We’ve been thinking about how the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s Anointed King who came into the world to establish his kingdom and to deliver his people from their sin and misery.
And so, in chapter 4 Mark recorded for us four parables about Christ’s kingdom to show that though his kingdom seems hidden like a lamp hidden under a bed, one day it will be plain to all that Jesus Christ is indeed God’s Anointed King who rules over all. And though Christ’s kingdom may seem small and insignificant like a mustard seed, one day it will comprise a great multitude of men and women who have believed in him. And furthermore, despite the opposition of Satan, and despite the hardness of the human heart, and despite every other obstacle to the growth of his kingdom, nevertheless his kingdom is growing in the world like seed growing in a field; and it will continue to grow until the time of the harvest comes and the Lord returns to bring his people in to eternal life in his presence. So, there were four parables about the kingdom.
And then, after these four parables, Mark records for us four miracles which reveal that Jesus Christ is indeed God’s Anointed King with the power and authority to deliver his people from death and the Devil.
And so, there was the calming of the storm which we studied last week. And we saw how the Lord saved his disciples from perishing in the storm. And just as God’s Anointed King saved his disciples from perishing in the storm, so he will save his people from death when he comes again to raise us from our graves so that we might live with him for ever.
And then there was the healing of the man with the legion of demons which we also studied last week. And — do you remember? — he sent the demons into a herd of pigs, which rushed down the steep bank and into the lake. And this too was a sign to show us that when he comes again, in all his glory and power, he will punish the Devil and all his demons and all those who belong to him in that terrible lake of fire which we read about in the last book of the Bible.
So, we’ve had two miracles which reveal to us that Jesus Christ is God’s Anointed King with the power and authority to deliver us from the Devil and death. Today we come to the third and fourth of these four miracles which Mark recorded for us. There’s the miracle of the healing of the woman who had been subjected to bleeding for twelve years. And there’s the miracle of Jairus’s twelve-year old daughter who was brought back to life. Once again these are miracles which reveal that Jesus Christ is God’s Anointed King. And they’re signs to show us what he will do for all who repent and believe and enter his kingdom.
Jairus’s Daughter Part 1
And Mark sandwiches these two miracles together. So, he begins with the miracle of Jairus’s daughter. We read in verse 21 how the Lord crossed over the lake once again. And once again a large crowd gathered around him and followed him. It seems that wherever he went, a large crowd followed him, because they knew he was able to heal the sick and to cast out demons and to teach them about the kingdom of God. And on this particular day, a man called Jairus — who was one of the rulers of the synagogue — came and fell before the Lord. And Jairus pleaded with the Lord to come and to put his hands on his little daughter who was dying. We don’t know what was wrong with her or what kind of illness she had, but we know she was dying; and Jairus was hoping the Lord would come and touch her so that she would be healed and would live and not die. And look at the beginning of verse 24: the Lord was willing to do what Jairus asked and he was prepared to go with him to see his little daughter.
The Sick Woman
And so the Lord set off with Jairus to see his daughter. But then the story of Jairus’s daughter is interrupted for a moment; and Mark turns our attention away from Jairus and onto this woman. The large crowd was pressing against the Lord, surrounding him as he walked. And among the crowd was this one particular woman. Mark tells us that she was subject to bleeding for twelve years. Again, we don’t know any of the details of her condition and what exactly was wrong with her. However, Mark is able in a few words to convey to us her misery. Look what he tells us about her in verse 26: she had been under the care of many doctors. So, for those twelve years, she’d gone to this doctor and to that doctor for help. Well, when we go to a doctor, we hope that our suffering will end. But that was not the case here, because Mark tells us that she suffered under these many doctors. They didn’t relieve her suffering, but they only added to it. And look: she’d spent all she had on the doctors and on her treatment. Whatever treatment they had suggested had eaten up all her savings so that she had nothing left. But despite spending all of her money, none of the doctors and none of the cures this woman tried were able to help. In fact, instead of getting better, she only grew worse. That’s what we read at the end of verse 26.
But when she heard about the Lord Jesus — and presumably she heard about all the people he had cured — she came up behind him in the crowd. And we can imagine her, can’t we? We can imagine her straining to push through the crowd, squeezing past this person and that person, getting closer and closer, with her arm outstretched, thinking all the time:
If I can just get close enough to touch him, if I can just get close enough to touch him, that will be all it takes.
And sure enough, whenever she got close enough to touch his cloak, immediately — Mark tells us — immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was at last freed from her suffering. At last she was cured and she has been cured because of the Lord Jesus.
Jairus’s Daughter Part 2
The Lord somehow knew that power had gone out of him. And he wanted to know who had touched him. And he kept looking for her, until finally she came forward and fell at his feet and told him what she had done. And while the Lord spoke to her, some men from Jairus’s home arrived with the news that it was too late; there’s nothing more to be done; because Jairus’s little daughter had died. ‘Why bother the teacher any more?’ they asked. But look at verse 36: the Lord Jesus, God’s Anointed King, ignored what they said and he said to Jairus:
Don’t be afraid. Just believe.
You see, we don’t need to be afraid when we’re members of Christ’s kingdom, because Christ our King is able to keep us and to help us; and even when bad things happen to us in this life, he’s able to protect us from the evil effects of our suffering; and he’s able turn whatever evil we face to our own advantage; and he’s able to work all things together for our good. So, we don’t need to be afraid when we’re members of Christ’s kingdom.
And Jairus didn’t need to be afraid, because look what happened next. The Lord continued on his way to Jairus’s home. And when he arrived, there was a great commotion outside, with lots of people weeping and wailing and grieving for this little girl. Well, there’s nothing wrong with weeping; and there’s nothing wrong with grieving when someone we loved has died. But it was unnecessary on this occasion, because the Lord was about to do something to turn their weeping into joy. ‘The girl is not dead’, he said. ‘She’s only sleeping.’ Well, she was dead. But since the Lord has the power to raise the dead, then to him, the dead are only sleeping; and he only needs to say the word and they will awaken from death and live again.
And sure enough, the Lord went in to see the girl. And he took her hand and spoke to her, telling her gently to get up. And immediately — Mark says — immediately the girl stood up and walked around. And as if to prove that she was really alive, and that this was not a ghostly apparition, he told them to give her something to eat.
So, two miracles, sandwiched together: the healing of the woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years; and the miracle of Jairus’s twelve year old daughter who was brought back to life. And both miracles are signs which reveal that the Lord Jesus is God’s Anointed King and he has the power and the authority to do what?
Making Jairus’s daughter alive is a sign of how he has the power and authority to raise us from the dead when he comes again. We were thinking about this last week, but this is something we need to keep remembering, because this is the great hope of the gospel: Jesus Christ our Saviour died for us, paying for our sins by his death. And after he died, his body was laid in the tomb. And there he remained, under the power of death until the third day, when he was was raised from the dead, victorious over the grave. And since he died and was raised, all who belong to him — all the members of his kingdom — will likewise rise from the dead to live with him for ever and for ever. He was the first to be raised, but he will not be the last, because when he comes again, in all his glory and power, he will speak to the dead, just as he spoke to Jairus’s little daughter, and he will say to us:
I say to you, get up!
And all who belong to his kingdom will hear his voice and they will be raised to live with him for ever.
That’s why, later in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul says that believers who have died are only sleeping. They’re only sleeping now, resting in their graves as if in their beds, because the day is coming when the Lord will sound the alarm and call them; and they will rise from the graves as those who have woken from sleep.
And as a sign of what the Lord will do for all of his people when he comes again, he raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead. By this miracle he was showing us that he’s God’s Anointed King with the power and authority to give us everlasting life in his everlasting kingdom.
But as well as raising our bodies from the dead when he comes again, the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Anointed King, has the power and authority to raise sinners from spiritual death to spiritual life right now in this life. Right now, in this life, he makes us alive in Christ and enables us to live a new kind of life.
Isn’t that the teaching of the Bible? So, the Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus and explained how they were dead in their transgressions and sins in which they used to walk. So, they used to follow the ways of the sinful world. They used to be dominated by the Devil. They used to follow their own sinful passions and evil desires. That’s what they used to be: dead in their sins, children of God’s wrath. But then what happened? God — being rich in mercy, and because of his great love — made them alive together with Christ and raised them up with him and seated them with him in the heavenly realms. Once you were dead, says Paul. Spiritually dead, dead in your sins. But just as God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead, so now in this life he has raised you to new life in Christ. And just as God exalted the Lord Jesus to heaven, so now in this life he has exalted you to the heavenly realm, so that you now belong with Christ in heaven. Once it was normal for you to sin; but now — as those who have been raised and who belong with Christ in heaven — it’s normal for you to do what’s right and good.
Right now, in this life he raises his people from the deadness of our old life of sin to live a new life of obedience to the Lord. And this too is signified by the miracle of Jairus’s daughter, because just as the Lord made her alive, so in this life, he makes his people alive with Christ; and he enables us to live a new kind of life, a life of obedience to the Lord.
Making Jairus’s daughter alive was a sign that Jesus Christ is God’s Anointed King who has the power and authority to raise up to new life now and, when he comes again, he will raise our bodies from the grave. What about the miracle of the healing the woman? Well, restoring the woman’s body to full health and strength was a sign of how the Lord will renew all things when he comes again.
When the Lord made the world in the beginning, it was all very good. But after Adam disobeyed the Lord and ate the forbidden fruit, God’s good world was spoiled, because the Lord cursed the world because of Adam’s sin; and now nothing is the way it was meant to be in the beginning. And so, our life in this world is full of sorrow and suffering and troubles and trials and sickness and death. And despite all the advances we’ve made in science and medicine, still we all suffer in many ways and various ways throughout all our life. And the effects of Adam’s sin are not only experienced by us, but by all of God’s creation. As the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:
the creation [the world around us] was subjected to frustration….
The world around us is not the way it was supposed to be: it’s in bondage to decay, says Paul. And we see this all around us, because everywhere we look we see the evidence of God’s curse in the sorrow and suffering of the world. And we see it in ourselves, because of all the things we suffer. And it will remain the same until the Lord Jesus comes again, because when he comes again, in glory and power, this world will be liberated from its bondage to decay. And it will be renewed and renovated and it will once again be pristine and perfect and it will be exactly as God intended. And all who belong to Christ’s kingdom will also be renewed and made glorious so that, for them, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, no more sickness and suffering, for the old order of things will pass away whenever Jesus Christ, God’s Anointed King, comes again in all his glory and power.
That’s the great hope which is held out for us in the Bible. And as a sign of what the Lord will do for all of his people when he comes again, the Lord Jesus Christ healed this woman of her sickness; and he cured her of the disease which no one else was able to cure. Whenever he healed her of her illness, it was a sign of what he will do one day for all who belong to his kingdom, because when he comes again our old broken bodies — which are now subject to decay and disease and which cause us so much frustration and pain — will not only be raised from the dead, but they will be made new and perfect and glorious like his own glorious body.
That’s what he will do for our bodies when he comes again. And right now, in this life, he renews us inwardly by his Spirit. Isn’t that what the Bible teaches? He sends his Spirit into our lives to enable us to fight against sin and temptation and to do his will more and more. He gives us his gracious help to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions so that we’re able to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for our Saviour to come again. He gives us his Spirit to transform us and to renew us inwardly. And this too is signified by this miracle, because by restoring this woman to health and strength, he was revealing how he restores his people in the image of God by his Spirit so that more and more we’re able to know and to do his will.
He will continue to renew us inwardly throughout our lives. And then, when the Lord comes again, he will renew our bodies as well and he will make us perfect and glorious, so that in body and in soul we will be with the Lord for ever and for ever. Jesus Christ is God’s Anointed King and he was the power and the authority to renew his people inwardly by his Spirit in this life and to renew us outwardly when he comes again. And as a sign of his power and authority to renew us and the whole of creation, the Lord healed this woman and restored her to health and strength after years and years of sorrow and sadness.
So, two miracles to show that the Lord Jesus is God’s Anointed King who has the power and the authority to raise his people from the dead and to make them — and all creation — new. And the same two miracles show us that the Lord Jesus is God’s Anointed King who has the power and the authority to raise his people to live a new life now and to renew us inwardly by his Spirit.
This is what the Lord does for all those who belong to his kingdom. And remember: the way to enter his kingdom is through repentance and faith. Go back to the miracle of the healing of the woman. Once she touched the Lord and felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering, the Lord wanted to find her. Mark tells us he kept looking for her. He was anxious to speak to her. And eventually the woman came and fell before him and told him what she had done. And what did the Lord say in reply? Look at verse 34:
Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.
There you have it: faith is the key. Faith is the key which opens the door into Christ’s kingdom.
Outside his kingdom, there is only sin and shame, because of all the wicked things those who are dead in their transgressions will do. And there’s no forgiveness, but only God’s wrath. And outside his kingdom, there is only the fear and dread of death.
But inside Christ’s kingdom, we have the help of the Spirit to renew us and to teach us to obey the Lord and to live good and upright lives. And when we fall short, there’s the assurance of sins forgiven. And inside Christ’s kingdom there is the hope of everlasting life when these old, broken bodies of ours will be made new. And there will be no more sorrow or sadness, no more pain or trouble.
Jesus Christ is God’s Anointed King and he invites us all to enter his kingdom by faith and to receive from him all of these good things. And he’s able to bring us into his kingdom, because by his own death on the cross, he has paid for our sins in full and suffered the curse and wrath of God in our place. And by his own resurrection from the dead, he is able to raise all those who believe in him so that though we die, yet we shall live for ever and for ever in his everlasting kingdom.