Formations lesson for March 9: The Gospel and Miracles
February 14 2003 by David Stratton , Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

Formations lesson for March 9: The Gospel and Miracles | Friday, Feb. 14, 2003

Friday, Feb. 14, 2003

Formations lesson for March 9: The Gospel and Miracles

By David Stratton Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

"Why have there been no more miracles since the invention of the camera?"

"Why is it that Jesus healed that person but not my loved one?"

Questions like these reveal the miracles of Jesus are a source of struggle for some. Even so the gospels reveal Jesus as a miracle worker.

How are we to make sense of the miracles of Jesus in this modern, technological age?

Perhaps the account of raising Jairus' daughter will give us some clues.

The desperate find help

through Jesus

The opening verses tell us of a desperate synagogue leader named Jairus. His daughter was sick and very near death. Jairus fell on his knees before Jesus and begged for His help.

The Lord responded immediately to the plea of this distressed man. Is Jesus still responsive to our cries for help?

On the way to Jairus' house Jesus healed a desperate woman. Meanwhile word came to Jairus that his daughter was dead. The person delivering this report said there was no need to trouble Jesus any further.

Jesus then said to Jairus, "Do not fear, only believe" (v. 36, NRSV).

In that dark moment Jesus offered Jairus a comforting challenge to replace his fear with faith.

Was Jairus able to do this? We are not told. Yet once again we see Jesus responding at a desperate man's need.

Jesus, of course, healed the girl. He passed right by mourners who laughed at His suggestion that she was only sleeping, and He commanded her to get up, which she did immediately.

Having worked a miracle, Jesus turned to a mundane concern, pointing out that the girl needed something to eat. He also ordered those present not to talk about the miracle.

Our turning to Jesus

and to the desperate

Jesus was and is a miracle worker. Yet questions remain about His miracles. A study of the hidden quality of this and other miracles, and the emphasis on fear and faith (verses 33-34; 36) will not fully answer the questions, but it will shed some light on them.

I conclude with a brief thought on desperate people turning to Jesus and Jesus' help of desperate people.

Jairus was a desperate man who turned to Jesus for help. If we expand our reading to all of Mark 5 we find two more desperate people coming to Jesus (a demon-possessed man in verses 1-20, and a bleeding and, therefore, "unclean" woman in verses 25-34). All of these desperate people found themselves on their knees before Jesus and all of them found help through Him.

The Lord responded to these desperate people in different ways. In no case did He help them in the exact way they wanted to be helped.

Jairus wanted Jesus to help his daughter before she died, but He did not.

The demon-possessed man, after he was healed, begged to go with Jesus, but the Lord would not let him.

The bleeding woman was not only desperate for Jesus' help; she was also desperate to be healed without saying a word to Him. Yet Jesus refused to go on until the woman told him "the whole truth" (v. 33).

Jesus' help was not given in the way it was desired, but He did help. From a shunned, demon-possessed man to an "unclean" woman to a respected synagogue leader Jesus did not hesitate to help a wide variety of desperate people in a wide variety of ways.

This chapter in Mark teaches us to turn to Jesus in our desperation. His assistance may not arrive in the way we want; but He has clearly established Himself as one who can help.

Following Jesus' example means that we also must help the most desperate among us. He did not hesitate to help people whether they were shunned or respected by society. In like manner we must not hesitate to help the desperate of any circumstance.

We will experience miracles as we turn to Jesus in our own desperation, and as we seek to help the desperate people around us.

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2/14/2003 12:00:00 AM by David Stratton , Mark 5:21-24, 35-43 | with 0 comments
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