Title:  What Jesus Responds To


Summary:  In these healing miracles, Jesus demonstrates that he responds to faith, which is characterized as one that looks beyond Jesus the man to see Jesus the Lord so that our faith will not be overcome by fear, but look to Jesus to be saved and made whole.  If our faith is not like this, it is useless.


Text:  Mark 5:21-6:6


Scripture Reading:  James 2:17-20



1.  We tend to respond positively to some things, and negatively or not at all to others

          a.  Children respond well to praise, and not as well to just punishment

          b.  People respond well to praise, but not always as well to shame

c.  We respond to positive reinforcement, and may simply ignore insults

          d.  There is something that Jesus also responds to

2.  In today’s text, will see that Jesus responds to faith

          a.  Normally, Jesus will perform a sign, then people respond with faith

                    - Shows part of his purpose was to enable faith

                    - People could know that he was the Son of Man, Messiah

          b.  However, it is different in these miracle stories

                    - People come to him because of faith they already have

                    - Jesus responds to their faith, giving what they need

3.  Lesson: Jesus will do nothing for you without faith

          a.  What is faith?  It is a popular theme these days in our culture

                    - The message is “Just believe” or “Have faith”

                    - Many stories, poems, movies, etc. carry this theme

                    - Question: In what?  Who?  How?

          b.  There are many kinds of faith and objects of faith

                    - Some believe in fate or some other philosophy

                    - Some believe in human knowledge - science

                    - Some believe in karma

                    - Most common – “Believe in yourself!” - All about me

          c.  This is like saying believe in . . . bread.  It will mold and fail

          d.  Text shows Jesus doesn’t respond to just any kind of faith

4.  Jesus responds to real faith

          a.  Will identify the characteristics of true faith in these miracle stories

          b.  (Mark 5:21-:6:6)


I.  Looks beyond Jesus the man to Jesus the Lord

          A.  Jesus is human, but much more than just human

          B.  Text shows what happens if you don’t look to the Lord Jesus

                    1.  Jesus goes to his hometown, Nazareth.  Notice the reaction

                              a.  They were astonished

                                        - Jesus is teaching in the synagogue

                                        - Where did he get this wisdom of his?

                                        - How is he able to do these miracles?

                              b.  They took offense at him

                                        - This is little Jesus (Joshua), we saw him grow up

                                        - He’s just a carpenter with Joseph and Sons

                                        - We know his family, parents, brothers, sisters

                                        - Who does he think he is????

                              c.  They refused to recognize or honor him as Lord

                              d.  They didn’t even seem to recognize him as a prophet

                    2.  Result - Jesus could do almost no miracles in Nazareth

                              a.  Jesus only responds to faith

                              b.  Nazareth passed up a huge blessing and opportunity

                              c.  So Jesus went around the villages, teaching

                    3.  Do people still take offense at Jesus?  Yes

                              a.  Offense at Jesus the Lord, want to say he is only man

                              b.  Offense at his exclusivity - He is the only way to God

                              c.  Some say he only a sage, social reformer, philosopher

                    4.  Like Nazareth, they reject him and receive nothing from him

          C.  ILL:  Knew someone whose life never seemed to go well for him

                    1.  High School drop out, drugs, trouble with law, divorced, broke

                    2.  If talk about Jesus - He say, Well He never did anything for me

                              a.  Answer - Have you ever listened to him?

                              b.  He has tried to help you, but have you accepted him?

                    3.  What if you say

                              a.  Doctor did me no good - but did not heed his instruction?

                              b.  Mechanic did me no good - but not take car to him?

                              c.  Lottery did me no good - but never buy a ticket?

                    4.  What about the cross, resurrection, his willing to be advocate?

                              a.  If never come to him in faith, of course he no benefit

                              b.  Jesus responds to faith, and gives great blessing to you

          D.  So, don’t be like those folks in Nazareth

                    1.  They passed up opportunity to be made whole, joy, peace, hope

                    2.  They passed up salvation for all eternity

                    3.  We need to have faith that looks to the Lord

                    4.  If we do, they our faith can grow strong


II.  Is not overcome by fear

          A.  Faith in Christ comes out as reliance, confidence, assurance, boldness

          B.  Jairus came boldly to Jesus

                    1.  Was a ruler of the synagogue

                              a.  Jewish leaders typically rejected Jesus and his followers,

     often violently

b.  Read between the lines - Jairus took a risk

          - He could be put out of the synagogue

          - If so, no one do business with him any more

          - Would be shunned by family and neighbors

                    2.  Daughter died on their way there.  What would be your reaction?

                              a.  Oh no!  Too late!  If only you hurried!

                              b.  That is reaction Martha had when Lazarus died

                              c.  They said not to trouble Jesus any more

                    3.  Jesus said, Do not be afraid, only believe (lit- Keep on believing)

                              a.  Did not say, “do not be afraid, but have courage”

                              b.  Jesus places faith as the opposite of fear

                              c.  Besides, what good is courage without Christ?

                                        - Without Christ, you are hopeless

                                        - Courage not mean a thing without Christ

                    4. Jesus said the girl is not dead, only asleep.  Why?

                              a.  Why not say, “Yes she is dead, but I will raise her”

                                        - Would have been a great sign for the crowds to see

                                        - Think of what that accomplishes

                                        - Yet Jesus seems to downplay her condition

                              b.  Maybe she really was not dead?  Coma?  Seemed dead?

                                        - If this were true, this is still a miracle

                                        - Jesus heals her, she well instantaneously

                              c.  Perhaps reason Jesus said this is more simple that this

                                        - Allows no one else to accompany him to the house

  but Peter, James, and John

                                        - Puts everyone out of the house except for parents &

   his own friends before raising her

                                        - Would have overwhelmed the little girl & the family if

   there was a crowd there

                                        - Jesus compassionate and thoughtful

                              d.  This miracle a reward for faith rather than sign for crowds

          C.  ILL:  Could talk about different kinds of fear and confidence

                    1.  Fear Jairus faced was of being wrong and losing his daughter

                              a.  What if Jesus couldn’t save his daughter?

                              b.  But as we see, Jairus went to the right place

                    2.  Example of faith and confidence from Polycarp

                              a.  Elder of church at Smyrna in early 2nd century

                              b.  Disciple of John the Apostle

                              c.  Arrested, brought before Roman proconsul to swear the

     oath and revile Christ

                              d.  Polycarp said, “86 years I have served him and he has

     done me no wrong, how then can I blaspheme my king

     and savior?

                                        - Proconsul said, “I have respect for your age, simply

   say away with the Atheists”

                                        - Polycarp motioned to the crowd in stadium, “Away

   with the Atheists”

                                        - Proconsul threatened him with beasts, then with fire

                                        - Could not get Polycarp to recant his faith

                    3.  Proconsul ordered Polycarp to be burned. 

a.  Here is Polycarp’s prayer as recorded by Eusebius. 

b.  “Father of your beloved and blessed son Jesus Christ, though whom we have received the knowledge of you, I bless you that you have counted me worthy of this day and hour, that I might be in the number of the martyrs.  Among these may I be received before you today in a rich and acceptable sacrifice, as you have beforehand prepared and revealed.  Wherefore, I also praise you also for everything; I bless you; I glorify you, through the eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved son, through whom, with Him in the Holy Spirit, be glory to you both now and for the ages to come.  Amen

c.  After he said his prayer, they lit the fire

                    4.  Polycarp had no fear, but was full of faith

                              a.  He knew he went to the right place, Jesus Christ

                              b.  He faced opponents and intimidation with confidence

                              c.  They tried to intimidate him, but could not shake him

          D.  We have nothing to fear in Christ

                    1.  People will try to intimidate you because you a Christian

                              a.  Will say you are deluded, crazy, stupid

                              b.  It may even go beyond verbal intimidation

                              c.  Know that you are in good company

                    2.  As Jesus said, “Do not be afraid, only believe”

                              a.  You came to the right place, regardless of what they say

                              b.  He is the way, truth, and life, the resurrection, and life

                              c.  He is the redeemer

                    3.  Some day, he is coming back for you

                              a.  Even if you die or are killed, he will raise you

                              b.  Will come out of the ground and meet him

                    4.  Rom 8:31 - If God is for us, who can be against us

                              a.  Whom shall I fear?  No one

                              b.  Faith is a faith that overcomes fear


III.  Turns to Jesus

          A.  What is important is not just faith, but the object of our faith

                    1. She endured much and the hands of the physicians

                    2.  Do you think she had faith in those doctors?

                    3.  Of course!  Otherwise why go through all that?

                    4.  But she didn’t get better, she got worse

          B.  ILL:  Reminds me of story I heard about great grandmother

                    1.  She had a problem with her eyes, used to hurt

                    2.  A medicine woman came to the village with a cure

                              a.  They went to her and paid a bunch of money

                              b.  Gave a certain kind of leech

                              c.  Had to cook it and put it in her eyes

                              d.  Supposedly, this would cure her

                    3.  When they did this, opposite happened

                              a.  She screamed in pain

                              b.  Muscles around eye convulsed violently

                              c.  Eyes actually bulged out of their sockets

                              d.  After healed from that, she was blind all her life

                    4.  Her son went looking for the medicine woman, would have

      probably killed her if he could find her

          a.  Great grandmother got worse

          b.  Like this lady, “endured” much at hands of physicians

          c.  But she got worse

          C.  So, the woman went to Jesus, touched edge of garment and healed

                    1.  Jesus stopped, and asked, “Who touched me!”

                    2.  Picture the scene - Crowds of people pressing in on him

                              a.  Disciples said, “People pressing in on you, and you are

     asking, “Who touched me?”

                              b.  All kinds of people are touching you Jesus!

                    3.  This woman’s touch was different

                              a.  Everyone else is bumping into Jesus accidentally

                              b.  This woman is reaching out to him purposefully

                    4.  She stepped forward, bowed, and told him the truth

                              a.  Jesus responded, “Your faith has made you well”

                              b.  Actually, it was the power of Christ that made her well,

     but it was faith that brought her to Christ himself

                    5.  Choice of words the text uses

                              a.  Literally, it is “Your faith has saved you.”

                              b.  Does not use the word for heal, “therapeuo”

                                        - Mk 1:34 - Jesus healed many who were sick with

  various diseases

                                        - Mk 3:2 - Pharisees watched to see if Jesus would

  heal on the Sabbath

                                        - Mk 3:10 - Jesus healed many, they crowded him

                                        - Mk 6:5 - Could do no miracle except laid hands on a

              few sick people and healed them

                              c.  Uses the word for save, “sozo”

                                        - This woman is saved from her sickness

                                        - Mk 5:23 - Please lay hands on her so that she will

  be saved - Jesus saved her from death

                                        - Lk 19:10 - Son of man came to seek and save lost

                                        - Mt 14:30 - Peter is sinking, cries, “Lord, Save Me!”

          D.  Lord Save Me!  No one else can.

                    1.  Go to him in faith, and he will save you from it all

                    2.  Mt 1:21 - Call him Jesus, will save people from their sins

                              a.  Root of sickness, pain, death is from sin

                              b.  Jesus will save you from it all

                              c.  Rev 21:4 - No longer death, mourning, crying, pain

                              d.  Rev 22:2 - Tree of life, leaves for healing of nations

3.  He is only one can die on cross for your sins

          a.  He never sinned himself

          b.  He is Lord, therefore has authority to forgive sins

4.  Must turn to him in faith



1.  Not just about faith or belief in general

2.  Question is WHO you believe in

          a.  Our trust is not in faith itself, but in Christ himself

          b.  Look beyond the man to the Lord

          c.  He died for your sins and rose

3.  Question is also HOW you believe

          a.  How are you supposed to believe?

- Do you do it by just mentally agreeing he is there?

- Do you say a sinner’s prayer and ask him into your heart?

- Do you try to make up for your sins?

- Do you try do lifetime of good works to redeem self?

          b.  People have taught these, and none of these are in scripture

4.  Scripture tells us how to believe

          a.  Acts 2:37-38 - Conclusion of first Gospel sermon preached

                    - Heard Jesus died on the cross, and rose from the grave

                    - People heard they were guilty of sin, asked, “What shall we do?”

                    - Answer - “Repent and be Baptized for the forgiveness of your sins

                    - Do you know what each of these means?

          b.  Mk 16:16 - Jesus said he who believes and is baptized shall be saved

                    - Some say be baptized, saved, then believe

                    - Some say to believe, saved, then baptized

                    - Some say just believe and you are saved

                    - What did Jesus say in this passage?

5.  Where are you in this timeline?

          a. Sinned

                    - Isa 59:2 - Sins have separated you from your God

                    - Rom 3:23 - All of sinned and fallen short of glory of God

b. Heard the Gospel - Means “good news”

- Rom 1:16 - Power of salvation to everyone who believes 

- 1 Cor 15:1-4 - Delivered the news that Christ died for our sins,

   buried, and rose on the 3rd day

- Rom 10:17 - Faith by hearing the word

          c. Believe - If what you do is not from faith, then it doesn’t do anything

                    - Rom 1:16 - Gospel is power of salvation to everyone who believes

- Jn 8:24 - If not believe that I am he, will die in sins

- Heb 11:6 - Without faith it is impossible to please him

          d. Repented - Faith means faithfulness, moves you to repent

                    - Acts 17:30 - God commands that all people everywhere should

  repent (means to change, turn)

          e.  Baptism

                    - Acts 2:37-38 - Repent and be baptized for remission of sins

                    - Baptizo = To immerse, plunge

          f.  Remission of sins, new person, new life

                    - Rom 6:4-6 - Buried with him, walk in newness of life, free from sin

6.  This is HOW you believe, if you haven’t, you are still in your sins

7.  If you have, live faithfully for him - faith is faithfulness

8.  Remember Christ responds to faith, true faith.  Do you need to show it today?