Sunday, June 19, 2011

Linked to Christ Brings Healing//Luke 8:40-55

Linked to Christ brings healing…
Luke 8:40-55
Last week we discussed how being linked to Christ brings hope. From John 8, the woman about to be stoned we saw how Jesus’ pattern to give us hope in our lives, Jesus’ pattern of redemption was so different that they way most of us grew up understanding. I know I grew up thinking I had to look like a church person, dress like a church person, and act like a church person before they would accept me. Jesus had other ideas:
Jesus’ Pattern of Redemption
o      Accepts us regardless of our past.
o      Believes in us despite our current situation.
o      Challenges us to be different.

This week as we focus on being linked to Jesus we see that being linked to Jesus brings us healing. This is what I know, Jesus wants to bring healing to your life,  your whole life. To your body, mind, and soul. Our culture has limited the idea of healing to our body and mind, to the idea that as long as everything in the body works, and we aren’t crazy enough to be on America’s Most Wanted, we are fine. But there is so much more, we are whole people, which we will talk about more next week, but the healing Jesus wants to give us is total healing so we find our place in community, and live out our divine calling. Jesus wants to heal us, the question is, are we willing to receive His healing or will we wait and seek God’s presence in our lives as a last resort. 

Jesus heals when we have exhausted our options and our resources. (Mark 5:26)
o      Jarius’ child was near death, surely he had heard of Jesus before. He waited until there was no other hope. Suddenly a man who would have been reluctant to get his robes dirty, not have wanted his long prayer tassles to brush the ground is throwing himself at the feet of Jesus and pleading. He was desperate!
o      The woman had the illness for twelve years and everything she had was gone, nothing left but Jesus. She had exhausted her financial resources, her relational resources, and her spiritual resources, she too was on the ground at the feet of Jesus seeking healing. She was desperate!
o      When we have nothing left, we too throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus as a last ditch effort. Nothing else worked, might as well try Jesus!
o      Why do most of us wait until we are desperate to come to Jesus? In nearly twenty years of ministry I am constantly surprised by the number of people I only meet in the hospital or in crisis. Whether the crisis is caused by a physical sickness, a relationship sickness, or a financial sickness, when all resources are exhausted they figure they will give Jesus a shot.
o      Here is the good news: Jesus accepts us anyway and wants to heal us. Jesus loves us when we are desperate.
o      Bad news: its rarely a quick fix! We need to give Jesus as much time to fix it as we did to mess it up!

Jesus heals when we are willing to endure the risk of rejection. Usually when we have exhausted our resources we are finally willing to take the risk of following Jesus.
o      Jarius was a “leader in the synagogue.” His peers were those who were striving to eliminate Jesus.
o      He was willing to risk his reputation.
o      He was willing to risk his income.
o      He was willing to risk his life.
o      The woman who pressed through was willing to take any risk to receive healing.
o      She was willing to risk rebuke, her illness made her unclean.
o      She was willing to risk rejection, what if Jesus could not, or would not heal her?
o      She was willing to risk her life.
o      There is no reward without risk.
o      What God-sized risk are you holding back on?

Healing comes from Jesus when we embrace faith despite circumstances…you only get a miracle if you need a miracle. What did they know:
o      The situation was beyond their control
o      The situation called for belief beyond reason.
o      The situation warranted action beyond acceptable norms.
o      Faith is born out of need
o      Faith initiates action
o      Faith will be rewarded.
The Mark texts says “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Healing is definite but timing is optional. This week on the way back I found myself driving by the cemetery where Greg is buried. Greg was my best friend growing up. For his entire life he had health issues. Shortly after birth he became very ill and lost a kidney and compromised his immune system. This doesn’t seem like a big deal until you realize that if your kidneys don’t function well, you slowly poison yourself. Whenever he got sick, he got REALLY sick.

In the summer of 1993 I had dinner with my childhood friend. He was pale with a slight yellow tint to his skin. He told me that he had to move back home because his medical bills were so high he couldn’t afford his house. His kidneys were failing and failing fast. We talked about a transplant, he said they had offered him one but the chance of success was only 25%. He said he had prayed about it and felt that he should pass so that somebody else with a greater chance of survival would get the kidney. God would heal him, either here or there, he said, it’s just a matter of timing. “I have Jesus, and that’s enough.” That fall I was standing at my sink doing dishes watching my son play out in the yard. The phone rang, it was Janet, Greg’s mom. Greg’s kidneys had finally failed completely and he died. I did his funeral. His time had come to be healed. Your time has come to be healed, come to the place where we find healing, Jesus.
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