Summary: Jesus came for those who have fame and for those who live in shame.
The Power of Touch
Rev. Brian Bill
June 4-5, 2016
Ed Stetzer recently tweeted: “In 5 days: 700 refugees drowned off Greece, 9000 babies were aborted in the U.S., 68 were shot in Chicago…and a gorilla dominated the news.”
Last Saturday a young boy climbed a railing, squeezed through a fence and fell into the mote within the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. A 450-pound gorilla named Harambe dragged the toddler through the water twice and so zoo officials killed the animal. Zoo director Thane Maynard said, “We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made.”
This event has set off a heated and even hateful cultural conversation.
Here are some actual headlines…
• Parents Get Death Threats
• Shooting an Endangered Animal is Worse than Murder
• Probe into Possible Criminal Charges
And social media was anything but social…
• How many people supporting the shooting of a gorilla? Shoot the parents.
• SAVE A GORILLA, SHOOT A BAD MOTHER.
• Murdering an endangered gorilla? We are already overpopulated with kids! Where are the stupid parents?
• We have a dead person on our hands.
Let me just say that while it is sad that a beautiful and endangered animal was killed, this animal was not a person. People must always take precedence over animals because we are made in the image of God and thus have great worth and value. Albert Mohler is right when he says that human dignity is at stake in our culture.
So much of our cultural confusion is corrected in the very first book of the Bible. Genesis 1:26-27: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ [Human beings have been given dominion over animals] So God created man in his own image, [that’s why abortion, racism and suicide are wrong] in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them [it’s clear that God created our gender].”
And Genesis 2:24 declares that the divine design for marriage is one man and one woman in a covenant relationship for life: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
As we’ve been walking through the Gospel of Mark we’ve been learning that Jesus is both servant and Savior. We’ve seen that Jesus cares for crowds and He cares for individuals. I’m reminded of what He declared in Matthew 12:12: “Of how much more value is a man than a sheep!”
We have established that Jesus is Lord over the deep and the demons and today we’ll discover that He is Lord over disease and death.
Last week we saw that Jesus delivered a man who lived among the dead. He was self-destructing and Satan was also destroying him. After Jesus delivered him, he was deployed to live on mission to his friends and family as he was unleashed to minister to his neighbors and to the nation made up of ten key cities.
Speaking of deployment, I’m thrilled that Kyle and Liesl Parks are in the process of being deployed to serve the youth and young adults of the QCA. They accepted an offer on their home in South Carolina and have also made an offer on a house in Rock Island. We’re still working out the details related to their arrival but Kyle will be going on the Ignite Camping Trip July 8-9 and will also be joining the high schoolers in Colorado July 10-15 for their camp.
A Man in Need
Grab your Bibles and turn to Mark 5:21-43. As I percolated on this passage, I wrote down this summary statement: Jesus came for those who have fame and for those who live in shame. Jesus will receive you whether you are respected or rejected, or somewhere in between. We will see how much Jesus values a man, a woman and a young child.
Verse 21 gives us the setting: “And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea.” This crowd was no doubt waiting for his return from the other side of the lake. In the midst of all these fans, some sincere followers break through and express their belief. We’ve asked this before but it bears repeating: Are you a fickle fan or a faithful follower?
With crowds of people pressing in on Jesus, verse 22 says: “Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet.” We’re given the name of this man of distinction. Jairus comes from “Jair,” taken from one of Israel’s judges and means, “Jehovah Enlightens.” This man who had some fame, fell in humility at the feet of Jesus. He’s in crisis and needs the help that only Christ can provide. His “child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made.”