Family Bible Study lesson for May 5: Ministry in Physical Crisis
April 19 2002 by James Baldwin , Mark 5:21-24a, 35-43

Family Bible Study lesson for May 5: Ministry in Physical Crisis | Friday, April 19, 2002

Friday, April 19, 2002

Family Bible Study lesson for May 5: Ministry in Physical Crisis

By James Baldwin Mark 5:21-24a, 35-43

Can you hear me? Am I getting through tonight?

Can you see him? Can you make him feel all right?

If you can hear me, let me take his place somehow,

See he's not just anyone; He's my son.

Several years ago Mark Schultz wrote these lyrics "to capture the pleading heart of a father dealing with his son's illness." Parents who have spent the night by the bed of a fevered child, or who have waited the long hours outside an operating room know the anguish the song describes. Helpless, we cry out for God to intervene and bring healing for our child. We would gladly take the child's place, and suffer in his or her place, if only we knew how to make that happen.

Jairus must have walked those same hospital corridors and bedside paths all parents dread. His love for his daughter brought him to Jesus, hoping He could help. In their time together, Jesus both helped Jairus and demonstrated for us how to care for people in times of physical crisis.

Jesus was sensitive to need (Mark 5:21-24a) Even though Jesus crossed over the lake, His reputation as a healer and miracle worker had preceded Him. A large crowd gathered to see and hear this wonder boy from Nazareth. One person in the crowd was a man named Jairus. Although he was one of the synagogue rulers, he fell at the feet of Jesus and pleaded with Him. At this point he did not care what others might say about the inappropriateness of his actions. He would have done anything to save his dying daughter. True to his character, Jesus "went with him." Jesus still walks with those who call on Him in times of need. He walks with us in the person of the Holy Spirit, to give us guidance and strength. The Greek word for the Holy Spirit is Paraclete, which means "one who walks alongside." He also walks with us through caring Christian friends who help to bear our burdens.

The path through sickness is not nearly as long when there is someone beside us.

Jesus encouraged faith (Mark 5:35-36) As Jesus and Jairus made their way to the home of Jairus, a woman touched Jesus and was healed. While Jesus searched the crowd, then conversed with the woman, Jairus' worst fears came true. Some men from his house came to say that his daughter had died. "Why bother the teacher any more?" they said, putting words around feelings Jairus had not yet expressed. Jesus saw the disappointment in Jairus' eyes, and told him, "Don't be afraid; just keep on believing."

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Heb. 11:1). Jesus told Jairus to keep on believing, in spite of what his eyes and ears told him. Even when the diagnosis is bleak, and hope seems lost, we need to encourage each other to hold on to faith. God sometimes answers our prayers for healing by giving a new and heavenly body. He will not fail. As an African-American pastor friend of mine loves to preach: "Jesus was never in a hurry, but He was never late."

Jesus showed compassion (Mark 5:37-43) When Jesus declared that the girl was not dead but asleep, all who had gathered to mourn began to laugh. Jesus took the girl's hand, and as He spoke to her, she rose from the bed and walked around.

I think it is significant that Jesus instructed her parents to give her something to eat. Although Jesus gives life, He allows the family of faith to care for those He has touched. This same principle is found in the story of Jesus' raising Lazarus from the dead. After Jesus calls Lazarus from the tomb, He tells his family and friends to "Unbind him and let him go."

We may not have the power to heal or bring a person back to life, but we are instructed to care for each other, and to help free our brothers and sisters in Christ from things that bind them to old ways of living.

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4/19/2002 12:00:00 AM by James Baldwin , Mark 5:21-24a, 35-43 | with 0 comments
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