Today on Summit Life with J.D.
Greer. You see the two characters who got miracles in the story are pretty unequal. Jairus was a religious leader. She religiously outcast. He's rich. She's poor. He has servants. She is a servant. Yet Jesus gives healing to both of them in response to faith.
He makes no distinction. Their stature, their accomplishments, even their righteousness. Welcome back to Summit Life.
As always, I'm your host, Molly Vitovich. You know, I bet if you asked a few random strangers on the street where they think they'll go when they die, odds are that most of them think they're going to heaven. And if you ask them why, most people will say it's because they're a good person, or because they've done something good with their life, or maybe simply because they haven't done anything that bad. But the truth is, our salvation has nothing to do with anything we've done or haven't done. It's all because of what Jesus already did. Today, Pastor J.D. Greer describes what it really takes to go from spiritual death to eternal life. He titled this message from Mark chapter 5, Not Dead, Sleeping. So we're going to take a look over the next several weeks at some of the most challenging, divisive things that Jesus ever said. These statements are going to do two things for us. One, you're going to find some of the most confusing things that Jesus said actually answer some of the deepest questions that you and I have ever asked about life. Second, it's going to show you exactly where you stand with Jesus. The first one we're going to look at is a statement that Jesus made at a little girl's death.
This statement is going to be in Mark 5, verse 39. And so Jesus walks into the place where her little body is lying on the bed, and he said, Why are you making a commotion and weeping? This child is not dead, she is sleeping. Maybe that statement doesn't seem like that big a deal to you, but just imagine if you're a parent, if that were your little girl. Furthermore, what you're going to find out in this story is that her parents kind of blamed Jesus for her death. You see, Jesus had been on his way to heal her when he got delayed, and because he delayed, she died. This really is one of the most bizarre encounters in Jesus' life. So let's just go back to the beginning of the story, and let's just kind of walk through it.
Verse 22 is where it begins. One of the rulers of the synagogue, which means he's a pretty important guy, he's a religious ruler, Jairus by name, came and fell at Jesus' feet and implored him earnestly, saying, My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may be made well and live. He's rich, so he's hired, I'm sure, the best doctors that money can buy, but they've now told him there's nothing left that they can do. And so in desperation, he thinks, Jesus, maybe, maybe Jesus. He's heard about this miracle working healer. Finally he finds him, and he falls on his face and probably says something like, like, I know that I haven't been the biggest supporter of yours.
I know that I haven't really believed, but if you can do something, please, my little girl, she's dying, please. Verse 24, and Jesus went with him. But as they were going, a great crowd thronged about him. So now Jairus is fighting through that crowd.
He's trying to push people out of the way, because he's got to get Jesus to his little girl. In that crowd, there was a woman who had a discharge of blood for 12 years. She also had heard the reports about Jesus. And so she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment because she had thought, if I could just touch his garments, I'll be made well.
He looked around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her daughter, daughter, by the way, that's the only time he ever uses that term in all the New Testament. It's a word that means precious child.
She's the only one who ever gets called this. Precious daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your disease. Which is an awesome story, but Jairus is like, Jesus, my daughter is at home struggling with every breath. Every second counts. Well, Jesus was still speaking with this woman. There came from the ruler's house someone who said, your daughter just died. Now, could you imagine as a parent what it would have been like to have been Jairus at this moment? How would you feel?
You knew, you knew, Jesus, you knew she was hanging on and you stopped with something that was non-urgent and while you delayed she died. Would you be confused? I would be. Would you be angry?
I would be. But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to Jairus, do not fear, only believe. They came to Jairus's house and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And then that statement, he goes in and says, the child is not dead, but sleeping. And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand, he said to her, talitha kumai. Talitha is an Aramaic word that means little girl. Kumai is, it's a very gentle word that means get on up, get on up.
And immediately the girl got up and began walking. There are five crucially important things about life and death that Jesus teaches us in that story. Number one, to Jesus death is as easy to fix as waking somebody up out of a short map. What scares you most? What scares us most? Is it not our death or maybe the death of someone that we love? Do you see what a beautiful picture of death this is?
Do you see the tender details? You want to know what it's like for a believer to die? Just like this little girl, Jesus sits by your bedside. He takes your hand. When you awake, the first voice that you hear is his.
The first face that you see is his. That's what Jesus is showing us here about the death of a believer. Number two, here's the second thing that this story teaches us is that Jesus's delay is not inconsistent with his love. Jesus's delay is not inconsistent with his love. Jairus could not fathom why Jesus delayed if you loved me.
If you cared, surely you'd have gotten there in time to help my little girl. But Jesus knew that the delay, listen to this, he knew the delay wasn't going to make any real difference because to him death was as easy to fix as waking somebody up out of a short nap. It wasn't harder for him to raise the dead than it was for him to heal the sick. So this little girl's death was of no lasting significance, just a temporary delay. Paul would say it this way in 2 Corinthians 4, our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory.
Watch this, that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. Our afflictions, our troubles, Paul says, no matter how bad they seem, listen, are only light and momentary.
You say, well, it doesn't feel light and momentary. My little girl is dead. Listen, I'm not trying to minimize your pain. There are some of you who right now at this moment are walking through chapters of your life that I could probably can't even fathom, they are so dark. I'm not trying to minimize your pain, I'm trying to maximize Jesus's victory over death and sin and pain. Jesus had a plan for Jairus, he's got a plan for you. Number three, Jesus both offers more and requires more than you've ever imagined.
He both offers more and requires more than you've ever imagined. Both people in this story came to Jesus for one thing but ended up with something far greater. Yet Jesus required a lot more of them than they were expecting. For example, Jairus came to Jesus in need of a healing. What he got was a resurrection.
That's a miracle upgrade, is it not? But Jesus required Jairus not just to believe that he had power to heal, he required Jairus to trust him in the midst of completely bewildering circumstances. The woman with the issue of blood, she wanted to hit and run with Jesus. Get in, get her healing, get out, get home, that's what she wanted. She not only got her healing, she was called precious daughter, the only person in all the New Testament to be called that.
She got called precious daughter by the son of God but the cost was that she had to expose herself to Jesus and publicly profess him before the crowd. Listen, coming to Jesus always offers more and also always costs more than you've ever realized. In fact, here's how he said it, if anybody would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.
You see, when you take up your cross, that means you lose any semblance of control you believe you have on your life because when you're fastened to a cross, you're not calling the shots anymore. And Jesus said, that's what it's like to follow me is total trust, total surrender, total denial. And see, I make this point because I feel like I'm talking every, you know, on a weekend like this with a lot of people who would say they believe in Jesus. I'm assuming that's why most of you are here. I believe if I said, are you a follower of Jesus? You would say, yes, I'm a follower of Jesus.
But it seems like for many people, they're a follower of Jesus more like I would think of myself as a follower of Justin Bieber on Twitter. I follow him, he gives advice. I mean, you think the jail sentences would like tone him down a little bit, but no, he's still telling me how to run my life like he knows the best. So I'm looking at what he says, he gives advice on various things. I don't pay attention to him half the time. You know, maybe he influences it here or there, but I just take it or leave it because I'm not a really a follower of Justin Bieber, I'm a fan.
Let me back that up. I'm not a fan of Justin Bieber either. He is a curious spectacle to me. That is why I follow him on Twitter.
I'm not a fan of, let's just make that really clear, right? Many of you are, you call yourself a follower of Jesus, but you're actually a fan of Jesus because there's some things about him you find intriguing, sentimental, but you're not a follower of him because you have not forsaken all, but he's forbidden. You've never really picked up your cross and begin to follow him because you're still in control. You see, there's only one trade that Jesus will ever make, and that is all of him for all of you. He offers you far more than you've ever imagined, far more.
He wants not only to help you with your problem and forgive your sins, he wants to give you an eternity that you could not even begin to fathom. The only trade he makes for that is complete and total surrender, complete and total denial, all of him for all of you. That is the only trade he will ever make. There is no third way.
There is no negotiation. He's either Lord of all we say or not Lord at all. Have you actually come to him? This is Summit Life with J.D. Greer. For more information about this ministry, visit jdgreer.com. And while you're there, I want to remind you about an amazing free resource we have available for you. It's Pastor J.D. 's Ask Me Anything podcast. Have you ever had tough questions about the Bible, theology, money, relationships, or parenthood, and you aren't sure where to turn for solid biblical wisdom? On Ask Me Anything, Pastor J.D. provides quick and practical answers to your most challenging questions. The goal is to share biblical truth and practical advice that can help you grow in your faith and navigate life's difficulties. If you're a fan of Summit Life's teaching, you won't want to miss this free podcast. You can access Ask Me Anything with J.D. Greer by visiting jdgreer.com slash podcasts or by searching in your favorite podcast platform.
So why wait? Go subscribe to Ask Me Anything today. Now let's get back to today's message. Once again, here's Pastor J.D. Number four, personal stature contributes nothing to overcoming death. You see, the two characters who got miracles in the story are pretty unequal. Jairus was a religious leader. She religiously outcast. In fact, he is probably one of the ones that had her outcast. He's rich. She's poor. He has servants. She is a servant. He's got a name. Everybody knows Jairus. Her name is not even recorded because nobody knows her and nobody cares. Yet Jesus gives healing to both of them in response to faith. He makes no distinction. Their stature, their accomplishments, even their righteousness mean nothing.
I'll tell you why. There's a little interpretive clue in this story that unites them together. The woman has this issue of blood. I told you that in their day in Jewish law that meant she was a picture of uncleanness.
She was unfit for the presence of God they believed. Jairus looks like her opposite. He is a religious man of stature. He's got it all together. He wears the beautiful garments.
There's your guy that is the best of the best. Yet Isaiah 64 says that all of our righteousness is to God like a filthy rag, which means our best works on our best days are to God like filthy rag. Scholars say that that means one of two things.
It either means a bandage that you would have used to wrap a leper so it's now filled with pus and blood and disease or it means menstrual rag. And what he's showing you is that this religious leader, watch, is the same as this woman because both of them have the same disease in their heart and that is the disease of sin. And so Jesus' salvation is not a reward for righteous living because there is none that are righteous in his sight. We are all stained to the core by sin so it is not by works of righteousness that we have done but according to his mercy he saves us by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. And it means that Jesus can and will save all who call upon him because the point is never how righteous you are before he saves you. The point is the power he exerts when he saves you. In other words, it doesn't matter how bad of a sinner you are, it matters how great of a savior he is.
The point is not the wickedness of your sin, it's the power of his grace. You see, you might be like that woman here. You don't feel like you even have a name. You don't want people to know you. You don't want people to know what you've done. You're in the crowd.
You're broken. You feel dirty. I'm telling you, you just reach out your hand in faith and he will save you. He will cleanse you from your real uncleanness and he will call you my precious daughter. On the other hand, if you think that God's going to accept you because you're a pretty good person, you think on the scale of people I'm pretty good, not perfect, but you know compared to other people I'm not bad. As long as God grades on the curve I'm going to be fine. Then you have no part in his forgiveness, no part in his resurrection at all. Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, said in an interview pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity, and smoking cessation, he said this in the New York Times and I quote, I am telling you if there is a God when I get to heaven I'm not even going to stop to be interviewed. I'm heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It's not even close. Now I know some of you conservatives are like, yeah, stick it to the libs.
Yeah, I heard Bill O'Reilly say almost exactly the same thing the other night. So what you find is that everybody, everybody has the streak in them where if you say, why do you think God's going to let you into heaven, you'll start to give me a list of things that you've done that sets you above other people. I'm a good person. Well, I'm a good dad. Well, I'm a good worker. Well, I'm good to the poor. Well, I come to church.
Or whatever it is that you think that you do. As long as you have righteousness in your heart, a sense of righteousness, you will never receive the gift righteousness of Christ because Christ only fills empty hands. You have to come with empty hands. Nothing in my hands I bring simply to thy cross I cling. It is when I know that I am not fit for the kingdom of God that I am then open to his resurrection and his righteousness, which he gives as a gift. You see the good news is that all you need is need.
All you need is need. And Christ's righteousness is sufficient for you. What will get in your way is not the depth of your sin. What will get in your way is a false illusion of your own righteousness. All their righteousness, all his righteousness didn't help him the first bit, which leads me to number five. Our victory over death came only at great personal cost to him. Verse 30 says that when the woman touched him, power went out from him, which is an odd phrase because scholars say what it means is in that moment, he became weak.
And here's why that's odd. It's the only time it's used in the New Testament and Jesus, you know this, had done far more impressive miracles than that. He knocked a hurricane out just by speaking a word, didn't even break a sweat, cast a legion of demons out of somebody without even raising his voice. So why is it that this miracle would make him weak?
Why did it take power from him? Because our cleansing, listen, like this woman's and our resurrection, like this little girl's would only come to us at great personal cost to him. You see, in order to give us the power of forgiveness and the power of new life, that power would have to come out of him and he would have to be made weak. In order to cleanse our sin, he would have to become dirty for us.
Exodus 38 says that if a priest was wearing a righteous garment, a religious garment, and someone who was unclean touched him, his garment would become unclean. This woman touched Jesus, she became cleansed, but Jesus took upon himself. Her uncleanness, God made him who knew no sin to become sin for her so that she could be made the righteousness of God in him. In order for Jesus to raise that little girl to new life, he'd have to be struck down in weakness and death for her. In order for God to forgive your sin, in order for God to give you new life, he had to become sin for you, had to become death for you, and die in your place. That's what the gospel is, substitution, Jesus in my place. God made him who knew no sin and had never tasted death. He made him to become sin, become uncleanness, become death, and die in your place so that you, by faith in him, could receive the power of new life, Jesus in your place. I've told you, listen, I've struggled to believe in my life, and that's sincere, that I'm not pastoring when I tell you that, but this I do believe, that Jesus came from heaven to do what I could not do, and that he lived the life I'd always known I should live and always wanted to live, and then died the death that I'd been condemned to die in my place, and then he overcame the one thing that scared me the worst, and that was the grave.
He walked into it, he walked out of it, and he said, it is finished because he did it for me. That's the gospel. That's the gospel, and Jesus is the only savior that can do that. People say, why do you think Jesus is the only savior?
Because he's the only one that ever overcame sin and death. That's my problem, and somebody that's trying to save me needs to be able to overcome the things that I need to be saved from. Do you remember the story about the grandmother who, you know, sees her little two-year-old fall into the deep end of the pool, and she goes out there to try to rescue her two-year-old?
Two and a half hours later, they pull out of the deep end of the pool, the body of the two-year-old and the grandmother. Why? Because she didn't know how to swim either. The one who wants to be the savior can't have the same problem as the one who needs to be saved. So why can't Buddha save me? Why can't Mohammed save me? Because they're sinners and they died.
That's why. Jesus Christ went into the tomb as a perfect man, bearing my sin, and he conquered it because he was the only one who could do what I could not do. That's what it means to be saved. Have you ever trusted Christ personally as your own?
Have you ever received him as your savior? Because it's a gift. It's a gift. He said, God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever would believe in him, which means to receive him, he would give them everlasting life. They would become the children of God. You got to believe it.
You got to receive it as your own if you've ever done that. And if not, might I implore you, might I implore you in light of what you know is your coming death, which might be 50 years from now and it might be tonight, that you think very seriously about what Jesus is offering you. And you think about what it means to walk away. Jesus would ask it this way. It's a very logical question, whether you're religious or not, the logic's easy to follow. What's it profit a person? What's it profit a person if they gained the whole world and then lost their soul? I mean, think about that.
What if you could gain the whole world and then lost your soul, light and momentary joy for an eternity of sorrow? Continue how I try to make this make sense to teenagers. I always ask whenever I'm talking to high school students, I'll say this. I'll be like, all right, let's say that I had $10 billion on stage.
I don't know if it fit on stage, but let's just say it was up here. And I was going to offer it to you, $10 billion cash, but you got to walk up here on stage and let me pull out a knife and let me cut off your pinky right on this table in front of everybody. I always ask them, how many of you would take that?
Take that. 99.9% of everybody in the audience raises their hand. There's always like one girl that won't do it, you know, cause she's a, my pinky is awesome. You know, look at that nail, you know?
So, right. But 99.9, yep, you have my left pinky. So I was like, all right, let's go from your pinky, let's take all the way up to your wrist.
$10 billion. How many of you do that? Usually about 70% of the audience will raise their hand. So then I say, okay, well, not just your wrist, let's go all the way up to your left shoulder. At this point, it's only about 40% of the audience raised their hand and they're always all guys, right? They're like, yeah, you know, whatever, $10 billion. I might throw an arm, you know?
So, so then I say left arm, right arm, both legs, poke out your eyes, plug up your nose, plug up your ears, cut out your tongue. Who's in? And there's nobody, there's always one guy out there that'll raise his hand. And I'm like, there he is, ladies and gentlemen, there's your class clown, there's your fool, because nobody in their right mind would trade $10 billion or trade that for even $10 billion. Cause what good is $10 billion if you have no faculties with which to enjoy it? Jesus's question is why are some of you giving up far, far more for far, far less? You are consumed with the pursuit of dreams and Jesus becomes irrelevant.
So you put him on the back burner and you're like, I'll get to that when I'm old. What's it profits you if you gained the whole world and then lost your soul? What are you going to give in exchange for your soul? Jesus plus nothing equals everything.
Now there's some math that I can get behind. You're listening to Summit Life, the Bible teaching ministry of Pastor JD Greer. So in this new teaching series, we're looking at some of Jesus's statements that shock us the most. And JD, what is the main thing that you're hoping listeners will take away from this study?
Well, let's all just be honest. There are moments when we find the words of Jesus bizarre, confusing, sometimes just playing offensive. So what we're doing in this series is we're seeing how these difficult sayings of Jesus, some of his toughest teachings are actually the places where we can find gospel life. Sometimes other places where he imparts the greatest wisdom. So I found this particular series very rewarding, both personally and also in the feedback I got from the church.
I'm hoping you are as well. There's a lot more that we have to get into. And I think you're going to find it fascinating. And I think there's a lot of gospel truth there for you. Along with that, we're providing a resource that will just help you read the gospels better. So we've given you a 40-day reading plan that will take you through the four gospels. And we are pairing with it this gospel flip book that gives you not just the passage and the gospels that you're going to read.
It's going to give you a key gospel insight or a prayer or some background information that'll make the gospels really just come alive. So reach out at jdgreer.com and let's start that relationship. Receive your copy when you give a generous gift of $35 or more today. Donate by calling 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220.
Or you can always give online at jdgreer.com. I'm Molly Vitovich. Make sure to tune in tomorrow as we continue this series called The Difficult Sayings of Jesus. Join us Friday on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
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