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March 4, 2007 PM

MK 5:21-24, 35-43

INTRO: Having been asked to leave the region of the man from Gadara, Jesus and the disciples return to their little ships to make the trip back to the area of Capernaum. It did not take long for crowds of people to learn that He had returned, and "much people gathered unto him"(Mk 5:21). What probably had begun as a brief period of rest from physically and emotionally strenuous days had been anything but that. So, now He has returned to the major site of His Galilean ministry. And, as was so frequently the case, Jesus is met with a pressing, heartrending need. A little girl, twelve years of age, is at the point of death. And anxious, distraught father finds Jesus in the crowd of people near the sea.

    1. Remember, opposition to Jesus by religious leaders is growing ugly
      1. scribes and Pharisees are plotting to rid themselves of this "menace"
      2. Jairus, by reason of his religious position, is part of the "establishment"
      3. for him to come to Jesus with a request is a bit unexpected
    2. Jairus had to put away...
      1. his prejudice - Jesus was an "outsider", one whom those of the establishment would do well to avoid (remember Jno 3:1,2 and Nicodemus?)
      2. his pride - he has been the man in charge, in control ... but here he is falling at Jesus' feet with his request (often it is pride keeps people from seeking the counsel, help of another ... but remember 1 Pet 5:6)
      3. his relationships - what would his "orthodox" friends think of this?
    3. When disaster strikes...
      1. we find ourselves without the resources to solve, alleviate
      2. thus, fair minded people go where the help is to be found
      3. for this man life had suddenly taken a turn for the worse ... the loss of ones child is a calamity the emotion of which I can only imagine ... he is willing to go far beyond his comfort zone for help
    1. 5:24 - "And Jesus went with him..."
      1. there was no hesitation on Jesus' part 
      2. Jesus was doubtless touched by the simple plea of this father whose last hope is in this itinerant rabbi whom religious leaders are now opposing
      3. "compassion" is often mention in connection with Jesus (Mt 9:36)
    2. Jesus had no prejudices to overcome
      1. He did not see a man who might well be among those opposing Him
      2. He say an opportunity to do good - and compassion overcomes prejudice
      3. Gal 6:10 - "As we have...opportunity..." - are there prejudices we must overcome in order to reach out to others without stipulations?
    1. 5:35 - "Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?"
      1. I am supposing this tells us Jairus sought Jesus as a last resort
      2. but I wonder, too, if these who have come to tell Jairus of his daughter's death and their comment about troubling the Master had perhaps opposed his going to Jesus for aid?
      3. my guess is that Jairus had to overcome some strong feelings - and isn't that the way it is for us, too? overcoming opposition to do the right thing?
      4. prejudice and preconceived notions are deeply rooted in us!
    2. 5:36 - "Be not afraid, only believe"
      1. what wonderful words of comfort and reassurance to grieving parents
      2. fear and faithlessness keep so many wonderful things from happening in our lives - fear and faithlessness underscore "impossible"
      3. Rom 8:28 - even in the greatest of calamity the possibilities for good are present ... but fear and faithlessness will keep us from seeing the possibilities
      4. but Mk 5:39,40 - there were still the skeptics, unbelievers, opponents
    3. 5:41 - "Damsel, I say unto thee, arise"
      1. the words a father might use to awaken a sleeping child
      2. was the girl dead? note Jno 11:11-14 ... doubtless, she was dead
      3. yet, Jesus referred to her condition as "sleep" - was it because He knew what He would do? or, was it a way in which Jesus saw a "positive" in death
      4. I wonder what Jairus did in future days? did he defend Jesus? did he return to an alliance with the "opposition"? people so often pray for great favors and make big promises ... but when the favor is granted, they slip back into old ways

CLOSE: When disaster strikes, where do you go? "Where could I go, but to the Lord." These words from an old hymn speak of great faith and assurance. Is it to the Lord that we go?

Cecil A. Hutson

04 March 2007

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)