Summary: o provide an exposé of the things that keep us from the presence of Christ.


Matthew 9:18-26

Sermon Objective: To provide an exposé of the things that keep us from the presence of Christ.

Supporting Scripture :Mark 9:23; Mark 11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 6:10-13; 1 Peter 5:8


We are over midway through a series called Lessons From the Garden. You are aware that there are characteristics of many fruits & vegetables which we can learn from and transfer in different ways to life.

Past sermons included:

• “A Lesson from the Onion” - Christ’s love infiltrates our environment and spreads in surprising ways, just like the smell and taste of onions.

• “A Lesson from Asparagus.,” – Like the “detestable vegetable”, real ministry and a sense of brokenness may not look good or be easy to swallow but it is sure good for our spiritual health.

• “A Lesson from the Potato.” - joy and celebration for Christ’s grace and presence have as many expressions as the ways we eat potatoes.

Our final sermon from the garden will be:

• The Strawberry (9:35-38)

Today’s sermon is A Lesson From Garlic.


There are some garden grown products whose reputation precedes them. They are known WELL in advance of their arrival. One such item is garlic. When a person has been eating a garlic-laden food they need not tell you about it -- you know!

Yes, garlic is a food which many people enjoy eating but which other people don’t enjoy you eating. Although it adds specific flavor to foods, it puts a stench on one’s breath. It tends to repel close encounters.

In fact, that is one of the most well known trademarks of garlic; it repels. Garlic repels everything from mythical vampires to lovers to some diseases and ailments.

That distinctive element of garlic has a parallel in the spiritual realm. There are enemies and entities which need to be warded-off (repelled).

The despair and defeat which accompanies death comes to mind as a viable candidate. And Matthew 9:18-26 gives us insight about how to repel this formidable foe.

The Text

18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”

19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.

21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.

23 When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd,

24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.

25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.

26 News of this spread through all that region.


We walk by faith not by sight. {2 Corinthians 5:7}

Invite the Presence of Jesus (vv. 18-19)

You probable noticed as we read this text that the PRESENCE OF DEATH IS EVERYWHERE. Not only is the ruler’s daughter dead but the hemorrhaging woman is certain to die. She is waiting on the last installment of death to arrive. But into this dark scene comes The One with the power to change it all -- Jesus Christ.

My father-in-law is particularly sensitive to garlic. It effects him adversely. He is so sensitive to it that if family members have eaten at a Italian Restaurant, for example, he can smell it on them even as they enter the room. In fact, he has a hard time being in the same room with the smell of garlic. DEATH AND JESUS HAVE A SIMILAR RELATIONSHIP. THE FEAR AND PARALYSIS THAT ACCOMPANIES DEATH AND JESUS CANNOT BE MUTUAL PARTNERS AT THE SAME GATHERING. WHEN CHRIST COMES DEATH FLEES!

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Maybe you find yourself preoccupied with thoughts of death and despair. The answer is to find life by inviting Jesus Christ to come and bring with Him certain victory and confidence. When the Savior comes He conquers the power which has overtaken you.

I am not a connoisseur of great art, but from time to time a painting or picture will really speak a clear, strong message to me. There is a picture of an old burned-out mountain shack. All that remained was the chimney...the charred debris of what had been that family’s sole possession. In front of this destroyed home stood an old grandfather-looking man dressed only in his underclothes with a small boy clutching a pair of patched overalls. It was evident that the child was crying. Beneath the picture were the words which the artist felt the old man was speaking to the boy. They were simple words, yet they presented a profound theology and philosophy of life. Those words were, "Hush child, God ain’t dead!"

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