O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever (1 Chr 16:34). Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, MB
Give Him your Bad
Give Him Your Bad
Based on Mark 5:21-43
Preached on July 1, 2018
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In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Big shot, VIP Jairus. Synagogue ruler. He’s the man in charge. Until now - he’s been brought to his knees. Totally devastated. Tragedy. He’s no longer in control. Helpless. There’s nothing he can do … EXCEPT … earnestly beg Lord Jesus for help. Make good use of the Lord Jesus who has come. “My precious little daughter is deathly ill — right on her death bed! Please, I’m begging you, come to my house. Lay your divine hands on her so that she may be healed and live. I’m begging you Lord Jesus! I’m totally depending on you! Please, hurry. Time is of the essence. We need to go right now.
So off they go. Chop chop! To Jairus’ house. HUGE crowds follow. Hanging off Lord Jesus. Hangers on by the hundreds. And there in the midst of this throng of hangers on is a woman. A desperate woman. For twelve years her uterus has been hemorrhaging. This too is a very serious ailment. In addition to the bodily risks, the flow of blood makes her unclean or defiles her according to the Old Testament law (Leviticus 15:25ff.) by which she could not come into God’s gracious presence. No doctor and no amount of cash spent on specialists and all kinds of treatments could stop the bleeding. Oh, how she suffered! Spiritually and physically. With all the loss of blood for so many years, she too has to be quite ill. White-as-a-ghost-and-skin-and-bones-deathly ill!
But she too is a hanger on. A believer. She’s heard reports about Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior! Her faith dares to do the unthinkable. Her faith in Lord Jesus is so great that she outrageously dares to pull off a swap. A sweet swap. She will defile Lord Jesus with her touch. As if He would welcome her impurity. Spread her uncleanness to Him. Let Him have it all - in exchange for His purity and holiness. Listen to what she said to herself: “‘if I touch even his garments, I will be made well.’”
So she works her way through the crowd. She gets close. Right up to Lord Jesus. She reaches out her hand. Her fingertips brush against the fabric of His robe.
And immediately she feels something. A surge of life within her. Electric. She tingles. She feels full of energy. Like she hasn’t felt in twelve years. She experiences the power of God in the flesh of Lord Jesus. No wonder. After all, His is the very power to work life, freedom and release. His is the very energy of God who created the heavens and the earth. His is the very energy that atones for the sin of the entire world, puts death to death and crushes Satan’s head. His is the very energy by which His body rises from the grave on Easter Sunday and who will raise all the dead on the Last Day. His is the very energy that gives His Good Friday salvation to sinners with His Word hooked with water, words, bread and wine. When that very sick woman touches the robe of Jesus in faith, she draws upon that same energy of God that is in the flesh of Jesus Himself.
Now, just so there’s no misunderstanding, the power to heal is not in the woman nor in you or me. It comes from Lord Jesus! There is no healing energy within you waiting to be tweaked or unleashed. Inside all of you there is only disease and death, hemorrhaging away your life. Life and health come from outside you. Life and health comes from Jesus who is the source of all life and healing. Every healing comes from Him, whether through prayer, penicillin or both. Medicine and prayer are the means, but Jesus is the source.
Well, Jesus halts. He looks around. “Someone touched me!” He sensed that power had gone out of Him. “Who touched me?” His eyes dart from one face to another in the crowd.
Poor Jairus and the disciples try to push Jesus along. Keep Him moving. With a little bit a panic in their voices: “What do you mean, “Who touched me?’ Look at all these people Jesus. Everyone is trying to touch you! Who cares! Jairus’ little girl, remember? On her deathbed? Remember?”
Lord Jesus doesn’t budge. Stays put. Bullishly looks for the person that touched Him. Looks. Looks. Looks. Repeatedly asks: “Who touched me? Who touched my garments?”
The woman falls at Jesus’ feet. She decides to tell Him the truth. Her body shakes. Trembles. She sobs. She can barely get the words out of her mouth. “It was I Lord. I touched you.” She fears a total rebuke. A harsh reprimand. Punishment. After all, she was unclean and she touched Him.
Lord Jesus reaches down to her. Lifts her eyes to meet His. Looks directly at her. He is entirely there FOR HER in the midst of that huge crowd. God FOR HER. “Daughter,” Jesus declares, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace. Be healed.”
Did you hear that? He doesn’t call her “woman.” He calls her “daughter.” She belongs! She’s in the family of faith. Where she hasn’t been for those 12 years. He welcomes her back.
Then Lord Jesus extols her hanging-on-faith in Him! Only faith in Jesus is saving faith. Her making-good-use-of-Lord-Jesus-faith dared to give Jesus her bad so that she could receive His good. And He praises it. Stops the rushing ambulance parade to point it out. Jesus shows this kind of faith is the highest worship of Him. I’m here for your bad – all your sin and uncleanness – I’m here to give you My good – all my holiness and righteousness. Believe it. USE ME! This is how you properly worship Me – with this faith. Faith that says: “I need Jesus! Jesus only. Jesus alone.” This is the highest worship of God.
Today the Lord Jesus’ divine robe, the place where you can reach out your hand to touch Him, is Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution and Holy Communion. The Word and the sacraments are His garments by which you can be His hanger on, be healed from all your sin and death. Yes, it’s most certainly true: when you come to the divine service the power of Lord Jesus’ Good Friday death to heal and save is unleashed. In the divine service Lord Jesus is God FOR YOU. He speaks to you. He gifts you with the forgiveness of Good Friday. And in such giving He enlarges your faith. Feeds your faith. Praises and upholds your faith / your worship in the very same way: He says “Sons and daughters, I died for you. I baptized you. You are forgiven. Here is my Body broken FOR YOU. Here is my Blood shed FOR YOU. Go in peace. Be healed from all your sin and death. Your faith in me has saved you too!”
Well, this woman has delayed Lord Jesus from getting to Jairus’ house. A report arrives. “It’s over. The little girl has died. Why trouble Lord Jesus anymore? We have no need for Lord Jesus any longer.”
REALLY? Did they just say that? Yes, they did. What little faith! Little Jesus – little faith! Would you ever say such a thing? “No need for Lord Jesus anymore?” That’s not how saving faith talks! Big Jesus – big faith!
Jesus looks straight at Jairus. “You trusted me when your little girl was sick. Trust me now that she’s dead. Do not fear. Just believe.”
Again, we’re back to the faith point! The point where God takes faith and stretches it around a larger gift than we ask for. “Trust me,” Jesus says. “I’m God FOR YOU! I’M HERE FOR YOU!” That’s where you and I stand with the woman, with Jairus, and with all those who have gone before us. “Do not fear. Believe.”
Lord Jesus marches to Jairus’ house. Takes Peter, James and John with Him. Loads of people are mourning, wailing and weeping. “Why all the commotion? Why all the crying? The little girl isn’t dead. She’s asleep.” And they all snicker. They laugh and roll their eyes at such nonsense. It’s the only time in the New Testament that people laugh at Jesus. Just like people do to this day.
Well, Lord Jesus goes right up to the little girl. Her body is breathless and cold. He takes her by the hand. Softly He speaks to her. The way a father wakes his little girl from sleep. “Talitha koum.” “Little girl, time to get up sleepy head!” And His words do what they say! The little girl rises from her death bed as if she were getting up from sleep. He barks out the order to give her something to eat. And then “Don’t tell anyone about this.” At least not now. First Lord Jesus must suffer, die and rise again.
Beloved, after hearing these true stories of the woman and the little girl, let there be no more talk among us like, “Why trouble Lord Jesus. It’s no use.”
After all, Lord Jesus has done FOR YOU what He did for the little girl. He raised you from the death and damnation of sin in Holy Baptism in order for you to live a new life (Romans 6:4) – the new life spelled F-A-I-T-H! By faith you are A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST! And the Lord Jesus has given the order - give them something to eat - the Lord’s Supper. His Body. His Blood. Once you were dead in your trespasses and sins. Now you are alive in Lord Jesus! And there’s more to come: bodily resurrection on the Last Day in which Lord Jesus will say: “Time to get up sleepy heads! Come out of your graves. Wake up!” His words will do what they say! And then the joy of heaven.
One final thing brothers and sisters. I want you to notice how easily Jesus deals with whatever threatens you. Last week, the disciples’ boat was sinking in the storm while Jesus slept in the back of the boat on a pillow. All it took were two little words from Jesus and the storm was stilled. Today a twelve year old illness ends with the touch of His robe and a word from His mouth. A little girl is raised from the dead at the sound of His voice, just as though she were waking from sleep.
It doesn’t matter what it is. Whether it’s Satan and his demons, the forces of nature, disease, or death – EVERYTHING obeys the voice of Lord Jesus. Because He’s bigger. Big Jesus – big faith.
So go ahead. You need Him. Reach out your hand this morning, and touch His garment in the Word and Sacraments of His divine service. Give Him all of your bad. Receive all of His good – and so make good use of Him by faith. Trust Him with everything. Do not fear. Only believe. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Rev. Cameron Schnarr