Summary: It is only a simple word, but it speaks to our deepest needs and longings. Do you need help?
Pt. 2 – The Help Place
I. Introduction – VIDEO ROLLIN
Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.
When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.
You will remember last week that I admitted that when we are young we really don’t think we need any help. It seems the older we get the more we realize that we all need assistance. So we talked about the Help prayer. It is perfect for any situation, any person, and is the most answered prayer. So I talked to you about the need to request help, to recognize and accept help, and to help others. I even told you that I believe most of us receive no help because we fail to request help. Jesus was constantly giving assistance to those who requested it. He turned water into wine due to request from His mother. He healed the blind as a direct result of request. He healed the lepers due to a petition to help. He calmed a storm because disciples cried out for help. He fed the 5,000 because they let it be known that they were hungry. He heals Jairus’ daughter because he asked Him to do so. So we need to request that assistance.
After looking at the Help Prayer I want to shift and talk to you about the Help Place. There were instances where no one asked for assistance and Jesus showed up and helped. I want us to look at three of those instances because I think they speak to the place that many of us may be in our personal lives. The truth is you may be in a place where you don’t feel like you can ask for help. This message is for you!
Mark 16:9 - Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils.
Luke 8:26-31- 26-29They sailed on to the country of the Gerasenes, directly opposite Galilee. As he stepped out onto land, a madman from town met him; he was a victim of demons. He hadn’t worn clothes for a long time, nor lived at home; he lived in the cemetery. When he saw Jesus he screamed, fell before him, and bellowed, "What business do you have messing with me? You’re Jesus, Son of the High God, but don’t give me a hard time!" (The man said this because Jesus had started to order the unclean spirit out of him.) Time after time the demon threw the man into convulsions. He had been placed under constant guard and tied with chains and shackles, but crazed and driven wild by the demon, he would shatter the bonds. 30-31Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Mob. My name is Mob," he said, because many demons afflicted him. And they begged Jesus desperately not to order them to the bottomless pit.
Luke 22:47-51 - 47While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" 49When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
III. The Help Place
1. Help came to the unlikely/unexpected place.
Help came to the unlikely/unexpected place.
Her name was Mary and she came from the town of Magdala, hence the term Magdalene. This Mary was the victim of a terrible, terrible evil. Possession by one devil would be bad enough, but her body had become the home of seven. We are not told what happened in her past that caused her to open herself up to demon possession. All we know is that her life had been arrested by evil. Mary Magdalene was living a helpless life, a hopeless life; she was a woman in terrible shape, a horrible case. Obviously, she was bound with something stronger than chains, for the iron that bound her was the powerful arms of hellish demon spirits that wrapped Mary of Magdala in their invisible grip. Mary could not help herself; she could not defend herself. She was enslaved.
The condition Mary was in is an important element of the story and certainly the most prominent feature of this account. However, there is a secondary feature of this story that is also worthy of our focus. Although Mary’s situation was terrible we must look past her condition to see her location. The Great Physician, wearing a peasant’s robe, at some point visited Magdala incognito. The little village was positioned on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee. It was a totally inconspicuous place. It commanded no strategic importance to Rome or to Jerusalem. It was a forgotten town. It was a little, one light, blip on the map and certainly wasn’t a destination for sight seers and most definitely not for a Savior. Jesus came to Magdala. It was an unlikely place to find the King of Glory! He went to an out of the way place. It was an unexpected place to find the Light of the world. He arrived there unsought. It is probably true that no one in Magdala was looking for Him. I’m convinced Jesus went to Magdala for one purpose and one purpose only, to look up a woman named Mary – and He found her. Please note that He found her; she did not find Him.