Summary: Draw Near – Whatever It Takes
OPEN: Today I wanted to focus one more time on the topic of drawing near to God. In James we were told: "Come near to God and he will come near to you." This morning we are going to be looking at a woman who has a desperate faith. She was determined to get to Jesus not matter what it took. Nothing was going to stop her. A desperate faith will get us things that an ordinary faith won't ever experience. A desperate faith will receive things that it never has experienced before.
Jesus responds with a heart of love and compassion to people who do whatever it takes to draw near to him.
The kind of faith that always gets Jesus' attention is a desperate faith -- Jesus offers hope to the hopeless. -- I want you to hear that again -- some of you are going to be drifting off on your Sunday morning nap in a few moments so I want you to get this before you fall asleep -- Jesus offers hope to the hopeless. There is no one beyond God's compassion. It's amazing how many moments are given to us in the Bible that are just like this -- people who abandon every protocol imaginable and do whatever it takes to get closer to Jesus.
- The paralytic man and his friends who climb up on the roof a building where Jesus is speaking and cut a hole through the rood and then lower their friend down on a pallet with each one of the them hold onto a rope fastened to the pallet. Imagine what that would be like to actually have that happen here -- to have as we were meeting here today somebody so desperate to come in that they would jump onto our roof and cut a hole though it to gain access. Mk 2:1-12
- the leper -- a man with leprosy comes begging on his knees begging Jesus "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus says, I am willing and immediately the man was cured. Mark 1:40
- Blind Bartimaeus -- when Jesus came his way, he started crying out to Him, "Son of David have mercy on me" And his friends all told him to shut up -- but he completely ignores them and shouted all the more. Lk.18:35-42
- The prodigal son - Before the prodigal son would come to his father and receive the mercy offered to him, he had to first see his desperate situation, his hunger, his poverty, his rebellion, and his inevitable death. He had to first exhaust himself of his own resources so that he might cast himself upon the abundant and merciful resources of his father alone. Then only could he find true peace, comfort, and joy. Lk. 15:11-31
We all want faith like that, right? I mean am I stretching things to far to say that? Don't you want that kind of faith?
- the problem is we don't want the desperate situation that goes along with it, right?
Who wants desperation? We want stability not desperate situations. We don't like desperate situations because it screams at us that life is out of control. And who wants that? We want things to be calm and ordered and peaceful and in order -- we want stability in our finances, our friendships, our work life, our home life, our church. But the thing about the Gospel is that is always upsets the stability of this world. Have you noticed that?
God wants our stability and security to be rooted in Him and Him alone.
When we find security and stability in family, Jesus comes along and says you must love me and hate your mother and father and sister and brother and pick up your cross and follow me. If we find security in possessions he says, "Go sell all you have and give it to the poor and then come follow me." If we find stability and security in our own plans and aspirations, Jesus comes along and says you have to be willing to deny yourself and become a servant to everyone else and come and follow me. God wants us to live in a spot where our total dependence is upon him and him alone -- so that we can't cling to our families -- we can't cling to our possessions, we can't cling to our own agendas and comfort zones -- He simply wants us to cling to him. That's where he wants us to be. Finding our security and stability in him.
Context -- If you look over the passages that precede this passage you see Jesus displaying his power in a number of several circumstances. Mark 4: 35 - Jesus has the power to calm storms. He commanded a thunderstorm to settle down and there was instant tranquility. The beginning of chapter 5 - Jesus spoke to a demon-controlled man and calmed the storm raging in his mind. He has power over disturbances and demons. Today, we are going to see how Jesus has power over disease and death, as well. If Jesus can handle disturbances, demons, disease, and death, He can handle any need you have in your life!