S-1505 5SAP/3B 6/28/2015 Hymns: (O) #568; (S) #338; L.S. #394; #315 (C) #47
Texts: Psalm 30; Lamentations 3:22-33; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43
Theme: “Power that Changes Lives!” (Mark 5:25-30)
Question: Have you experienced the power of God in your life?
IN NOMINE IESU
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost is from the Gospel reading: “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If I touch even His garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had gone out from Him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” (Mark 5:25-30).
Saints in Christ today, again, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit we are given a glimpse of Jesus as He demonstrates His power—power that changes lives not for a day but forever. Through the writing of St. Mark we see Jesus performing gracious acts of mercy by touching people whose lives were difficult and hard. Last week, we noticed His power over the wind and wave. Today that power is manifested in another way. In the reading before our appointed text, we read of Jesus healing a demon possessed man from the suffering and pain he endured while living among the tombs. By God’s grace and the touch of Jesus he was made whole and became His follower.
As we look at the text we see a large crowd following Jesus. Through these inspired words St. Mark tells us of two great miracles, showing Jesus’ power over Disease in healing the woman suffering from an issue of blood; and over Death in raising the daughter of Jairus.
In the midst of this throng an event happened that changed the life of a woman who had spent her life’s saving going from one doctor to another but to no avail. Then she had heard of the Rabbi from Nazareth whose power was out of this world and He can do the impossible.
The unnamed woman followed Him from a distance and as she drew near with courage confessed that if she only touched the hem of His garment she would be healed. Talk about faith! With trembling hands she reached out and touched His garments and immediately her body was completely healed. No more money for doctor visits or medicine, no more seeking ways to feel comfortable. She is healed because the Divine Physician—Jesus Christ removed this ailment once and for all. His power has changed her life. PAUSE.
But His power is not limited only to disease but also over death. While Jesus was still visiting with this healed woman, word had gotten to Him that the young lady is dead. Through the mighty power of the Word that left His lips, He comforted Jairus saying, “Do not fear, only believe.” And He allowed no one to follow Him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
This woman and Jairus teach us much about faith. Faith is active. Faith is alive. Faith is real. Are we willing to come in faith and touch Jesus? Are we willing to acknowledge that our whole life is empty unless we are touched by His pierced hands? Are we willing to confess that we need His help to make us whole not only physically, but more importantly spiritually?
Keep in mind this is not an altar call. The only altar call you have is come and kneel at this rail where Jesus touches you. Here by the Holy Spirit we can come to Him and be touched by His Divine grace and undeserved love. To be sure, He touches us in this place at the font with the power of the Word and the splash of water. Here He touches us with His holy blood to wash away our sins. Here He touches us with His holy meal of love to make us stronger and healthier.
The Great Physician and Divine Son of God touch us today intimately with His hands of grace. He touches us with the power of the Gospel, forgives our sins and clothes us with the garments of righteous. Through the power of the Gospel He sends us as His ambassadors of mercy and compassion to a world that so desperately need to know Him intimately.
More than ever we ought to be on the front line speaking of this power that changes lives. Our world today is being attacked from every corner. I am certain you heard of the Supreme Court decision on Friday that gave a mandate that gay marriages will be performed in all 50 states. These people feel empowered now. But they are wrong. And, we, His followers must stand up and speak the truth in love stating we must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).
We can learn from the disciples who were challenged just like us. In Acts 4 they were challenged by the Sanhedrin to give them an answer by what power did they heal a cripple man? Listen to the voice of Luke telling us of the great confession of “Peter Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’” (Acts 4:8-12). PAUSE.
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ there is power in God’s Word—Jesus the Christ. His power is earth shaking. His power is eternal. His power doesn’t submit to the court or legislature or majority vote. His power comes to us as we are gathered around Font and Rail and receive the blessings He offers us.
There is power through the touch of Jesus. He touches us even today. He touches us through His Word. He touches us with His body and blood and our lives are changed forever. There is power in His Words. In the touch of His Word, we are killed and made alive. In the touch of His Word what is bleeding is made whole. It was true to the woman. It was true for Jairus. And it is true for you and me! As we step into this text, we are called to see ourselves in both of these figures of faith.
There are times when we are very much like the woman, bearing a never-ending sense of sin and uncleanness. Then there are the times when we are like Jairus, feeling the sting of the pain of death. For these times and every time in between, Jesus comes to touch us with His Word of power, pardon and peace! Yes, He touches us by the power of His Word always and changes our lives. PAUSE.
Saint in Christ, just imagine the great joy produced by the “Touches of the Savior”...The joy of the woman who touched Jesus…the joy of the parents whose child was touched by Jesus and restored to life. The unnamed woman is healed, and Tabitha is raised by the power.
That power is here today to bless you and make you whole. That power is not the voice of the majority, but the life-giving Word of the Messiah who came to earth to offer His life as the ultimate Sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. Anyone who is touched by the tree of the cross shall be healed forever and ever from sin, death and the devil.
Oh, the joy that fills our hearts today. For we too, have been touched and will be touched soon with the medicine of immortality. And as this power comes upon us and touches us, we are refreshed, renewed and revived to become His agents to touch others and bring His mercy and compassion to them.
Yet, we, as the woman, reach out our hand at the altar of Holy Communion to touch and be touched by the mercy and through the grace of God. So come, dear saints, hands extended, hearts open wide to believe this touch is sufficient to heal all life’s issues, to calm every fear, and terror. By the Spirit power we go forth from this place loving and serving as our Lord Christ this broken and misguided world.
May He whose power is eternal, continue to touch you with His hands of mercy and equip you to be His messengers of grace, mercy and compassion to the ends of the earth. Amen.
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA