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Study in Mark’s Gospel Presentation 15

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Study in Mark’s Gospel. Presentation 15. Reaching Out To God Chap 5v21-43. Presentation 15. Introduction. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Study inMarks Gospel

Presentation 151

Reaching Out To GodChap 5v21-43

Presentation 152

Presentation 15IntroductionThe film entitled The Passion which records the life, death and resurrection of Jesus has been the subject of much controversy. Being a film director cannot be an easy job. How would you go about directing a film on the life of Jesus? Imagine you had travelled back 2000 years in time and you arrive on location just as Jesus is approached by Jairus, a leader of the Synagogue, a famous man with obvious box office appeal. This narrative would take up the focus of your attention. Indeed, you could be excused for failing to notice a woman hidden in the crowd. She could well have been an extra, part of rent-a-crowd brought in to give the film some atmosphere. 3

Presentation 15IntroductionUnlike many film extras, who crave the limelight, this woman did not walk into the shot. Indeed, only the super observant would have seen a hand reaching out and touching Jesus as he walks by. Suddenly Jesus halts. Things arent working out as you hoped. This wasnt part of your script. What has happened to Jesus encounter with the celebrity? Nevertheless, you keep the cameras rolling and soon discover that you have a real human-interest story. A story that the bulk of your audience would be able to identify with. For the majority of us, like this nameless women, happily live our lives out of the limelight.4

Presentation 15The Condition In Which She Came Jesus was being swept along by the surging momentum of the crowd, when suddenly he put on the brakes and asked the strangest of questions, "Who touched me". As your camera pans through the crowd a variety of facial expressions are captured; frustration, exasperation, incredulity but in one face there is fear, shame and a reluctance to meet Jesus steady gaze. A woman in the crowd knew that she was responsible for the traffic jam on the Capernaum Road - for she had stretched out her hand just to touch the hem of Jesus garment. You wonder what made her do that and soon the story spills out.5

Presentation 15The Condition In Which She Came For twelve nightmare years she had been haemorrhaging blood. As month succeeded month, energy sapped out of her. It took her more and more effort to do less and less. She had tried all the medical specialists and every suggested cure in ancient medical textbooks. The only relief that medical science brought her, was to relieve her of her wealth v26! And the haemorrhaging of her wealth did nothing to improve her condition. Jesus was her last hope. She pressed through the bustling crowd, reached out, touched Jesus and was instantly healed. 6

Presentation 15The Condition In Which She Came Her action brought everything to a standstill. Why did Jesus think it so important to identify his light fingered assailant, whom he knew had been healed? Have you ever wondered why she was not bouncing up and down with joy but in a state of terror, afraid to reveal her identity. The answer is found in the O.T. for according to Mosaic law her illness made both her and everyone she touched ceremonially unclean. This would result in their temporary exclusion from the house of God. No wonder she was reluctant to identify herself she had every reason to believe that her wholeness came at the expense of having contaminated Jesus.7

Presentation 15The Change Jesus MakesImagine this womans sense of embarrassment as she is winkled out of the crowd. Jesus would have stood there all day until his gentle assailant was identified. Wouldn't it have been kinder of Jesus to let her quietly slip away? No, because she needed to know exactly how she had been healed. This woman mistakenly believed that Christ's garments could heal her, "If I touch even his garments I shall be made well v28. That false thinking needed correction. Jesus wanted her to realise that his garment had no intrinsic power. A myth that has been perpetuated by films such as The Robe and by so-called relics such as the Turin Shroud.8

Presentation 15The Change Jesus MakesJesus did not want her life to be saddled with a useless superstition but supported by a living faith. She needed to learn that it wasnt coming into contact with the garments of Jesus but with the person of Jesus that saved her and made her whole. Unless she realised it was Jesus' power and not his clothes that healed then she would have remained diseased spiritually even although she had been healed physically. Her religious beliefs would have been superstitious rather than saving.9

Presentation 15The Change Jesus MakesWe too can give a wrong value to things associated with Jesus. Some people think that a religious pilgrimage is the solution to their problems to be able to stand where Jesus stood and touch what Jesus touched. In the history of the church some have placed great emphasis upon religious relics. Others believe they can find spiritual wholeness by merely keeping company with Christs followers, or by keeping a copy of Gods Word in their home, or a text on their wall, by wearing a cross or, by holding office in his church. The lesson Jesus is teaching here is that it is not these things that transform our lives but the Jesus associated with them.10

Presentation 15The Change Jesus MakesSecondly, this woman is called out from the crowd to ensure that she did not confuse physical contact with faith. It was faith, not touch that transformed her. This leads us into the very heart of the gospel. On the cross Jesus experienced the contamination of human sin and as he was clothed with it and our sin was punished in him. It was as though our hands were stretching out and placing themselves on his head. In one direction human sin was being passed onto him while in the other direction Christs righteousness, forgiveness, and reconciliation with God is transferred to us. This spiritual wholeness become ours by trusting in Christ. The hand of faith stretches out and lays hold of Gods forgiveness. Only faith that stretches out to Jesus can save.11

Presentation 15The Change Jesus MakesThirdly, this woman thought that she could he healed and restored to fellowship with God without anyone else knowing, Jesus need never know, the crowd need not know. It will be my secret. She had wanted a wholly private religion. It was foolish to think that no one would ever know for the evidence of a revitalised life was there for all to see. Now Jesus called her out of the crowd in order to encourage her to take a stand for him. When faith is exercised and responded to by God then gratitude should be publicly expressed. There was no need for embarrassment. If she did not confess Jesus before men then she could not enter into the fullness of joy he had provided for her.12

Presentation 15The Change Jesus MakesMany today share this woman's hopes of being secret disciples. They want a religion that is quiet, low key and kept behind closed doors. They want to be closet Christians. Have we persuaded ourselves that we can follow Jesus without anyone knowing that we have committed our lives to him? Jesus calls us out of the crowd in order that we might stand at his side and publicly acknowledge what he has done for us. He wants us to be able to say, "I am not ashamed to confess that this Jesus has done more for me than words can begin to express."13

Presentation 15The Change Jesus MakesThere is one final and important reason for Jesus to call this woman out of the crowd. It was to impress upon her, her great value to him. It would have been all too easy for the, woman to think that she herself was of little value to Jesus. After all she wasn't a prominent figure like Jairus! But Jesus would have none of it! She was of inestimable value to God. As far as heaven was concerned the transformation of her life was headline news! A great many people today constantly run down their worth and value to God? Many cannot grasp the fact that out of the billions of people in the world they are important to God. But they are! 14

Presentation 15The Change Jesus MakesAnd the thing that gives us value is not our social status, our education, our wealth or any of the measurements that man uses. What makes us valuable is that God has made us in his image, individually unique for the purpose of enjoying an intimacy of fellowship with himself.As this woman left the presence of Jesus she did so with his benediction ringing in her ears "Go in peace". The Greek literally reads, 'Go into peace'. And this is what she did she stepped into a new life of physical and spiritual wholeness. She was no longer a prisoner of her past or afraid to confess that Jesus had transformed her. Note: there were many observers in the crowd that day but only one reached out and touched Jesus. 15

Presentation 15ConclusionThroughout the history of the church this woman has been viewed as a mirror reflecting mans deepest need. Our sin is a running sore that contaminates us and alienates us from Gods presence. And no matter how much energy we may expend in doing our religious best, we can find no cure. We become spiritually weaker instead of stronger. Like this woman we too are often afraid to identify ourselves and to step into the open. Our reluctance often springs from the fact that we are ashamed of our spiritual condition. We find it easier to tell a doctor of some physical illness than admit to God, or a Christian confidant, that we have some spiritual need!16

Presentation 15ConclusionJesus is as near to you today as he was to this woman. You can reach out and touch him. Are you aware of some need, some distress of heart, some guilt that constantly creeps up on you unaware or haunts you in the quiet hours of the night, something that alienates you from God, and robs you of peace. You may have tried a number of human remedies without success. The Jesus who transformed this woman's life can transform yours. You are not simply an extra in the crowd scene of Gods creation but someone of infinite value to him. Christs death on the cross tells you the measure of your worth to God. Stretch out in faith and tell him, "You are my only hope"? Then you do dont be surprised to hear his words ringing in your ears Go into peace.