READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l Christianity is centred on the person and work of Jesus Christ. His public ministry lasted around 1200 days, but only 50 of those days are recorded in scripture. The accounts were carefully selected to reveal to us who Jesus Christ is. The apostle John said, if we had told you everything Jesus did, the whole world cannot contain the books that could be written about what Jesus did. (Jn 21: 25)
Matthew, Mark and Luke all describe one important day in the life of Jesus. Why is the passage so important for us to know? It is significant because it reveals something about the glory and majesty of Christ.
On that day, Jairus the synagogue ruler, and a woman suffering from a hemorrhage crossed the path of Jesus. There was a large crowd when Jairus, a powerful and influential man, fell at the feet of Jesus because his 12-year-old daughter was dying. In contrast, we do not know the name of the woman who had been suffering from hemorrhage for 12 years. She would have been considered ritually unclean, and would have had no access to God, temple, priest or healing.
These two desperate ‘12-year-old’ stories intersected on that day in the life of Jesus. The woman couldn’t speak to a priest, go to the temple or make a sacrifice; yet Jesus Christ the high priest, the temple and the great sacrifice of God came to her! She never expected to get Jesus’s attention, but only sought to touch the edge of his cloak as Jesus walked past.
When clean touches unclean, in every case, the clean becomes unclean. But here, Jesus did not become ritually unclean. Instead, the woman was made clean. The power of Jesus Christ healed her! Mark 5 tells us that something new is at work. Jesus has reversed the tide of sin, contagion and even death! Christ knew that the woman touched his garment, just as he knows about our every situation, pain and sorrow. This is the power of our risen Lord. Christ is redeeming the entire world at walking pace, at five kilometers per hour, doing the work slowly and powerfully.
When the woman revealed herself and told her story, our Lord Jesus referred to her as ‘daughter’. Regardless of her social standing, there is no greater title than that. When news arrived that Jairus’s daughter had died, Jesus told Jairus not to be afraid, and to just believe. Jesus said the child was not dead but asleep. From God’s perspective, all of us who died are asleep; we will all be raised again. Jesus told the little girl to get up and she got up. Similarly, God is telling all of us to spiritually get up and be freed from our sins and suffering.
Sometimes we can be look good or show Christians. If that is the case, God cannot use us. We cannot be touched by a hurting and bleeding world. The Bible tells us that the woman touched Jesus and received power and healing. When others touch us, do they meet the healing and grace of God? The Israelites were told to leave the edges of the field when harvesting, so that it would be a blessing to the Gentiles who came to the field. When others come to the edges of our lives and touch the hems of our garments, do they meet a blessing?
The gospel of Mark reveals the true power and dignity of Jesus Christ who walks through the world redemptively. Christ calls us to be the ambassadors of his redemptive grace, salvation and healing, for a lost and hurting world.
(Sermon notes by Denis Koh)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- How has the Holy Spirit spoken to you through the preaching of God’s word?
- How would you summarise the message of this section or story?
- What are the implications for us through this message?
- What are the personal implications (for you)?
- What are the communal implications (for our gospel community)?
- What are the missional implications (for those we want to reach for Christ)?