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OVERWHELMED - Overwhelmed by Sickness

OVERWHELMED - Overwhelmed by Sickness


Series: Overwhelmed

Passage: Mark 5:21-36

Speaker: Steve Horn


Overwhelmed by Sickness

Mark 5:21-36

Dr. Steve Horn

March 30, 2008

Text IntroductionWe are in the middle of a series on Life’s Overwhelming Experiences.  We have entered a phase of our study where we are considering several specific subjects that can often overwhelm us.  Today, we consider the subject of being overwhelmed by sickness.  Some of you are living that right now.  Others of you are living through the illness of someone you love.  Others of us need to be prepared for when that moment comes for us.


Our text today is in a section of the Gospel of Mark that contains several examples of Jesus’ authority.  Going back to chapter 4, Jesus is shown to be one who is in authority over the weather.  In chapter 5, He is shown to be one who is in authority over demons.  Now, beginning in 5:21, He is being shown as one who has authority over disease.


Text21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”
36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

IntroductionI must tell you that I have approached this sermon with much fear this week.  I think that fear is drawn from several real issues for me.  First, it would be easy to be misunderstood.  I want to settle one thing right now before we go any further into this subject.  You will not find one shred of evidence in the Bible that great faith heals you and a lack of faith kills you.  As I was preparing this week, I ran across this news item.  In Weston, Wisconsin, this week, an 11-year old little girl died of diabetes because her parents would not take her to the doctor.  Instead they prayed for her healing.  When she got worse, they just simply called more people to pray.  When she died, her parents attributed her death to the fact that “they apparently didn’t have enough faith.”  Somewhere, these parents became misinformed and misguided about faith and healing.  I don’t want that to happen to any of us.

Second, this is a difficult message, because I am aware that some people are healed and some people are not.  About a year ago, I preached on the subject of Jehovah Rophe.  I want to make the same statement today that I made then.

You will never figure out why some are healed and some are not!


Paul gives us a good example of that in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, “7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The third difficult issue that I face this morning is that some of you have Ph.D.s in the school of suffering with sickness while I am still in Preschool.  What do I have to say to you?  Well, as always, we find our hope in the Word of God.

I want you to see in our text today four reassurances when we are faced with the overwhelming difficulty of sickness.  I will say a word about these four reassurances and then I will invite you to pray with me for those who are in need of God’s healing today.

  1. God sees      your sickness

When we started this series, I shared with you that one of things that we must always know is that God knows.  We’ve been singing this song, “He Knows my Name.”  I want you to be reminded today that God knows your sickness. 

One of the powerful points of this text is how two accounts of sickness are woven into one story.  We see first the request of Jairus.  He is a ruler of the synagogue.  That is, he is a person of some importance.  In fact, when we meet the woman, Jesus is on the way to Jairus’ house.  I can’t help but think what Jairus must have done when Jesus stopped.  I can’t help but think that Jairus wanted to say, “Jesus, come on.  My daughter is about to die.”  But, in this weaving together of the two stories the point is made.  The sickness of lowly woman was as important as the sickness of the high ranking official’s daughter.  God sees your sickness.  You may think it is not important to him.  You might think there is someone more important.  You might think that there is something more important.  The wonderful thing about our Heavenly Father is that He loves us all.  He cares for us all.  He doesn’t put priorities on people, events, or things—Everyone is His priority. 

Do you need more proof?  Fast forward from this story to the very end of Jesus’ life.  He tells His disciples as they begin to go to Jerusalem that He will suffer and die when they arrive in Jerusalem.  The journey to Jerusalem begins, but on the road to Jerusalem, Jesus encounters two blind men.  They cry out to Jesus for healing.  In fact, the multitude traveling with Jesus tells the men to be quiet, but Jesus stops.  He heals the two blind men.  Think about it.  This is Jesus’ final days.  The weight of His final week in Jerusalem is surely upon Him, but He’s not too busy to heal two anonymous blind men while on a journey to pay for the sins of the whole world.

I’m convinced that God sees our sickness.

  1. God invites      you to reach out to Him.

I am drawn to this text, particularly the woman’s story because her story is a picture of what we have been talking about for the last several weeks.  Her story is a story of being overwhelmed.  Look at the features of her overwhelming experience:  12 years, flow of blood (which in her context meant that she had been ceremonially unclean throughout this whole time), she had spent all she had.  So, there was physical, emotional, and financial difficulty.  What was the result?  She was no better; she was worse.  Overwhelmed!

But when she heard about Jesus, she reached out to touch Jesus.  I read this week something that I like.  Another preacher made the point, “In every miracle, there is a parable.”[1]  That is, every miracle has a message.  The message is clear in this miracle.  Jesus’ statement to the woman in verse 34 drives the message home:  “Your faith has made you well.”  Jesus wanted to be clear that touching Him was not the key, her faith was the key.

Indeed we must reach out to Jesus in faith.  We do not know what God’s will is for our healing, but we must have the faith that He can heal.

  1. God wants      your witness.

Here is the most exciting part of this text.  Why did Jesus call the woman out of the crowd?  Was it to heal her?  NO!  She had already been healed.  (v. 29)  Was she called out so that Jesus could identify her?  NO!  It sounds kind of contradictory, does it not, that Jesus could have the power to heal this woman, but not the ability to pick her out of the crowd.  So, if she was not called out of the crowd to be healed and not called out so that Jesus could know who He healed, why was she called out of the crowd?  The answer seems to be so that she could give a witness.  Others needed to know what had just happened.  Jairus needed to know what had just happened.  Look what happens next.  “While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead.” 

Part of the reason that you need to reach out to Jesus for healing is so that you can give a witness when He heals.  Other people are going to need that word of witness.

  1. God promises      you peace.

People ask me from time to time “what is the worst part of being a pastor?”  You know what I think it is.  It’s going to someone’s room in the hospital and the doctor has just left with good news.  He said, “The surgery was successful.  Everything is going to be o.k.  You will be good as new in a few days.”  Then, you walk down the hall to another room, and the family is there crying.  The doctor has just left the room with bad news.  They begin to explain, “The doctor said unless there is a miracle, he only has a few days to a few weeks to live.”  How do you reconcile these two hospital rooms?  You come to terms with these two rooms only by the peace of God. 

For some of you, God is going to give you peace in healing.  For some of you, God desires to give you peace through dying.  As a believer, you win either way.  So, if you want to have peace either way, you must be ready to die.  In fact, you are really not ready to live until you are ready to die.  So, are you ready to die?  As you think about that question, I want you to watch a video clip of a man who is dying. 

Clip of Sammy Gilbreath

We are going to have a time of commitment and praying this morning.  It is going to be a little different than other times.  We are going to ask those of you who are overwhelmed with sickness to come to the front and pray with someone.  As always, those needing to reach out to Jesus for salvation from sin are invited.  Would you come? 

[1] David Dykes, sermon on parallel passage in Luke.