Summary: Despite all the odds, we'll learn 5 keys to move from Chained to Claimed.

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Against All Odds (From Chained to Claimed)

Scripture Reference: Luke 8:43-48

Preached at Mount Zion Baptist Church on June 23, 2019

Delivered by Rev. John Daniel Johnson

Last week we began this message entitled “Against All Odds.” In the message last week we learned of Jairus and his dilemma. His 12-year-old daughter was dying. He knew that the one way to save the life of his only daughter was by seeking the help of the great Doctor. Knowing this, he left his social status, cared less what the crowd thought of him, and fell at the feet of Jesus. He had a problem and the only way to fix that problem was found in Jesus. When you’re desperate for Jesus, you don’t care who’s watching.

The first three Gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) all record this wonderful story. Scripture tells us that while Jairus was asking Christ to have pity on this young girl. Along the way back to Jairus’ house, news came that the daughter had died. After hearing this news, Jesus told Jairus to have faith and believe. Jesus then continued to the house of Jairus, and raised the young girl from the dead. While the whole crowd, both friends and family, were at the funeral, Jesus walked in and brought revival.

Sandwiched right in the middle of this wonderful story of Christ’s resurrection power, is another miracle that brought life to a woman with a condition that had plagued her for 12 years. The first three Gospels record this event. Last week we read of Mark’s account of this miracle, but today we’ll read from Doctor Luke’s account. Turn with me if you will to the 8th Chapter of the Book of Luke. This morning we’ll continue our message to discover what odds this woman had to overcome to alter the direction of her life.

Now I don’t want you to miss this. It is vitally important, even before we read the Scripture, that we understanding this critically important principle. In the miracle of the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the miracle curing this woman, our focus is often on the recipient of the miracle and not on the Source of the miracle.

We don’t worship Christ because of the miracles. We worship Him because of who He is. In both of these instances, we see that there was faith in Jesus before the miracles even occurred. It is so easy to get caught up in the story, that we forget the true object of the story. The focus, the central figure is not the daughter, or Jairus, or the woman, but our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

On the roof of many churches, including our wonderful church, we have a steeple. On top of that steeple is a cross, representing the cross of Calvary from which we are saved from our sins. The purpose of a steeple is so that it can be seen from great distances. When we pass by a building with a steeple, immediately people in the Western culture know that under that steeple is a church. It is the location where people gather to celebrate, worship and fellowship. But is that the real purpose of the steeple? Don’t think that for one moment! The steeple does not point people in the direction of the church, but points to the direction of Jesus.

If you’re looking for the answers in a church, you won’t find them. If you looking for help from Christian brothers and sisters, you won’t get it. Only when we fix our focus on Jesus will begin to understand. Fellowship is great. Worship is wonderful. However, our main goal this morning is to be reminded of Jesus. He’s the author and finisher of our faith. So, when we leave this building today, let’s not talk about the music, or the long-winded, fast-talking preacher. Let’s not let our focus be on the message or on the comfort level of the service, but on Jesus. Let’s leave talking about Jesus. He said…

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” ~ John 12:33

If we lift Him up, He’ll draw people to him. If we elevate Him, He’ll fill this house. If we elevate Him, He’ll bring the worship, the praise, and the fellowship. So this morning, let’s not lose focus on who this story is truly about. It’s not about Jairus, or the woman, but about the power of our LORD over His creation. I’ve learned over the years that when I stop being selfish and wanting my will and way, and start simply doing things to please the LORD, I receive an even greater blessing.

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