Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Passage: Mark 5:21–5:43
†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Mark 5:21-43
Date: June 27th, 2021; Pentecost 5; Series B
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
- In our Gospel reading for this morning we heard that a great crowd gathered around Jesus.
- People had heard about this Jesus of Nazareth who was going around teaching, and healing, and performing miracles.
- Some of the crowd was probably there just for the spectacle.
- Similar to today when great crowds gather around celebrities - people just want a glimpse of the famous person and to be part of the excitement.
- But we heard about at least two people in the crowd who were there to see Jesus for another reason - because they were absolutely desperate.
- These two were hanging on by a thread.
- The first is a man named Jairus who was one of the synagogue rulers.
- Tragically his twelve year-old girl was at the point of death - so he desperately fought through the crowd to be in Jesus’ presence so that he could plea to him for mercy and healing.
- You can hear the despair in his voice as he falls at the feet of Jesus to beg him to come and help his sick daughter, who seemed to be coming to the end of her short life.
- “Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live” he pleaded.
- And Jesus went with him.
- As they fought through the crowd to make their way to Jairus’ daughter at home, a woman with a serious health condition of bleeding approached Jesus in desperation.
- She too was just hanging on by a thread.
- Suffering had been her constant companion for the same amount of time that Jairus’ daughter had been alive - twelve years.
- For twelve years she spent everything she had going to doctor after doctor, trying remedy after remedy.
- And after twelve years of this struggling and suffering she had nothing to show for it but worse pain and empty pockets.
- Like Jairus and this woman - maybe you too have felt like you are hanging on by a thread.
- Maybe you feel that way right now.
- With Jairus we get a sense of the despair and anguish that one feels when a loved is suffering.
- Words can’t describe how much he loves his daughter, and yet he is completely helpless now that she is sick and is about to die.
- It’s an intense pain when we see those we love struggling with injury and sickness and addictions or anything else that causes them to not be well and suffer.
- We want nothing more than to take their pain away, to help them stop suffering as they are, to see them get well so that they can enjoy life in peace and health and vitality.
- When everything we try just doesn’t seem to help our loved one, or maybe even seems to make things worse, we feel helpless.
- We feel like we are hanging on by a thread.
- With the woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years we get a sense of the despair and anguish that one feels when suffering becomes personal.
- When we are the ones feeling the chronic physical pain, the anxiety and depression, the fear and uncertainty that comes with being diagnosed with a serious illness.
- When we are the ones who have been to doctor after doctor, when we have tried everything we can to get well - and nothing seems to help.
- This can leave us feeling drained and hopeless - like we are hanging on by a thread.
- The phrase “hanging on by a thread” does a good job of describing what it’s like when we go through these experiences in life.
- It describes well the feelings of exhaustion, and uncertainty, and fear, and anger that we endure in difficult times.
- Hanging on by a thread is not a secure position to be in - it’s not much to grasp on to when we are desperately trying to find something, anything, to hold on to.
- Unless, of course, that thread that you are hanging on to - is connected to Jesus.
- Metaphorically for Jairus, and literally for the woman who touched Jesus’ robe, the thread that they hung on to was wrapped around the Son of God.
- The Son of God sent to save the world, to save you, from everything that leads to us only hanging on by a thread - even death itself.
- Trusting that even Jesus’ clothing could help her, the woman touched his threads and found healing.
- Believing that Jesus has the power to heal his daughter, Jairus reached out to Jesus and fell at his feet.
- The young girl simply heard Jesus speak, “I say to you, arise” - and she arose and was restored to life.
- Each of them found the help and healing they needed in Jesus - and so do we.
- Our faith looks to - and listens to - Jesus for forgiveness and healing and life.
- Our faith, that is supplied by God, receives all that God has promised through his Son.
- The woman was not healed by the act of touching Jesus’ garment because it was some sort of heavenly magical robe - but because that clothing was worn by the Son of God, the Savior of the world - and she had faith in him.
- The water of our Baptism might simply be water out of the tap, but it is water that holds God’s command and promise to save.
- The bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper might seem ordinary, but it is bread and wine that wraps the Words of Christ, “given and shed for you, for your forgiveness, for your life, for your salvation.”
- Jesus said to the woman, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
- This is the same faith that led Jairus to fight through the crowds so that he could beg Jesus for help and then trust our Saviour’s words to him, “do not fear, only believe.”
- Both of them were in a desperate situation and looked to Jesus for help - and in faith, they received it. He healed the woman. He raised the young daughter.
- This shows us that sin and death, your sin and death, are no match for the Lord of life who rose on Easter morning.
- To Jesus, death is nothing but a sleep from which he alone can wake us.
- “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” as Paul wrote to the Corinthians.(1 Corinthians 15:22).
- In these two people – one healed on the road, the other raised from the dead – we get a glimpse of our future, what lies in store for us on the Last Day - and what is already ours now by faith in Jesus.
- Perfect healing, health and vitality, peace and joy, life everlasting.
- For now - in these days when we might find ourselves just hanging on by a thread - we cling to Christ with confidence, trusting that he will never let us go and nothing can separate us from his love.
- Jesus says to you today, “Do not fear. Only believe.”
- Baptized and believing, you are God’s child, and nothing can harm you. Though you die, yet you will live, and living and believing in Jesus, you will never die.
- The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is [his] faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Amen.