No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
Mark 5:21-24; 35-42
THE INFLUENCE OF A FAITHFUL MAN
Intro: Today is Father’s Day, a day set aside to honor the men who have been given the great privilege of being fathers. I thank God for my father, and I cherish his memory. I also thank the Lord for the tremendous honor of being a father myself. The Lord has blessed Joan and me with two wonderful children. It is a wonderful honor to be their dad.
I know that I have made many mistakes as a father. I hope I got a few things right along the way as well. Either way, I know that I have had an influence in the way our children turned out. I also know, that as a man in a position of leadership in the church, my life has influenced, for good or for ill, other children as well. I say that to remind you that we often underestimate the influence a man has in the lives of children.
Fathers, you are influencing the lives of your children every single day. They are watching you and they are learning from you. Sons are learning how to treat a spouse. Daughters are learning what to look for in their own spouse. Sons and daughters are learning how to serve the Lord. Your children are learning how to appreciate the Bible, the church and the things of God, just by watching you.
Men, all the children in your life, whether they are in your family, or are just around you in the church and community, are watching you and they are learning from your example. They are learning about faithfulness, obedience to the Lord, worship, serving God and others, and many other lessons, just by watching how you carry yourself around them.
That is a lot of responsibility. That is the way God intended it to be. God has invested leadership in the home and in the church in men. Ill. Eph. 5:21–28; Eph. 6:1–4; 1 Tim. 3:1-13. That does not discount or cheapen the role of women in the home and church, but the fact remains, men have been chosen to lead.
Because we have been given that sphere of influence in the home and in the church, we can expect that we will be called to give an account of how we exercised that influence when we stand before the Lord. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way,” Rom. 14:12–13.
If you wonder whether or not the influence of a man in the lives of children is so important, consider the following:
Since our responsibility is so great to our families and before the Lord, we need to know how to carry ourselves as we move through life. This passage introduces us to a man named Jairus.
Most of you are well acquainted with this story. Jairus has a young daughter who is sick. He fears that her sickness is fatal. Knowing that he cannot save her, but believing that Jesus Christ can, this grieving father goes to ask Jesus to come to his home to heal his daughter.
As the events of this passage play out, Jairus teaches his wife, his daughter, his servants, and all those who are watching, some valuable lessons about faith and onedience. He sets an example that every man, especially every father, would do well to take heed to.
I want to explore this account in detail today. I want to share with you the lessons Jairus taught those who were in the sphere of his influence. As I do, I want to remind you that you are influencing others every minute of every day. We need to make that influence count for the good of our families and for the glory of God.
Let’s notice these lessons together as I preach about The Influence Of A Faithful Man.
I. v. 22 HOW HE APPROACHED JESUS
Jairus is “a ruler of the synagogue.” This means that he was the primary official who oversaw the business of the synagogue. He would have had a major part in every service at the synagogue.
He was responsible for making sure that everything was in order and ready at the synagogue. He would have been responsible for handling the Torah scrolls and calling on some to read from the Word of God. He would have led the worship week by week. He would have even been responsible for keeping the building and grounds in good order. In many ways, his position would be like to of a Pastor in a local church.
Jairus, by virtue of his position in the synagogue, was an important man in his community. He is a man of prominence, prestige, privilege, prosperity and power in the community. When Jairus spoke, people listened. When he walked into a room, everyone stood up in recognition. Most men in his position were aligned with the Pharisees. Thus, he would have been a member of one of the most prominent and powerful religious orders of the day.
He was a man who had it all. He was a man who had reached the pinnacle of success in that society. But, at this moment in time, none of it mattered! He suddenly finds himself in a place where none of that matters! Sickness and death could care less about who this man is, what he possesses or the position he holds.
Here is a man who is religious. But, his religion is powerless to help him or his family. Jairus would have traded everything for the power to heal his child. Life became very defined for Jairus! He had everything a man could want in life. In a moment of time, all this things he possessed added up to exactly nothing. Death had come to the house of Jairus, and it had come for his real treasure. That “little daughter,” v. 23, the one Luke calls his “one only daughter,” Luke 8:42, was dying and nothing else mattered!
Here is what I want you to see. This powerful man, this prosperous man, this influential man, this man of standing in the community, was not ashamed to humble himself before the Lord. Jairus came before the Lord reverently, prayerfully and passionately. He “fell at His feet,” v. 22. The word “fell” means “to descend from a higher place to a lower.” Jairus came down from his lofty perch to humble himself before the Lord.
Dads, men, this is what the children around you need to see. They need to see men who are not afraid to approach Jesus Christ. They need to see men who are not ashamed to kneel before the Lord in public, and in the home. They need to see men who, like Jairus, will admit before God, their families and everyone else, that they are helpless and hopeless without the help of the Lord.
Men, the children around us must see us seeking the Lord. They must see us setting the example of approaching Jesus. It is a lesson, when learned, is not soon forgotten!
Illustration: I once read about a farmer who had labored all spring and summer of a crop of wheat. As harvest time neared, he was sure that he would receive a bumper crop. This crop was sorely needed to pray off creditors and supply and secure the family for another year.
Just a few days before the crop was to be harvested, a freak storm that brought strong winds and hail completely destroyed the crop. The harvest was lost!
That farmer stood beside his field and looked at the ruined crop. His small son stood nearby. The boy expected that his father would react in anger and despair. He expected his father to curse the weather, and maybe even God.
Instead, that father began to softly sing, “Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee...”
When that boy reached adulthood he said, “That was the greatest sermon I ever heard.”
His father had demonstrated a genuine faith that was real in the good times and in the bad and that father’s faith spoke volumes to that son!
I. How He Approached Jesus
II. v. 23a HOW HE APPEALED TO JESUS
Jairus was well aware that his wealth could not buy healing for his daughter. He knew that his social position and his power could give him access to all the social circles in his town, but it could not give him access to what he needed most. Probably, for the first time in his life, Jairus realized that he was absolutely helpless to do anything for the daughter he loved.
While Jairus was weak, he had heard of Someone Who was strong. Somewhere, Jairus had heard about Jesus. His means “He whom God enlightens.” God had opened the eyes of this Jewish official and he saw that Jesus was his only hope.
This heavy hearted father makes his way to Jesus and when he finds him, he casts the burden of his child on the Lord. He looks to Jesus to do for his daughter that which he is incapable of doing himself. He placed his child in the hand of the Lord and trusted Him to do what was right. He publicly declared and displayed his faith in and his devotion to the Lord.
Dads, men, it is our responsibility to lay the children within the sphere of our influence before the Lord and trust Him for their spiritual upbringing and their salvation.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is the gift of prayer and the gift of faith in God. Be diligent to take their names before the Lord. Pray for their salvation, their protection, their devotion to the Lord, their holiness. Pray that God will guide them, shield them, teach them and give them am ever deepening hunger for the things of God. Men, that appetite will be cultivated by what they learn from watching you.
If they see men who love the Lord, they are more likely to love Him too. If they are surrounded by men who are faithful to God, they are more likely to be faithful to Him too. But, if they are surrounded by men who take the things of God lightly and treat God with less than full devotion, that is the path they will likely take as well.
You will notice that Jairus did what he did in public, before all. He did not send a servant to call for Jesus. He did not allow another to do what was his responsibility. He publicly humbled himself before the Lord and sought Jesus for the needs of his life.
Dads, men, that is a good example for us today! We have been given the opportunity to influence lives for Jesus. One of the ways we do that is through our public worship of God.
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8
The children around us see our devotion to the Lord lived out daily. They must see us trusting in Him, walking with Him, and looking to Him for all things and in all things.
I. How He Approached Jesus
II. How He Appealed To Jesus
III. v. 23b-24; 38 HOW HE ASSOCIATED WITH JESUS
When Jairus came to Jesus, he told the Lord of his great need, then he immediately invited Jesus to come to his home. In verse 38, Jairus brought Jesus home with him. He was not ashamed to confess Christ in public, and he was not ashamed to bring Jesus home to confess Him before all those in his house.
Again, Jairus lays out a challenge for men today. Going to church is one thing, but to bring Christ home with you is quite another thing altogether. I would remind that the responsibility for the spiritual formation of your children does not rest on the shoulders of the church. The responsibility for training training children in the things of God begins in the home. And men, as the head of the home, the responsibility begins and ends with us.
When Jairus brought Jesus home, everything changed. His daughter was raised from the dead and God was glorified in his child.
Pro. 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This does not mean that your children will be perfect if you take them to church and try to do right by them.
Men, what we teach our children will show up in their lives as they grow up, and when they are adults.
What is a father’s influence?
One startling bit of research conducted by the Christian Business Men’s Committee found the following: When the father is an active believer, there is about a seventy-five percent likelihood that the children will also become active believers. But if only the mother is a believer, this likelihood is dramatically reduced to fifteen percent. Fathers, men, your influence in the lives of children is beyond calculating.
Conc: When it came to Jesus, Jairus led his family in the right path. He openly declared his faith in the Lord. He willingly brought his home under the influence of Jesus. He calmly placed his child under the sovereign care of the Lord Jesus. Jairus got it right, and his family was forever changed because of it.
Men, where does this message find you?
There is no way to overemphasize the influence of a faithful man in the lives of children, spouses and the church. I am calling on all men to be that kind of man.