Summary: Is life getting too much to handle? Read this.
When Things are Too Much to Handle Mark 5
Jeff Russell Friendship Baptist Church, Langenselbold, Germany
In my mind this morning is the picture of my six year old daughter trying to help us with the laundry. She picked up a clothes basket of wet clothes and tried to make her way up the stairs with them. She was making good progress until, at about the sixth step, her strength just gave out. Exhausting and huffing and puffing, she called out for me to help her. “Daddy”, she says, “This is just too much for me to handle!”
There are those times when life presents us with things that are too big for us to handle. We can become mired in the situation and there is no way out. Disease, death,
depression and debt. Sometimes it is not us, but someone we love and would gladly trade places with them if we could. In this story from the fifth chapter of Mark we will learn that we can trust Jesus for things that are too big for us, because nothing is too big for Jesus. Not only that, but He traded places with us. In our text, two very different people are confronted with problems that are far too big for them. First, there is a
synagogue official. Here is a man of stature in his community, a family man, a person
of means, confronted with something too big for him: his precious, twelve year old
daughter is deathly ill. Nothing they have done for her has helped. She is on the very
brink of death. Then there is someone else, a nameless woman. She has been
hemorrhaging for twelve years. Her problem has rendered her a social outcast-walking
pollution. She isn’t even allowed to enter in to that synagogue. Her theology is based
on superstition. She has no family that we know of, and no money; it has all been spent
on the latest remedies. She has tried everything, but this thing is too big.
Mark brings these two very different people together, because they each teach us
the same lesson: we can trust Jesus for the things that are too big for us because
nothing, not even death, is too big for Jesus. I want you to observe some things which
these two people teach us about trusting Jesus in these situations.
I. We trust Jesus by coming to Him despite the obstacles. Both Jairus and the
woman do something that is so obvious that we might miss it: they both come to Jesus.
Trusting Jesus means that we come to Him. Sometimes, however, that’s the hardest
thing for us to do, because certain obstacles get in the way. Let’s look at these
obstacles two very different people had face to face. As a synagogue official, Jairus
was part of the religious establishment, and Jesus and this establishment were not
getting along-to say the least. They were already plotting to destroy Jesus. And as
chairman of the board of elders in the local synagogue, Jairus would have wanted to
remain in good standing with the scribes and Pharisees. Perhaps it was even in this
man’s synagogue that Jesus had sparked so much controversy by healing on the
Sabbath. These men might have already gone head to head. But pain has a way of
bringing us to our senses. Jails overcomes his pride, and perhaps even his fear of
rejection, and comes to Jesus. He comes to Jesus publicly, as Jesus is surrounded by a
great crowd; coming humbly, falling at Jesus’ feet.
The woman faced obstacles too. By Old Testament standards, she was unclean.
She was supposed to keep her distance from everyone. But she overcomes her sense of
shame and fear that she might contaminate others. That’s why she tries to slip through
the crowd and comes to Jesus without anyone knowing about it. She is thinking, “No
one will see me. I’ll just touch His cloak.” Like others in her day, she was superstitious,
believing that a person’s power was transferred by the garments they wore. Yet she
comes, with her misguided faith, despite her fear and shame, and Jesus heals her. There
are two obstacles that can keep us from Jesus if we allow them to. Either we are too
important, like Jairus, or we think ourselves too unimportant, like the woman. For
some, it is a matter of pride-”I can handle this myself,” they say. As we saw with the
Babylonian king last week, its remarkable that such people seemingly live up to their
view of themselves. They make a good living. They have model families,. Their
children are accepted in all the right schools. They never get in trouble with the law.
Sure, they have problems and challenges like everybody else, but they always seem to