Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pentecost 4

Today's readings were Lamentations 3:22-33; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15; and Mark 5:21-42 (sermon text).

We are here in church today because of Christ and His gifts, because He is our only hope. Two examples are in the Gospel reading. Jairus's daughter was raised; the woman (the story within the story) was healed of a twelve-year disease. But the miracles' purpose was not to draw ooh's and aah's. It was rather about Christ bringing God's kingdom.

First, the woman. For twelve years she had been bleeding abnormally, using her savings to no avail. But now she had faith that a touch of Jesus' robe would heal her. It did! So Jesus wanted to draw attention to her faith: "Daughter, your faith has made you well." The woman was given her life and wholeness back! She was "treated and released." Now the main story resumes.

Second, the daughter. Her father, a Sanhedrin, was a synagogue ruler. But she had died. The messengers didn't want to bother Jesus, but He wanted to be bothered. He is bothered by death, so He went and raised the daughter. The selected disciples witnessed the neighborhood keening and mourning. This crowd didn't understand that Christ could indeed heal the "sleeping" (those who die in Him).

In this instance, Christ is interested in keeping the "Messianic secret" - all miracles needed to be tied to His main purpose: to bring His own into heaven with Him, where there exists no pain, no hurt, ho disasters, no sickness, no death. We'll live forever, by faith, with the King of Kings.


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