Message for 1 July 2018–“Be Restored!”

Today’s message is based on Mark 5:21-43, about how Jesus healed a sick woman and then resurrected a twelve-year-old girl. Both miracles reveal lessons about healing, still powerfully relevant for today.

The story begins with Jairus, a synagogue leader who pleaded with Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. A large crowd accompanied the pair as they journeyed to the leader’s house. Along the way, a sick woman intercepted Jesus. The woman was plagued with a bleeding condition for twelve years. She realized Jesus was coming so she maneuvered herself through the crowd.  Physicians having failed her, and with no other recourse, the sick woman desperately sought a cure. Then she reached out in faith and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. So powerful was her faith that Jesus felt the flow of divine healing going from himself into that woman.

After feeling the flow of healing power, Jesus asked who had touched him. Jesus’ disciples seemed astonished that he would ask such a thing given the crushing crowd. The fearful woman, hearing the question, presented herself as if she had done something wrong. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34 NRSV). A key lesson here is how faith can activate and unleash heaven’s power. The sick woman was absolutely convinced that Jesus could heal her. A marvelous spiritual connection then occurred, which in today’s terms would be like plugging in an electrical cord to an outlet and allowing healing power to flow.

In the wake of the woman’s healing came dreaded news: A messenger arrived declaring that Jairus’ daughter was dead. But was it too late? “Do not fear, only believe” Jesus said (Mark 5:36b). After arriving at Jairus’ house, grief-stricken attendants were mourning the child’s loss. Those present didn’t believe Jesus when he said that the dead girl was only sleeping—they laughed at him—but undeterred Jesus went inside and raised the girl. Jesus further commanded that she be given something to eat. This amazing journey from sickness to death, and then back to life demonstrates God’s power. Reflect on both of today’s healing examples: how a touch-empowered by faith can heal a broken body or how God can give life to a dead one. The remarkable example of Jairus’ daughter also reveals that not all Jewish religious leaders were hostile to Jesus. Jairus believed that Jesus could raise his daughter, and that is precisely what happened. As with the sick woman who had touched Jesus, people of faith can remain open to dramatic results.

The dual healings in Mark’s message remind us that we can expect wonders from God. What afflicts you? Is there a physical, emotional or spiritual illness that holds you back? Before spiritual awakening, a person can remain dead in soul-sleep. But as you awaken to God’s presence, a new life of spiritual enlivening awaits. Do you feel the power of God restoring your soul? Don’t think that you’re too old, too young, too sick or too hardened and cynical. God is not limited by negative messages sickening your mind. It’s not too late and you can receive now what you need for revitalization, for a joyful existence of holistic wellbeing.

Touch with your faith the God of promise and possibility so that you can be empowered. Claim God’s favor and expect that God can achieve for you what no one else can do for you. Physical bodies eventually weaken and each of us must walk through the valley of death. Until then, a wonderful life is available without delay. To complete the cycle of life healing and restoration don’t give-up. Believe. Trust. Expect the miracle of a transformed life as you immerse yourself in God’s awesome power.  –Reverend Hoxey