Today’s blog and tomorrow’s blog will be talking about Mark 5 and the two healings that took place. Mark 5:21 “When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. We will talk about this one tomorrow.
                Jesus is on his way to heal the daughter when something amazing happened. As they are walking Mark 5:24 “a large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.” Before I go on does this not sound familiar today? Yes doctors play a huge role in our society and we are fortunate here in Canada to have a great health care system when you do get sick. You go to the doctor; you get your prescription or advice and most get better but not always. Some cases leave doctors baffled or in some cases that appeared to be a simple procedure, complications arise and the person ends of dying. The cost of healthcare is astronomical. The Canadian Institute for Heath Information said, “In 2019, total health expenditure in Canada was expected to reach $265.5 billion, or $ 7064 per person.” The United States, “in 2018, $3.7 trillion was spent on healthcare-related goods and services.” One article said “for many Americans, a trip to the doctor hinges on whether they can afford to go, rather than if it’s a medical necessity. Over the past year, 22% of Americans say they have steered clear of some sort of medical care — including doctor visits, medications, vaccinations, annual exams, screenings, vision checks and routine blood work.” said, “In recent years, drug spending has accounted for an increasingly large proportion of expenditures in the Canadian health care system, with expenditures growing faster than any other component of health care.” That was before the pandemic hit. A CBC article posted Dec 6, 2020 was titled “Ottawa has spent $240B fighting COVID-19 in just 8 months.”
                Around the world healthcare is not always as accessible as it is here in Canada. In Canada, when you get sick you call the doctor or go to the hospital but that is not always the case for many people. The World Health Organization said December 2017, “At least half of the world’s population cannot obtain essential health services, according to a new report from the World Bank and WHO. And each year, large numbers of households are being pushed into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets.”
                So back to this woman who was desperate for help. She had suffered, doctors couldn’t help her and she was getting worse. That scenario still happens today but the difference was her faith. Mark 5:27 “When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” Picture a large crowd if you can remember what that was like with people pushing and shoving as they try to make their way. Here you have Jesus walking towards the house of Jairus and the crowds are all around Him. The disciples still not grasping who Jesus was said, 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?” The woman would have had to fight her way through the crowd to get that close. This is amazing and the amazing part is not just the woman touching Jesus but the crowds walking with him, that were just walking with Him not even realizing the power was right there in their midst. Because of her faith this woman had purpose, was desperate and wanted to be healed and Jesus knew that power had gone out from Him. 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Jesus said Luke 18:8 “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” In the midst of this crowd who were walking with Jesus on His way to heal a little girl, this one woman reached out in faith and touched Jesus. When she touched Jesus she was healed instantly.
                One Sunday morning the sermon is on this passage. As it is read the congregation sympathizes with her suffering. They think about the suffering of this poor woman but rejoice over the great faith she had for putting herself out there. What a wonderful story she will have to tell her children and their children. They think these stories make us feel so good inside and just want to praise God. Like so many services the gospel is read and people even stand when read and then they go home as once again the old, old stories are told over and over again. The end!
                But that is not how it is supposed to be. One of the false assumptions the church has made is the acceptance of the role of the health care system as opposed to God’s healing power. It appears to most that going to the doctor is what God would have you do. You would think it was His plan all along but as we read half the world doesn’t have health care and even here with the greatest medical care possible, people still die and there is not a thing the doctor can do about it other than make you feel comfortable as you die. Brain tumors, cancer, heart failure, strokes, mental health all leave families with loss. Now I am not telling you to stop taking your drugs or going to the doctor because God has not turned back to us yet but when it happens you will know. There was nothing the doctors could do for this woman but when she touched Jesus, she was healed instantly. When you read this account of this woman, you should be thinking how desperately we need the power of Jesus to flow once again. The best healthcare in the world doesn’t come close to a touch from Jesus. Instantly healed doesn’t quite have the costs of a week in the hospital. Remember that one of the gifts of the Spirit is healing. 1 Corinthians 12:9 “to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” People in the church were supposed to do as Jesus did and heal those who are sick. Jesus sent out His disciples Luke 9:1 “to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
                Instead the church has falsely accepted the role of the doctor over the gift of healing. Instead of pleading with God to do the same in our day, the church reads this account as a story they love to hear over and over again but they do not seek the power to heal. Most do not even realize this same power is available. For that power to return the church must turn from their wicked ways. Instead of reaching out to touch Jesus, the church walks and talks with Jesus along the narrow way but never reaches out to touch Him. This woman had great faith and she was healed instantly for it. This healing power was what the church was given yet most in the church are just content to walk and never be healed. Matthew 14:34 “When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” Mark 3:8 “When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.” Because the church hasn’t seen the healing as described in scripture, they are just content to believe it is no longer possible instead of repenting for their unbelief and the unbelief of those who have gone before us.
                Here is an example from the Old Testament that describes the church today. 2 Chronicles 16:11 “The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians. 13 Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors.” Too many are content to follow his example and die. Funeral after funeral takes place because nothing could be done to save them yet the church just accepts this as how it is supposed to be.
                We are told in James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” This only happens with the power of the Holy Spirit and should be taking place. This is not happening because God has turned His face from the church and His power has been withdrawn from us.
                Take a look around at all the people on medications for many different illnesses. Look at the deaths of people where the doctors just couldn’t do anything to save them or even the ones where medication costs a fortune. Don’t be content with not seeing healing in our midst. Be desperate for God to move. Plead with God to turn His face to shine on us once again so that the church will once again look like scripture. Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”