Feb 08 - The Incredible Gospel of Mark

8 (Epiphany 5)

Miracle 4: Feeding of 4000 
Mark 8:1-10 (11-26) 

Focus to be around the healing of the blind man (see what I did there?)

More notes to come... 


Feb 01 - The Incredible Gospel of Mark

1 (Epiphany 4)

Miracle 3: Raising Jairus’ Daughter 

Mark 5:21-4 

Faith in Every Situation
Date: Feb 01, 2015

Reading: Mark 5:21-43 

Other readings for the day:
1 Peter 1:3-9  (now and not yet salvation)
Job 19:23-27 (I know my Redeemer lives—uses same kum verb as Jesus in talitha, kumi)

Sermon structure: Comparison/Contrast (Part to Part), see http://concordiatheology.org/sermon-structs/thematic/comparisoncontrast/

While the 12 disciples fail in their discipleship in Mark, the minor characters he presents often show us the kind of faithful response Jesus wants to work in us. The two stories that are woven together in Mark 5 present us with two very different characters who respond to Jesus in very similar (and faithful) ways. The sermon is therefore structured on the dynamic of comparison/contrast.

One of the keys to getting this kind of sermon to work right is to have a clear understanding of WHY you are doing the comparison; otherwise it becomes tedious information. So here is a statement of the goal of the sermon/comparison.

Purpose of the comparison: that the hearers identify their own situation as an opportunity/invitation to RUN to Jesus, RELY on Jesus, and RECEIVE from Jesus God’s saving, grace-filled reign in His time and in His way.

To accomplish this goal, we’ll look at three different elements of the two stories in turn, rather than comparing the two stories as a whole to each other. (This approach to comparison is Part to Part, rather than Whole to Whole.)

Sermon outline based on Comparison/Contrast, Part to Part:

Intro: Mark and minor characters
While the 12 disciples fail in their discipleship in Mark, the minor characters he presents often show us the kind of faithful response Jesus wants to work in us. The two stories that are woven together in Mark 5 present us with two very different characters who respond to Jesus in very similar (and faithful) ways

Topic 1: Different Life Situations

  • Contrast A) Jairus and B) the Woman and their background and situations.
Sermon notes give space for contrasting Jairus and the Woman.

The Woman
Isolated woman 
The fact that she had so much money at her disposal to spend on ‘cures’ indicates she was probably a widow.

Outsider, not allowed in the synagogue
Because of her disease, she was constantly unclean, not allowed to come into contact with other people and not allowed to enter the synagogue or temple

She comes on her own behalf, after a long, drawn-out illness.

She has spent everything she had and suffered much; she has been living in this suffering and isolation for 12 years, as long as Jairus has had a daughter!
Family man
He has a daughter, wife, friends that grieve.

Insider, leader in the synagogue
‘synagogue’ ruler was a position of authority and respect
He comes on behalf of someone else, in immediate and pressing need. We don’t know how long the 12-year-old has been sick, but we do know there is an immediate, life-threatening situation. This is more of an emergency than a drawn-out condition.

  • Apply to our lives: 

Do you feel more like an insider, well-known at Church, lots of connections? Or more like an outsider, looking in?

Have you been suffering in a long, drawn out situation? Has this been going on for a decade or more? Or are you facing a sudden, unexpected emergency?

Is the burden you bring to the throne of grace today one that has your name on it? Or does your heart ache for someone else in your life, someone you see struggling and suffering and needing the power and presence of Jesus in their life?

Whatever situation you face—whatever your need, status, position, or history—you need to know what both Jairus and the unnamed Woman learned: No situation is outside of the power or compassion of Jesus.

Topic 2: The Same Faith in Action

  • Compare A) Jairus and his attitude/actions encountering Jesus and B) the Woman and her attitude/actions encountering Jesus.

Although they have very different stories and very different standings in their community, both Jairus and the woman show a faithful response to who Jesus is and what Jesus is all about.

Both Jairus and the Woman RUN to Jesus.

______RUN_______ to Jesus.

The woman has tried everything else; Jairus is faced with a life and death situation. Both of them face a deep need born out of suffering. And both of them take their deep need to Jesus.

Although the woman should have never come into a crowd or touched another person because of her disease, although Jairus was putting all of his status and reputation on the line, they both find themselves at the feet of Jesus, looking for Him to do what only Jesus can do.

In their desperate need, both Jairus and the Woman  RELY on Jesus.

______RELY___________ on Jesus.

Jesus is the object of the woman’s faith. She has heard about who He is and what He is about, and she reasons that this Jesus has enough power even in the edge of His garment to bring her healing and salvation.

Jairus comes and falls at the feet of Jesus. He doesn’t ask as a synagogue ruler, demanding something by right. He comes as a father in desperate need. Jairus humbles himself before Jesus, there at His feet, and relies on Jesus and Jesus alone to rescue his dying daughter.

Both Jairus (the family man) and the isolated woman come to Jesus empty-handed. Neither one has any leverage, any bargaining chips, and reason for Jesus to help. Yet each trusts Jesus can and will meet their need. Jairus and the woman don’t come to give something to Jesus; they come to RECEIVE from Jesus.

_____RECEIVE_____ from Jesus.

In their need and suffering, these minor characters in the Gospel of Mark help show what a faithful response looks like: they RUN to Jesus, RELY on Jesus, and RECEIVE from Jesus what only Jesus can give.

  • Apply to our lives: these basic faith responses are the same kinds of things Jesus is shaping in your life. Run to Jesus, Rely on Jesus, Receive from Jesus.

Topic 3: Jesus brings God’s Kingdom

  • Compare and Contrast how Jesus responds to Jairus and the Woman: different timing, the same saving, grace-filled reign of God.

In response to the faith of these minor characters, Jesus shows himself faithful.  And when Jesus acts, there’s more at stake than a miracle worker managing a couple of incredible acts of healing. When Jesus acts, He is bringing the ultimate and final reign of heaven into the present time.

You can see what’s going on clearly in the word used to describe these miracles. Yes, being “healed” or “made well” is part of the meaning, but only one part. The language Mark uses here is the same kind of language reserved for Ultimate Rescue, for Liberation from Sin and Death, for Salvation itself.

When the isolated woman walks away from Jesus, she isn’t just healed, she is SAVED. Jesus calls her daughter, brings her back into God’s family, and tells her that God’s Ultimate Rescue has changed her life, right now and also forever.

When Jairus begs Jesus to touch his daughter, he isn’t asking for a mere healing. O, he wants healing, but so much more. He uses language of Rescue and Liberation and Salvation. And when Jesus heals that 12-year-old girl, Jesus borrows language and power from the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

It’s almost as if God’s FINAL VICTORY, God’s Ultimate Rule, God’s End-Times Kingdom is being brought from the distant future into the real lives of these desperate people as they encounter Jesus of Nazareth. The sick are healed. The dead are raised. Faith looks to Jesus, and Jesus brings God’s ultimate salvation.

And the same kind of thing is happening still. As you RUN to Jesus in your great need, and RELY on Him and RECEIVE from Him what only He can give, God’s Ultimate Salvation is brought out of the distant future and into your life right here and now.

3. Jesus brings God’s _____SAVING_____, grace-filled reign

into your ___LIFE_______ and into the life of the age to come.

As that promised salvation comes to you already today, notice one last difference between these two faithful minor characters in Mark’s gospel.

Both Jairus and the woman come to Jesus in their need. Both Jairus and the woman receive God’s Ultimate Salvation from Jesus in their present life and struggle. But although Jesus brings His salvation to each of them, the timing is dramatically different.

The woman touches Jesus’ garment and Kapow! She is immediately healed. Jesus agrees to go with Jairus to heal the 12-year-old girl, and Jesus gets delayed on the way. And although the whole exchange with the woman couldn’t have taken more than a few minutes, even that small delay seemed from Jairus’ perspective to have tragic consequences.

The messengers meet them on the road. Jesus listened, but not soon enough. Jesus came to save, but came too late. The girl is dead.

I wonder if Mark intertwined these two stories of suffering, fear, and faithfulness so that struggling disciples can see firsthand, It’s Never ____ TOO LATE_____ for Jesus.

Whether you have been praying for a change in your life for twelve years or you just 
Started praying during this sermon,

Whether the answer comes in an immediate, dramatic fashion, or it seems to you Jesus has been delayed in His response,

Whether you are filled with joy because of God’s present salvation, or your heart breaks because it seems Jesus has come too late, these words are for you:

Don’t be afraid; just believe.

The Salvation Jesus brings into your present life is only a foretaste of the feast to come. Jesus can and does come into your here and now in miraculous and saving ways. And even if Jesus has not acted to save in your present life in the way you had thought, don’t be afraid; just believe. Not even death can keep Jesus from bringing God’s Ultimate, End-Times salvation into your life.

The Day will come when Jesus takes you by the hand, and calls you by name, and says arise!” Then, and only then, will you experience the full, present, and eternal reign of God in your full, present, and eternal life. Then and only then will the salvation you have already now in Jesus be revealed in all its glory. Only then will all of God’s promises finally have their completion in Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be glory into all the ages, amen. 

Other Worship Ideas:

My Faith Looks Up to Thee,
Come to Jesus (Chris Rice) vs 1 before and the rest after confession,
I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table

Maybe an Easter Hymn

Death is all around us …

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, you know every detail of my life. You know each and every difficulty I face. You know—and care—about what I am going through right now.

I come to You again today, Jesus, looking for what You will do in my heart and life. I rely on You, Jesus, for comfort, forgiveness, and renewal. I am waiting for You, Jesus, to bring God’s saving reign into my daily sins and struggles.

[Take time to think about your joys and challenges. Bring Jesus your fears, doubts, failures, hopes, and dreams. Put your future into His care.]

Jesus, bring me Your perfect salvation in Your perfect timing.


Taking worship home

The minor characters in the Gospel of Mark often show us the faithful response Jesus wants to shape in our own lives.

In what ways do you relate to Jairus? The Woman? What kinds of things in your week would you take to Jesus if you heard He was in town? 

With a friend or family member, talk about one or two of the following:

As you see the relentless way both Jairus and the Woman pursue what only Jesus can give, talk about what ways you relentlessly pursue Jesus and His blessing. What gets in the way? What response is Jesus shaping in you?

The Woman was unclean and therefore an outsider. Jesus brings her back into the family of God. Have you even felt like an outsider? What happened? Is Jesus doing something in your life to bring you back into His family?

Jairus humbles himself before Jesus and then Jesus gets delayed in His response. Is there one way you can humble yourself before Jesus this week? Are your prayers being answered quickly or is there a delay? What do you do while you wait?

How do you experience God’s saving, grace-filled reign in Jesus this week?

Talk about what is the same—and different—about that reign now and in the life of the age to come.


Jan - Apr 2015 The Gospel of Mark

We will be working through the book of Mark leading us into to Lent and through to Easter.  

January Theme Reading
4         Baptism of Jesus                            Mark 1:1-12

11         Jesus Teaching with Authority Mark 1:14-28

18 (Life Sunday) Miracle 1: Healing of Paralytic Mark 2:1-12 (13-17) LIFE SUNDAY

25 (Epiphany 3) Miracle 2: Calms a Storm Mark (3:20-22; 4:1, 26-29) 4:33-41

1 (Epiphany 4) Miracle 3: Raising Jairus’ Daughter Mark 5:21-43

8 (Epiphany 5) Miracle 4: Feeding of 4000 Mark. 8:1-10 (11-26)

15 (Transfiguration) Transfiguration                   Mark 8:31-9:8

22 (Lent 1) Triumphal Entrance Mark 11:1-11

1 (Lent 2) Parable of the Tenants Mark 12:1-12

8 (Lent 3) Stay Awake!                    Mark 13:1-13, 32-37

15 (Lent 4) Passover Celebration Mark 14:1-25

22 (Lent 5) Jesus Prays in the Garden Mark 14: (26-31) 32-42

29 (Passion Sunday) The Arrest          Mark 14:43-52       (OR Passion Sunday, Mark 14:42-15:41)

5 (Easter) Easter                      Mark 16:1-8

12 (Easter 2) Post-Resurrection 1 John 20:19-29

19 (Easter 3) Post-Resurrection 2 John 21:1-14

26 (Easter 4) Post-Resurrection 3 John 21:15-19

3 (Easter 5) Confirmation confirmation texts

10 (Easter 6) ??? ???

17 (Easter 7) ??? ???

24 (Memorial Weekend) Pentecost Acts 2:1-21

31 (Trinity) Trinity John 3:1-17/Is. 6:1-8


Lent Midweek from John 
2/18 (Ash Wednesday) Ash Wednesday maybe John 13:1-20 foot washing?

2/25 Way, Truth, Life                 John 14:1-14

3/4 True Vine                          John 15:1-17

3/11 Work of the Holy Spirit        John 16:1-15 or 16:16-33

3/25 High Priestly Prayer           John 17:1-26

4/2 (Maundy Thursday) Jesus Washes Disciples’ Feet John 13:1-20

4/3 (Good Friday) Crucifixion Mark 14:53-15:47  [OR John 19]