October 15, 2012 – Reach out

He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:40 (ESV)


To whom did Jesus address this comment?

a. To His disciples

b. The demoniac

c. Jairus 

d. Woman with the issue of blood

 

The correct answer is “a” His disciples. Does that surprise you? That among the cast of characters, His disciples would be the ones accused of having little faith? Remember just a few verses back He told them: “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, (Mark 4:11 ESV). They received a great revelation from God and then met spiritual warfare that just shakes their faith.

 

I’m not condemning the twelve.In fact, it encourages me because like them inspite of the revelations God has given me, when the winds are raging, my faith falters.

 

Jesus stills the waters and soon after we meet the demoniac in Chapter 5. Jesus healed him and the man wanted to stay with Him. But He told him no. Instead He said “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19 ESV)

 

I love what David Guzik said about this:


The man who had been set free by Jesus just wanted to be with Jesus. This man didn’t only want what Jesus could do for him. The true change in his heart was shown by that he wanted to be with Jesus.

Why wouldn’t Jesus let this man follow Him and be with Him? Because Jesus knew that he had a more important ministry with his own family and community. But it was also to cure the man of any superstitions. He might have thought that he had to stay close to Jesus so the demons would not come back. “Perhaps, too, his prayer was not answered, lest his fear should have been thereby sanctioned. If he did fear, and I feel morally certain that he did, that the devils would return, then, of course, he longed to be with Christ. But Christ take that fear from him, and as good as says to him, ‘You do not need to be near me; I have so healed that you will never be sick again.’” (Spurgeon)


This man had a great message to tell: what great things Jesus had done for him. This is a gospel we should all be able to preach. The man set free did, because he departed and began to proclaim . . . all that Jesus had done for him. His story showed the value of one life to Jesus, because this was the only reason why Jesus came to this side of the Sea of Galilee. His story also showed that with Jesus, no one is beyond hope, because if this man could be changed than anyone can.


Next we meet Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, who fell at Jesus’ feet on behalf of his 12 year-old daughter. My heart was tender for Jairus. What parents would not humble themselves at the feet of Jesus on behalf of a child? Jesus went with Jairus.


As they were on their way, there was an interruption. A woman with the issue of blood for twelve years enters the scene. This woman was considered unclean. Can you imagine her loneliness – no one to talk to, no one to hug – for 12 long years (as long as Jairus’ daughter has been alive)? She must have been so desperate that she told herself if she could only touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. So she did. And she was. In fact, she just touched the fringe but her faith was so powerful He felt the surge when it left His body. This woman had only heard of Jesus but she grabbed on to the fact that He was who He says He was. 

 

Jesus did not forget Jairus, though. Even though Jesus was interrupted and it seemed too late because someone came and said the daughter died, He told Jairus:  “Do not fear, only believe.” (Mark 5:36 ESV). We all know how that story ended.


That’s what He tells us today, too. Whether we are bound in shackles, besieged by issues or an almost dead hope, do not fear only believe. Whatever it is, just cry out like the disciples, fall at His feet like Jairus, reach out to His hem like the woman or not even say anything like the demoniac, believe and Jesus will stop and meet you.

 

[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]

 

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