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March 11, 2007 PM

MK 5:25-34

INTRO: Many of us have used, or have heard, the expression "that doesn't even touch the hem of the garment." By that expression we mean that the thing to which we refer does not even reach a minimal amount or effort. The expression comes, of course, from the incident found in our text. In Mark's account of this incident the woman's thinking was simply to "touch but his clothes". It is Matthew who records that she "touched the hem of his garment" (Mt 9:20). While we are given the name of Jairus in the context, this woman remains nameless in scripture. The account of her actions, however, is well known by all who have knowledge of the gospel records.

    1. She had been hemorrhaging for twelve years
      1. most assuredly, her malady was no small inconvenience to her
      2. but Num 15:25-27 - her malady kept her from pursuit of her religion
      3. it also kept her from ordinary social interactions - she was "unclean"
    2. She had spent all she had on "physicians"
      1. and she had "suffered many things of many physicians"
      2. medicine in those times was (as one writer put it) not much better than that of the "medicine men" of the American Indians
      3. she had not been helped ... in fact, her condition grew worse
    3. She "had heard of Jesus"
      1. no doubt Capernaum was saturated with news of the miracles of Jesus
      2. she had tried everything else ... why not seek the help of Jesus
      3. many people have heard of Jesus - but they do nothing about it ... they do not seek to know more about Him, to gain personal knowledge ... how sad
    1. Her physical malady would be embarrassing to her
      1. yes, it made her "unclean" under the terms of the law
      2. but to speak of this to Jesus in a crowd would be so personal
      3. so, she resolved that if she could just touch his garment secretly and anonymously in a crowd of people she might be cured
    2. So, she apparently touched the "hem of his garment"
      1. Num 15:38-41 - blue ribbons on the borders and tassels on the corners of the outer garment (some suggest a square piece similar to a shawl)
      2. (remember Mt 23:5 and the behavior of scribes and Pharisees)
      3. it was very likely this fringe or border which she determined to touch
    3. Upon touching Jesus' garment, "she was healed of that plague"
      1. notice that Mark again speaks of "immediacy" - "And straightway..."
      2. can you imagine the joy this woman must have felt
      3. my guess is that she intended to slip away unnoticed in the crowd
    1. Jesus knew that miraculous power had "gone out of him"
      1. exactly how He knew this I don't know ... but He did!
      2. we must not forget His being Deity as well as His being human
      3. recall, too, Mk 2:6-8 - such is the "mystery" (as we might think of it) of His being God incarnate ... Deity in a physical body
    2. Interestingly, the disciples challenge His asking, "Who touched my clothes?"
      1. in such a crowd no doubt many had touched Him
      2. but just touching Him was one thing ... touching Him in faith was another
      3. Jesus' will is involved here - He knew of this touch of faith
    3. And the woman acknowledged that it had been she who touched him
      1. she was frightened as she "fell down before him"
      2. perhaps, since she was unclean, she feared a stern rebuke from Him
      3. certainly, most rabbis of that age would have been aggravated by such
    4. Her touch and her confession were great acts of faith
      1. note Lk 8:47 - "...she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him..."
      2. faith that had been secret was confessed openly - she, and all there, needed to know that her healing had nothing to do with superstitions of the day ... it was the will and power of Jesus which healed her
      3. "...thy faith hath made the whole..." - beneficial faith is trust in action!

CLOSE: The final words of this encounter are "go in peace". That, dear friends, is the blessing of a life with Jesus. From the troubles and anxieties of real life, Jesus rescues us to a life of peace ... even in the midst of the troubles. But we must remember that beneficial faith, faith which saves, is trust in action.

Cecil A. Hutson

11 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)