Something Greater is Here part III

Jesus Gives Life

Mark 5:21-43 (ESV)

Today’s passage focuses on Jesus a healer and more importantly as a giver of life.

when Jesus arrives back in Galilee the crowds are right back surrounding him. They cannot get enough

Our theme the last few weeks has been “something greater is here”. I want to take a minute to talk about why this theme is important.

Jesus was a fulfillment of a plan that had been set in motion long ago

It connects us Christian believers to Gods overarching story. The jewish history and our old testament

Jesus has to be greater than everyone else otherwise he wouldn’t have been needed.

Today we are going to look at the ways that Jesus exceeds a man who came before him named Elijah.

1 Kings gives us the first recorded instance of someone being raised from the dead. Elijah asks God to restore life to a widow’s dead son. It is that miracle where our main parallel lies today.

Elijah was and is to the Jewish people a very big deal. He was a prophet who was around for a particularly low point of Israels history. They were dealing with a king who did more evil than all who were before him.

He was tasked with reminding Gods people who gives life. Each miracle he performed displayed that only the LORD God himself could bring rain or restore breath to the dead. 

If there is any doubt remaining about the dominion Jesus has over nature, let it be removed this morning. We’ve seen weather, demons, disease and now death itself all subverted! Lets see how Jesus is greater than Elijah.

21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “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.” 24 And he went with him.

  • it was likely bold for Jairus to ask Jesus for help. It says something about his belief. 

When we go to God with things, it’s easy to think of it as an insurance policy. But for this man, he might have been risking quite a bit to show his faith in someone the Jewish leaders didnt like

24b And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 

    • All these years, she would have been ceremonially unclean, and never would have participated with her community in worship. She is an outsider, unable to approach God (in the temple). She was a social outcast.

    • The woman is at the end of her rope. She has spent her money and exhausted her options to find a cure for her physical ailment.

27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 

  • So she touches him and for the third time in as many weeks, we see that Jesus immediately and completely remedies the situation. She is “healed of her disease”. 

30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 

  • As big and grand as he is, this small act does not go unnoticed. 

33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

    • Her faith has made her well. Begs the question, where does faith come from? 

    • Romans 10:7 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”

    • So her God given faith allows her to be restored, both physically and in society.

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 

    • Things have taken a turn for the worse, the daughter has died.

    • Jesus knows all things, and he knew exactly how much time the girl had left but he didn’t rush. 

  • they are being silly, making some inane distinction between being sick and being dead. I think of Jesus as capable of doing anything. But in the same breath, I can doubt Gods power. I think there is no way God is capable of giving me wisdom, providing me opportunities, of healing people in my life. Of bringing certain people to himself. 

38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40a And they laughed at him. 

  • Death is particularly difficult when it’s someone we think of as too young, or it wasn’t their time, or the circumstances we feel are unjust.

40b But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

  • I read these stories and it sometimes fails to excite me in the way it should. The girl is actually dead. She has stopped breathing. But Jesus does something beyond belief.
    • He uses the Aramaic word “cumi” or κοῦμ.
      • We see the word translated as “arise” all over the bible. In the new testament its used every time someone raises someone from the dead. But the old testament it is almost always a command from god to get to your feet and get to work. Go!
  • Even if people intellectually know that God CAN give life, the fact that he DOES shows how much he cares and the great mercy he has for us.

Jesus raising the little girl overcomes the people with amazement. Something that had not been seen since the time of Elijah and Elisha is happening before them. 

Elijah ask God to intervene and raise the widow’s son. The resurrection of her child leads her, a gentile, to declare Elijah was from god.

1 Kings 17:23b 

“‘See, your son lives.’ 24 And the woman said to Elijah, ‘Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.’”

1 King 18:37

“Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

Elijah had been sent to refocus the nation of Israel on their creator. He performed many miracles of healing and signs of Gods power. Incredibly he even raised a man back to life. But he was human, weak and imperfect. His witness was insufficient in turning the hearts of Gods people back to him. 

His flawed witness was not enough. The Israelites did not turn back to the God who brought them out of Egypt. They continued to disobey his laws, blatantly worship false idols and descend into darkness and evil. 

James 5:16

“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours”

Someone greater than Elijah had to come. Israel could not be convinced to give up their false gods and turn back to the true living God, even after he used Elijah to display supernatural miracles.

It can be easy to think that sin is winning. With the pain we experience every day as collateral damage, the constant barrage of bad news and hurt. But we as Christians should take heart, that over the three thousand years since Elijah raised the widows daughter, billions more have been raised to life in Christ. Since that first gentile widow professed faith by the raising of her son, Jesus’ power over death itself  has been causing new believers to profess Jesus is Lord ever since.

So how do we apply this?

Be like Jesus, don’t be in a hurry

  • We should emulate this man. Not just in personality traits or characteristics. But in the way he lived and went about his business.

We’ve been made alive. Arise

  • Take up the call to get up and go! There is work to be done

Don’t limit Jesus’ power

Be desperate for Jesus

  • Jairus knew that asking Jesus to save his daughters life was well worth the hit to his reputation. He was desperate.