Sermon Notes, 24th Sunday after Trinity 15 November 2015 Anno Domini
Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity
O LORD, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.
18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. 23 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. (Matt 9:18-26)
How many souls today linger in the byways of life without hope, not knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ is within range of their beckoning voice of prayer. Jairus was one such man. He was an important figure being the Rabbi of a local synagogue. His heart was bleeding for his young daughter who lay dying of some serious ailment. It was not out of a total faith, but a desperate one, that compelled Jairus to turn to Christ.
The same is true of a certain woman who had suffered twelve long years with an incurable (to man) issue of blood. He spent all of her life’s savings on doctors who did not good, but seemed to make her condition even worse. She was forlorn of hope and the specter of death moved in the shadows of her home daily. Again, in desperation, she turned to the only One who could offer a cure – and she was granted that cure.
We are privileged, as Christians, to have a “friend that sticketh closer than a brother” – the man, Christ Jesus! And to those who do not know Him, He is near enough to call upon for your desperate hopelessness and who will grant a resolution of that hopelessness – and at the same time, a salvation that reaches beyond the vail of our knowing in this world.
The world may be divided into two distinct groups – those immense numbers who do not believe, and those very few who do believe, and believe unto salvation. The unbelievers provide no venue for God’s miracles. They separate themselves from the grace of God by their unbelief. Those who believe invite the Hand of God to work according to His will, even if that will supersedes the Natural Law (which the Maker of Natural Law is able to do).
Jairus is the ruler of a synagogue. His political and religious world does not naturally include Jesus. Though Jairus has heard much of Christ, and seems to have surely believed that He was able to do the works of God, he was reluctant to break the bonds of political and peer pressure to come to Christ in fair weather. But now the beloved little daughter of Jairus has taken ill to the point of death. Extraordinary ordeal may lead to extraordinary faith – and this is the case with Jairus. When the die of death is cast before him of one most beloved, Jairus is forced to reach into the depth of his heart for the courage to do that which is expedient and right. He runs to the LORD.
What did Jairus do that resulted in his most amazing blessing? Well, first Jairus came to the very Fountain of Life that he believed would sustain his little daughter’s life. That is the first step of every sinner – COME TO CHRIST! That Fountain of Living Waters will grant life, not only in this world, but eternal life in the world to come. So, Jairus musters the courage and fortitude to come to Jesus.
Secondly, Jairus worshipped Christ. Mark 5:22 says that Jairus fell at the feet of Jesus. Though it is very true that every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to Christ, timing is everything when it comes to salvation. Our great need is at the day and hour that worship of Christ will result in salvation – not after the curtain has fallen and it will be too late to acknowledge Him as Lord. Jairus acknowledged the Divine power of Christ to heal. His mind was upon the body of a precious little girl at the point of death, but that power Jairus acknowledged also extended to the healing of her precious soul.
Thirdly, Jairus not only came to the Fount of Life, but he also expressed his faith through prayer! How all-important is prayer in the life of a saint. Prayer is the steam upon which the engine is driven. His prayer was not a doubting, but a believing, prayer. “My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.” Yes, little did Jairus realize that his prayer was so full of truth! Even if the child was dead, she shall live if only Christ lays His hand on her! Word came to Jairus as he was with Jesus that his little daughter had died. But just a little faith goes a long way with Christ. He would go a step farther than healing the girl – He would awaken her from the sleep of death! But, even so, Christ did not merely lay His Hand on her – He, instead, took her lovingly by the hand and, with a voice that penetrates centuries and the ears of death, said, “Talitha cumi!” This is a term of Chaldee origin meaning, “Young girl, arise!” What does one, even if dead, do at such a command from the portals of Heaven itself? Immediately, despite the ridicule and jest of the unbelievers without, she arose and walked, and was given food to eat at the command of Christ, for she was hungry! (Mark 5:42, 43) Death knows no hunger, but the truly living thirst for the Bread of Life!
Miracles of heart always accompany miracles of body. As Jesus journeyed to the dying room of Jairus’s daughter, another miracle of faith had taken shape in the heart of a poor and desperate woman taken with a long-lasting (twelve years) issue of blood. The woman had spent all of her living on physicians who had not helped her in the least, but rather she had grown steadily worse. She had spent the lonely hours, days, months, and years in pain and a sure knowledge that her affliction led to a manmade grave of death. Then, her blessed and fortunate ears heard of Jesus! Hearing is not always enough. We must act on the hearing of Him, and this woman heard, believed, and sought Him out as an answer to the affliction in her body and the pain in her heart.
Hearing a commotion in the street, she came out and discovered that this man, Jesus, was approach in a great throng of men. How could she approach Him? I know her dread, for I was there – and so were you, if you believe! We all were that woman, and we were Jairus as well! There was a moment in time that we arose, like the woman, from our sick beds of the leprosy of sin, and sought solace in the healing Balm of Gilead. Like Jairus, facing the misery and despair of dying love, we sought the very Fountainhead of Life and Love…..and He answered!
There were so many people pressing around the Lord that the woman despaired of reaching Him. Quite often it is the very ones nearest the Lord that hoard His Presence and prevent others from coming to Him. But the faith of this woman would not be turned away. It was a fervent and persistent faith that would not admit of defeat! She dared not disturb His dignity out of a high reverence for His Person, so she contrived to innocent touch the hem of His garment without disturbing His Peace. …and she did! Not the slightest expression of faith goes unnoticed by our blessed Savior! He felt the touch of the woman from eternity past until the moment of its expression in time. “Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30) This is a question framed by our Lord long before that encounter on the dusty streets of Capernaum – “Who touched me?” Have you dared touch Christ with the prayers of your heart?
Have you, friend, wept the bitter tears of Jairus for your living young ones who linger in the walk of death to which all sinners belong? Have you arisen from your sick beds of sin and went seeking Christ, the Healer and Preserver of Life? If not, why not? Why, He is passing on your street even now! He will journey to your house today to restore life to a precious child of your greatest love. But, your faith must invite the miracle of life! The greater miracle of Christ is not a restoration to temporary life, but to Life Eternal in Him!
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.