Lesson 164-October 7, 2018
Lesson: “The Common Bond of Desperation”
Scripture: Mark 5: 21-43-key passages: Mark 5:21-26
Lesson Goal: “To ask and answer the question “where do we reach in our times of desperation?”
Introduction: As we continue our Life Focus study on “The Life and Ministry of Jesus” we look back to Mark 4:41. The disciples in response to Jesus’ miracle of calming the wind and the sea, “said to one another, who can this be that even the wind and sea obey Him?”
In todays Scripture passage and lesson, Jesus continues to provide the answer to the disciples’ question. Jesus has already demonstrated His authority and power over the demonic forces of evil. Today we find Him turn- ing His attention to the plea of one of the synagogue rulers. This ruler’s young daughter is at the “point of death.” Jesus honoring the request of the pleading father begins the journey to the house of the synagogue rul- er to heal the young girl. With a great multitude following and pressing upon Him, Jesus feels the literal touch of someone in ultimate desperation. Jesus stops and asks “who touched My clothes?” A helpless, broken woman with “fear and trembling” admits and acknowledges that she has reached and touched Him in her des- peration to be healed of her physical infirmity that she has battled for twelve agonizing years.
On this road, we see Jesus demonstrating His power and authority over sickness and illness.
(v21) Jesus now returns to the western shore of Galilee (Capernaum). Upon Jesus’ return a great multitude gathered. No doubt there were many and various needs represented by those in the crowd. But in this crowd were two people in states of desperation waiting anxiously to see and speak with Jesus. One was a desperate father whose little girl was sick and dying and the other an anonymous broken woman suffering from an incur- able blood disease.
(v22) The desperate father would be the first to approach Jesus. This man’s name was Jairus and he was an important official, “one of the rulers of the synagogue”. As an official of the synagogue he would be responsi- ble for the administration and details of administration concerning matters such as who would read the Scrip- tures and pray during the synagogue worship. Being a ruler of the synagogue was a valued position of honor. Jairus was well respected in the Jewish community. Jairus would have been well known with the religious community as well.
Jairus anxiously awaiting Jesus’ arrival quickly approaches Him with his plea of desperation. Jairus sees Jesus and in self abandonment falls at Jesus’ feet.
Question: What does it mean to fall at Jesus’ feet in total self-abandonment?
(v23) “and begged Him earnestly”- “to make a sincere, earnest plea.” Jairus is literally begging and pleading for Jesus’ help. For Jairus there can be no greater need than the need of this moment. Jairus was not seeking Jesus’ help for himself but for his little daughter. Jairus calls out to Jesus on her behalf.
Notice the manner in which Jairus expects the healing to occur. “Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” Please cross reference and read Mark 3:1-5, Mark 1:21-27, and Mark 1:40- 42.
Question: Based upon these verses do you think Jairus was familiar with Jesus and His ministry? Why?
(v24) So Jesus honoring His request, goes with him on a mission of healing. As with Jesus, often times a great multitude follows Him. Many are there to bring their needs to Him, some are there to watch and observe while still others are on a fault finding mission.
Question: What do you think Jairus was feeling and experiencing as Jesus walks with him toward his house?
(v25) In verse 25 we are told of a second person who had anxiously awaited Jesus’ arrival. She too was a per- son in absolute desperation. She rested her final hope in being able to seek Jesus’ help. In the midst of this great multitude of people there is one in desperate mode. So desperate if she can possibly just get close enough to Jesus to touch Him. Her faith and hope rest upon Jesus.
Please explain what it means for your faith and hope to rest upon Jesus.
(v25b) For twelve long years this woman had suffered with a most humiliating and tormenting disease. With her disease she suffered emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, religiously, and financially. For twelve long years she searched for answers but found none. She looked “for healing but continued to suffer.”
(v26) In fact, her condition worsened to the point that she had exhausted all avenues of hope and healing. No physician could offer or prescribe medicine to truly heal her (nothing worked). She was exhausted in every sense of the word. She was broke and broken.
She was not at the end of the rope, she had no rope. She found that her only hope was Jesus. Would Jesus dare to help a woman in her condition with the issue she would bring to Him?
Question: Have you ever wondered if Jesus could truly help you? Have you ever questioned in your despera- tion, “would Jesus even want to help you?” Please explain.
Here once again we have two very different people approaching Jesus. One is a well known Jewish official the other is an unknown and anonymous. One a well respected (man) the other a nameless (woman). One a “well to do” the other a “seemingly nobody”. But they share a very unique and common bond. As different as they seem to be they share a likeness, a commonality that breaches even the greatest chasms of difference. For both share a sincere desperation for Jesus. The common thread of desperation has woven them together.
May I share a word with you personally?
There are many things that make us different from the world’s perspective. The color of our skin may make us different, the way we talk may make us different, our background and track records may make us different, our socioeconomic level, and education may make us different, these are just to name a few. But may I offer to you what God has taught me and continues to teach me. It is this simple truth.
In true times of desperation all those differences seem to disappear.
When you look into the faces of those sitting in the waiting room with you waiting to hear their name called to go back for the next scan or imaging you don’t focus on the color of their skin, the kind of clothes they wear, or how they talk. You look past all that to understand that you share a common ground. That common ground that brought you here is cancer. In this waiting room you sense the same desperation even if no one speaks a word. One may be loud and somewhat boisterous, another may be quiet and reserve. One may be wearing cut off jeans with precut holes while another is wearing khakis and a polo. One may be bald while another has rainbow colored hair but all share a common desperation just look into their eyes.
As you look into the eyes of those that sit with you in this waiting room you feel the anxiousness, the anxiety, the dreaded fear of the unknown. In this room everyone has asked themselves a hundred times “what if.” There are many questions and so few answers but that’s okay for we are not alone. We see and begin to under- stand that they are many that walk this journey. We find an unexplainable kind of strength in knowing we do not sit here alone. For also in this room of desperation there is hope.
Our desperation has brought us together. We are learning and trying to figure out the “new normal” for our lives. But we know we are not alone. We may not know the names of those that share this waiting room with us but in a strong but strange way we know them. Our desperation has brought us together. Our desperation forms a bond and brotherhood/sisterhood that not everyone will understand. But these that sit here waiting on the next test or waiting on the results, those that will take the next treatment or talk with another doctor-they know!
Question: What do you do in your times of desperation?
In today’s study we find two totally different people sharing a common desperation and they both come to Je- sus.
Jesus is our SURE HOPE in our times of desperation. Is JESUS your SURE HOPE?