Always Keep Believing in Jesus!
Always Keep Believing in Jesus!
The Gospel of Matthew
Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56
Sermon by Rick Crandall
(Prepared November 5, 2021)
*Today we will study two of the countless miracles Jesus performed during His 3-year ministry on earth. These two miracles are recorded in Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8. They happened just as Jesus was about to finish talking with some disciples of John the Baptist.
*John's followers were greatly troubled because their teacher had been put into prison by their evil ruler. They were also concerned about why the Lord's disciples weren't fasting like they did. Jesus told them two short parables to help them understand the difference between His ministry and John's. Basically, it was the difference between the Old Testament, and the New Testament good news of God's salvation through the cross of Christ.
*As Jesus talked with John's followers, two other people approached the Lord for help they desperately needed. One of them was a ruler of the synagogue named "Jairus." His name means "enlightened by God," and that's the kind of man Jairus was. Matthew 9:18 says, "Behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.''
*By this time Jairus' daughter was already dead. But the Gospels of Mark and Luke both begin their reports a little earlier. Both mention the multitude of people there that day. Mark 5:22-24 says, "Behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet, and begged Him earnestly, saying, 'My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.' So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him." (1)
*The other desperate person who approached Jesus that day was a woman who had been constantly sick for 12 long years. As Jesus and Jairus headed to his house, this suffering woman came from behind and touched the hem of Jesus' outer garment.
*She was healed from that hour, and Jesus began to talk with this woman. Luke 8:49-50 says, "While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, 'Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.' But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, 'Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.'''
*This desperate dad and desperately ill woman both did the most important thing we can ever do in life: They went to Jesus Christ for the help they needed! They both had strong faith in the Lord, and they show us the life-changing power of believing in Jesus. Let's read their stories in Matthew 9:18-26.
*One of the most powerful words in the English language is "Believe!" This word has the power to change our lives forever. But there can be a big problem with believing, because everybody believes in something, and most people believe in the wrong thing.
*Misguided people today will try to get you to believe all kinds of lies. Some with try to lead you into an unhealthy belief in yourself. They say things like, "Oh, You can do anything, if you will just believe in yourself!"
*Of course, that's not true. I'll never be an astronaut, and I'll never pitch for the Braves no matter how much I believe in myself! And the worst danger of believing in the wrong thing is that it will lead you to hell.
*But believing in Jesus Christ leads to everlasting life. As John 3:36 says, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
*We cannot overestimate the importance of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. FIRST, WE MUST BELIEVE THAT JESUS CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE.
*God's Word teaches this truth all through the Bible. Here in vs. 18 we see a loving dad in the worst situation a parent can face. His beloved daughter was dead. Luke 8:42 tells us that she was his only daughter, and she about 12 years old.
*Jairus was a loving dad in a most desperate situation. But he believed that Jesus could help him, so vs. 18 says, "While (Jesus) spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, 'My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.'"
*Now that is believing Jesus can do the impossible! And God wants us to believe the same way. In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel went to the virgin Mary to tell her that she would be the Lord's mother. And in vs. 34-37:
34. . . Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?''
35. And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
36. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.
37. For with God nothing will be impossible.''
2. WE MUST BELIEVE THAT JESUS CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, AND KEEP BELIEVING WHEN HIS HELP IS DELAYED.
*There is a double dose of this kind of faith in today's Scripture because both of these desperate people had to wait on the Lord.
*Verses 19-22 tell us that:
19. . . Jesus arose and followed him (Jairus), and so did His disciples.
20. And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment;
21. for she said to herself, "If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.''
22. But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.'' And the woman was made well from that hour.
*In these verses, the desperate dad only had to wait for a few minutes, but knowing that his daughter was dead made those minutes seem like agonizing hours! And yes, Jairus had great faith in Jesus, but don't you know he was anxious for the Lord to hurry. I can hear him crying out, "LET'S GO!"
*But there was an interruption from this sick lady. And talk about waiting! This pitiful woman had been waiting for 12 torturous years. Mark 5:25-26 says, "Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse."
*She "had suffered many things from many physicians." That's not talking about doctors like the fine professionals we are blessed to have. This poor woman went through some very strange and dangerous treatments.
*For example, in cases like hers they would take her to a place where two roads meet and put a cup of wine in her right hand. Then they would get someone sneak up behind her to scare her and say, "Arise from thy flux."
*If that didn't work, here's another treatment those "doctors" tried: "Dig 7 ditches, in which they should burn some cuttings of vines, not yet four years old. Let her take in her hand a cup of wine, and let them lead her away from this ditch, and make her sit down over that. And let them remove her from that, and make her sit down over another, saying to her at each remove, 'Arise from thy flux!'"
*Charles Spurgeon said, "The doctors in those days were much more to be dreaded than the worst diseases. What with leeching and cutting, cauterizing, blistering and incision, strapping and puncturing, -- patients were made to undergo all manner of unimaginable tortures.
*The physicians of her day had reached perfection in the arts of torment. I know not how many operations she had endured, nor how many gallons of nauseous drugs she had swallowed. But they had certainly caused her a vast amount of suffering and bitter disappointment." (2)
*James May said, "For 12 years she had cried, pleaded with God, prayed and sought help from every source possible. For 12 years she wondered if she would ever get her answer. But she wouldn't give up! And at the right time, God gave her the answer she needed." (3)
*Church: He will surely do the same for us! God wants us to keep on believing. when His help is delayed. Never give up on Jesus Christ because he always does the right thing at the right time! This is a hard truth for us because sometimes we will surely have to wait on the Lord.
3. BUT WE MUST KEEP BELIEVING WHEN HIS HELP IS DELAYED, AND KEEP BELIEVING WHEN THE CROWD DOUBTS.
*Jesus and Jairus ran into a doubting crowd in vs. 23-24:
23. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing,
24. He said to them, "Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.'' And they laughed Him to scorn.
*A. T. Robertson tells us that this was loud, long, mocking laughter at the Lord. Who in the world would laugh in a situation like that, there in the same room with broken-hearted parents? (4)
*Well, they actually had paid mourners in those days. It could have been them. It also could have been neighbors who didn't really care about the family. We don't know who was laughing so rudely. But we do know why they were laughing. Luke 8:53 says, "they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead." And Jesus had just said, "The girl is not dead, but sleeping.''
*Why did Jesus say that? William MacDonald reported that some believe the girl was in a coma. I don't believe that for a second! Jesus said she wasn't dead because He is the Lord of life! Jesus knew that He could and would raise that girl from the dead. For Him, waking her from the dead was just as easy as waking her from sleep. (5)
*But the mourners didn't know that, so the real reason why they mockingly laughed at Jesus was because they didn't believe in the Lord. They had no faith in Jesus. They had no idea who was in the house with them that day, no idea of the Lord's power and glory.
*Many people are just like that today. They were laughing at Jesus then, and they are still laughing at Him today. Much of the world laughs at our faith. They have totally rejected Jesus Christ. But don't let that shake your faith!
*Jesus is the Lord of life! John 1:3-4 tells us that "all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." And listen to the beginning of the Lord's prayer in John 17:1-3, "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
*Jesus is the Lord of life! He Lord of all! And if the mockers truly realized who Jesus is, they would tremble and fall at His feet, to worship the Lord. The mockers laugh at our Lord, but we can trust Him no matter what!
4. WE MUST KEEP BELIEVING IN JESUS WHEN THE CROWD DOUBTS, AND KEEP BELIEVING BECAUSE WE WILL SURELY SEE MORE MIRACLES.
*Jesus knew exactly what to do when the crowd doubted. Please listen again to vs. 24-25: "He said to them, 'Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.' And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose."
*Luke 8:54-55 adds that Jesus took her by the hand and said, "'Little girl, arise.' Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat."
*This amazing miracle happened because Jairus believed in the Lord. He kept on believing when the Lord's help was delayed, and he kept believing when the crowd doubted. In Luke 8:50, Jesus had told this desperate dad: "Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.'' Jairus did believe, and he saw great things happen.
*Church: So will we! Our God has always been a miracle working God, and He still is today. Off the top of my head, I can tell you about 6 people I know who were miraculously healed.
*Another of my favorite miracle stories was from my mentor pastor, Herman Savoie. It happened when he was a little boy. There was some kind of big storage container for rice near their house, like a big metal box with a hole on top.
*One hot summer day Bro. Savoie got curious about it, and he dropped into the hole. It only took a few seconds to realize there was no way out. The hole was too high to reach, and he was trapped. No one knew where he was.
*Young Herman was scared to death and tried to jump up, but it was no use. And it was unbearably hot. It was probably 140 degrees in there as the sun beat down on that oven. Bro. Savoie began to grow weak and faint, and he most likely would have died in that container. But just as he was about to pass out, something or someone mysteriously, miraculously lifted him out of that box.
*He had no idea how it happened. He only knew that God had saved him. All of his life he could look back and remember the Hand of God at work that day. In every challenge or trial or tribulation, Bro. Savoie had an extra reminder that he could always trust in the Lord. And the blessings of that miracle have been multiplied in many other lives.
*When we believe in Jesus, the most wonderful things will happen: Sometimes people will be miraculously healed, but best of all, people will be saved! Healing may last for decades, but salvation will last forever!
*Verse 22 shows us much more than the woman's physical healing. It shows us her salvation. There, Jesus spoke to the healed woman and said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.'' The KJV shows the Lord saying, "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole."
*The original word for "well" or "whole" there is "sozo." And it's the same original word the Bible uses for people being saved. It's the same word found in Matthew 1:21, where an angel reassured Joseph with these words about his pregnant wife, Mary: "She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will SAVE His people from their sins.'' "Sozo" is the same word in Luke 19:10, where Jesus said: "The Son of Man has come to seek and to SAVE that which was lost.''
*"Sozo" was the word the Philippian jailer used in Acts 16:30, when he asked life's most important question: "What must I do to be SAVED?'' And "sozo" was the same word Paul and Silas used in Acts 16:31, when they gave the jailer this reply: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be SAVED, you and your household.'' The bleeding woman was not only healed. She was saved because she believed in Jesus!
*Also notice in vs. 22 that Jesus called her "daughter." Of course, she wasn't the Lord's physical daughter, and I always pictured her as being older than the Lord. Why did Jesus call her daughter?
*Ronnie Thrower explained, "Jesus called her 'daughter,' because she had been spiritually born again and adopted into the family of God! The Lord spoke to her on behalf of our Heavenly Father. There, Jesus gave her the assurance that she was accepted by God.
*When a person really comes to God, when they believe in Jesus, God gives them the comfort of being both born again and adopted into God's family. That's why John 1:12-13 tells us that as many as receive Jesus, 'To them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' And Romans 8:15 tells believers, 'You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.''' (6)
*Jesus Christ died on the cross for all of our sins. Then three days later Jesus rose again from the dead in everlasting victory over sin and death. Now God wants everyone to know that He will forgive our sins and wash them all away. He will also give us eternal life, an everlasting home in Heaven, and a part in the family of God, if we will only believe in His Son, Jesus Christ.
*But this means much more than simply believing with our minds. Believing in Jesus means believing with your heart, believing with your life. It means trusting in the Lord, receiving Him as your Lord and Savior, having a real relationship with Jesus, seeking to follow His ways, and allowing Him to lead your life.
*So, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him more every day. Believe that Jesus can do the impossible. And keep believing when His help is delayed. Keep believing when the crowd doubts. Keep believing, and you will surely see more miracles done.
*Call on the Lord to save you right now as we go back to God in prayer, and keep believing in Jesus Christ.
(1) THROUGH THE BIBLE WITH J. VERNON MCGEE by J. Vernon McGee - Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville - Copyright 1981 - "Jesus Heals a Woman and Raises a Child from the Dead" - Matthew 9:18-26 - Downloaded to e-Sword by Rick Meyers - Copyright 2000-2019)
-Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Mark 5:26" - THE ADAM CLARKE COMMENTARY - https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/mark-5.html. 1832
-Quoted from Lightfoot by Geikie, " Life and Words of Christ " - Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Mark 5". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/mark-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.
-"His Healing Touch, Part 2" - Aired Tuesday, March 5, 2002 - Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss - http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/his-healing-touch-part-2/
(3) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "Never Give Up" by James May - Matthew 9:1-26
(4) WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by Archibald Thomas (A. T.) Robertson - Published in 1930-1933 - Mark 5:40
(5) BELIEVER'S BIBLE COMMENTARY by William MacDonald - Edited by Arthur Farstad - Thomas Nelson Publishers - Nashville - Copyright 1995 - "Power to Heal the Incurable and Raise the Dead" - Matthew 9:18-26 - Downloaded to e-Sword by Rick Meyers - Copyright 2000-2019
(6) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "But A Touch of Faith" by Ronnie Thrower - Matthew 9:20-21