Summary: This sermon looks at the woman with the Issue of Blood. Jesus was determined to heal her body, mind and soul (Sozo). She almost settled for a mere physical (iaomai) healing. She almost settled for a lesser blessing. Are we tempted to do the same?
Scripture: Mark 5:21-34
Theme: Wholeness/Complete Healing
Title: SOZO Healing
This sermon looks at the woman with the Issue of Blood. Jesus was determined to heal her body, mind and soul (Sozo). She almost settled for only a physical (iaomai) healing. She almost settled for a lesser blessing. Are we tempted to do the same?
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer who came to take away the sin of our world!
To say that John Mark was a literary genius would be a gross understatement. The more you read his Gospel the more you are impressed with how he writes and how he allowed the Holy Spirit to give him the words to put down on parchment. This morning's Gospel lesson is a testament to his ability to flow in the leading and guidance of God's Holy Spirit.
Our story or rather stories this morning have been referred to as a sandwich passage. That is to say, our passage seems to have one main story with a smaller yet very important secondary story meshed right in the middle.
The passage starts out with Jesus returning from his trip from across the Sea of Galilee where he had freed a man of a legion of demons. You can read all about that in the first part of Mark chapter five. It is an amazing story of freedom, deliverance and discipleship in its own right.
Anyway, the news quickly got out that Jesus was back and Mark tells us that a great crowd of people had gathered on the shore line just waiting for Jesus to get out of the boat so that they could once again hear his words, be in his presence and hopefully see him heal someone or free them from bondage. However, before Jesus can get back his land legs this man named Jarius comes running up, falls at Jesus' feet and begs him to leave the crowd and come back to his house. His precious little girl is dying and Jarius believes that Jesus has the supernatural power to heal her. All Jesus needs to do is to come as quickly as he can to his house and touch the girl.
You can imagine the shock that went through the crowd that had gathered on that shore line. No one wants a little girl to die. Much less a little girl of one of the men who were their local spiritual leaders. Jarius was one of the ones that had led their Jewish worship services, that had taught them the Torah and that had helped their families when they were in need.
I can imagine everyone quickly getting up and begin leading Jesus towards Jarius' house. Time was of the greatest essence. Jesus needed to get to this little girl as soon as possible. No one or nothing could get in his way. I can see people gathering up their stuff, making sure the path was open for Jesus. I can see people running on ahead to tell the family that Jesus was on his way. Don't lose hope, the healer from Nazareth is coming.
It is right there that the sandwich part of our story takes over. Jesus gets slowed down. In fact, Jesus gets stopped. A little lady who had suffered from some type of blood disease (most likely some type of cancer) caused quite a scene.
Oh, she had not meant to cause anything. She actually just wanted to touch Jesus' robe and then move out of the way. She really didn't want anyone to see her or even to know that she was around. She was trying to be as discreet as possible.
Mark shares with us that for the past 12 years she had been doing her best to get well. But no matter how many people had tried to help her she couldn't find a cure. And now, after 12 years she was almost out of money and hope. We are led to believe that she had just about exhausted all her options and was at her wits end.
Some where she got the idea - "I will touch his robe" and I will be made whole. Matthew tells us that she just touched the hem of his garment where the little blue tassels were attached. She had this idea that if she just touched something that belong to Jesus then perhaps, some way, somehow she would be made whole.
It's amazing the things that we will be willing to do when we get desperate isn't it? Twelve years is a long time to have to deal with a continual life interrupting bleeding issue. Twelve years is a long time to go from this doctor and to that doctor and realize that no one can find the answer to your problem. Twelve years is a long time to take all kinds of medicines and cures only to realize in the end you are worse off than you were at the beginning. Twelve years is a long time to hold on to hope that perhaps the next doctor or the next bottle of medicine will finally be the cure.