Summary: “And when he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping’.” Mark 5:39
Man was created in the image and likeness of God with power to make choices. These choices determine the quality of our lives and our eternal destiny. Eve made the choice to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil rather than the fruit of the tree of life and convinced Adam to follow her example. They chose spiritual and physical death rather than eternal life. They made the wrong choice although God had warned them that the day they ate “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17) They could have eaten of the fruit of all the other trees in the garden that included the fruit of the tree of life but chose to eat the one forbidden fruit. Their disobedience cost them their home in the Garden of Eden and God placed a “cherubim with a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life”. (Gen. 3:24) This was for their own good to prevent them from eating the fruit of the tree of life and living forever in their sinful state. God already had a plan to redeem man. His only Son, Jesus Christ, would become a man, defeat Satan and conquer death.
Step One: Sin changed the world
a) It ushered in death
The sin of disobedience changed the world. It ushered in death “for the wages of Sin is death”. (Rom 6:23) At Creation Adam and Eve were pure and without sin. Sin changed their godly nature and that of their descendants for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners.
b) It affected fellowship with God
Sin cost Adam and Eve their relationship with God and affected their fellowship with Him. God is a righteous Judge and no sinful person could come before His presence. Adam and Eve knew this and hid from Him because sin had left them naked.
c) It blocks access to God’s provisions
Sin does not only separate us from God Who is the source of life, it also blocks our access to God’s abundant provisions. Without access to these provisions we end up experiencing lack, poverty, sickness and disease.
Sin makes us self-righteous and self-centred. It makes us think we do not need God and can get all that the world has to offer without Him. It makes us judgemental believing we are better than others and fills us with envy when others appear better off than we are and makes us rejoice at their downfall. David is described as a man after God’s own heart because he was different. He was sad when he heard the news about the death of Saul and Jonathan. His words and behaviour showed no hint of ill feelings towards Saul. It seemed he had already forgiven Saul and had forgotten all the years of injustice and oppression he had suffered at his hands. His behaviour reflected his feelings of love and admiration for Saul.
Forgiveness is enlightened self-interest. It is in our own interest to forgive because God forgives us much more than we can ever forgive.
Step Two: The healing of the sick
a) Jesus had compassion for the sick
God is love and Jesus had compassion for all those in need and went around healing the sick. When He came into contact with suffering He knew exactly the source of the problem and the reason for their suffering.
b) Jesus knew suffering was not God’s will
Jesus knew that suffering was not God’s will. He knew that it was sin that had ceded man’s authority to the devil and his intention was to make man as miserable as possible to frustrate God’s purpose. Luckily for man God’s purpose can be delayed but it cannot be stopped.
c) Jesus knew He had authority over sickness
Jesus Christ knew His identity and that He had authority over sickness and disease. He knew the devil had nothing of his in Him since He was born of a virgin and had no sin nature. That is the reason why “He was tempted in all ways as we are yet was without sin”.
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. The Word of God carries a measure of faith that is available to every person. Faith believes God and is the only thing that really impresses Him. Jesus identified faith as the source of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood. Faith not only believes God but acts upon His Word. The woman heard about Jesus and believed that by touching the hem of His garment, she would be healed and she acted on what she believed. This woman had been isolated and denied fellowship in the Synagogue and with other people because of her condition. Her faith overcame all obstacles in her way. A woman with an issue of blood was forbidden by the Law to appear in public or touch another person. She, however struggled in her weakened condition to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. The hem of His garment refers to the tassels placed at the corners of the Jewish prayer shawl. These tassels represented the 613 commandments contained in the Torah and are also referred to as wings. Touching the hem of the garment being worn by the One who had fulfilled the Law, the woman was declaring that Christ was the Messiah and that “The Sun of righteousness had come with healing in His wings”. (Mal. 4:2)