GOSPEL OF MARK – ROBBY GALLATY – Program 13
By: Dr. Robby Gallaty
|By: Pastor Robby Gallaty; ©2010|
|Three people in desperate need meet Jesus in a beautifully orchestrated divine appointment.|
Divine Appointment-Desperate Situation
The title of the message is this: What Happens When a Divine Appointment Meets a Desperate Situation? Let me ask you. What are you hopelessly seeking the Lord for this morning? What are you begging God to do? Is there a situation in your life you could say, “Pastor, I’m going through a trial, I’m going through a tribulation. I have not see God work. I haven’t seen God move. It seems like my prayers are not being answered. It seems as if the Lord is not speaking to me. The Lord is not working in my life.” Are you in a trial this morning? I want to challenge you from the Word of God as we meet three desperate people. And we’re going to see how God shows us at a divine moment in their life. And I tell you that to challenge you to see where they turn. In the midst of the trial, in the midst of the situation, they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. And my prayer is after you hear from God, that you will do the same.
If you have your Bibles, I hope you do, turn to Mark 5:21: “And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side [that’s the Galilean side] a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea.” Couldn’t even get out of the boat. “Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus [underline “rulers of the synagogue;” that’s the important term there] by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 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.’”
I’m going to show it to you in three sections. First of all, I’m going to show you the trial of a desperate dad. Secondly, I’m going to show you the trial of a despised woman. And then thirdly, I’m going to show you the trial of a dying daughter. Now, why do you call them trials? Because they’re tests. These men and women are going through tests much like you and I go through tests today.
Now, look what the text says. Jesus lands on the shore and he’s met by a man named Jairus. It says that Jairus is the ruler of the synagogue. He was the synagogue official. He was the highest ranking synagogue leader in that whole city. He was the man. He was the pope of that city. He was one of the most respected men in the town. He was in charge of the elders of the synagogue. He carried out the normal administrative duties of the synagogue. He handled all the operations of the synagogue. When you had a problem in that city religiously, who would you go to? You’d go to Jairus. He’s the man. He’s the most respected man in all of the town.
Now you may remember, this reminds you of another synagogue leader who came to Jesus. But there’s a big difference between that man and this man. Who was that man who came to Jesus at night? Do you remember? It was Nicodemus. Why did he come at night? He came in secret because he didn’t want anybody to know that he was coming to Jesus. Well, Jairus is a different case. Jairus is not worried about his peers. He’s not worried about his pride at this point. He’s not worried about his possessions. He’s not worried about his position. He’s actually worried about something that’s a desperate situation. Why does he come to Jesus? Well, we see in the text his daughter is dying.
Now what does he do? It’s kind of interesting. He doesn’t just run up to Jesus and ask him a question. He doesn’t just run up to Jesus and talk eye to eye. The text says he runs and he what? Falls at his feet. Underline that word “fall.” He fell at his feet. Now this is odd. You have to understand; in Jesus’ day, men did not get on their knees very often. Men did not go face first lying prostrate on the ground very often. This is odd. Here’s the most respected man in the whole town and he comes to the Lord Jesus Christ and he falls on his knees and he begs him.
Now, this would happen from time to time by kings. When kings would come to town, sometimes men would run to the king, they would bow to the ground, they would lay prostrate sometimes, they would kiss their feet, they would kiss the hem of the garment, they would kiss their hand. And it was a sign of reverence. And I want to submit to you that’s exactly what Jairus is doing. He’s coming and he’s falling down at the feet of Jesus and I’ll prove it to you. Go to Matthew 4:8. I want to show you the same word in the Greek in a different context. Mark translates that word in the language of the New Testament as “fell.” He fell before Jesus. But in the story in Matthew 4 of the temptation, Matthew decides to translate that word a little differently.
Look at it in verse 8: “Again, the devil took him [that’s Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down [now here it is] and [what?] worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”’” That word “worship” is the word “fall” and so he actually translated it as, it’s the idea to worship.
And so what Jairus is doing in the text is he’s coming to Jesus—go back to Mark 5—and he’s worshipping the Lord. He’s saying, “Jesus, you can do what I believe that you can do.” In essence, what he’s saying is, “I have faith that you can do this.” Why is he doing it? Because his daughter is dying. Now, this account is found in two other gospels. Once again, it helps us: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Luke being the doctor, Luke being the one that always gets the details right, puts this interesting little phrase in: It was his only daughter. Now that’s a big difference, right? It’s not just one of the daughters; that would be a big deal. But it’s his only daughter that is dying. Jairus comes to the Lord and he says, “I believe that you can do what I believe you can do and if you just come to my house and lay hands on my daughter, she will be healed.” He’s not worried about neighbors at this point. He’s not worried about his family at this point. He’s not worried about what the synagogue leaders are going to say at this point. He’s not worried about what the elders are going to say at this point. Jairus comes to the Lord for a need.
Now you’re probably saying, “That’s not right, Robby. I mean, Jairus is really not coming to Jesus for salvation. Jairus is coming to Jesus to what? To see what Jesus can do for him, right? He has a need. He’s desperate. He’s in need of help and he comes to Jesus, which many would say for the wrong reasons. But I love Jesus. Notice, Jesus doesn’t say to Jairus, “You’re coming to me for the wrong reasons and so I know your past. You’ve been disobedient to me. You probably rejected me, maybe in the past.” He doesn’t say that, right? One thing I’ve learned about the Lord in the New Testament and all throughout the Bible is God never turns away a person that has a truly repentant heart, right? When you truly come to the Lord, when you truly respond to the Lord and say, “God, I’m desperate and I’m coming to you and I need help,” it’s amazing that the Lord does not turn us away. You would thing the Lord would do that.
Now, this man is obviously going to the right person, but why is it that we go to Jesus when we’re desperate? Why is that? You know, we can never remember God or call upon the Lord or spend time with the Lord but when we’re desperate for something, how many of us go to the Lord, right? We turn to the Lord when we’re desperate. What are you desperate for this morning? What have you been praying for this morning? What is the difficult case in your life this morning? He comes to the Lord and God doesn’t turn him away. God mercifully responds to him and he says, “I’ll go.” And look what verse 24 says, “And he went with him.”
He sees the man’s need. He doesn’t ignore it. He doesn’t say because of your past rebellion or your inadequate motives or your disobedient spirit, I’m not going to go with you. Verse 24, “And he went with him.” Notice what happens. This is no time to play around. I mean, the ambulance is in full speed ahead, there are sirens going. They’re heading straight to the emergency room. Jesus is on the way. They’re running headlong. And then all of a sudden in verse 25 it comes to a screeching halt. There’s an interruption.
Now sometimes interruptions can be bad in life, right? But in this case it’s actually a good thing. We move from the transition of the desperate father. We move to the despised woman. Look at verse 2: “And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.”
You know, sometimes I think the disciples are bodyguards. You ever notice that? I mean, the crowd is pressing around him. That word “throng,” circle it, it’s the same word that was used in the parable of the sower to mean “choke off the vines and the thorns.” Remember that word? The vines and thorns choke out the seed. It’s the same word. So the crowd is pressing around him. “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.”
Imagine this woman. “She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.’ And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.”
Write this down: the trial of the despised woman. I don’t know if you know what’s happening here in the text. Mark does something amazing. He bookends the story of Jairus’ daughter on the outside and he puts the bleeding woman on the inside. Have you noticed the parallel so far? The little girl is how old? We’ll see in a few moments she’s 12 years old. The entire life of the little girl; this woman has been suffering with this illness for the entire life of the girl. Now you may be saying, “What is the illness, Robby?” It’s a uterine hemorrhage probably. This woman has an uncontrollable blood supply that comes out and because of that she cannot leave the house. According to the Old Testament, if you have any kind of blood that is coming out of the body, you’re bound to your house. This woman is alone. She’s, imagine this, isolated. She’s defiled. She’s dejected. She’s despised. And I assume she’s depressed. She’s forced to stay within the house.
Now I imagine she probably spent all her money and probably was broke at this point. It says it in the text she tried to get better but in the process of getting better, she got worse. She probably went to the doctors and tried lotions and potions and doctors and psychologists and psychiatrists. You name it. She’s tried the medicine men of the town to no avail. And then I’m sure she turned to the church back then, the synagogue. There are no less than 11 different ways to heal, according to the Talmud, which is the Jewish commentary, 11 different ways to heal a woman who had an issue of blood. Let me give you one of them. Tell me how bizarre this is: “Take the gum of Alexandria, the weight of a small silver coin, and the alumum of the same and a crocus of the same. Let them be bruised together and given together in wine so that the woman who has an issue of blood may take it. If this does not benefit the woman, take three pints of Persian onions, boil them in wine and give her to drink and say, ‘Arise from the flux.’” I’d almost be more scared to take that than to deal with the issue, right? I mean, it sounds pretty wild.
But I’m sure this woman has tried the gamut of potions and lotions and remedies and to no avail. She’s got one shot. She hears about this man named Jesus and she’s got one shot. Now, Mark misses the heart of the passage. Go back to Mark. Mark misses it here in the sense that he talks about the broad picture, but Luke gives us one innuendo that is the difference that makes the difference. Look what Mark says. Marks says she comes out and she touches what? [verse 27] What? His garments. Go to Luke 8:44. Watch what Luke inserts. This one word makes all the difference. Luke 8:44: “She came up behind him and touched [what? Circle this one] the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.”
The King James Version says this: “She touched the [what?] tassels of the cloak.” This may refer to the four tassels that were on the garment. Every Jewish man would have one of these. And what this garment would do is they would wear this garment. And God instructed them very specifically on what this garment would do. They wear this when they would pray, wear this to the synagogue, they’d wear this to the temple. What they would do with this garment is this: it was a reminder of God’s commands in the Old Testament. Let me read what it says to you in Numbers 15:37: “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of [each] garments, with a blue cord on each tassel.”’”
Now, the reason they took blue was blue was an expensive dyed piece of yarn or material is what they would have here. And they couldn’t afford something very expensive so God said I want you to put a blue cord in the tassel to remind you that although you have nothing or may be poor, you are rich in the eyes of God. That one cord reminded them that they were significant in the eyes of God.
“You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord.” Why do they have tassels? Because every time they wore this, the tassels reminded them of the commands of the Lord. “Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.” So it was a reminder of the corner of the tassel of the commands of God.
Now, what had happened was this: through the years the Jewish people believed that the Messiah would come and his tassels would be different than the rest. And they got that from Malachi 4:2. I want you to see this: “The sun of righteousness shall rise [or come]
with healing in its [what?] wings.” Now when you think of wings, you normally think of what? A bird, right? You think of wings. But that misses the heart of the passage. In the language of the Old Testament, that word “wings” is the word kanaf. Kanaf cannot only mean wings, but it can mean corner or fringe or hem.
In the New Testament when Luke puts in this specific word the woman came out and touched the hem of Jesus’ garments, she’s not grabbing on to the side of his garment and just grabbing hold of the garment. She’s specifically on a mission to grab a piece of the garment which is the tassel to prove to Jesus and to herself and to the crowd that “I’m not just grabbing his garment, I’m grabbing the tassel to prove that Jesus is [what?] the Messiah.” That’s what she’s saying without saying anything. “Jesus, I believe that you’re the Messiah.”
And then it’s as if time stands still. The woman feels; imagine the emotion as she feels the garment. I don’t know if it was an emotional feeling. I don’t know if it was a physical feeling but I imagine something happened where she knew “I’m healed.” And as she’s trying to make her way back—you’ve got to understand. If they see this woman out of the house, she’s done. She’s persecuted. She could be stoned to death. She could be killed. If they see this woman out, she’s done.
And what does Jesus do? Look at the text. “Who touched me? Who touched me,” Jesus said. “‘My power has gone out of me. Who touched me?’ And his disciples said to him [verse 31], ‘You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, “Who touched me?”’”
Come on, Jesus! There are hundreds of people out here. What do you mean who touched you? “And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and [once again] fell down before him.” Notice the same word again. What is she doing? She’s worshipping him, “and told him the whole truth.”
I imagine emotions are running wild in this woman’s life. Imagine this. I mean, women didn’t speak much in those days. In fact, women rarely spoke up in public. I imagine this woman probably never spoke up in public. And Jesus puts her on the spot. He says, “Who touched me? And Jesus is not asking because he doesn’t know who touched him. Jesus is asking for the benefit of the woman so that she can show and express her faith to the crowd. “Who touched me?” The woman comes forward. She says, “Jesus, I touched you.” Notice in the text she’s not lost in the crowd. Even though there are hundreds there, Jesus recognizes her. It reminds us that although we raise our hand in the sea of millions of hands today, maybe in a church this size, God sees our heart and God doesn’t let this woman go unnoticed. I imagine time stood still, tears began to well up in her eyes. The crowd is there looking and it’s almost as if everyone disappears and Jesus speaks to this woman as if it’s just them standing there. Jesus and the woman.
Notice what he says to the woman at the end of this paragraph. “And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’” What is Jesus saying there? “Daughter.” For the first time this woman feels accepted. Could you imagine? For the first time in 12 years this woman feels worthy. Can you sense it? For the first time in a long time this woman feels love. And as if time stands still, Jesus says, “Come to me, daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You’ll be healed.”
You know what it shows me? Love never judges a person based on their circumstances or their position. I imagine a lot of people that day wanted to touch Jesus. A lot of people wish they would have come to Jesus but they didn’t. After seeing this miracle, a lot of people wish they would’ve touched the hem of the garment but they didn’t. I imagine a lot of people were in need but they didn’t see the healing of the Lord because they didn’t come to the Lord Jesus Christ. The crowd surrounded him but they never exercised their faith in him.
Listen, you don’t have to wait for Jesus to come to your town to say, “Okay, here’s my last shot.” You get on your knees now and you say, “God, I need you to help me. I’m in a desperate situation now. I have nowhere to turn and I need you to work.” You know, you can do that right now right at your seat. You don’t even have to come to church to do that. Did you know that? You don’t have to be in a revival. You don’t even have to be in a service. You can do that right where you are. “God, I need help right now.”
And that’s what this man did. He said, “Jesus, I need help. But, Jesus, you’re dealing with this woman and we have a dying daughter over here.” And that’s the final trial in the text. The trial of the dying daughter. Look how the story ends. Verse 35: “While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some [someone] who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only [what?] believe.’ And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.”
Perfect example of discipleship. Discipleship is way more than just teaching. It’s showing. Jesus takes the three inner circle. “They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.’” Kind of rhymes.
“And they laughed at him. 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. Taking her by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was [here it is] twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
You talk about a divine interruption. Jesus is slowed down by this woman. You can imagine the heart of Jairus trying to, “But Jesus we’ve got to go to my house. But Jesus, what about my daughter? Jesus, we don’t have any time left! I mean, we’re out of time. We’re out of moments. We’re out of seconds. Jesus. We have to go to my daughter.” And all of a sudden the worst news comes. “Don’t bother with the teacher. It’s too late. She’s dead”
You know what I’ve noticed about the Lord is that sometimes God’s time is not our time. You ever been there before? We want God to do something now. We want God to do something yesterday. It always seems that God never works in our time, right? Remember John 11. Jesus comes to his friend Lazarus. Mary comes to the Jesus. The brother of Lazarus and the sister of Martha and she says, “Jesus, the one you love is ill! You’ve got to come now. He’s dying.” And the text says Jesus waited what? Two more days before he came. Jesus shows up probably on the fourth day, after the third day, and Jesus comes and shows up on the scene. He says, “Do you believe?” and he walks to that cave, remember? He rolls the stone away and he says, “Lazarus, come forth!” He heals the man. It’s not our timing. It’s God’s timing.
Now, why did he wait? Why did he purposely wait three days? Because he wanted to display his glory. Did you know Jewish belief is that the soul actually leaves the body on the third day to go with God? Did you know that? That when a person dies, it takes three days, this is what Jews believe, Jewish people believe, the third day is when the soul actually leaves the body to go to be with God. Which is the reason till Jesus waited to the fourth day to go see Lazarus. He wanted to make sure no one said, “Well, the soul was still there.”
Now in this case, we see the same thing happening. One of the reasons Jesus says the girl is still asleep is based on Jewish tradition, the soul is still in the body and so Jesus says wake up. Remember the story in John 9. They’re walking on the street and the disciples see this man born blind and they say, “Jesus, who sinned that this man was born blind? This man or his parents?” Why is this man suffering? Is it because of the sins of mom and dad or is it because of him kicking and screaming when he was born? And Jesus says, “No, neither. This man was born blind.” Why? “To display the works of God.” To be a divine instrument of God’s grace.
Let me ask you a question. Did you ever think that the trial you’re going through now may be divinely orchestrated by the Lord to display his glory through you? You ever thought about that? That the difficulty you’re experiencing may be God’s way of showing family, friends, and the world his glory? If we believe that God works all things together for the good, then we trust in God. And I think that’s why James says in James 1:2, he says, “Brothers, count it all joy.” Now this is odd. Count it all joy when you get rewarded in life. Is that what he says? No. Count it all joy “when you face trials of many kinds,” when you face difficulty. Why? “For you know that the testing, the trials of your faith develop perseverance and perseverance must finish its work in you so that you may be mature [get this] and complete lacking nothing.” So here’s the deal, Christian. If you want to be mature and complete, lacking nothing, you have to go through trials, you have to go through tribulation. Could it be that the trial that you’re going through may be the divine instrument that God’s using to bring people to him?
Jesus goes to the house and he tells the professional mourners, “Okay, the show’s over. Go home.” You know, back then you could hire professional mourners to cry at your funeral, did you know that? And these were probably professionals weeping and moaning and wailing. Jesus says, “You guys can go home. Get these guys out of here.” And then he takes the mother and the father, he takes his three disciples, he walks in to this little girl’s room and he says, “Talitha koum!” Then all of a sudden, he grabs the girl by the hand.
Now what is Talitha koum mean? The text says, “Little child, wake up.” But that misses the heart of it. It actually means “little lamb.” Jesus—can you picture it? —Jesus tells the girl, “Little Lamb, wake up!” This is the same man that just a few moments ago fearlessly stood up in the boat, raised his hands, calmed the storms of the raging sea that was about to wipe out the disciples. Here’s the man that just moments ago charged headlong into a demon possessed region. This man was demonized by a legion and he cast the demons out. And here’s the same man who tenderly reaches down and says, “Little Lamb.” What an incredible picture of our Lord, that the same one who fearlessly casts out demons, the same one who calms the storms of the sea is the same one who heals this little girl.
Now I know what you’re thinking at this point. So what? See, one of our problems today in 2010 and on this side of the cross is that we read the pages of scripture and we’re not astounded by these stories, right? I mean, many of you are saying, “So what, Pastor. Who cares, you know? I mean, just another story about Jesus. Jesus had done many of these.”
That’s our problem. We read the pages of scripture and forget that this is a real life here. This is a real mother. This is a real father. This is a real child. This is a real woman who for 12 years was despised and dejected and she’s heale, and we aren’t astounded by that. We should be astounded and excited and say, “Praise God! If God can do that for them, then God can do that for me.” You should be astounded when you read the pages of scripture.
Maybe you’re in here this morning and saying, “I can empathize with the father. I’ve had a child that was healed.” Can you empathize? Can you testify to that? You might be in here today, like the woman, and you say, “You know what, Pastor, 12 years, 2 months, 6 months, 2 years. I’ve gone through the trial of an illness. God is faithful.” But you know, in a group this size, I know there are some in here who would say, “Pastor, I have been faithful to God and I lost my child. I did everything right and it seems as if God didn’t heal me. That I’m still in the trial. The medical bills, the finances, the hospital visits, the isolation, the depression, the despair, the difficulty, the loneliness is still building up. Why not me?”
Friends, I want to encourage you this morning. You may be a divine instrument of God’s glory through your difficulty. You will go through mishaps and difficulties in life. It’s important for us as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ not to judge a person based on their outward circumstances or their outward situations. The key is for you and I to get to a place where, if we trust the Lord, we say, “Bless the Lord in the good times. Bless the Lord in the bad times. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Friends, there’s no reason for you and I to judge a person or a situation before the Judgment Seat of Christ when the Lord Jesus Christ will judge all things and his answer to everything will be what? It was good. It was all good.
So what do we do in the meantime, Pastor? What do I do if I’m going through a trial or a tribulation? This is what you do. First of all, you realize that God has three choices or three answers to you when you pray unto him: yes, no, and wait. Yes, no, and wait. And so what you do is you persistently pray to the Lord, “God, work on my behalf.” Secondly, you trust in the sovereignty of God, “God, you’re in control and I’m not.” And, thirdly, you accept the results and you trust the Lord.