"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2007 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'
I'm repeating it because I want you to get it: our need, and our desperate dire need, is always God's opportunity to do something great...

Mark 5 verse 21: "And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat".

I've entitled the message this morning: 'The Difference Faith Makes'. If you are a stranger to us, or a visitor, we have been going through Mark's Gospel now for some 28 or 29 weeks, and we're still in chapter 5 - but this is a wonderful portion of Scripture that really teaches us the difference that faith makes. Now of course in chapter 4, from verse 35 right through to the end of this chapter that we are looking at this morning, Mark the Evangelist records for us the power of the Servant of the Lord, the power that the Messiah, the Servant of Jehovah has. Of course, that was very graphically depicted in chapter 4 verses 35-41, where the Lord Jesus displays His power over nature as He calms the storm. Then we saw also last Sunday morning in the first 20 verses of chapter 5, we see the power of the Servant of the Lord over demonic forces - and that demonstrated His power not only over evil, but His power to love the unlovable: that was the demonic possessed with a legion of demons.

One crowd on one side of Galilee is sighing with relief when Jesus leaves them, and here on the other side a great crowd has gathered to welcome Him. How typical that is of society in general, isn't it?

Now this morning in the verses we looked at, verses 21 to 43, we're going to see the Servant's power over sickness - an incurable disease that afflicted this woman for 12 years, and how the Lord Jesus delivered her completely from it. Then we also see, mixed with that miracle, another: the Lord Jesus' power over death, Jairus' daughter raised to life again, verses 35 to 43. In all of these instances that are comprised in the four greatest, perhaps, miracles that the Lord Jesus did, we see that man's extremity is God's opportunity. I've repeated that each week, but I'm repeating it because I want you to get it: our need, and our desperate dire need, is always God's opportunity to do something great.

I know there's a lot of people here with needs, and that ought to help you. We have seen that the Lord Jesus was victorious over danger, over demons, we're going to see today that He is victorious over disease and over death itself, the last enemy. He is sufficient for every circumstance that we can face. This morning we will see Him cure the incurable and raise the dead.

So let's witness it as if we were there with the company that saw these great things. First of all let's see His power over disease. Look at verse 21, we read there: 'When Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was near unto the sea'. Now let me look with you at verse 17 to remind ourselves what had happened before this event: after He had delivered the demoniac of his demons, we see that those around that Gentile area began, in verse 17, to pray Him, to implore Him to depart out of their coasts. Isn't that remarkable? One crowd on one side of Galilee is sighing with relief when Jesus leaves them, and here on the other side a great crowd has gathered to welcome Him. How typical that is of society in general, isn't it? Those who will have nothing to do with Him, and those who want Him in their lives, in their circumstances.

Now the first person we are introduced to in this narrative we find in verse 22, Jairus: 'Behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet'. One of the rulers of the synagogue, which tells us that this man was in a place of position. He was probably the president of the board of elders, if you like, who were all responsible for the allocation of duties in the synagogue, and for seeing that those duties were carried out with seemliness and order. So this was a high office, and he would have been held in great esteem in the community. What a lesson we have here, because this man is afflicted because his child is sick unto death. We see right away that position, power, or privilege do not exempt people from problems.

What a problem he had, verse 23: 'He besought Christ greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live'. Problems are no respecter of persons, and we see that in this portion in particular - because we have, when we consider the woman with an issue of blood, a poor woman; yet Jairus was likely quite wealthy. One was accepted, Jairus, because of his position and privilege; the other, the woman, was an outcast because of her affliction, the issue of blood. One had family, Jairus, that he loved so well, too well to lose; and yet this other woman, because of her affliction, was cut off from the community of God, most likely divorced from her husband if she ever had one - she was alone.

The girl lived 12 years of happiness, which is similar to the 12 years of distress and pain and discomfort that this woman experienced in her continual suffering. Twelve years, and yet such a difference in their circumstances - is that not like life?

But the common denominator that links them together in this story is that both of them were beyond natural help. No one could do anything to help them! That's why they are tied together here, that's why one episode is enclosed in the story of the other - and that's the only time that this ever happens in the Bible. There are so many similarities between these two stories, and yet there are so many contrasts. They are similar in time period, and yet they are differing in experience. The girl lived 12 years of happiness, which is similar to the 12 years of distress and pain and discomfort that this woman experienced in her continual suffering. Twelve years, and yet such a difference in their circumstances - is that not like life? We're all living through 2007, yet we all have very different experiences to look back on. We find here that the girl died after 12 years, and the woman who was effectively a living dead person for the same 12 years, she is healed. For 12 years they lived such different lives, but now adversity is binding them together - but they are unaware of it. Yet God's all-seeing eye, and the Holy Spirit in the record of these events of Christ's miracles, has linked them together because of their sufferings.

We all have different experiences in this life, but there are some things that will eventually link us all together: the suffering of this age. It will come to us all, if it hasn't already done so. Now note something: something significant happened to this man Jairus when his only daughter fell ill. I suspect his prejudices were forgotten. Remember that Jesus of Nazareth was an outcast to the religious leaders of His day, but that prejudice had been forgotten all of a sudden. His pride seems to have disappeared, he had forgotten about his peers and even what the public would think. The Bible says he fell at Jesus' feet and begged earnestly: 'Lay Your hands on my daughter'. Disease and death are the great levellers, aren't they? No respecter of persons.

I think of that verse concerning Naaman in 2 Kings 5:1: 'Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper'. It affects us all, brings us down to earth with a bump - suffering, sorrow. It not only serves to put us in our place, but it serves to put Christ in His place. What I mean by that is: Jairus fell at the feet of Jesus. Now we don't know, Jairus may have witnessed Christ's power in the synagogue - and in Mark's gospel we find in the synagogue in chapter 1:21 the Lord Jesus casts an unclean spirit out of a man, we find in chapter 3:1-6 that the Lord Jesus healed a man with a withered hand in the synagogue. Now if Jairus didn't witness it first hand, he certainly would have heard about it because of his official position. But isn't it amazing - and this is conjecture, but I believe it's on good grounds - this man probably moved from disdain and scorn of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how He was operating, to actually fall at His feet - why? Because terror was touching the one thing, the one person that he thought had been out of bounds.

When that happens, and the thing that we fear the most takes hold of us, here is the lesson from Jairus: we need to do just what he did, fall at the feet of Jesus with our problem. It might be to fall at the feet of Jesus with our family, with our wives, husbands, our children. It's wonderful to see here that the tenderhearted Servant needed no further urging. We read in verse 24, look at it: 'So Jesus went with him', He is always ready to hear the plea of the needy and the sorrowful. But here we find an unanticipated problem, as far as Jairus was concerned - verse 24, the second half, we see that 'much people followed, and thronged the Lord Jesus', and then verse 25, 'And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years', she touched the hem of the garment of the Lord Jesus.

One commentator put it well, I like this statement: 'It must have been excruciating for Jairus, as he and Jesus were slowed down like an ambulance in heavy traffic'

An unanticipated problem - Jairus had a big enough problem, I hope you would agree - his daughter is dying, his only daughter at that. Now an unanticipated problem arises - have you ever had those? Think of the biggest problem you've ever gone through, well, this was it for Jairus - and yet another problem raises its head that exacerbates the initial problem. I can just imagine him saying within himself, if he didn't say it out loud, 'This is all I need now!'. Now we always have to maintain that Jesus was in control of the situation, as we always have to maintain and declare: that we believe in the doctrine of divine sovereignty and God's providence over all situations. Yet for Jairus this situation must have seemed out of control. You have to be honest, and I've got to be honest, that though we tick the box of God's sovereignty in our list of beliefs and doctrines, there are times that our lives just seem to be out of control, chaos has broken loose!

The Lord Jesus stopped on His way to heal Jairus' daughter. One commentator put it well, I like this statement: 'It must have been excruciating for Jairus, as he and Jesus were slowed down like an ambulance in heavy traffic'. Trying to get to the person in need, but not able to get there! For Jairus this incident was an unnecessary interruption as far as he was concerned, his need was greater! This woman had suffered for 12 years, what would it matter if she waited another hour or two? His daughter was at the verge of death! Do the interruptions in your life seem unnecessary? 'Did God really need to let that happen? After all I've been through and gone through? It seems so unnecessary'. I have learned a lesson the hard way, and I think Jairus was learning it, though he didn't realise it: God is never in a hurry. Write that down somewhere, because that will stand by you someday: God is never in a hurry.

I imagine that Jairus was getting frustrated: 'Come on Jesus! My little daughter is dying, and You're worried about someone touching You in this great crowd?'. Now Jairus was probably already asking: 'Why is my little daughter near to death? Why do I have this problem?', and now he's asking, 'Why is there now an interruption in the solution to this problem?'. Now we're going to get the answer to that a little bit later, but look with me now at the other character that we face in this story in verse 25, this woman who suffered from an issue of blood 12 years. It was probably a uterine haemorrhage, and verse 26 said that she suffered from the people that were meant to make her well - the physicians - she spent all that she had financially, probably selling furniture and all her goods to get medicines, and quack potions, and superstitious methods to be freed from this illness...'but rather she grew worse'.

I heard a story in 2004 that has stuck with me, some of you might remember it. It was about a lady in our city here by the name of Iris Geoffrey from the Woodvale. She won over £20 million on the lottery, and she never checked her ticket - and I think it was nearly a month after before she realised that she had almost threw it away. But the previous April, 2003, she had been diagnosed with cancer of the gullet. Her eldest daughter Wendy said these words: 'Our first thought was not about buying big houses or flashy cars, it's to see if anything can be done to help our mother'. Iris said, her mother: 'We'd give it all away, all 20 million', if she could be well. It reminded me of this woman, she did give everything away so that she could be well.

Is it any wonder this woman was desperate? She probably had gone through all these processes with the hope that she would be cured, to no avail - worse! Worse!

The Talmud, which is a body of Jewish civil and religious laws added to the Old Testament by the Jews, it listed eleven cures for this particular uterine haemorrhage that this lady had. Listen to this, this is remarkable: some were potions, some were superstitions, and in one place it says, 'Take the gum of Alexandria, the weight of a small silver coin; of allum the same; of crocus the same. Let them be bruised together, and given in wine to the woman that had an issue of blood. If this does not benefit, take of Persian onions three pints, boil them in wine. Give her to drink and say: 'Arise from thy flux', and if this does not cure her, set her in a place where two ways meet, and let her hold a cup of wine in her right hand, and let someone come behind and frighten her and say, 'Arise from thy flux''. In another place it actually recommends that the afflicted woman carry a barley corn - wait for it - which had been taken from the droppings of a white she-donkey, to be cured of this illness.

Is it any wonder this woman was desperate? She probably had gone through all these processes with the hope that she would be cured, to no avail - worse! Worse! In verse 27, another 'but' as far as we are concerned, 'She grew worse, but when she heard of Jesus' - hallelujah! She too had heard about the Lord Jesus, like Jairus she had a knowledge of Him. Now it may not have been experiential, but it was intellectual at that point - and she reasoned, verse 28, 'If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole'.

Now, there's something not too theologically sound about this woman's reasoning - but it didn't matter about that with the Lord Jesus. That teaches us something: she was a bit superstitious in her faith, she thought touching the garment would do something - granted, because it was His garment. Add to the fact of her superstition the secretive nature in which she goes about it: this was not a walk down an aisle, and a hand up in the air - this was in a crowd. She didn't want people to know what she was doing - but though this woman expressed an imperfect faith, it was faith in the perfect Saviour! God honoured her little faith and healed her - not because of the quality of her faith, or the size of her faith, but because of the One in whom her faith was. Please note also that this was a proper healing, it says: 'the fountain of her blood', verse 29, 'was dried up'. Now 'a fountain' is the source, that means the source of her problem was healed.

Now meet someone else in this passage. We've seen Jairus and this woman, now in verse 30 we encounter the Lord - of course, He is through the whole portion, but here we are given a glimpse into His heart in the midst of this difficult situation. 'And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press', the crowd, 'and said, Who touched my clothes?'. Now here we will see an insight into what it cost the Lord Jesus to heal this woman and, I believe, heal all whom He healed. Now note that this cost was unseen by the disciples, this cost was unseen by those that He healed, but this cost was felt by the Saviour and the Saviour alone. What a picture of Calvary: none of us know what it cost Him to pay the penalty for our sins. Incidentally, menstruation made a woman ceremonially unclean for the time of the month that she had it, but this woman didn't have it at a part of the month, or for a whole month, she had it for twelve twelvemonths, she had it for 12 years! She was cut off from fellowship with God and with God's people. In theory, because she touched the Lord Jesus Christ, she defiled Him ceremonially. I think the woman was shocked, not only because He knew that she had touched Him, but she was astounded that He was willing to be made sin that she might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

If we are to heal others and do good to others, it's going to cost us! That's a universal rule, it's not just a spiritual law - you'll never produce anything worthwhile unless you're prepared to put something of yourself into it...

Now we have seen this already in this gospel of the Servant: the Lord touched the leper, and in the Old Testament ceremonial law He was defiling Himself. What a picture of what we sang this morning: 'He took my sins, my sorrows, and made them His very own; bore the burden of Calvary, and suffered and died alone' - now that's true power. This is the power of the Servant, this is the power of the cross, this is the power of the kingdom of God that displays the love of God. Now if that service was costly to the Lord, as it was here, it will be costly to you, it will be costly to me. If we are to heal others and do good to others, it's going to cost us! That's a universal rule, it's not just a spiritual law - you'll never produce anything worthwhile unless you're prepared to put something of yourself into it, isn't that right? You put your very life, your very soul into it!

No pianist will ever become really great, or perform a really great performance if he glides through a piece of music even with faultless and effortless technique, and nothing more. The performance will not be great unless at the end of it there is the exhaustion which comes from the outpouring of self - soul in it! No preacher who ever preached a real message from God's word, descended from his pulpit without a feeling of being drained of something. If we're ever going to help men and women, and boys and girls, we need to appreciate that we're going to have to spend ourselves. It's going to cost us something!

Now note please in verse 31: the disciples did not appreciate how much it cost the Lord to heal this woman. They said to him: 'There's a crowd around You, and You're asking who touched You?'. The healed woman didn't appreciate what it cost the Lord, that virtue went out of Him - and other people will not appreciate what it costs you to heal others, and to help others, and to serve others. It's hard to carry that, and yet if you don't face it you're going to do nothing for the Lord. Others will judge you by their own standards, but no one really knows other than Christ the virtue that goes out of you when you touch others' lives - He knows, and that should be enough!

Now we need to ask the question: why did the Lord Jesus call the woman out? She was healed, wasn't that enough? If she was the shy sort, could He not just let her go on her merry way? Well, it was for her benefit that He called her out, because there is a joy in confession. You will never really grow in your faith unless you come out of the crowd and confess Jesus Christ as your Lord - but there's more than that in it: He wanted to establish a personal contact with this woman, and that's what Christian faith is all about! It's not just about heaven when you die, it's about discipleship now - a relationship day by day, you knowing Him, and Him knowing you!

I think the primary reason here for calling this woman out was for the benefit of Jairus and the Lord's disciples. Remember our initial question, Jairus is asking: 'Why is my daughter near to death?', then he asks when this woman comes on the scene, 'Why this interruption in the midst of my greatest problem?'. Part of the answer is found in the response to this woman that Jesus gives, if you look at verse 34 please: 'Daughter, thy faith...'. Now that's the only time Jesus ever called any one 'daughter', she is now part of the family of God - but this is the emphasis I want you to see, 'Thy faith hath made thee whole'. Not, 'Your touching my garment', but 'Thy faith'.

Now, lo and behold another problem enters the scene for Jairus, verse 35: 'While Jesus yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?'. Now we're introduced to this little girl. Please get the import of this phrase: 'While he was speaking' - what was He speaking? He was speaking these words: 'Thy faith hath made thee whole'. I can imagine it, that there the Lord Jesus is, and this crowd has witnessed what seems to be a miracle - no one can tell, only the woman felt it - and He is saying: 'Woman, thy faith hath made thee whole', and as He's speaking those words I can imagine these messengers coming down and infiltrating into the crowd, thinking to themselves: 'Well, that's well and good, but the wee girl's dead! Trouble the Master no more, she's dead! Those are empty words!'.

The trying of our faith works patience, and the reason why we have these problems at times, and the interruptions to the solutions of our problems, and adverse conclusions as far as we are concerned in our human reasoning, is that our faith would be strengthened...

'Why do I have this problem?', Jairus, 'Why is there an interruption in the solution to my problem?', Jairus, 'Why is there this conclusion to my problem when I came to the feet of Jesus? I lowered myself from my position, I humbled myself and I brought all, why this now?'. One answer, a one-word answer: faith, faith! You see, at first Jairus came probably with a wishful belief that this Man could do something for his predicament, but his faith would have been elevated by this experience with the woman with an issue of blood, and with the exchange that the Lord had with the woman about her faith making her whole. Now what the Lord is doing to Jairus is: 'Don't just believe Me with a wishful belief about a healing, but believe Me for a resurrection!'. Have you got it? The trying of our faith works patience, and the reason why we have these problems at times, and the interruptions to the solutions of our problems, and adverse conclusions as far as we are concerned in our human reasoning, is that our faith would be strengthened.

Now here is where we need discernment: does Jairus listen to the voice that tells him, 'Give up, trouble the Master no more, she's dead! Full stop, end of the story, nothing can be done'? Or does he listen and grab hold of the words that He spoke to the woman: 'Thy faith', and then words that He speaks to him in verse 36 in his situation, look at the end of it, 'When Jesus heard the word that was spoken, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe'. Now I'm not running around here telling you to go to everybody that's sick, and just believe that they'll be healed, and they'll be healed - no, no! The Master must speak the word to you, and there's very few people today whom the Master is speaking to. The Master must give you the word, He gave this man the word: 'Fear not, believe only'. Does he listen to His word, or the word that says, 'She's dead, nothing more can be done'? Now the thing, notice please, that carried Jairus through all this experience were the words of the Lord - they made the difference!

Look at verse 36, the word of faith that was spoken: 'Be not afraid, only believe'. There's verse 39, which is a word of hope: 'Why make ye this ado about nothing, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleeps' - a word of hope! Then in verse 41 a word of love, He speaks to the little girl: 'Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say, arise'. Now when Christ speaks into your life, do you give up, or do you believe? That will make such a difference to you! Can I say that common sense is found in this passage of Scripture. In verse 35 you find it, these people say 'She's dead, why bother Him any more?'. Now, that's common sense - it makes sense, doesn't it? She's dead, why bother Him any more? We find common sense in the disciples in verse 31: 'What are You saying, 'Who touched me?' for, everybody's rubbing up against You in a crowd!' - that's common sense. But common sense doesn't often make faith-sense! You need to hear that: if you are ruled by common sense and common sense alone, you're in trouble as far as the spiritual life is concerned.

In verse 39 he told them 'She's sleeping', and they laughed in His face, and that's often the reaction when we speak with words of faith and not common sense - people laugh at you: 'Huh, aye, we'll see'. It is often the reaction when we stand at an open grave and talk about resurrection, and hell, and heaven - tears turn to scorn, but faith laughs at impossibilities and cries: 'It shall be done!'. Do you know what the Lord Jesus did in verse 40? He put out the unbelief. Those that laughed at Him, those that scorned Him, He put them out - and that's what I need to do, that's what you need to do: put out unbelief in our hearts, and believe God's word when He speaks to us.

We have seen Him victorious over disease, and in verse 41 we see Him victorious over death. We read that He took the child by the hand - now please note Jairus' prayer of weak faith is just answered. Look back with me at verse 23: 'He besought Christ greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live'. His prayer of faith was answered in detail, God is the God of detail! He took the child by the hand - that is one of the outstanding features of the Servant's ministry, He used His hands to touch people when He healed them. In this very gospel He took Peter's wife's mother by the hand and raised her up, He took another by the hand in chapter 1, touching the leper. He tenderly takes the little children later on in this gospel, we'll see in chapter 9 and chapter 10, He takes them up in His arms and blesses them, laying His hands upon them. This is the hand that was going to be nail-pierced, this is the hand of infinite tenderness - and it's still the hand of sympathy today! Isn't it wonderful to know, as John says: believers in Him are in His hand, and nothing can take them out - nothing!

Those that laughed at Him, those that scorned Him, He put them out - and that's what I need to do, that's what you need to do: put out unbelief in our hearts, and believe God's word when He speaks to us...

In Aramaic the tongue of the Lord Jesus spoke, not the language the New Testament is written in, He said: 'Talitha cumi'. This brought a tear to my eye, that literally means: 'Little lamb, arise'. Little lamb, arise! I think Mark kept it in the Aramaic because there was something incommunicable in that statement - whether it was the tone, I don't know, but there was something in it that spoke of the tenderness of the Lord Jesus. Can you hear those words fall on the girl's cold, dull ears? Can you see her eyes flutter and open wide? And the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus. Then she looks around and sees Mum and Dad, and three stunned apostles that Jesus took into the room - Peter, James and John. Do you know what that is? The Servant's power over death - and do you know something? Whether the Saviour comes or calls, it is a foreshadowing of what we all are going to go through. We're going to hear our name! We're going to open our eyes! We're going to see His face! We're going to be with our family, the family of God.

It is wonderful: this child had just died - this is the first person we read of that Jesus rose from the dead. Do you know who the second was? Not a child, but a young man, the widow of Nain's son - he was being buried at that moment in Luke 7. The next one was John 11, Lazarus, who was an older man, and he had been in the grave four days! Each one: the newly dead, the funeral cortege, the dead for four days, were all raised by the power of God - and when the Lord comes it's going to be the same! Those that have just died, imagine it! You've been sitting beside someone holding their hand as the breath has gone from them, what will it be like for those in that moment when the breath comes back again? Imagine standing around the grave and lowering the coffin, and the corpse comes to life again! That's going to happen, some of you don't believe it - oh, I know you believe it up here [in your head], but not in here [in your heart]! The dead for centuries will be raised! Where do you want to be when the Lord comes back again? This cheerful Charlie, I'd love to be at a funeral of a believer! Wouldn't it be wonderful?

Verse 43, and with this I finish: 'He charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat'. I love the Lord Jesus Christ. Two commands that He gave: the first, don't tell anybody; and the second, go and get her something to eat. The thoughtfulness, the consideration of the Lord Jesus - why did He say 'Don't tell anybody'? Because He wanted the parents and the child to enjoy a brief time of privacy and company before the word would get out, because the whole neighbourhood would be at their door! What a thoughtful Saviour He is, and yet how practical: 'Get her something to eat'. In all the excitement this wee girl, who probably hadn't eaten for days because she was sick, needed fed.

Are you and I just rubbing up against Him in the crowd, or are we touching Him by faith?

The woman with the issue of blood touched Christ, Christ touched this girl, and their faith made a difference - and faith ought to make the difference in our sickness and in our sorrow. Jesus knows the difference between the touch of faith and the touch of indifference. Believer, are you and I just rubbing up against Him in the crowd, or are we touching Him by faith? In your sickness, in the sickness of your loved one:

'The healing of His seamless dress
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch Him in life's throng and press,
And we are whole again'.

But He doesn't always heal, sometimes we are called to go through death, and to go through pain, and to go through sorrow - and yet in the midst of that as well: when other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, He abides with thee. The difference faith makes...may it make that difference to all our hearts today.

Let us all pray: Father, we thank You that the Lord Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We thank You that He still has power to heal sick souls, sick with sin. This woman was made whole, saved, we thank You that He still has power to heal sick bodies - and yet we realise that there is a calling for the more to endure suffering, to bear the burden and cross of pain, that in the midst of their weakness Your strength might be made perfect - and they will need faith to get through and overcome. There are those who are sorrowing and, Lord, they need that faith too. Lord, help us we pray, to touch the Master, to feel His touch in our lives as His little flock. Put Your word in our hearts, Lord, Amen.

Don't miss part 29 of our Studies In Mark: "The Paralysis Of Unbelief" Jump To Top Of Page

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins
Preach The Word.
October 2007
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Evangelical Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the twenty-eighth recording in his 'Studies In Mark' series, entitled "The Difference Faith Makes" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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