Summary: Discover the counter-cultural ethic that Jesus utilized as he ministered and saved the human race.
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
From the Sermon Series: “Ten Cultural Myths that Drive America”
We are in the final stages of our sermon series, “Ten Cultural Myths that Drive America.” It is taken from the first six chapters of Mark. We discovered that Jesus’ worldview goes against the grain of much in mainstream America. We are highlighting different slogans or aphorisms that are imbedded into the American psyche. They reinforce our cultural philosophies. Specifically we have looked at:
• Might Makes Right (Mark 1:1-12) –we saw Christ’s counter-cultural ethic of serving humanity rather than working from a position coercion and manipulation.
• Image is Everything (Mark 1:32-39) – Jesus rejects this Western value. Jesus had the crowds eating out of his has but walked away from the populace specifically because their ambitions did not coincide with those of the Heavenly Father’s.
• Shop ‘till You Drop (Mark 2:13-17) - Jesus reminds us that there are better ways to find meaning in life than materialism.
• Rules are Made to be Broken (Mark 2:18 – 3:6 -) Jesus rebukes and challenges the worldview which says the ends justify means. Jesus says there is no place to bend or violate God’s eternal law. Period.
• Live and Let Live (Mark 3:1-6) Jesus challenges the individualism that dictates so much of the American lifestyle choices and offers us an alternative; community.
• Good Things Come to Those Who … Wait (Mark 4:1-20) Jesus calls us to task and challenges us not to delay when it comes to the maintenance of the soul.
• If It Feels Good, Do It … Wait (Mark 5:1-20) Jesus offers a solution to the “feel good” philosophy and quest for sensual gratification that drives our culture.
In coming weeks we will look at other slogans that have become embedded into our value system; other idioms that define us and motivate us as a people. We will look at:
• Stand Up For Your Rights - Mark 5:17, 6:1-6
• When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do – Mark 6:15-29
But today we will look at Mark 5:24-30
24So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
31"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, ’Who touched me?’ "
32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
NOTE: While Pastor Ken was talking, someone was handing him large boxes from off-stage. They all had the word “Impossible” on them. Pastor Ken was building a large (and tall) wall with these random sized boxes.
Some of you know that while I lived in Oklahoma I was in law enforcement. I was a part-time deputy sheriff. That’s a long story for another day. While I was in academy they drilled a few skills into us so deeply that they became instinct … they were tactical survival skills. Even after academy they were rehearsed and rehashed routinely.
One of the things that they never tired of talking to you about (and rightly so) was the danger of “tunnel vision.” When your in a high speed chase, or your life is threatened, or danger emerges, you tend to focus your whole being on the immediate threat. That’s problematic because if another threat is nearby you may never see it coming.
Tunnel vision (or “target fixation”) limits your alternatives and your perception of threat.
Have you ever thought about the possibility that when a problem emerges in your life that you might have “tunnel vision”? I think it is a very real cause of many people’s defeat.
Have you ever felt as if God has forgotten all about you? Have you ever prayed and it seemed as if nothing GOOD was happening?
Think of how this story could have ended up if the lady in question had operated like that.