Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19960605.htm
MARK: GOSPEL OF THE SERVICE OF CHRIST, GOD'S SERVANT
Part XVI: Learning To Keep Going With God's PAST Directives Of Encouragement
Lesson: God's encouragements for us to head in a specific direction, once given, are meant as indissoluable assurances of what God will accomplish no matter how much worse circumstances get to make the direction look futile after the origin al encouragement arrives!
- We all learn to continue going in a specific direction when the Lord encourages us to go in that specific direction in life. However, after the encouragement, when a whole new set of negative circumstances arise, making the outcome look bleak, the tendency is to treat past encouragements as applicable only for the past, but not applicable for now because things have become so much worse.
- Mark 5:21-43 is a lesson in what to do with the past encouragement God has given us to go in a direction, when circumstances arise after that encouragement that make it much less promising to continue that way.
- Learning To Keep Going With God's PAST Directives Of Encouragement, Mark 5:21-43.
- When Jairus came to Jesus with an appeal to heal his daughter of a dreaded disease, he received encouragement from the Lord that God intended to heal the girl, Mark 5:21-24:
- When Jairus approached Jesus to request his daughter be healed from a terminal illness, there were many people present to witness his request, Mark 5:21-23. Thus, Jesus' reputation was on the line with a whole lot of people to heal this man's daughter were He to accept the request!
- Jesus, in front of the crowds and with the crowds thus following, began to go in the direction of the dying girl with Jairus, giving encouraging, public evidence that Jesus intended to heal her, Mk. 5:24!
- However, after this initial encouragement to Jairus, things became much less promising to Jairus, 5:25-35:
- Jesus was interrupted by a woman with a hemorrhage who touched his garment to be healed, 5:25-28.
- When she did so, and was healed, Jesus stopped His progress toward Jairus' dying daughter to minister to the soul of the woman healed of her hemorrhage, Mk. 5:29-34.
- In the meantime, news came to Jairus that, in the delay, his daughter had died, making the crises he faced that much WORSE, Mark 5:35a,b.
- On top of that, Jairus' associates counseled him not to bother Jesus anymore as the situation was too far gone to do anything about it, Mark 5:35c!
- However, God intended for Jairus to rely upon his initial encouragement as a faith-building exercise:
- Jesus encouraged Jairus to resist accepting the current setback of his daughter's death as a directive to stop relying on Him to solve the problem. The imperatives are in the present tense, indicating the need for Jairus to "Stop fear ing (i.e. in unbelief); just keep on believing," B.K.C., N.T., p. 125.
- Upon looking at the events leading up to this statement in detail, we see the plan of God unfolding to teach Jairus to continue using the past encouragement of Christ's initial walking with him to heal his daughter as a building block to raise her from the dead:
- The woman who had interrupted Jesus' walk to help Jairus' daughter had been stricken with her ailment for as long as the little girl had been born, cf. Mk. 5:42b with 5:25b.
- This woman had been unsuccessful in solving her problem no matter how many doctors she had seen, nor with how much money she had spent in seeing them, Mark 5:26. In fact, she had only gotten worse with time the harder she had tried to solve the problem, v. 26b.
- Thus, it was obvious that God had allowed this woman's interruption to come about to put Jairus in the position of choosing between believing his past encouragement from Jesus or giving up on it!
- In the end, Jairus believed Jesus, and Jesus wonderfully raised the little girl from the dead, Mk. 5:37-43!
Application: (1) If after a divine encouragement directive events or people interrupt or postpone its progress, stop fearing failure; just keep believing the initial encouragement. (2) If after the divine encouragement directive ev ents deteriorate, stop fearing failure; just keep believing the initial encouragement. (3) If after the divine encouragement directive associates counsel us to quit that direction, stop fearing failure; just keep believing the initial encouragement.