When heaven touched down on earth week 3

Mark 5:21-43

Restoration and Healing

21 When Jesus had crossed again in a boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came up, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He asked him urgently, “My little daughter is near death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may be healed and live.” 24 Jesus went with him, and a large crowd followed and pressed around him.

25 Now a woman was there who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years. 26 She had endured a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet instead of getting better, she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she kept saying, “If only I touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 At once the bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Jesus knew at once that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you and you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But he looked around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Many ways to study this with head knowledge: 

  • 12 years old, bleeding 12 years – symbolic of Jesus’ restoration of Israel.
  • In Jesus’ miracles he is showing the reign of heaven – demonstrations of God’s presence and power. He has power over the created order, human decisions, disease, death, demons, and sin. – Jesus is God
  • – both unclean and a touch was thought to defile the other person
  • Pharisees holiness paradigm concentrates on separation and isolation from things that defile/In Jesus’ teaching holiness not uncleanness was understood to be contagious and it could overpower uncleanness – Jesus challenged their holiness concept with an alternative based on inclusive mercy that redefines holiness.
  • Jesus is the agent of God’s saving presence
  • The wholeness that comes when heaven touches down on earth
  • Relational healing

Hearing it with our hearts: From the perspective of the woman

The woman:

  • Desolate: She was unclean could not be touched, could not participate in the community– so when she was restored it was to both health and community – 12 years of being left out excluded(ex. situation where you have felt left out) physically desolate
  • Desperate: She would have had to overcome many barriers to get to Jesus that day
    • Her community
    • Her physical health
    • Faced disgrace/disgust - whispers
    • Faith - “if only I touch his clothes I will be healed”  -  If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole—that is, if I may but come in contact with this glorious Healer at all. Remarkable faith!
    • Action – she went out into the crowd, pushed her way through, reached out and touched Jesus’ clothes
  • Delivered
    • “At once the bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.”
    • But Jesus didn’t stop there: He made her healing public – she reached out in faith and received a face to face with Jesus.
    • I imagine how afraid she was – her an unclean woman touching Jesus! What would he do?
      • She bore her heart – told him the whole truth
  • He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
    • Be healed: whole, sound, healthy
    • Be continually healed, continually whole (perfect tense)
    • Peace, wholeness – these are the signs of heaven touching earth

Our journey:

  • As the body of Christ we are to be the bearers of this wholeness now!
  • Whole people see things in their wholeness and thus create wholeness
  • We are to be continually whole – evangelicals can often view it as a one-time thing – it is a journey – Greek orthodox would say “I am being saved”.
  • Are we desperate for Jesus for a face to face with Jesus? Are we pursuing him with desperation for this wholeness – do we have the faith of this woman?
  • What are our barriers?
    • Theological – sometimes we only hear with our heads, leading us to pride, that we have all the answers – maybe you struggle with a belief that is supposed to be a typical Christian belief or a warped belief about God from a past experience - take it to Jesus, touch his garment, bring it to him!
    • Relational – have you been hurt by Christians and this reflects your view of God or relationship with him? 
    • Emotionalism – have you had a bad experience that has made you afraid of emotion – our relationship with God should be an emotional one, intimacy is emotional, our culture can tend to make it heady, a knowledge that we know, God is relational and our emotions are a part of that.
    • Busyness – have we filled our life so full that we have no time for intimacy with Jesus – Look how this woman fought so many barriers to just touch his garment – we have access to Jesus now – he can be more real and intimate to us than anything we know – reach out touch his garment – It will lead to an intimate encounter!
    • Anger Disappointment– are we angry at God for something – this usually comes from a warped view of something that has happened and God’s responsibility in it – take it to him.
    • Something we have done that we think we can’t be forgiven for – ocean of love wave after wave of mercy.
    • To usher in heaven here and now and continue what Jesus brought we need to first be whole!
    • Will we break through our barriers and reach out to touch his clothes so to speak, do we believe that no matter what the barrier he wants to restore us to wholeness to meet us face to face? – maybe heart to heart is a better term for us now.
    • If we reach out – He will bring wholeness and intimacy.

Divide into twos at the most threes – discuss - what is your barrier? – pray for each other

Write your barrier on the cards that were passed out. When the pieces of cloth are passed out wrap the barrier in the cloth as a reminder: “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole”