Sermon for Pentecost 6 – 6.30.24

+ 6th Sunday after Pentecost – June 30th, 2024 +

Series B: Lamentations 3:22-33; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; Mark 5:21-43

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA

 

“A Story of Suffering”

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

You probably won’t find this morning’s Gospel reading on a top summer reading list. It’s a Star Wars adventure. It’s not a Taylor Swift love story. It’s a story full of suffering. A little girl near death. A desperate, distressed father. A woman who suffered from bleeding and being an outcast for 12 years.

 

It’s the story of Jesus who enters suffering with us and for us. He dives head and hands first into our suffering.

 

Our story begins with Jairus, kneeling at his daughter’s bedside. Her fevered hand in his. Her pale face. Her labored breath. So little hope. The town physician was no help. Rest brought no relief. Prayers seemed unheard and unanswered. She was only 12. And she was dying. And there was nothing he could do about it.

 

But perhaps there was someone who could. He had heard about the man from Galilee. Jesus. Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue. Surely he had heard the stories. Word of this miracle worker had spread. The lame walked. The deaf hear. The demons were driven out. The sick healed. That’s what his daughter needed. He heard the stories. But what if that’s all they were. Just a tall tale. That’s what his fellow rabbis and pharisees at the synagogue seemed to think.

 

Looking for this Galilean wasn’t just crazy, it was costly. Jairus could lose respect. Friends. Family. But for his little girl, he hoped against hope. He got up. Wiped the tears. Kissed his daughter. Said farewell, perhaps for the last time. Hugged his wife. “I’ll find him.” And then he laced up his sandals, took his bag, and set out…

 

Twelve years. The same twelve years Jairus’ daughter had been alive. For Twelve years this woman suffered. Twelve years she had bled. She was considered unclean the whole time. She couldn’t go anywhere. Couldn’t be around anyone. She might as well have been dead or dying.

 

But, like Jairus, she had heard of Jesus. So she decided to lay down all the chips, risk it all, and hope no one would see her. All she had to do was touch Jesus’ clothes. This rabbi had power to heal. Surely just a touch was all she needed.

 

After all, who would notice? She’d be clean and all would be well. She could go places again. See people again. Without fear. So she got up, and lacing up her sandals, she set out….

 

When Jairus finally met this Jesus of Galilee, he got straight to the point. No posturing. No pride. He fell at Jesus’ feet, a beggar. He had nowhere else to go. Jesus was the only hope he had left.

 

“My little daughter is dying,” he said to Jesus. “Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be saved and live.” Jairus felt a hand rest on his shoulder. He looked up to see Jesus. And Jesus nodded His head. And Jesus went with him.

 

But then the crowds. Surrounding Jesus. Surrounding Jairus. Pressed and packed between Jesus and Jairus’ dying daughter. How he must’ve despaired. We’ll never make it in time. How could Jesus possibly make it in time to save his little girl moving at this rate…

 

She was so close. She had nearly made it to Jesus. But the crowds. She couldn’t avoid touching anyone. Too many people. But there was Jesus. Right there. Only, someone else was already at his feet. Asking Jesus to go with him. And off they went.

 

No. Wait! She had risked everything just to get near Jesus. How could he leave. So she did the only thing she could. She pushed her way through the crowd. She reached out for Jesus. She caught just the hem of his garment.

 

It worked. It actually worked. She felt a change. The blood stopped. She was well.

 

And then he spoke. “Who touched my garments?” His eyes met hers. He knew. She had fought through fear of touching others. Fear of breaking the Law. Fear of being caught.

 

But Jesus, eye to eye, was more frightening than anything else. So she fell at His feet, trembling, and told Him the truth. It was a confession. She came to Jesus unclean, but no longer.

 

What did Jesus do? Dismiss her? Reject her? No. He took her by the hand, lifted her to her feet, and said to her, “Your faith has made you well, go in peace.”

 

What was the faith? That Jesus could heal? The Pharisees knew that, and had no faith. That Jesus was the right person to go to? The crowds knew that, but that wasn’t faith. That she confessed her sin? That was fear, not faith. No, the faith didn’t come from her at all. The faith came from the very words about faith that Jesus spoke to her. Your faith, He had said. And there it was….

 

Jesus had stopped and was talking with some woman. Jairus was frustrated. Didn’t Jesus know there wasn’t time for Him to delay? His daughter was at the brink of death. Only, no she wasn’t.

 

“Jairus” someone called out. A messenger from his house. It could only mean one thing.

 

“Your daughter is dead,” they said. “So why bother this teacher any more?”

 

Why? Why Jesus? Why didn’t you come? Why didn’t you save her? Why did you waste time talking with that woman over there who was grabbing at your clothes? You were so busy having mercy on everyone else, that you didn’t take the time to have mercy on me.

In the midst of darkness, came a ray of light. And a hand to grab onto. A lone voice. It was Jesus. “Don’t be afraid,” He said. “Just believe.”

 

You, Jairus, believe. Jairus didn’t know if he could do that. Despite Jesus’ words, he was still very much afraid. He was still overcome with doubt. But Jesus’ words gave him that hand to hold on to. And with that hand came hope.

 

They left the crowds. Only a few of Jesus’ closest friends came. They reached Jairus’ home. They heard the mourners before they saw them. Weeping. Wailing. Eyes red and puffy and stinging from crying. What could this rabbi possibly do? Healing the sick is one thing. But the dead? Was there really any hope for his dead daughter? Was Jesus enough?

 

To make things worse, Jesus told the crowds, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” Only a fool would believe that. And the people laughed at Jesus.

 

But they weren’t just laughing at Jesus. They were also laughing at Jairus. What kind of father leaves his dying daughter to find this loon. What kind fool looks for a man whom the Pharisees call a fraud? What kind of man puts his trust in something as unbelievable as a miracle worker? Jairus had lost his daughter, lost with his friends, his position, his honor and the respect of his neighbors. All of it was gone. He had nothing.

 

So it seemed. But for the word and work of Jesus. Jairus remembered Jesus’ words. “Don’t be afraid,” He had said. “Only believe.” It was Jesus’ words that had brought him this far. And Jairus wanted to believe. But he didn’t think he could anymore. Not by himself. Not alone. His own reason and strength were just not enough.

 

But of course, it wasn’t up to Jairus’ feelings. Because Jesus, took his little girl’s hand in his and said in Aramaic, “Talitha Kumi.” And at Jesus’ Word, Jairus’ daughter lived again. At Jesus’ Word, she sat up, swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood up. And seeing her father, she smiled her big smile and wrapped her arms around him. Jesus’ Word didn’t just bring Jairus’ daughter back to life. Those two words, “Talitha Kumi,” brought Jairus and his wife back to life as well. Shame was turned to honor. Grief was turned to joy.

 

When we have suffered. When you are suffering whatever you are suffering right now, it can feel like Jesus is leaving. Like we’re just as hopeless and helpless as that poor woman, and Jairus and his daughter. Whenever we suffer we wonder “why” and “how long?”

 

And in the midst of our suffering… just like with the woman who bled, just like with Jairus, just like with Jairus’ twelve year old daughter, Jesus takes our hand when our work, our effort, or trying to believe all by ourselves isn’t enough.

 

Jesus takes your hand, and gives you faith. Jesus takes your hand and takes away your sin. Jesus takes your hand, and leads you home. Jesus takes your hand, and gives you life. Healing. Wholeness. Restoration. Rescue. True, we may not see that in this life. Or we may be granted a glimpse of that. A relief from suffering. A recovery from illness.

 

But none of our suffering cancels out the resurrection. Resurrection day is coming. And along with that day, the one who came to Jairus, his daughter, and that woman…Jesus our Lord. And until that day, Jesus does for us what he did for them. He takes you by the hand. Gives you comfort and mercy and grace. Jesus puts his own body and blood in your hands to eat and drink. And he promises; He who suffered for you on the cross will take your hand through whatever it is you suffer. And in that promise Jesus speaks:

 

“Go in peace. Do not fear, only believe. Little child, I say to you arise.” And His Word gives exactly what he says.

 

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

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Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977