Greg Laurie - Everyone Needs Jesus
Everybody needs Jesus. Every man, every woman, every old person, every young person, every middle aged person, every middle aged person who thinks they're a young person, whoever you are everyone needs Jesus. He is there for you. Now, this story is a part of a trilogy here in Mark Chapter five, about the power of Jesus Christ and the first movement of the chapter we see that Christ has power over nature. As He stops a storm from raging with the words, peace, be still. Then we see Jesus casting demons out of a man showing that Christ has power over evil. And in this message we're gonna see Jesus has power over sickness and death. The point is, He can deliver you from whatever you are facing. And I'm gonna answer the following questions in this message:
1. Where does sickness come from?
2. Why does God allow sickness?
3. Does God still heal today?
4. Why doesn't God heal everyone?
Let's look now at Mark chapter five, starting in verse 21, we read these words, "Jesus got into the boat again and went to the other side of the Lake when a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Then a leader of the local synagogue whose name was Jairus arrived, when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet pleading fervently with them saying, 'My little daughter is dying. Please come and lay your hands on her. Healer her so she can live.' Jesus went with him and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd who had suffered for 12 years with constant bleeding and had suffered a great deal from many doctors over the years and spent everything she had to pay them but had gotten no better but in fact had gotten worse, heard about Jesus, so she came up from behind Him through the crowd and touched His robe, for she thought to herself, if I can touch his robe I can be healed. Immediately the bleeding stopped and she could feel it in her body that she'd been healed of her terrible condition".
So while this young girl had experienced 12 years of relative happiness as the apple of her daddy's eye, I'm sure he doted on her and loved her in so many ways, it's shown by his urgency as he comes to Jesus. And the sick woman had experienced 12 years of pain, rejection and tears, yet on the same afternoon both of their lives are dramatically changed by their encounter with Jesus Christ. Now, one of these people as a well-known ruler of the local synagogue and his name is Jairus. His daughters suddenly fell ill and he felt that he needed to go to Jesus, but as he's on his way home with Jesus to help him, this woman sort of burst on the scene. But as we'll see, this interruption became an opportunity.
But let's focus a little bit on Jairus and what actually happened. I already said this little girl was 12-years-old and suddenly she's sick and he's trying everything he can to get her better and nothing is working, and he hears that Jesus is near. Now I don't know Jairus believed in Jesus yet, if he had embraced him and put his faith in him, he obviously was a Jewish spiritual leader, but apparently he believed that Jesus had the power to heal. So he approaches Christ and makes this amazing statement, "Come lay your hands on my daughter and I believe she will be healed". I mean, that's a lot of faith. He just thought if Jesus can touch her, I know she'll be healed.
So Jesus says, alright. So they're making their way to the home of Jairus, the crowd is following, and all of a sudden just seemingly out of nowhere some woman touches the hem of Jesus' garment which is no big deal, but it says Christ suddenly stops and asked the question, "Who touched me"? Now, how easily could Jairus have said, hey lady, hold on, He's with me, no cuts, but not Jairus. He's gonna wait. He'll just wait until Jesus does what He's going to do, and then Jesus will come with him to his home and heal his daughter. I think we need to remember that, God's delays are not necessarily his denials.
Maybe I'm talking to somebody right now that's been praying about something and it hasn't happened as quickly as you want it to happen, so you are thinking, God is saying, no, that may be true, I won't rule that out. But maybe God is saying, wait, God answers prayer in three ways, yes, no, and wait. And there's a reason He's having you wait. Remember the story of Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus. They were close friends of Jesus. Lazarus died. Jesus showed up there in their hometown of Bethany, And He said, "Your brother is going to live again".
See Mary and Martha were upset that Jesus didn't come to their town sooner when he found out their brother and his friend were sick. But Jesus sort of delayed His arrival if you will, so by the time He hit town only was Lazarus dead, but Jesus even missed the funeral. And he promised Mary and Martha, your brother will live again. And they said, well, Lord, we know yes and the resurrection on the last day and Jesus said, "listen, I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me though he were dead yet shall he live, and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die".
Listen, they wanted a healing, Jesus wanted a resurrection. So maybe you're praying for one thing, but God wants to do above and beyond that. Listen, God's at work. He knows what He's doing. Wait on His timing. So this woman touches the hem of the garment of Jesus. She had this medical condition. We don't even really know what it was, but we know that she bled perpetually. Maybe it was some kind of a hemorrhage and no doctor could help her. And by the way the remedies back in these days could be really strange. So I don't know if she ever had any proper medical attention. But she had spent all of her money maybe on quack doctors promising her a remedy or a solution. And she reasons if I can touch Jesus, I know I can be healed. That brings me to my first question, is it presumptuous to think that God heals people today?
Lemme answer those questions I raised a little bit earlier about healing. Let's start with that first question, where does sickness come from? Why do we even have to get sick? Well, listen to this, It was never part of God's original plan. We weren't supposed to get sick. We weren't supposed to age. We weren't supposed to die. It goes back to our first parents, Adam and Eve, there in the garden, if Adam and Eve had not eaten of the forbidden fruit, we would not get sick. If Adam and Eve had not eaten of the forbidden fruit, we would not age. If Adam and Eve had not eaten of the forbidden fruit, I would have hairs still, right? So we age and we have illness and ultimately we die.
Romans 5:12 says, "As sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, in this way death came to all men because all have sin". But why does God allow sickness? That's the second question. Why does God allow sick? Short answer, there's a lot I can say, here's the short answer. God allows sickness in our life sometimes to bring us to him. And I've heard many stories of people that felt they had no need for God, but when they got ill on their death bed, or maybe in a hospital room, they asked for spiritual help, and of course they found it. So sometimes it's to get our attention.
The Psalmist said before, I was afflicted, I went astray, but now we have kept your word. But listen, sometimes God allows allow sickness in the life of the believer to keep us humble. Let's take the Apostle Paul as an example, he was transformed with the power of God on the Damascus road and put his faith in Jesus while he was on his way to hunt down and put Christians to death. Then God used Paul of course to write a good portion of the Bible in his wonderful epistles. That's pretty heady stuff.
So listen to what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12, "To keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I asked the Lord to take it away. And each time he said, 'My grace is all you need and my power works best in weakness.'" Then Paul says, "So now I boast about my weaknesses so the power of Christ can work through me, that is why I take"... This as crazy, "This is why I take pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions in troubles I suffer for Christ for when I am weak then I am strong".
A thorn in the flesh. God allowed a messenger for him, Satan, a demon no doubt to bring hardship into the life of the great Apostle to keep him humble. Another reason God allows sickness is to be glorified through your life as you honor God even when you're struggling with the sickness. This brings question number three, does God's still healed today? Does God still heal today? And I believe the answer is yes. Does He heal everyone? The answer is no. Does He heal some? The answer is yes.
But know this, God has the ability to heal, God has the desire to heal, and we need to understand that. Isaiah 53 says, "Of Jesus He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows and we considered him stricken by God, smitten and afflicted, He was pierced for our transgressions, and He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, listen, and by His wounds we are healed". Peter commenting on that same verse, in 1 Peter 2:24 says, "Christ bore our sins on the tree, and by His wounds you have been healed". And the word that Peter uses there for healed is a word that always speaks of physical healing.
So can God heal? The answer is yes. So why are some of us still sick? Are you ready for my super simple answer? And maybe because you've not asked God to heal you. In the book of James it says, "You have not because you ask not". Simple as that. "You have not because you ask not". Jesus said, "Ask and it shall be given to you. Seeking and you shall find. knock and the door shall be open". And in the original language there's an ascending intensity to those verbs meaning, keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking, keep praying.
Now Paul prayed three times that God would remove his thorn in the flesh, And the Lord said, "My grace is sufficient for you". But other times the Lord will say, yes, maybe not after the first time you prayed, or the second, or the third, but maybe at a certain moment, He says, okay, I'm going to heal. That's what this woman did. She thought if I can touch Him, I'll be healed. And so that is what happened to her.
So let's go back to Mark chapter 5:30, "Jesus realized that once that healing power had gone out from him. And he turned around to the crowd and said, 'Who touched me?' And the disciples turned and said, 'Lord, this crowd is all around you, how can you ask who touched me?' But he kept looking around because he wanted to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman trembling at the realization of what happened to her came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And Jesus said, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace, your suffering is over.'"
Don't you love that story. Who touched me? The disciples basically say, excuse me Jesus, who didn't touch you. Everybody's touching you. They're grabbing you. They're pulling on you. They wanna be near. No but someone touched me in a different way. That brings me to question number four, why doesn't God heal everyone? Clearly in this story there is a cause and effect between her faith and her healing.
So when you are sick or when you have a need you cry out and you say, Lord, help me, Lord heal me. So sometimes it's your faith. And I bring this up because some will say, well, if you're not healed, it's because you have a lack of faith. You know, not necessarily. This woman had great faith. But in the case of the daughter of Jairus, we don't see the daughter applying any faith, it was the faith of the father. And the case of Lazarus being raised from the dead, clearly Mary and Martha, his sisters had no faith, but Jesus chose to do it. So God can and will heal who He will heal. Call out to Him with as much faith as you can muster. Like that one man who prayed, Lord, I believe help my unbelief. "Who touched me," Jesus says. You know literally that could be translated, who touched me on clothes? Because power went out of him.
Maybe I'm talking to somebody right now who would say, I would love to have Jesus touch me, but I don't feel His touch, then be like this woman. If you're not feeling His touch, reach out to Him and touch Him. The Bible says: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. He's touchable. He's someone you can reach out to right now. So here's this woman she's healed and Jesus wants to commend her. She probably thought, oh no, I'm scared His gonna be mad at me. He wasn't mad. He wanted to say, lady way to go. This was an act of great faith what you did. Meanwhile as this beautiful story is unfolding something tragic now happens.
Go back to Mark chapter 5:35, "while he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue, and they told him, 'Your daughter is dead. No use in troubling the teacher now.'" Don't miss this next verse. "Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, 'Don't be afraid. Just have faith.'" How devastating that must have been for Jairus to hear those words, your daughter is dead. I've stood in the shoes of Jairus, not losing a daughter, but losing a son.
Our son, Christopher went to be with the Lord 12 years ago, he died in an automobile accident. And I remember distinctly the day I heard the unthinkable news that he was no longer with us. To say my life changed is an understatement. And I bring this up from time to time, because you know when you've heard that your child has died, you almost feel as though your life is over and your world is ended and you don't know how you're gonna get through it. And so what I wanna say to right now, if you've lost a loved one and especially a child, you can get through this by hanging on to Jesus Christ. He's your only hope at a time like this. Your daughter is dead, but I love the response of Jesus He said, "Don't be afraid just to have faith".
You see Jairus had to choose which voice he was gonna listen to. Are you gonna listen to the voice of the man that just said your daughter is dead? Or are you gonna listen to the voice of Jesus who said, "Don't be afraid, just have faith."? And in the same way we choose everyday what voice we're gonna listen to, are we gonna listen to the voice of God, as he speaks to us through scripture, through our Christian friends, maybe even through this message? Are we gonna listen to the voice of the culture, or even the voice of the devil who would say to you, you're worthless, you'll never amount to anything, you're a pathetic, you're a failure, you shouldn't even be alive, your life isn't even worth living? He's a liar.
Don't listen to that voice. Listen to the voice of God who says, I love you. I have a plan for you. I have a future for you. Trust me. Don't be afraid. You know Jairus could have beat himself up over this and said, this is my fault. But it's amazing to me 'cause we don't see him saying anything like that. We see him trusting the Lord, and waiting on the Lord . And it's kind of an amazing thing that Jairus approached Jesus and humbled himself and begged Jesus to help him.
Listen, it's hard for us to understand this, Jesus was not high on the cultural ladder, Jairus is very high on the ladder. He's a spiritual leader of the local synagogue, he was as somebody. Jesus, wasn't He like the son of a carpenter, and wasn't He from Nazareth, not a city with a great reputation. As Nathaniel said, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth"? Yet this man of prestige and power humbles himself before Jesus, 'cause he recognized Jesus was not the son of a carpenter, he recognized Jesus was the Son of God and Jesus has the ability to heal my daughter. But now he needs something even greater than a healing. He needs a resurrection. And he's waiting on the Lord to do His work.
I love what Christ says, "Don't be afraid, go on believing". there in verse 36, it can be literally translated, keep on believing. So now they come to the home of Jairus. What a tragic and depressing seen they come to. They have all these wailers who are moaning and crying and playing musical instruments. This doesn't make sense to us today, but back in this culture, depending on your level of income, when someone died you would bring in literally professional wailers. I don't know where you found them. Maybe you Googled it and it was like, whalers are us. I don't know. But these people would come and they would play musical and scream and moan. And so that's a scene Christ comes to. All these people lamenting and crying and the music is playing, and Jesus walks in and this is what happens.
Look at Mark 5:38, "When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus so much commotion and weeping and wailing, He went inside any and the He asked, 'Why all this commotion and weeping, the child isn't dead, she's only sleeping.'" Don't miss the next verse, "And the crowd laughed at him". Wait what? Oh, they went from morning to mockery in a nanosecond. Unbelief laughs at God's word, but faith believes for a miracle. Clearly this environment was not conducive to what Jesus wanted to do. So he tells all these people, "Get out, leave the room". They're all upset, taking their musical instruments, a guy blowing the flute a couple extra times. Just leave, I don't want any of you here. Peter, James, John, come on guys. Come with me. And they go in to see this amazing sight of what Jesus is about to do.
Jesus says, "The child is not dead, she's only sleeping". You know death for a Christian is often compared in the Bible to sleeping. By the way that analogy is never used of death for the nonbeliever, only of the believer. The Bible talks in 1 Thessalonians about those that sleep, speaking of those that are dead or in the graves. You know when I was a little kid I hated it when someone would say to me, it's time to take a nap, oh, I hated naps as a kid. Now if my wife says, "Greg, why don't you go take a nap"? I'm like, yes, nap, you know. So it's all how you see it. But we don't have to be afraid of sleep or a nap.
When even Stephen, the first martyr of the church was put to death by stoning, a violent way to die, the Bible says, "He fell asleep". So Jesus says, "She's only sleeping". And then He raises her again. We read here at Mark that He goes to the little girl and he says to her, "Little lamb arise". And immediately life comes back into her body. And we read that she's walking around, and I love this detail, Jesus said, "Give her something to eat". Ain't that great. Now you're raised from the dead probably hungry, have something to eat, give this girl a sandwich. Amazing story.
How my heart would have rejoiced if someone would've said to me, your son has risen from the dead. But that didn't happen for me. I've never shared this detail publicly, but the fact is after our son died, we wanted to go see him, his body, and we were told he was unviewable. So I never got to see him in any way after he passed into eternity. I was given a plastic bag with the things that he had with him. It had his watch, it had his wedding ring, and it had his wallet. And in his wallet there was a little card for a carousel he would take his daughter Stella on and it just was heartbreaking. And I held this watch and this is a watch I gave to him. And on the back of the watch I inscribed this words, Jeremiah 29:11, "'I know the thoughts that I think toward you,' says the Lord. 'Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope.'"
And now my son has gone and I'm reading this scripture on the back of his watch and I'm thinking, where's the future and the hope. Well the future and the hope ultimately is in heaven. Isn't? It's been with Jesus. And though it was devastating that day and it's still heartbreaking to this day, I have that hope still. In Jeremiah 29:11 is still one of my favorite verses because I know I will see my son again. Because death is not the end of the road, it's just a bend in the road that leads to heaven.
So look, sometimes God heals. And it's a glorious thing He does. And I've seen people healed as we've prayed for them, and we give Him the glory. Sometimes God allows the sickness to remain so he can be glorified through it. Sometimes He does a little more slowly than you would like Him to. And sometimes he just allows our life to follow the natural cycle. The Bible says: There's a time to be born and there's a time to die, and then we're all gonna pass into eternity. The Bible says: Our life is like a vapor of smoke, it appears for one moment and vanishes away. A vapor of smoke.
So I've got this little can of facial spray. I don't really use it, but it's a prop, okay. But it puts out a little spray think of that as a vapor. But here's the idea, all the things we pursue in life, boy, I tell you what, if I could just get this ultimate car, look at that car, coolest car on the road, and that's my mine, nice a vaporous smoke that appears for a moment and vanishes away.
Oh, if I could just have this house and remodel it and maybe add a room to it, yeah, okay, nice, a vapor of smoke, it appears for a moment and vanishes away. Well, I build this great career and this huge company, yeah, nice, a vapor of smoke, it appears for a moment and vanishes away. The Bible says: Life is like a story it's already been told. And we put all of our stock in these things, but what really matters is the afterlife, the afterlife which goes on forever. The before life, the life we're in now, is pretty short in comparison, isn't it? We don't know when this life will end. But what we wanna make sure of is that we have a relationship with God.
Hey, thanks for watching our TV program. And I wonder if you your self have accepted Jesus Christ? You know, a lot of times people tune into programs like this who aren't believers and they're kinda checking it out. Maybe you're laughing at it at first. Maybe you think it's not real. But something has happened and maybe something it's that's been said you've suddenly discovered you need Jesus Christ. You know, the day I accepted Jesus let me tell you, it was the last thing I planned on doing. I didn't plan on becoming a Christian that day, but that was the day that was appointed in eternity for me to believe in Jesus.
I wonder if this is not that day for you. You've been eavesdropping, you've been checking it out, but now God's speaking right to your heart and you realize you need Jesus Christ. Would you like to have your sin forgiven? Would you like a second chance in life? Would you like to go to heaven when you die? Would you like your guilt removed? Listen, it can all happen because Jesus Christ went to a cross and died for your sin and then rose again three days later and he'll come into your life right now and be your savior and your Lord and the best friend you've ever had. Let's pray together. Pray this after me:
Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I believe you died on the cross for my sin, and I'm sorry for that sin, and I turned from it now, and I asked you to come into my life and be my savior, and be my Lord, and be my God, and be my friend, I choose to follow you from this moment forward in Jesus name I pray. Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer I wants you to know on the authority of God's word, that Christ himself has come to live inside of you. The Bible says: These things we write to you that believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. But let me say, God bless you and welcome to God's family.