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The Power and Pity of Jesus B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
June 14, 2023 4:00 am

The Power and Pity of Jesus B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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Grace To You
John MacArthur
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey

We who are gods know we are called, we are justified, we are sanctified, and one day we will be glorified because He has chosen to make a personal living union with us. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.

I'm your host, Phil Johnson. Today John MacArthur continues his series titled, Lessons for a Modern-Day Disciple, with an encouraging look at the power and compassion of Christ. But before we get to today's lesson, I want to mention something about what you could call the what and the how of grace to you. The what, of course, is John's Bible teaching. But there's also a how that's important, how the teaching is making a difference in people's lives. And if you have your own story to tell about how God has used grace to you in your life, we'd love for you to write us.

Let us know how we're hitting the mark. And John, an example of that comes by way of the letter you have in front of you. Yeah, it's a wonderful letter, Phil.

It comes from Kyla. She writes, I wanted to let you know how foundational your ministry has been to our marriage. Twenty-five years ago, my husband proposed to me with a ring and a MacArthur study Bible, stating that our marriage would be built on the Word of God.

I can't express what a sense of security that brought me back then, and it still does today. Through the years, we have listened to your radio program, tape sets, CDs, and MP3s. We have read your books together, studied our MacArthur study Bibles, and even visited Grace Community Church several times. And so by God's grace, we have learned our roles in marriage, received guidance for raising our children, settled our differences, hammered out our theology, made our decisions based on whether or not they lined up with God's Word. And most importantly, we have understood the true character and nature of God, that we might worship Him for who He truly is. Through times of uncertainty, your ministry has been that consistent voice proclaiming God's truth as the only anchor. We can attest to the fact that His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

2 Peter 1.3. Kyla concludes the letter by saying, There is much more to my testimony, but suffice it to say God has used grace to you in an incredible way to bless our marriage, eternally grateful. What a blessing, what a joy.

Thank you, Kyla. Hearing from friends like you is a wonderful way to strengthen the bond of relationship that we know we share with you, though from a distance. Hearing from you draws us together. Hearing from you is an important measure of grace to you's effectiveness.

We want to know how God is using these radio programs and everything we do to make a difference in people's lives to the glory of Christ. So if God has used grace to you to strengthen your understanding of His Word and change your life, drop us a short note or a long one sometime soon. But right now, stay with us as we return to our study of lessons for a modern-day disciple. Yes, friend, you don't want to miss this message on Christ's divine compassion and how Christ can comfort you in your darkest days. So follow along with John in his look at the power and pity of Jesus. Open your Bible again, if you will, to the fifth chapter of Mark. And in the light of what we've heard from John 9 and what we've heard from Job 1, we know that God is in our suffering, that the glory of God is manifest in blindness. And as I, along with you, heard again the wonderful reiteration of the fact that God allowed all that came upon Job to come to vindicate saving faith and to prove the doctrine of eternal security that saving faith can't be shattered even if Satan unleashes everything he's got cause it's a problem.

It's a permanent faith that God grants. In looking at the state of the world and tsunamis and earthquakes and catastrophes and disasters and all of that, one might be prone to think that God is harsh. Is this how we define our God? Do we give Him the privilege of doing all of that as the sole understanding that we have of Him in a fallen world?

The answer to that is no. When Moses was commissioned by God, called by God, he said, look, I'm not going to be a leader of your people unless you go with me. And the Lord said, I'll go with you. Next to this 33, Moses said, you've got to prove it to me. Show me your glory.

I want to see it. And the Lord said, I'll let all My graciousness and all My compassion pass before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

The greatest manifestation of the compassion of God, the mercy of God, the tenderheartedness of God is the incarnation of Jesus Christ. There would have been many, many ways that Jesus could have demonstrated His deity. I mean, He could have done some amazing tricks.

He could have taken off like a helicopter into space, flown around the city and come down to a soft landing. In fact, the devil thought that would be a great idea. Perhaps even more directly, He could have satisfied the demands of the Pharisees and the scribes who no matter what Jesus did, none of which they ever denied, nor could they deny, completely ignored all His miracles and insisted if they were to believe in Him, He had to do signs in the sky. He really did need to do that. He needed to do something with the sun and something with the moon, as the prophets had said, and maybe rearrange some constellations with which they were so very familiar. Now there could have been so many things that Jesus did miraculously and powerfully that would have been, you know, unarguable evidences of His divine power. But what He chose to do was to heal sick people, deliver demon-possessed people and raise the dead.

Why? Because along with the power came compassion. This is a display of mercy.

This isn't necessary. This is the heart of God manifest in Christ. He showed His power over demons. He showed His power over disease. He showed His power over death. The theological reason for suffering always goes back to divine sovereignty, that God has a purpose in it.

But even God's response to suffering is compassion, kindness, mercy. You remember Mary had said in her Magnificat about her son, the Savior, that He would bring down rulers and exalt those who were humble. Well they were both there, the rulers and the humble, the ruler and the outcast.

Well let's meet the ruler. Verse 22, one of the synagogue officials named Jairus, and generally there were between four and seven of these. They were not a part of the clerical system. They weren't Pharisees, scribes. They weren't rabbis. They weren't priests. They were lay people who were given responsibility for management of the synagogue operation. He came up and on seeing Him, He fell at His feet.

This is really politically incorrect. Verse 23, so we know what His attitude toward Jesus is. You only do this to a superior, right? You only bow down to a superior, done before a king, or revered authority, or someone perceived as holy, or known as holy. You say, well how does Jairus know anything about Jesus? Well we don't have all the story, but Jairus was a synagogue official and maybe Jairus was there the day recorded in chapter 1 verses 21 to 28 when Jesus showed up at the synagogue and was the teacher that day in the synagogue because they had a custom of letting visiting rabbis teach. And that was the day that the demon-possessed man was sitting in the synagogue. Demons love to be in synagogues and liberal churches and all that kind of stuff, and false churches. They live there, you know, they live there.

But they don't want to blow their cover. But when Jesus shows up, they're so scared and panicked that they can't help but scream. Jesus rebuked him, said, be quiet and come out of him, threw the man into convulsions and everybody was amazed.

They were also amazed at His new teaching with authority. So maybe Jairus was there that day and he began to wonder about this man and the Spirit of God worked on his heart and maybe he trailed Jesus, he did these amazing things in Capernaum for months and months and all around Galilee. But he bows down, he worships him. Verse 23, he implored him earnestly saying, my little daughter is at the point of death, please come and lay your hands on her so that she will get well and live. Do you see any doubt in that verse? I don't see any doubt in that verse.

You know, maybe it will happen. No, no, no. Well Mark says in verse 24, Jesus went off with him. By the way, Luke says he had only one daughter and she was twelve years old. We don't get that in this story till over in verse 42. But Luke early in the story, in the parallel passage, says he had only one daughter, she was about twelve. So she was born maybe when Jesus was around twenty. And when you get to be twelve, you're really at the flower of life, right?

About to get married, maybe at thirteen, fourteen, start your family. This little girl is dying, she's dying, there's no future for her, there's no hope for her, but this man knows for sure that Jesus has the power to heal her. And even as he indicates later, to raise her from the dead. So first of all, his accessibility. He was there. He was in the middle where you could get to him. He was accessible, that's just a general term, meaning you could get at him.

Available takes it a deeper step. So in verse 24, he went off with him. He's got crowds of tens of thousands. Jairus' heart was breaking. His only hope was that Jesus would come and heal his daughter. He had no doubts that he had the power to do it.

What drives this availability, this accessibility? I think it's the compassion of our Lord as our High Priest. We know Him to be touched with...what?...the feelings of our infirmities. Come unto Me, all you labor and heavy laden, I'll give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly and you will find rest for your souls. I'm not like the Pharisees. I don't bind heavy burdens on people and never do anything to help them carry them.

Very opposite. I love that text in Matthew 12, 20, borrowed from Isaiah 42, a bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench. Isn't that beautiful?

That's so vivid. A bruised reed he will not break. The shepherd would be out, take a reed, and they would turn it into a little flute and they would play it.

But after you blew it a while, the saliva would go in and the little reed would bend and you'd break it and throw it away and get another one. He doesn't do that. He doesn't throw people away.

Smoking flax, you know, where the wick is so small that it can't rise up enough above the oil to stay lit, gets thrown away. He doesn't do that to the people that are kind of down to the last flicker. Matthew 14, 14 says, Jesus went out and saw a great multitude and He was moved with compassion for them and healed their sick. Mark 8, 2, I have compassion on the multitude because they have now continued with Me three days and they haven't anything to eat. I feel bad because they're hungry.

I know what I'll do, make food, create food out of nothing. Matthew 9, 36, He saw the multitude move with compassion because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd. There was just so much divine compassion in Him. Because of that divine compassion, He did what He did. And in order to do what He did and make the demonstration of divine compassion, it was indiscriminate.

Do you understand that? It was indiscriminate. He healed everybody. In order to be able to do that, He had to be accessible and He had to be available. And thirdly, and I think this is a beautiful feature in His ministry, He was interruptible. He was interruptible. Jairus is probably maybe one of the most important people in town around Capernaum and we're on the way to his house and he's got a dying daughter.

A large crowd is crushing Jesus as he tries to get through to the house. On the way, we have an interruption, verse 25, a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years. Hmm...there's something so wonderful about this story, it's so personal. This is a lady with a female bleeding problem. The current technical term for this would be obstetric fistula, about four million women in Africa have it. It's incessant, unstoppable bleeding. It can actually be cured with a very, very simple surgery to which this woman would have no access, nor do the four million women in Africa. She's had this problem as long as Jairus' daughter has been alive.

So for the twelve years that Jairus' daughter was growing up, the family had so much joy. For the twelve years, same twelve years, the woman had this incessant bleeding, she had nothing but agony and sorrow. She's not just a face in the crowd because our Lord through the Holy Spirit inspires Mark to describe her...listen to this...with seven participial phrases. This woman is described by seven participial phrases to describe her condition. You get all this detail about her.

I love that. Now what happens when you have this kind of problem? First of all, it has physiological effects on you, you lose your strength. You would obviously lose your strength if you're just constantly bleeding. You're not about to get a transfusion, you know.

You do realize that no disease was ever diagnosed and cured until the end of the nineteenth century. It's generally a loss of strength and energy, it was horrendous embarrassment. And it was dangerous, laid to death, severe physical effects. On top of that, the severe social effects cause...Leviticus 15 says that if a woman has an issue of blood, she's unclean for seven days so that every time normally in a month when a woman had that normal cycle, she had to go seven days in an unclean condition and then be ceremonially cleansed.

This was God reminding people of...this is symbolic of the stain of sin that needs to be remedied. Well here's a woman who didn't have this happen once a month, but every single day for twelve years she's unclean, every single day for twelve years. And if you're unclean, everybody you touch is unclean, so her children would be unclean, her husband would be unclean, her friends would be unclean if they came near her. Everywhere she went, she wouldn't be allowed to go to the synagogue. She hadn't been to a synagogue in twelve years unless she snuck in the back. She certainly wouldn't be allowed in the temple if anybody knew. She wouldn't go. She would be afraid that God might strike her dead. Her ritual defilement was considered communicable. Though her disease was not communicable, the defilement was communicable.

And what does she do? Just imagine the courage, the desperation. First of all, verse 26, this doesn't bode well for the medical profession of the time, had endured much at the hands of many physicians and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse. That is not a commendation of the medical profession. She had gone up many, many physicians. She spent all the money she had and she wasn't helped at all, she got worse. Luke in his account of this, who is a physician, says she could not be cured.

It's a little human touch. She does something that's unthinkable. Verse 27, after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. What did that do to Jesus? Something like this is recorded in Luke 7 where Jesus was at a dinner with the Pharisees and the scribes. They didn't want to come near Jesus, but they would invite Him to certain occasions in order they might trap Him for the purposes of killing Him. And a prostitute came in, a prostitute, Luke 7 came in and started doing the most bizarre thing imaginable, started kissing His feet and wiping them with their hair, and the Pharisees went completely ballistic.

Doesn't He know who this woman is? He is defiled by a prostitute. Nothing could defile Jesus, nothing, absolutely nothing. He was like a rainbow in a dump.

The rainbow doesn't touch the dump, the dump doesn't touch the rainbow. He is not defiled. But everybody would have assumed that. So she's come in a clandestine way. She's thinking, if I just touch His garments, I'll get well. Now you have to understand why she's so worried about exposure.

She would just defile everybody that touched her, got near her. There were no cures for her. I tried to find some...a little bit of medical analysis of how they might have tried to cure this. I came up with the fact that in the Talmud there are such maladies referred to and the cures would be toxins, astringents.

But one of the most effective is to carry the ashes of an ostrich egg in a linen bag in the summer and a cotton bag in the winter. Oh, that's helpful. Another one that I really liked was if you have this illness, carry a barley corn in donkey dung around your neck.

That would make you a delight to the community. So I would have guessed that if the first doctor gave her that cure, she probably went to another doctor, and that's why she kept going to other doctors if she'd like to get rid of the donkey dung and maybe find another cure. There were the famous doctors who served the rich and probably tried to use the astringents and then there were the fakers who exploited the poor with all these kind of bizarre things. But the end of the day, all her money was gone and she was worse. And so she stirs up all the courage in the desperation that runs so deep and she comes through the crowd and she says, if I just touch his garments, I'll get well. And that's exactly what she did, according to verse 27, she touched his cloak.

The word touch is opto, it means to fasten on to and to cling. And she actually touched the fringe, according to Luke, the fringe of his cloak which would be the tassels the Jews put on their robes which the Pharisees enlarged so they would look holier than everybody else, according to Matthew 23.5. And her faith is so strong, she says, if I just touch his garments in her mind, I'll get well. So she clings to the fringe of his robe, grasping it with force and it's a desperate kind of clutching and she's shaking like a leaf in a high wind, fearing that she'll be discovered.

This is not pagan superstition about a robe. This is faith in a man who had demonstrated so much power. She thought if she just got that close, the power would sweep through her. And it did. Verse 29, immediately the flow of her blood was dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. The world stopped for that woman in a moment. Time stood still. The bleeding stopped.

The physical problem was solved. But who would know? How does she prove that? How does she get back in?

And if she gets discovered, how does she respond to the crowd? So Jesus is accessible, available, and even though He's going to the house of maybe the most important man in town, He is interruptible. It's a good thing to learn, isn't it? I don't know what to call the next one. He is intentional.

He is intentional. This is not just a woman in the crowd. There's far more here. Look what happens in verse 30.

There's so much in this, I wish I had time to develop. But immediately Jesus perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, who touched My garments? Immediately Jesus perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth.

Does that stagger you? That is an amazing revelation. Listen to this, His power is personal. He is not this impersonal, powerful machine unconscious of what's going on. Whenever power goes through Him and out of Him into another person, He feels the flow and He knows where it goes. He actually experiences every expulsion of divine power and divine energy that comes from Him to heal and deliver and save sinners.

He's actually involved. Luke 8.46 He says, I was aware that power had gone out of Me. He experienced the power flow that created that woman's new physical organs. This is a rich insight into the reality that our God is not detached, that He's not unfeeling. While He is impassable in the sense that He is unaltered by what men do, He feels everything, personally engaged in every expulsion of power, feels every expression of divine energy. He is not just impersonal cosmic energy. No one receives His power without His personal involvement.

We who are God's know we are called, we are justified, we are sanctified, and one day we will be glorified because He has chosen to make a personal living union with us in which He is fully involved in giving us life, in sustaining that life, in sanctifying that life and one day glorifying that life so that we can all say with Paul, not I but Christ lives in me. He sends all magic, superstition, healing by touching relics, talismans, or TV sets. Such a personal God, such a personal work, He knows He's very intentional. He knows where His power goes and He knows to whom His power goes. Well, He knows what the plan is for this woman. He knows this woman is on the list. He knows this woman's name is in the Lamb's Book of Life written before the foundation of the world. He knows this is one of His sheep and He is intentional. He will act in grace, He will act in power.

Power to restore her to her husband, power to restore her to her family, power to restore her to her town, power to restore her to her synagogue, power also to reconcile her with God. That's John MacArthur, chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary, continuing his series titled Lessons for a Modern-Day Disciple, here on Grace To You. Now, before the lesson, John read a letter from a woman who told us how Grace To You's verse-by-verse teaching has transformed her life and helped her family build their lives on God's Word. We love to hear stories like that, so if you have benefited from John's teaching, would you let us know?

Jot a note and send it our way. You can email us at letters at or write to us at Grace To You, Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412. Again, if you can point to a specific way that John's teaching has helped you grow spiritually or perhaps even led to your salvation, please let us know.

It's so encouraging for us. Our email address one more time, letters at And let me remind you of just a few of the thousands of free resources that we have made available with you in mind. At our website,, you can follow our blog, you can watch video from John's various television and conference appearances, you can read daily devotionals written by John, and you can download the Grace To You app for your smartphone or your tablet. And you can also access John's entire sermon archive.

That's more than 3,500 options, all of them free to download in MP3 and transcript format. Our web address again, Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson, reminding you to watch Grace To You television this Sunday. And make sure you're here tomorrow when John answers one of the most important questions for all modern-day disciples of Christ, who is Christ's slave? It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-14 05:38:21 / 2023-06-14 05:48:22 / 10

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