Subject 21 : The Gospel According to MARK

[Chapter 5-2] Those Who Believe Only in the Lord (Mark 5:25-43)

Those Who Believe Only in the Lord
(Mark 5:25-43)
“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’ Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’ But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’’ And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’ While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’ As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe.’ And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. When He came in, He said to them, ‘Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.’ And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.”
The Lord bestows His grace on those who ask for His help. When Jesus was traveling on the road, sometimes blind men or lepers would come to Him and beg Him to heal them, saying, “Jesus, Son of David! Have mercy on me!” Jesus would then heal these lepers and open the eyes of the blind men, blessing them with His miracles. These people came to Jesus because they believed that only He could heal their illnesses. Like this, if we really look for the Lord and seek after Him, He will come to us through His Word, His power, and in various other ways. And He will answer our hearts’ desires with His power and His method.
Here in today’s Scripture passage, we see a certain woman suffering from hemorrhage for twelve years. Although this woman had seen many doctors, she still could not be healed no matter how much money she paid. In all likelihood, she probably tried all types of medicines regardless of the cost. One day, the woman heard that Jesus would pass by her village. She knew who Jesus was as she had heard about Him. In other words, from hearing about the great miracles and signs that Jesus performed on various occasions, such as raising the dead and healing the lepers and the lame, she knew who Jesus was. And she came to believe that if Jesus was capable of performing such miracles; her illness would be healed just by touching His garments.
So, even as the woman was surrounded by such a large multitude, she made her way through this thick bustling crowd trying to get nearer to Jesus. And in all that turmoil she quietly touched Jesus’ garment. It’s likely that her touch was very light and ordinary people would not been unaware of it. She had the belief that even this slightest touch would heal her.

Hemorrhage Is an Affliction Where Bleeding Does Not Stop

Imagine bleeding without end. When there isn’t enough blood in your body, you will suffer from anemia and when it gets worse, you will even die. It’s impossible for those who suffer from this condition to lead a normal life. So you can imagine just how desperately this woman yearned to be healed from her suffering. Given how this woman had spent so much money to find a cure, and how she had seen so many doctors, we can appreciate just how desperate she was.
Her condition had not improved even after she tried every medicine and seen every physician, but once she touched Jesus’ garment, her hemorrhage dried up immediately. She had stopped bleeding. Knowing all this, Jesus asked who touched His garment. Did Jesus, the Son of God, ask this because He really did not know who touched Him, even as He knew that power had gone out of Him? Or was it to rebuke the woman for touching His garment without permission that He asked this question? The answer is neither. Jesus asked this because He already knew the woman’s faith, and He wanted to teach this faith to others as well. So, after hearing the woman’s answer, Jesus said to the woman amidst the surrounding crowd: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
Those gathered there from hearing rumors about Jesus did not have the kind of faith that this woman had. They had come because they wanted to see if the rumors were true, and if so, then to get their fleshly problems solved. If they really believed that Jesus was the Son of God, then they would not have crowded Him to block His way, but instead, they would have opened the way for Him, approached Him politely, and asked Him to save them. As Jesus knew what was in the minds of the people gathered there, He had intentionally asked about who touched His garments to give them understanding of the true faith. And by her faith alone, this woman was forever released from the affliction that had tormented her for so long.
My fellow believers, if you have a wish, and you asked Jesus for His help with your sincere faith, then the Lord will answer you. What really is this incurable disease for us human beings? What is this disease that, like the hemorrhage that the woman was suffering from, cannot be healed by any medicine? It is none other than the disease of sin that’s in our hearts. I am sure that you have also tried out many different religions in your desire to receive the true remission of sins. You have met many religious leaders and men of great renown, but were you really healed from your illness of sin?
No religion in this world can ever heal the disease of sin that’s in our hearts. However, if we go to our Lord, if we believe in Him, then the Lord can eradicate all these sins that are in our hearts. If you come before the Lord with this faith, then the Lord will heal away all your sins. There is no one who cannot be healed, if only he has enough faith like the woman suffering from hemorrhage, and if he just comes before the Lord by such faith. Everyone can be healed. And this is what today’s Scripture passage is teaching us.

The Woman Suffering from Hemorrhage Had Faith in Jesus as Her Savior

The woman in today’s Scripture passage had the belief that if no one else, then Jesus would surely heal her illness and that she would be healed just by touching His garment. So she yearned to see Jesus with all her heart. It’s because she had come out by believing like this that her affliction could be healed. We also used to be tormented because of our inability to obtain the remission of sins. We had practiced various religions trying to solve the problem of sin. Although we had the zeal, we did not know that we had to have faith before Jesus. Even worse, we had no faith at all. However, when we believed that we would receive the remission of sins if we believed in Jesus, and when we came before the Lord with a yearning heart and listened to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and when we accepted this Word into our hearts and believed in it, we were finally healed from the illness of our sins.
It’s written, “But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
As this passage says, it is because Jesus paid off the wages of our sins in our place that the disease of our sins was cured. Because Jesus was wounded in our place when we had to be wounded, because He was bruised in our place when we had to be bruised, and because He was chastised in our place when we had to be chastised, we were freed from our sins to enjoy peace and be healed. All this came about only by the power of Jesus.
If you just come to Jesus and believe in Him, then just as the very source of the woman’s hemorrhage was dried up, you will also be completely healed from your disease of sin from its roots. Since the Lord has already done everything for you, all that you have to do is just come before His presence. Although no religion or philosophy in this world can heal you from your affliction of sin, if you come out to Jesus Christ believing that only He can heal your heart’s disease, you will indeed be born again. In other words, each and every one of you who come before the Lord by faith, believing that only He can heal your disease, will receive the remission of sins. This is what today’s Scripture passage is teaching us.
There is no religious leader who can heal us from our disease of sin, no matter how gifted he may be and how he may even exercise paranormal power. You may find some temporary comfort from such religious leaders, but they cannot solve your fundamental problem of sin. You will continue to feel the problem of sin still remaining unresolved inside you.
In contrast, if you believe in the Lord, and you come before His presence and listen to Him with unwavering belief that He would indeed blot out all your sins, then you will receive the remission of sins for sure. This is what our Lord is saying here. Our God is such that He infallibly bestows His grace on everyone who comes before the Lord with a sincere, heartfelt desire to receive His mercy. The Lord also answers our prayer without fail, if only we put our trust in Him alone, believe in Him and ask Him with all our hearts. The faith that we should have is not one that says, “God would probably answer my prayer,” but one that says, “God will surely answer me!” If the woman suffering from hemorrhage did not have such faith, then she would not have been healed from her affliction no matter how much she touched Jesus’ garment.

The Intertwined Account of Jairus’ Daughter

The Jewish synagogue, like today’s church, was a gathering place, and Jairus was the head of one such synagogue. He had a daughter who was dying from a serious illness, and as he believed that Jesus could heal his daughter, Jairus had begged Him to come to his home and he was now accompanying Jesus back to his home. It’s on this way that Jesus came across the woman suffering from hemorrhage. And while the woman was being healed, Jairus heard from his servant that his daughter was dead.
Hearing this, those around Jairus told him not to take Jesus to his home. They probably thought that there was nothing Jesus could do since the daughter was already dead, or perhaps they were trying to find grace just for themselves. However, Jesus did not stop but continued to go to Jairus’ home, telling him, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
When Jesus arrived at Jairus’ home and saw the people there wailing loudly, He said, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” Although the people ridiculed Jesus for saying this, He held the child’s hand and said, “Talitha, cumi!” The child then arose immediately and walked. When translated, the phrase “Talitha, cumi” means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
When the Lord healed the sick, He did not say that they would be cured if they kept the Law faithfully or did many good deeds. He just told them not to fear and believe in Him. This means that if we just believe in the Lord Jesus, then our wishes will come true. Even the dead can be brought back to life. Any and all problems can be solved away. That is what our Lord is saying to us through today’s Scripture passage.
The problem, however, is that more often than not, we rely on something else other than Jesus. Even though we know that it’s useless to seek help from anyone else, we still think in our fleshly minds, “It will be different this time. I am sure it will turn out differently.” Therefore, we must boldly cast aside all such inclinations, and recognize that only Jesus can solve our problems and only He can make our dreams come true. And you must realize that your problems are solved only when you ask the Lord for His help, trusting in Him and saying, “Lord, I believe in you alone.” This is what our Lord is saying to us here.
All that we have to do is just believe in Jesus. We only have to believe that our sins have disappeared thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus came to this earth a long, long time ago, and He already bore all our sins by being baptized in the Jordan River. If you just believe that Jesus shouldered all the sins ever committed from the day you were born to the day you die, each and every sin ever committed either with your heart or your acts, then you will surely receive the remission of sins and become a righteous person.
As our Jesus is almighty, faithful, and true, if we pray to Him and trust in Him, He will answer us without fail. However, the problem is that rather than relying on Him and asking Him for His help, we put more trust in the liars around us. We go to this quack and that quack, asking for their help and offering all we have, and when this does not work, only then do we return to Jesus and seek His help. Perhaps that is why Jesus waited for the daughter of the head of the synagogue to die in today’s Scripture passage. Perhaps He waited for the daughter to die, so that Jairus would place all his hope on Jesus alone.
What is our Lord’s desire for us? “If you have your own means, try everything you can, and if this does not work, then ask for my help. I will then solve your problems.” Is this what the Lord is saying to us? No, of course not! He just watches us quietly and waits for us to rely on Him completely. And He makes intercession to the Father for us (Romans 8:34). He is waiting for us to trust Him. In other words, the Lord is waiting for us to pray to Him with sufficient faith in Him.
We must realize this desire of the Lord. Though we are quite prone to give up our expectations after praying, our Lord does really want to help us. That’s because He is the living God and our Savior. No one else on this earth can help us but the Lord. So let us all trust in the Lord, believing that He will infallibly help us whenever we need His help. Our prayers will then be answered for sure.
Although many of our prayers are answered, from time to time we see that some prayers are unanswered. This happens when our prayers are not matched by our faith. It happens when we have doubts even while praying. The Lord said the following in James 1:6-8: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” In other words, anyone who prays while doubting should not expect that the Lord would answer his prayer. Such people are double-minded. So if your request goes unanswered despite constant praying, you should examine yourself to see whether or not you really have faith.
If your prayer is for your own greed, such prayers are not answered either. Referring to this, James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” Among church attendees today, there are some who suddenly begin to attend morning - prayer meetings or fast and pray. When they are asked what they are praying for, they say that they are asking God to help them with their new business or for their children to gain college admission. If their business is for the glory of the Lord, or if they want their children to go to college to serve the Lord better, then the Lord would accept their prayer in pleasure. But if their prayer is motivated by their desire to make more money to satisfy their own fleshly greed, and they want their children to attend a good college to boost their own ego, then God will never answer them. You should therefore never pray to satisfy your own greed.
We encounter many problems in our lives. This is precisely why we need the Lord’s help. But how much do we believe in the Lord? How much do we trust in Him? The Lord is waiting for us to put all our trust in Him alone. He is waiting for us to have such faith. The daughter of Jairus was revived. The girl rose up at the Lord’s single command, “Talitah, cumi! Little girl, I say to you, arise!” She rose up just as the Lord had commanded.
We all come across many difficulties and suffer from the problem of sin in our actual lives. And to find a solution to these problems, we look to many religions and see many renowned people, trying out many different methods, but far from finding the solution, we end up facing even more suffering. Whom should we then see to find the solution to all our lives’ problems? Is it the Lord, or should we look for a worldly means? How did the woman suffering from hemorrhage find her cure? How was the daughter of Jarius brought back to life? Think about what is the real solution to your life’s problems.
What all of us should learn from today’s Scripture passage is that the problem of sin can never be solved through any human being. Then what is the solution for the problem of our sins? When our Lord was baptized in the Jordan River, He took upon all the sins of everyone in this world, and this is how the problem of our sins was solved. The Lord washed away all your sins and mine. And He went to the Cross. As His body was crucified while shouldering all our sins, He paid off the wages of our sins in our place, even though it was we ourselves who should have borne them. On account of this sacrifice, the problem of our sins was completely solved. It was achieved by Jesus alone.
The Lord loved us so much that He laid down His life for us like this, and He now wants us to believe in Him alone. And if we just believe in the Lord, He will bestow His infinite blessings on us. Although you have received the remission of sins, can you really entrust your entire life to Him in faith? Do you really believe that He will help you? Do you believe that He will bless you? Do you really believe only in the Lord? All of us need to examine our faith.
My fellow believers, faith is all about believing in the God-spoken Word. We must begin to accumulate the knowledge of God in our minds. We must continue to learn. We must thus carry on with our lives in this world by faith. If you just attend church regularly and think that is good enough, you will perish in no time. When you hear the Word, you must listen attentively believing in the Word of God with all your heart. Do you believe that the messages I am preaching are of the Word of God? If you cannot believe this, then it means that you don’t believe in Jesus either. My fellow believers, I ask you all to believe this teaching. What is true faith? It’s none other than believing in the God-spoken Word. All of us must indeed have true faith. It’s also necessary for you to examine your faith to discern whether or not it is true faith. If your faith is such that you believe in the Word of God completely, then God will answer your prayers according to this faith of yours. I am absolutely sure that God will bring about everything you ask.
I admonish you all to learn about faith and have faith. You will prosper if you have faith, but if you don’t have faith, and you neither know faith nor try to learn about it, stubbornly insisting on your own way and prioritizing your own fleshly thoughts, then you will perish in the end. Although countless people met Jesus and followed Him, not everyone who met Him actually followed Him, as only one out of ten healed lepers returned to Jesus and gave thanks to Him (Luke 17:12-17). This proves that most of them did not have true faith.
Dear fellow believers, we must live by faith, and we must lead our lives of faith with the full realization of who our Lord is. Above all, we must rest all our hopes on our Lord alone, and with this kind of faith placed in the Lord we must live out our faith, thus receiving His countless blessings throughout our entire lifetime. If you are struggling with any difficult problems, you should entrust them all to the Lord in faith. And you should seek counsel from God’s servants and His saints, so that we would all pray for you with one heart. And if you really don’t have enough faith, learn to have faith from your fellow saints and seek their help, and you will then be able to lead a blessed life.
This sermon is also available in ebook format. Click on the book cover below.
Sermons on the Gospel of Mark (I) - WHAT SHOULD WE STRIVE TO BELIEVE AND PREACH?