Why Christians Suffer Needlessly (Part One of Two)
Yesterday, I preached a sermon on healing. I began with the story of the paralyzed man at the Sheep Gate in John five where the story illustrates the man had a desire to be healed, but no one was present to help him. Jesus came along one day and said to the man, “Do you really want to be made well?” (Message Bible) In essence, Jesus was asking this man, “Are you happy with your bedfast life, or do you really want to be made whole.” The man replied, “Sir, I have no one to help me,” thus indicating his desire was to be healed. Jesus said to the man, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” The paralytic now had to make a decision. If he accepted the challenge of Jesus, he would be the one who had to get up from his bed of affliction and do as he had been instructed. When he accepted the challenge of Jesus and made the effort to defeat his problem, his weak body received the needed strength to do what he had wanted to do for thirty-eight years. This man could have laid right there in his bed of affliction and died and Jesus wouldn’t have been able to help him because the paralyzed man had to make the decision he wanted to get up from his bed of affliction more than he wanted to stay confined in it. Jesus couldn’t make that decision for him. My point was that the challenge Jesus made to the paralyzed man at the Sheep Gate “Do you really want to be made well?” also applies to those of us today who find ourselves in a similar situation. “If we really want to be free of our infirmity, whatever that might be, then we will have to do what Jesus challenged this man to do. Rise up and defeat our problem.”
I then went to Luke 8 and the story of the dying daughter of Jairus, who was a ruler of a local synagogue. He went to Jesus seeking His help and Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” Thus we have the opposing forces a person must contend with to receive the thing they desire from God. A person must overcome their fear of not receiving what they have requested of Him, and they must believe He will do for them what He has promised us in His Word. Jairus put his fear aside and believed God’s Word and his daughter got up from her death bed.
Along about that time they were interrupted by a lady who had an issue of blood. She was considered by Jewish law to be an unclean person because she was bleeding externally. But she had said to herself, and probably more than once, “If I can but touch the hem of His garment, (referring to Jesus) I shall be made whole.” She put forth the effort to get through the crowd to touch Jesus and she received the results she desired. Her blood issue was healed, but not without Jesus realizing someone had touched Him. His disciples questioned His assessment of this unnoticed event because many people were touching Him. But Jesus said the touch He was referring to was different than all the rest; “Somebody touched me, for I perceive power going out of me.” My question to my audience was, “How was it possible for Jesus to know power had gone out of Him?” He knew because according to John 1, He was the Word of God clothed in a human body named Jesus and what this lady did when she came into contact with Jesus, the Word of God, she withdrew enough power from the Word of God to meet her need… The greater the problem, the more power the Word of God applies to it. So the amount of power she had withdrawn from Him was a noticeable amount. Do you understand what I just wrote? When her faith brushed against the power contained in the Word of God… she was healed.
The same power that was present in the Word of God on that day is still available to us today in another form. Then the Word of God on earth was enclosed in the fleshly body of Jesus. Now the Word of God is enclosed between the leather covers of our bibles. When combined with our faith, the written Word of God today is just as powerful as the spoken Word of God Jesus used back then. The Word of God is the Word of God in whatever form it is given to us. Are you with me? “We can get the same results today that the lady with the issue of blood got back then if we will make a draw upon the Word of God and allow the power within it to do its work in us.” (Continued in Part Two of Two) DThrash
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