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Moments With The Master Series
Sermon # 5
A TEARFUL MOMENT
Intro: In 1871, tragedy struck Chicago as fire ravaged the city. When it was finally extinguished, the fire had taken over 300 lives and had left some 100,000 homeless. A man by the name of Horatio Gates Spafford was one of those who tried to help the people of the city get back on their feet. Spafford, a Chicago lawyer, who had invested heavily into the downtown area, lost everything as a result of that fire. More tragically, Spafford had also suffered the loss his only son just a year earlier. Still, for two years Spafford assisted the homeless, impoverished, grief-stricken and others ruined by the fire.
After about two years of such work, Spafford and his family decided to take a vacation. They were to go to England to join Moody and Ira Sankey on one of their evangelistic crusades, then travel in Europe. Horatio Spafford was delayed by some business, but sent his family on ahead. He would catch up to them on the other side of the Atlantic.
Their ship, the Ville de Havre, never made it. Off Newfoundland, it collided with an English sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and sank within 20 minutes. Though Horatio's wife, Anna, was able to cling to a piece of floating wreckage (one of only 47 survivors among hundreds), their four daughters Maggie, Tanetta, Annie, and Bessie were killed. Horatio received a horrible telegram from his wife, only two words long: "Saved alone."
Spafford boarded the next available ship to be near his grieving wife. When the ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, Spafford penned these precious words:
When peace, like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
What ever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!
My sin, O the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more:
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!
And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound And the Lord shall descend,
"Even so", it is well with my soul.
Of course, there is more to that story and more to that song, but that is an illustration of how God can work in the midst of tragedy.
Now, every one of us has been impacted by tragedy to some degree. Whether it be illness, infirmity, death, or any of the thousands of things that can touch us humans, we have all experienced pain. Whether it be the pain of a broken body, a broken heart, or a broken spirit, tragedy has touched us all. Whether the pain is physical in nature or spiritual, we have all be affected. Jesus said it would be this way, John 16:33b. Job also commented on the plight of man, Job 14:1; Job 5:7. I want you to remember that when tragedy comes your way, Jesus is more than adequate to take care of the situation. Remember John 16:33b? Well, the rest of the verse is important too.
In this passage, we are confronted with a father who is experiencing tragedy. That day, death showed up at the house of Jairus and it had come for his 12 year old daughter. He heart is broken, and in the midst of his tragedy, he turns to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jairus found out that Jesus is more than enough in the times of our tragedy.
Today, I want to look in on the events of this passage. I want us to look closely at this tragic, tearful scene and see how Jesus is able to snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat. I want to preach for a while on A Tearful Moment.
I. V. 21-23 A PITIFUL DIALOGUE
A. V. 22 The Accomplishments Of Jairus - We are told that this man is a “ruler of the synagogue”. That is, he is a man of prominence, position, prestige, privilege, prosperity and power in the community. He was a man who had it all, but at this moment in time, none of it mattered! When Jairus spoke, people listened. When he walked into a room, everyone stood up in recognition. But, now, he finds himself in a place where none of that matters anymore! 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 in this situatuion. I guarantee you that Jairus would have traded everything for the power to change his situation. You see, life became very defined for Jairus! He had everything, or so he thought. In reality, what he had in the world meant nothing! You see, 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 she was his real treasure!
(Note: Some people spend their entire lives amassing power and wealth. But, when tragedy comes, those things mean absolutely nothing! Death doesn’t care if you are a millionaire! Sickness and sorrow doesn’t care if you have power, prestige and position in the community. Sorrow and suffering don’t care about your popularity. Hell could care less about who you are and what you’ve done. When tragedy and death some calling, you better know one greater than yourself. You better know where to go to get the help you need! You see, life will come into crystal clear focus when tragedy comes! What you think matters now will cease to matter then. Jairus knew where to go, do you?)
B. V. 22 The Attitude Of Jairus - Somewhere, Jairus had heard about Jesus. The name Jairus means “He whom God enlightens”. Somehow, God had opened the eyes of this Jewish official and he saw that Jesus was his only hope. And now, at the very moment his daughter is dying Jesus just happens to be passing through town. What a coincidence! Not! It was the divine plan of God that allowed the paths of Jairus and Jesus to cross. (Ill. He is always passing by!)
Notice how this man of position and power came before Jesus Christ. He came reverently, prayerfully and passionately. The Bible says that he “fell at His feet”, v. 22. The word “fell” means “to descend from a higher place to a lower”. In other words, this big man humbled himself in the presence of the Lord of glory. He came down from his lofty perch to humble himself before the Lord.
(Note: This is a secret many people never learn. Before you are ever going to get anywhere with the Lord, you are going to have to humble yourself in His presence. You are going to have to get small before Him. You are going to have to come to the place where He is everything and you are nothing. One of the greatest truths in the Bible is this: The way up is down! This truth is made clear in the Word of God, James 4:6; 10; 1 Pet. 5:5-6. When we come to the place where we see our own inability and His ability, then we are in a position to receive what we need from Him!)
C. V. 23 The Acknowledgment Of Jairus - When this man comes to Jesus, falls down before Him and makes his petition to the Lord, he is saying to Jesus, “I cannot do this thing, but I believe you can!” What a statement of faith! Friend that is the place we have got to get to in life! Whether it be for the salvation of your own soul, the salvation of a loved one or for help in a time of tragedy, we have got to reach the place where we know that we while can’t, He can!
(Ill. Joshua 5:13-15 - Joshua meets the Lord and is commanded to remove his “shoe” from off his foot. Why just one shoe? The answer lies in ancient custom. When a covenant was made between two individuals, in which one possessed power to keep the covenant and the other didn't, the weaker individual handed the other individual one of his shoes. It was his way of saying, "I can't, but you can." This is seen in the book of Ruth chapter 4 and verses 6-8. For Joshua, this was a challenge for him to come to the place where he could admit his own weakness and inability to gain the victory. It was a call for him to surrender to the Lord. For us, we need to learn the truth that we can't, but He can!
There are some in this room and you have been trying to fight your battles in your own power. You keep losing. Friend, you need to get in the altar, symbolically draw off your shoe, hand it to God and say, "Lord, I can't fight these battles, but you can! I can't win the victories I need in my life, but you can!" What I am saying is that we need to come to the place of absolute surrender! To that place where we and all we have are at the feet of God. To the place where we are willing to say, once for all, "I can't Lord, but You can!")
II. V. 24-35 A PAINFUL DELAY
A. V. 24 The Interest Of The Savior - When Jairus shares his story with Jesus, he receives a sympathetic ear. Jesus is interested in his need and goes with Jairus to his house.
(Note: What a blessed truth that is! When bring your need to Jesus, He will be on His way into your situation to do something about your need. Satan and others may have told you that Jesus just doesn’t care about you. Nothing could be farther from the truth! He cares and He cares deeply, 1 Pet. 5:7; Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:15-16! Ill. What Jesus told His disciples in Matt. 6:25-31; Luke 12:6-7.)
B. V. 25-34 The Intrusion Of Sickness - As Jesus goes with Jairus, they are stopped by the woman with the issue of blood. This delay must have gripped the heart of Jairus. No doubt, he is impatient and wants the Master to hurry. It must have confused him as to why Jesus would stop and deal with this issue, when his little daughter was lying at deaths door.
(Note: None of the Gospel writers ever record anything that Jairus said during this delaying time. He isn’t seen impatiently pulling on the robes of Jesus to hurry Him along. He doesn’t interrupt our Lord’s dialog with this poor woman. He merely waits until Jesus is free and can continue on with him. This is the response of faith! Here is a man who has come to the place where he knows that he cannot solve his problem. He has placed that problem in the hand of Jesus and he has left it there. What a lesson for you and me! Regardless of the issue, salvation, pain, heartache, etc, when we bring it to Him, learn to leave it with Him and see what He will do with it!)
C. V. 35 The Invasion Of Sorrow - During the time of delay, a servant of Jairus comes to the tragic word: “Your daughter is dead!” Can you imagine how Jairus must have felt at that moment? His world must have fallen apart around him. All of his dreams and hopes were in an instant shattered and broken. I wonder if he said within his heart: “If it hadn’t been for the crowd, we would have gotten there in time and my daughter would have been alive. If that woman had not interrupted Jesus, we would have been home now and everything would be fine. If Jesus had not stopped to help that woman, my daughter would still be alive!” Surely, this man could not understand the reasons for his tragedy!
(Note: How many times has a similar word come to our hearts? Dead and there is no more hope! My how we are shaken by such news! How we look back at the times we prayed about a matter and wonder why the Lord tarried and allowed this to happen. Friend, you aren’t the first to question God’s timing. Mary and Martha questioned the Lord in His timing concerning the death of Lazarus, John 11:1-6; 11-44. The disciples in that storm must have questioned Jesus, Mark 6:45-51. But, did you know that our Lord’s delay are part of His eternal plan? You see, in the end, Mary and Martha saw Jesus raise the dead and the disciples saw Him walk on water. Neither would have had either experience had he not delayed His coming to them. Sometimes, He tarries just because He loves us, John 11:5. So, when it seems that God is moving slow, don’t give up, because while God is seldom early, He is never late! Of course, what we see as a delay is really God moving at the right time! You see, deity never has to hurry, He always shows up right on time!)
III. V. 36-43 A POWERFUL DELIVERANCE
(Ill. So, a tragic situation has transformed itself into an impossible situation. The little girl is no longer sick, now she is dead! Even at this tragic moment, it is interesting to see how faith reacts. Jairus has placed his faith in Jesus, and even in the face of death, his faith does not waiver! Notice how faith in Jesus saw Him produce a great victory. Ill. The scene back at the house of Jairus!)
A. V. 36 The Exclamation Of Faith - Jesus says to Jairus, “Be not afraid, only believe!” What a word of faith! Jesus is saying to him, “Don’t believe what you hear, v. 35. Don’t believe what you know, v. 38-39. Don’t believe what you see, v. 40. Just trust Me!”
(Note: That is what faith says to you today! Every instinct and every indicator may say, “It is hopeless!” But, faith looks away to a God Who is greater than anything we can hear, know or see! All I am saying is, you bring your need to Jesus. You trust your need to Jesus and you leave your need with Jesus! Everything about the situation may say, “It’s not going to work out!” But, you leave it in His hand by faith and trust Him with it. He will work it out in His time and in His way. By the way, He may not work it out that way you want Him to! Are you content to let Him do it His way? My friends, whether it is your own salvation, the salvation of another, or any problem you want to name, He is more than adequate for the task. Get that problem into His hand and leave it there!)
B. V. 37-40 The Exclusions Of Faith - Notice that Jesus put out everyone who did not believe Him. Those who lacked faith in Him were excluded from seeing Him move and work in power.
(Note: Things haven’t changed! You see, faith believes the incredible, sees the invisible and receives the impossible. Unbelief receives nothing from the hand of God! Ill. James 1:6-7; Matt. 21:22.) (Ill. Brother Maze and the little boy who wanted to see his daddy saved!)
C. V. 40-43 The Exhibition Of Faith - When Jesus entered the room where that dead girl was lying, He took her by the hand and told her to rise and she did! When live came in death had to flee! How do we know she was alive? She had all the signs. She was living, she was walking and she was eating. (Note: By the way, these are signs of new spiritual life in Jesus!) When those in the room saw what Jesus had dome, the Bible says they were “astonished with a great astonishment”. Those two words come from a word that means “to throw out of position; to be out of one’s mind.” Literally, when they saw Jesus do what He did, it blew their minds and left them with their chins hanging on their chests in amazement!
(Note: Friend, He is waiting to do that same thing in your life today. He is waiting for you to bring your impossible situation to Him, leave it with Him by faith, and trust Him to deal with it in His time. Some of you need to bring your soul to Jesus today. You need to be saved. You need not fear that He won’t save you. He will and He will fix that which is broken in your life. Some of you need to bring a lost spouse, a lost child or some other special person to Jesus today. Put them in His hand and leave them to Him. Some need to bring a situation that is causing you fear and worry today. Bring it to Jesus, give it to Him and watch Him change it for His glory! I don’t know what you need, but I know He has it for you. Why not get the peace, comfort and help you need today?)
Conc: A Methodist preacher by the name of Luther Bridges, was born in 1884, he married Sarah Veatch and three lovely sons were born of their union. Pastor Bridges accepted an invitation to minister at a conference in Kentucky in the year 1910, so he left his family in the care of his father-in-law and made the trip to Kentucky. There, two wonderful weeks of ministry resulted. The last service closed with great joy and he was excited to be called to the telephone. He couldn’t wait to tell his wife about all the blessings.
But it wasn’t her voice on that long distance line. He listened in silence to the news that a fire had burned down the house of his father-in-law and his wife and all three of his sons had died in the blaze. That distraught father leaned heavily on His Savior and expressed his faith in God during a tearful moment by penning these words:
There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumbering chords again.
Feasting on the riches of His grace,
Resting ’neath His sheltering wing,
Always looking on His smiling face,
That is why I shout and sing.
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.
Soon He’s coming back to welcome me,
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown,
I shall reign with Him on high.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
You see friends, the supply for our need will only be found in Jesus Christ. I invite you to do what Jairus did so long ago. Get up, go to Jesus, fall at His feet and tell Him what you need. Do you need to be saved today? He can do that! Do you need to see a loved one touched and saved? He can do that! Do you need help with a problem? He can do that! Do you need grace for a valley? He can do that! Do you need healing for sickness or a broken heart? He can do that!
Jesus is not a magic genie! But, He is a Sovereign Lord! He can take an impossible situation and turn it into a miracle of His power and glory. Is there a need? Get it to Him!