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"God Deals With the Desperate"

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2021 5:00 am

"God Deals With the Desperate"

So What? / Lon Solomon

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Hi there, this is Lon Solomon and I'd like to welcome you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor that God has given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward. And I'm so glad you've tuned in to listen and be part of that.

Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio. And now, let's get to the Word of God. Desperation is a strange thing. It can make people do things they would never normally do.

Isn't that interesting? And you know that's true. And the reason I bring all that up is because that's what our passage is all about this morning. It's about desperate people and how Jesus Christ responds to them. And my goal this morning is to challenge your thinking about your relationship with Jesus Christ, to cause you to ask the question, am I really desperate in my relationship with Jesus Christ or am I something else? And does God only deal with desperate people and why?

And what does that mean for my life? And I hope you'll walk out here with a different perspective than you walked in. Let's look at the passage, verse 40, Luke chapter 8. Now, when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him. He returned now from the other side of the Sea of Galilee, for they were all expecting him. Just then, a man named Jairus came and fell at the feet of Jesus, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about 12, was dying.

When Jesus arrived back on the North Shore of the Sea of Galilee, he was greeted by a man named Jairus. And the Bible tells us two very important things about this man, Jairus. First of all, the Bible tells us that he was a very influential man. He was a ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum, the Bible says. He was in charge of all the public services of the synagogue. He was in charge of keeping up the facility as well. He was the one who chose who would pray and who would read the Torah and who would give the sermon in every service. He led the local board of elders that ran that synagogue and made the decisions about what was going to be done. And next to the rabbi, he was the most powerful figure in the town. And this was Jairus, a man of incredible influence.

And the synagogue at Capernaum was the key synagogue in all of northern Israel. The second thing the Bible tells us about him is that he had a very serious problem. His problem is that his only daughter, a girl of 12, was dying. And if any of you men have a daughter, I think you understand how this man feels.

You know the old saying, a son is a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all of your life. And this man only had one. I don't know how many sons he had, but he only had one girl. And she was very sick and about to die. And now he was really desperate. He resorted to Jesus. And look, verse 41 says he fell on his knees at Jesus's feet.

Can you get a picture of this? He probably grabbed Jesus's ankles. He probably had tears coming down his eyes. And the Bible says he pleaded with Jesus to please come help his daughter.

Man, that's desperation. Well, Jesus agrees to go. Look what happened. Verse 42. And the Bible says as Jesus went on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.

They were around him so thick. And as this happens, we meet another desperate person, a woman. And there was a woman who had been subject to bleeding. This is vaginal bleeding for 12 years, but no one could heal her. As a matter of fact, Mark says in Mark's gospel that she had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all of the money she had on these doctors.

Yet instead of getting better, she got worse. And Mark 5 also says that she said to herself, If I can only get to Jesus and touch the robe, the hem of his robe, I know I'll be healed. And so as Jesus in this huge crowd walked along, she came up, the Bible says behind him, and touched the edge of his garment.

And immediately her bleeding stopped. Who touched me? Jesus asked. And when everybody denied it, Peter said, Master, look, get real here. Look, people are all around.

Look at this huge crowd. Everybody's bumping into you and touching you. How are you going to figure out who touched you? And Jesus said, Oh, no, somebody touched me because I know that power has gone out from me. And then when the woman saw that she could not go unnoticed, she came trembling and fell at his feet. And in the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched you and how she'd been instantly healed. And then Jesus said to her daughter, Your faith has healed you.

Go in peace. I'll tell you, friends, when I read about this woman, she doesn't impress me as the kind of woman who usually did crazy things. Does she impress you that way? But she had just done a pretty crazy thing.

I mean, to get to this crowd and get to Jesus was no easy thing. I'm sure she had to go get out the way. Move you. Get out of here. I'm coming through.

Get you stepped on my foot. She doesn't impress me as normally being that kind of woman, but that's what you would have had to do to get through this crowd. And she did it. Why would she act so crazy, so out of character? Because what? She was desperate.

And as a result, she got healed. You know, I suppose this is probably as good a place as any to stop and make an observation. When I was a boy, we used to have a say. We used to say close, but no cigar. Any of you know that saying? I say it to my kids all the time. They hate it.

I always say close, but no cigar. That's exactly how I would describe this crowd. I would say they were curious about Jesus Christ. They weren't ashamed of him. They weren't embarrassed by him. They weren't turned off by him. They were just kind of checking him out.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with that, except that none of the crowd saw Jesus act powerfully on their behalf. Did they? Because they were close to Jesus, but no cigar. Now, the difference is this woman, she saw Jesus Christ do something great for her. And that's because she related to Jesus differently than the rest of the crowd did. They had a nominal association with Jesus. They were acquaintances with Jesus.

They were part of this crowd. But this woman turned her relationship with Jesus Christ into a personal thing. She reached out in believing faith and grabbed a hold of him and made her relationship with him something personal. And friends, that's what makes all the difference in the world in terms of a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you're here, may I say to you, and you've never had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. I don't mean a church encounter and I don't mean a baptism encounter. But I mean a personal encounter with the living risen Messiah of Israel.

Then if you haven't had that, you just like part of the crowd. See, we need to reach out in faith like this woman did and make our relationship with Jesus Christ a personal thing. And I want to turn this into something that's not a ritual and not a sacrament and not an intellectual enterprise, but is a personal relationship. That's the difference. If you're here and you've never done that, I hope you're ready to do that.

I hope you've checked him out and been a member of the crowd long enough. It's time to make a personal commitment. I'm going to give you a chance to do that a little later. We'll come back to that. Let me go on with the story, though. Verse forty nine, it says, And while Jesus was still speaking, somebody came from the house of Jairus and said, Your daughter is dead. Jairus, she's dead. Don't bother Jesus anymore. Can you imagine the feelings that must have gone through Jairus when he heard that report? Can you imagine anger at the crowd for slowing Jesus down? Anger at this woman who took the miracle that his little girl should have had. But I love what Jesus said.

Jesus heard the report and said, Jairus, don't be afraid. Just keep on believing and she'll be healed. I said I was coming to heal your daughter, didn't I? And I'm coming to heal your daughter. Now trust me. Do you ever wonder why Jesus let this crowd waylay him and postpone him this long so that the little girl died? You say, well, sure. He didn't know the girl was going to die. No, no.

Wrong. He knew. So why would he let himself be detained this long?

You ever think about that? It was not an accident. Well, I don't think it had a thing to do with what he was going to do for the little girl. He was going to heal the little girl.

It didn't make any difference. He knew that he didn't do this for the little girl's sake. He did this for her daddy's sake. See, this was something for her daddy, something to deepen and mature this man's faith. That's why Jesus let this happen.

He wanted to do a work in daddy. You ever notice, folks, when it comes to great men and women of God, how when they were in certain circumstances, they seem to see it completely differently than the people around them? You ever notice that in the Bible? I mean, take the Israelites at the Red Sea. All they could see is the Red Sea and the chariots of Pharaoh coming from behind. But Moses saw God. How about in Babylon where Nebuchadnezzar set up that big statue in the big fiery furnace and said, if you all don't bow down, I'm going to throw you in the furnace?

All the people could see was the furnace. But there were three Hebrew kids who could see God. Now, why was that?

I'll tell you. The answer is that God, by not always giving smooth answers to these men's prayers down through the years, God had taught these men how to have a big, stubborn faith. God had given them adversity. God had not always answered their prayer exactly the way they'd answer it and when they wanted it and how they wanted it and the way they wanted it. God had a lot of curves in their roads. Read their lives in the Bible. But as a result of all those curves and as a result of them hanging on to God around those curves and as a result of God always being faithful, even through the curves, God had taught people like Moses and David and those boys and Nehemiah how to have a stubborn and exalted faith that no amount of curves in the road could shake.

And that's what he wanted to teach Jairus. And that's why he threw him a curveball right here. May I say to you that if you're a Christian here this morning, this is why God has put some curves in your life and in my life. God's trying to mature our faith. God's not mad at us. God hasn't abandoned us. God doesn't hate us. God's trying to mature our faith, trying to cultivate in us a mature, stubborn, exalted trust in him that no amount of curves in the road can shake.

That's what he's out to do. You don't learn that when the road straights your whole life. And so many Christians that I meet spend their whole life concentrating on the curves, resenting the curves that God put in their life. They resent their parents. They resent their upbringing. They resent their boss. They resent their job. They resent how other people treated them and messed them up. And they go through their whole life resenting and being bitter and angry about this and not realizing that those curves were their friends. God was just using that to try to do something in them that they would be glad for. God's just trying to get you to trust him deeper.

And for Christians, we need to learn to look beyond the curves and look to God. That's what he was doing in Jairus' life. Jairus' faith grew and it survived. Look, verse 51. It says, And when they arrived at the house, now his daughter's dead, Jesus didn't let anybody go in with him except Peter, John, James and the child's father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning and wailing and mourning. And Jesus said, Stop wailing. You're giving me a headache. She's not dead.

She's just asleep. And the people laughed at him knowing she was dead. But Jesus said, No, no, no, you're wrong. And he went in and he took Peter and James and John. And even though all these people had laughed, Jairus went in with him. And I'm sure in Jairus' mind, Jesus' promise looked so unlikely it wasn't even funny.

But you know what? He clung to it. He went in that room with Jesus.

He didn't stay outside laughing with the crowd. And in response, look what Jesus did. Verse 54. The Bible says that Jesus took the hand of the little girl and said, My child, get up. And her spirit returned. You say, Well, where had it gone? The Bible says your spirit never dies.

It just leaves your body. Her spirit had gone to be with the Lord as a little girl. And so it came back. And Jesus immediately at once she stood up and Jesus said to them, give her something to eat. And her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anybody what had happened. Like they could hide it.

Right? Isn't it interesting what Jesus said, give the girl something to eat? I find that really interesting. Is that what you think would have been the first thing he would have said? Doesn't that strike you a little strange? But I thought about it this week and I thought, now why in the world would he say something like that?

Why would you do that? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with eating. The only time I lose my appetite, you know when it is? When I get sick. This girl had been sick. In fact, she'd been so sick, she was dead.

That's pretty sick. She probably had not eaten for days. And when she came back to life, she did not come back to life still groggy and still feeling bad and still having to lie around for four or five days until she got her strength back and felt like eating.

You understand the point? When Jesus brought her back, she was completely healed, completely up, completely healthy, and she was hungry and she wanted to eat. That tells me this was a 100 percent certified complete miracle.

This girl was completely healed. And that's the passage for this morning. Great passage, but it leads us to ask a very important question, and that is, so what? Let's answer that in a few minutes. I have left. Did you notice anything strange, anything strike you strange about Jairus coming to Jesus?

Anything out of the ordinary? You say, well, I don't know. I mean, the man was desperate.

He asked, they'd heal the daughter. I mean, now, wait a minute. Think for a second. Jairus was a member of the religious establishment of Israel.

True. I mean, he was the leader of one of the most prominent synagogues in the whole country. How did the religious establishment of Israel feel about Jesus these days? And, well, I'm not sure.

Well, let's look and see. Turn to the next Gospel, John's Gospel, Chapter 9. Let me show you how they felt about Jesus. We're going to see the story here of the man born blind, one of the greatest stories in the Bible, one of my very favorite. After Jesus heals this man, the religious leaders call him in and go, tell us all about it. And then when they don't believe him, they call his parents in. And this is where we pick up the story.

Verse 18. The Jews still did not believe that the man had been blind and that he'd received his sight until they sent for the man's parents. Is this your son, they asked? Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it now he can see? Well, his parents answered, we know this is our son and we know he was born blind. But how he can now see and who opened his eyes, we don't know. Ask him. He's of age and he'll speak for himself. Now look at verse 22. And his parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews for already the Jews had decided that anybody look at this.

Anybody who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be thrown out of the synagogue. And that's why his parents said, I don't know what he asked me for. Ask him. He'll tell you.

Well, they call the guy back in again and look at the way it ends. They said to him, tell us once again how this all worked, will you? And he says to him, why? You want to be one of his disciples, too?

Wrong question. Verse 28. Then they hurled insults at him and said, you are this fellow's disciples. We are the disciples of Moses.

We know that God spoke to Moses. But as for this guy, we don't even know where he comes from. Look what this man says. The man answered and said, now, this is a remarkable thing, guys.

This is an incredible thing. You don't know where he comes from. And yet he opened my eyes. We know God doesn't listen to sinners. He listens to godly people who do his will. Nobody's ever heard of a person open in the eyes of a man born blind, but he did. If this man were not from God, there's no way he could have done this. You guys have been sitting up there in that seminary too long.

You need to get out here in the real world and see the way it operates. What's wrong with you people? To this they replied, you were steeped in sin at birth.

How dare you lecture us? And they threw him out. How was Jesus' stock with the religious establishment these days? Well, let's just say he was not their favorite person.

Now, let's go back to Jairus for a minute. Jairus did not get to be the ruler of one of the most prestigious synagogues in Israel by being a political idiot. He knew how the politics worked. He knew where the winds were blowing.

This guy was not an idiot. Did he realize what going to Jesus for help was going to cost him? Did he realize it was going to cost him his leadership of the synagogue? Did he realize it was going to cost him his membership in the synagogue? Did he realize it was going to cost him a lot of his so-called friends who were going to side with their synagogue membership like this guy's parents did? Did he realize it might even cost him his livelihood in that city? Sure he did. He said, well, then why in the world would he do it?

Because he was what? He was desperate. And you see, when you're desperate, friends, you'll do radical things. The title of my message this morning is God deals with the desperate. And it's not that God won't deal with people who aren't desperate.

God will. It's just that I have found that people usually won't deal with God until they get desperate. And the reason for that is that God's terms that they have to deal with are radical terms. And most people won't deal with these radical terms until they get really desperate. That's true when it comes to salvation, when it comes to accepting Jesus Christ and being born again.

God's terms are radical. God demands that we admit we're utterly helpless, that we have about as much chance of earning our way into heaven as a cadaver has in getting up and jumping rope. God demands that we abandon all of our self-help remedies, that we throw away all of our work our way into heaven ideas, and that we cast ourself a hundred percent on what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross plus nothing. Now, most human beings I know will try anything and everything they can before they will come to the point that they'll turn to Jesus Christ in full surrender, humble themselves, and fully depend on him for salvation.

They'll try anything else they can think of first. And the reason is that God's way radically cuts against our human nature. And the only people who are willing to do it God's way are people who are desperate. And that's true of us even once we become Christians, you know, even once you become a believer. God demands lordship. Lordship is a radical demand, folks. Lordship means that we seek to serve other people in this life, not be served. It means that we see our purpose for existence as being totally different than what we used to see it. Not to have people wait on us and meet our needs and care for us, but to serve other people.

This is a radical thing. And it's only Christians who are desperate for the blessing and the honor of God that are willing to live this way. In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus was giving out a bunch of blessed. Blessed are the blessed are the blessed are the blessed are the, you know them. He said for one of them, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

They will be filled. God is looking for people who are desperate for him to work in their life. People who are desperate enough to discipline their schedule and get up and have quiet time with Jesus Christ every day. People who are desperate enough to seek the face of God in prayer on their knees and not worry what television show they might be missing. Jesus is looking for people who are desperate enough to say no to what their body always wants to do so that God can use their body to honor him instead. God's looking for people who are desperate enough that they're willing to step up and be counted out there in this world for Christ. And they don't care whether people make fun of them or laugh at them or whether people think that they're an idiot.

They don't care. And finally, Jesus Christ is looking for people who are desperate enough to get on their knees and pray, Lord, I know that this prayer might cost me a lot, but I don't care. I want you to work in my life and I don't care what the cost is.

I'm desperate for you to do that. Is this where you are as a Christian in your walk with God? I've met so many Christians who were hungry and thirsty once, and now they're just nibbling and sipping and they're kind of on autopilot. And when they talk to you about what God did in their life, they'll tell you some great things God did. But if you ask them when, it was always a long time ago. Ask them what God's done in their life lately and they don't have much to say because they went from hungry and thirsty to nibbling and sipping and the world got more attractive to them. They lost that hunger for Christ to work in their life. Maybe that's you. If so, I've got great news for you. The situation is not irreversible.

You can reverse it today if you want to. If that's the way you want to be, God will help you be that way. But friend, don't expect God to do a lot in your life if all you want to do is nibble and sip.

He didn't do much in the crowd's life, but he did a lot in Jairus's life and a lot in that woman's life because they were hungry and thirsty. And that's the way God wants you. How is your desperation quotient?

How is it? Let's bow together in prayer. With our heads bowed and our eyes closed, I'd like to very quickly ask those of you here who are Christians, if you'd like this morning, this afternoon to say, Lord, I really kind of have slid in to nibbling and sipping. I know it, but I need to get back to a hungering and thirsting for you in my life. I want you to make me desperate again to see you work in my life, Lord, help the world pale away and help you become the central focus, the driving force in my life again. If you're here and you've never made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, I'd like to give you a chance to do that this morning. Remember, just pressing around him and being an interesting onlooker doesn't get anything.

You've got to make it personal, just like that woman. If you're here and you've been checking it out long enough and now you're prepared to say, I'm ready to grab a hold of it and make it a personal thing, ready to open my heart and life up and accept him as my personal Savior and give him a personal role in my life, then I'd like to pray with you. And if you'll slip your hand up, we'll pray together this morning. Dear Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for the people who've raised their hands this morning.

First of all, I thank you for the Christians who raised their hand saying that they wanted to have more of a desperate relationship with you. Lord, I pray that you would work in their hearts and honor what they've done this morning, whether it be through circumstances or whether it be, Lord, through the Spirit of God working in their heart or whatever. Bring back that desperation to see Jesus being number one to their hearts. And Lord, even though I know it's a little scary to raise your hand at a time like this and pray something like this, I pray that you would reassure them that Jesus Christ will never lead us anywhere, but that we won't thank you that he took us there. And so, Lord, help them with confidence to let you lead. And I want to pray for the folks who raised their hands saying that they wanted to make you a personal part of their life now. Lord, come into their heart as their personal Savior today.

Forgive their sin and reassure these people that they belong to you now and that they have a personal relationship with you and that you're going to change their life. Thank you, Lord, that they were willing to step out of being part of the crowd and become like this woman. Thank you for bringing us here today, and I pray you would change our life by what we heard here today. We pray these things in Jesus' name.

Amen. You've been listening to So What with Dr. Lon Solomon. So What is an outreach of Lon Solomon Ministries. To listen to today's message or for more information, visit our website, lonsolomonministries.org. Thank you for your support. If you would like to contact us, please visit our website or call us at 866-788-7770. We hope you will join us next time when Lon seeks to answer one of life's most important questions, So What.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-19 18:49:36 / 2023-08-19 19:00:36 / 11

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