Mark Part 4 Covers chapter 4:20 through 5:43 and continues Peter’s account of the Lord’s ministry. In this session we discuss the Lord calming a storm, delivering a demon possessed man, and the highly symbolic healing of a sick gentile woman while on the way to raising a Jewish girl from the dead.
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Okay, so we will begin here with Mark 4:21, where we left off last time. You remember, in our last session, we had an abbreviated version of what is called in Matthew, the Kingdom Parables. We got the Parable of the Sower and the Seed; we saw that there are four soils upon which the seed can fall.
The first soil was the path where the seed just lays there until the birds gobble it up, and we compared that to the person who hears the Word, but does not comprehend it. And so there is no comprehension there.
The second soil was the rocky ground where the soil is very shallow, and sometimes the seed that falls on rocky ground will immediately begin to germinate and show signs of life, but because there’s no real depth there, as soon as the sun comes up, it dries up and withers. We compared that to people who hear the Word and are immediately enthusiastic about it and think it’s wonderful, but it never goes from their head down into their hearts, so there’s really no conversion.
And so the first group is no comprehension. The second group is no conversion.
The third group we talked about was the seed that falls among the thorns, and while the seed grows, it gets choked out by the thorns, and so it never bears fruit. We compared that to the person who hears the Word and receives it, and receives it into their heart and is saved by it, but because they’re so worried about the problems of this world (their jobs, and their homes, and their cars, and all the problems you know that you can have in this world), they never bear any fruit. The seed took root, it grew, but it never bore fruit, and that’s the case with so many believers.
I don’t know if I told you this in our meeting, but I read an interesting statistic not too long ago that said of all the people who claim to be Christian, there is a very small minority that really has a Christian worldview. Now a Christian worldview is a worldview that is based on the Bible, where we realize that our role as inhabitants on this planet is to bring glory to God in the things that we do, and to help in some way to express our gratitude to Him for all that He has done for us.
And so a Christian worldview is one where a person looks for ways in which they can glorify God with their lives. They are trying to implement in their lives Romans 12:1 and 2 that say in view of all that’s been done for us now, let’s offer our entire lives as living sacrifices to God so that He can do with us as He desires. Because He does, you know, have a plan for our life, and He wants to implement that plan. He has to have our permission to do it.
Paul said in Romans 12, give Him permission. Offer Him your life now; He gave His life for you, now you offer yours to Him to use as He pleases. And so a person with a Christian worldview would be trying to implement that in their life.
Okay, so of all the Christians, all the people who claim to be Christian, only about 7% have a Christian worldview. 93% of the people who claim to be Christian have a pagan world view. They’re all focused on this world; they’re all focused on the things they can get out of this world. They’re all thinking that, as if they only had one life to live, they’re going to get all they can while they’re here regardless of what else happens.
These are the ones who spend an hour or two on Sunday morning being a Christian, and the rest of the time, you would never know. That’s what is being represented here by the seed that falls among the thorns. They are so preoccupied with the things of this world that they never do bear any fruit. They’re saved, they’re believers, they’re going to go to Heaven when they die, but they don’t bear any fruit while they’re here on this Earth. That’s the seed that falls among the thorns.
And then the fourth kind is the kind we are, of course, and that’s the seed that falls on the good soil. And it grows, and it bears all kinds of fruit in 30, 60, 100 fold increase in what they do. And that, of course, is the story of our lives, and the Lord is going to be grateful to us when we get up there. And He’s going to have so many nice things to say about us; it’s just going to be wonderful.
All right, so that was the first half of chapter 4, now we’re going to look at, starting in verse 21, a summary of that and then we’ll look at a whole bunch of little things that Mark just stuck in here, one right after another to show us things about the Kingdom and about the Lord.
And so Mark 4:21 says:
He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
So if you want to know whether this is a verse that’s meant for you, just reach up alongside your head here and see if you have any ears. If you do, that settles it, this was meant for you. If you have ears, you’re supposed to hear this.
And so here is a summary statement of all He said before.
This Gospel, this message that has been represented by the seed, has been designed to come into the world like a light that comes into the darkness. And just as you would not take a light and hide it somewhere under a bowl or under your bed so that its light couldn’t shine, that would be denying the light its very purpose. No, when you bring a light in, you bring it in, and you put it on a stand in a prominent place where it can shine all around.
And that’s the way it’s supposed to be with us. We’re supposed to help this light that has come into the world to shine all around.
Now he says in verse 24:
“Consider carefully what you hear, because with the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. And whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
And so if we’re in the context here of the Word, when you learn a little bit of the Scripture, and you follow that, and you think about that, and you consider it, you’ll gain more knowledge. More light, if you will. But if you just ignore it, you’ll find that pretty soon you’ll be just like the 93% who have received all this, but it’s like they got it under a bowl. They’re not doing anything with it, and pretty soon, it has made no impact really in their lives to speak of. You wouldn’t know.
Remember, I called them the secret agents. They’re undercover. You wouldn’t know they were Christians because they never say anything about it; they never do anything about it; their lives don’t seem to demonstrate any of this. And they’re just under such deep cover that you would never in the world guess that they’re really Christian. They’re the ones who just haven’t followed up here, and that’s another way of talking about this seed that gets choked out by the thorns.
Okay, the context in all this then is considering, thinking about it. You know we’re not just supposed to read this work, and no matter how many verses you’ve memorized, you’re not supposed to just read it, you’re supposed to think about it. You’re supposed to consider it. You’re supposed to ponder and wonder about it—what does all this mean? And all the rest of what we’re going to talk about tonight is an example of the importance of doing that, and how the Word opens up to us when we start really thinking about it, and we’ll find out that this promise is true.
If you get a little and you start thinking about it and pondering and considering, you will get more. And then you’ll get more! And even more. And I heard one person say in a book I read one time, he says when you believe you will understand. And when you understand, you will believe. Because you’ll get a deeper level of belief just by learning more, by beginning to understand more, you get a deeper level of belief, and your belief grows, and it becomes stronger, just like the seed that grows into a blossoming plant.
All right, so now we’re going to get two little instances here about the Kingdom of God.
“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
So here we’re going to switch gears a little bit. We have been talking about the fact that the seed needs good soil in which to grow, but now we’re going to go back to the seed itself and say, okay, if those conditions are met, then how does it grow?
Nobody knows. Nobody knows. The farmer doesn’t know when he plants that seed, he makes the soil as good as he can make it, he doesn’t know how this takes place when he plants it. But whether he does anything or not, the seed falls into the soil, it germinates, it becomes a stalk it comes up out of the ground, and it will produce a head, and then kernels and it does this. He doesn’t have to go back and do that. Now he can help the process, can’t he, by cultivating and irrigating and things like that. But when push comes to shove, the seed is the one that does this. The seed is the one that turns itself into the plant and bears fruit, and that’s the way it is with the Gospel.
We don’t know how the Gospel spreads. You know we’re a handful of people standing here in this room, and we’re talking about this thing tonight, and we’re recording it. And when I get back and edit this and put it up on the website, people from all over the world will come and download from our website into their computers. About 1,000 people a week download this study into their computers. And so I don’t know where they are, I don’t know who they are, I’ll never meet most of them until we get up there. And so I don’t know how it happens, but it just spreads all over the world.
And you multiply this little group here by all the hundreds of thousands of other groups that are doing the same thing, and none of us knows how this is going to happen, but it does. And see, our job is not so much to go out and make sure that happens, is it? Our job is just do what we’re supposed to do, we’re scattering the seed.
Just like you, you’re talking to somebody about the Gospel, and that person talks to another person, maybe two or three others are listening, and maybe the one little thing you said reaches who knows how many people. Hundreds and hundreds of people could ultimately be affected by that; you don’t know how it happens, all you know is that one day you said something about Jesus to somebody. And the rest of it just happened.
He said that’s the way the Kingdom of God works. All we have to do is be willing to scatter the seed, and He’ll take care of the rest. You got that? That’s a good illustration. And so we don’t have to be responsible for how many people we convert. We don’t have to be responsible for keeping track of this number, or that number, or anything else. That’s the Lord’s part of it. Our part of it, sow the seed. Spread the Word, He’ll take care of the rest.
And what’s that passage in Isaiah where it says, “My word does not return to me void.” If you throw it out there, somebody’s going to be impacted by it. You don’t know how, you don’t know when, but that doesn’t matter, somebody will be. That’s all we need to know.
Okay, so that’s the first parable. Here comes another one about the Kingdom. I call this the Good and the Bad. We got the good news first, now here’s some of the bad news about what happens.
Again He said, what shall we say, the Kingdom is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? He said it’s like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all the garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.
All right, now I’ve heard so many people preach on this, and say, isn’t that wonderful? It started off just as a little seed, and it grew and grew and grew until it was great big and it fell.
But you know what, when you think about it, and you study this carefully, you find that mustard plants don’t do that. Mustard plants are little garden plants; they don’t grow to be trees. They don’t even grow to be big bushes. They’re just little plants. Birds don’t build their nests in little plants.
You see, for this parable to come true, this mustard seed has to become something it was never intended to be. It has to somehow be converted from a little plant into a big tree, so big that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.
Now if you go look at the Matthew version of this, let’s go back to Matthew 13, we get a little clue as to what he’s talking about here.
Matthew 13:4, He says the farmer went out to sow his seed, and as he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. So there are birds.
Okay, in the context of the parable, who are the birds? We go down to verse 18, can you follow me? We started on Matthew 13:4, and we learned that some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and swallowed it up.
Now we go down to verse 18, and the Lord explains what He means by this.
Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.
He is saying the birds in the parable represent the evil one. Okay, the birds represent the evil one. Now you go back over to Mark, and it says this little mustard plant turns itself into a great big plant with such huge branches that the birds could nest in it. Do you know what that means? That means the Kingdom of God on Earth, He’s prophesying, that will become something it was never intended to be. It’ll become this huge organization so big that the devil himself can find refuge in it.
Now that sounds like a pretty remarkable thought, doesn’t it? How can the devil get into the Church? Well, let’s turn over to 2 Corinthians 11, and we’ll find out.
2 Corinthians 11, Paul is teaching about false Apostles through verse 11. We won’t take the time to do the whole chapter, but when you get to verse 13, listen to what it says. He’s talking about false teachers.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful work men, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
And so what he’s saying here is, the Church will become this huge bureaucracy that’ll be so large and so cumbersome that even false teachers will find themselves comfortable within and will develop a following. And they’ll call themselves ministers of righteousness, but what they are is they are ministers of Satan masquerading that way.
And the Lord prophesied that this would be the way it is in the Church. He said we don’t have to worry just about people outside the Church, we’ve got to worry about people inside the Church, these false teachers.
There’s an awful lot of stuff that’s said about them, most of it is not very good. I like some of the ones that, let’s take 2 Peter 2 here, he devotes a whole chapter to it as well, false teachers.
There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
He says over in verse 15:
They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.
And so false teachers in the Church, this is what’s being prophesied in this parable. It’s not the fact that the Gospel grows into this huge big plant. It’s the fact that the Church, the Kingdom He says, becomes so big it converts itself basically into this huge bureaucracy. And don’t you know, 20 centuries later, isn’t that exactly what’s happened in many parts of the Church? Many parts of the Church have just become this huge bureaucracy that really doesn’t follow the Scriptural path anymore; they’ve taken on lives of their own.
Some of the big denominations, you know, they have this whole life of their own that sometimes operates irrespective of the Scripture. And in the Church, you have people in theological positions who call themselves Christian atheists. Now how can you be a Christian atheist? But that’s the name they give themselves! And they spend their lives teaching that you can’t trust the Bible: it’s not true, it’s just a bunch of fables, these things didn’t really happen, these are just stories designed to teach us lessons about living a good life.
And on and on it goes, and I could get off onto a whole thing about this, but I don’t particularly want to do that because we’ve got other things that we have to cover tonight. But I just wanted you to see that the Church in the first parable—the Kingdom I should call it because that’s what He’s calling it—is doing what it was meant to do, sowing seed.
Sowing seed, that’s all we do. It’s just a bunch of people going around sowing seed. And we don’t know how, but we just know that the seed lands in fertile places, and it grows and grows of its own accord, and the Lord does that. That’s the good side.
The bad side was found in the next Parable of the Mustard Seed where the Church built itself into a huge bureaucracy, took on a life of its own, and acts in ways that are contrary to the Scripture in many cases.
And just like it was in days of old, remember how Jesus accused the Pharisees? He says, You’ve traveled all over to make a person a convert, and then you make him twice as evil as you are. What are you trying to do here, what’s your point? What’s the deal?
But that didn’t die off back then, did it? It’s still happening; it’s still around today. All right, you get the idea.
Verse 31 now:
With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Now we’re going down to verse 35, and in verse 35, we’re going to shift, and we’re going to see some parables—or some experiences, I should say—that are designed to show something about Jesus.
The first one will show His power over what we call nature, the Lord’s power over nature. This is designed to show Jesus as the creator, as the one to whom the creation must give obedience.
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”
They’re talking about the Sea of Galilee. He’s been, you know, standing in a boat there on the shore on the Eastern side. Now they want to go to the Western side.
Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.
The stern was the back end of the boat.
The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
You can’t fault them because in Jewish thinking, the Messiah was just a man. He was the son of David; he was a descendant of King David, King David was a man. And so the Messiah was going to be another king like David, a man. But that’s not the way God had told them, that’s not what He had said to them in the Bible, that’s just the way they had understood it and had been teaching it for generations.
Now, these disciples are in the presence of the Messiah, and they see—they’re beginning to see—that He is more than just a man. There’s a lot more here than they’ve been taught to expect. They’re going to learn before they’re finished here that He is, in fact, the incarnate God. And they’re going to finally understand that fully, but not until after the resurrection. They’ve had hints of it, and they’ll start talking about it, but when they fully understand it will be after the resurrection.
In Colossians 1:15 Paul will write that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. In Hebrews 1:3 the writer there says that He is the exact representation; the Son is the exact representation of the Father.
Jesus Himself said in John 10:30:
I and the Father are one.”
And so you see that the Bible is very consistent in proclaiming the deity of Jesus Christ. If you don’t accept the deity of Jesus Christ, then you don’t accept what the Bible says about Him, and that’s pure and simple. If you want to see Jesus who’s just a nice guy—you know I once wrote an article on the Seven Men Named Jesus, and there are if you look at it closely, there are seven people, different people, who are called Jesus and who are revered by different religions.
There’s the Jesus who is God incarnate. There is the Jesus who is a nice teacher and a good guy, and He had a great message for people. There’s the Jesus who’s the brother of Lucifer in another religion. There’s the Jesus who is Michael the Archangel in another religion. And it goes on and on. But there are seven people who all call themselves Jesus.
And you say, well, how am I to know which one’s which?
Well, you read about Him in here, and you get an idea of who He is, and then you start talking to somebody about Jesus, and by what he says to you, you can tell whether he’s got the same guy or not. Because if he starts talking about the Jesus who’s really the Archangel Michael, who is not God but He’s just one of the cheif angels in Heaven, you know that although he knows somebody named Jesus, it’s not the same Jesus you know, right? And so you know you’ve got a problem there, and you can soon find out. If you get to know the Biblical Jesus who is the visible image of the invisible God.
Jesus said to Philip in John 16, I think it was, He said, If you have seen Me you have seen the Father. We are one. One in the same. We are one.
Well, this was so new to them because all they had learned as Jewish men who have gone to Jewish schools and read their Old Testament Scriptures, they based all of their thinking on Deuteronomy 6:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind.
And so on. And they took that so narrowly that when Jesus came and said, Well yes God is one. But I’m the one. They wound up executing Him for saying that. Because they said, Either He’s right or He’s blaspheming, we think He’s blaspheming. And so blasphemy was a crime punishable by death, they put Him to death. That was the crime for which they had Him convicted.
Now they had to do some fancy footwork there to get the Romans to go along with that, but that, in essence, was why He was executed, because He claimed to be God.
Here He’s starting to show the disciples that He has authority over the creation. And that’s only a power that belongs to God. Nobody else can do that.
Okay, let’s go to chapter 5.
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
And when he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”
And so now we know that it’s not the man speaking, but it’s the evil spirit who has possessed the man.
Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
Now if you read Matthew’s version of this in Matthew 8:28, and Luke’s version in Luke 8:26, you’ll find out that both Matthew and Luke have the demon saying, “Don’t send us into the abyss.” But Mark says, “Don’t send us out of the area.” Into the abyss would be out of the area, but I don’t know why there’s that difference there.
But what they were most concerned about, is being sent into the abyss, because that’s where the demons are in prison. They didn’t want to be sent back there. You find out if you read much in the Scripture about demons, they really want two things more than anything else. They want to be worshiped as if they were God, and they want embodiment. They want to be physical beings, not just spiritual beings. Demons crave embodiment to the extent that they would actually allow themselves to be represented by these idols.
You remember Paul said, in a real sense he said that these things are just images carved out of wood and stone and by themselves they really have no power. It’s the demons who stand behind them that you got to worry about.
And that’s why he was saying that idol worship is something that we really need to stay away from because it’s not that the statue itself was any kind of problem.
Back in Jeremiah, God laughed about the statues, and He laughed about the people who built them. And said, This guy goes out and chops down a tree and he makes it into an idol, and the thing can’t stand up on its own, so he has to nail it to the floor. And when he’s all done, he kneels down before it and says, “You are my God!”
And it’s a sarcastic view of saying how dumb do you have to be to do something like that? But you see it’s not the statue, it’s the demon behind the statue that you have to worry about.
They crave worship; they crave embodiment. And so rather than be sent into the abyss where they are captive, rather than be sent there, they will even accept being allowed to inhabit this herd of pigs.
Okay. Verse 13:
He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
Can you imagine being possessed by 2,000 demonic spirits? No wonder that guy had the supernatural strength, no wonder he had such power.
Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. And when they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and they told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
The Decapolis literally means Ten Cities. It was a region of the Middle East, east of the Galilee, east of the Golan Heights in what today is Northern Jordan. And there were ten cities there that were kind of federated together, and they were called the Decapolis. They would be in Northern Jordan today, and so it was east of the Sea of Galilee.
And of course, that area is Gentile. Was then, is now, Gentile. That explains a herd of 2,000 pigs because you wouldn’t have a herd of pigs. You wouldn’t have any pig farmers in Israel—they wouldn’t have any market for one thing, and it was unclean work for another.
So these were Gentiles. And the reason they pleaded with Jesus to leave, is because He scared them. Because they were pagans, superstitious pagan people, who believed in the power of these demons, and now Jesus has come along and gotten them all stirred up. And so they were afraid, and they left.
But the point of this story—the first one, the storm—Jesus had power over the so-called natural forces of creation. The second one right beside it, Jesus, with His power over the spiritual as well. He has power over the physical; He has power over the spiritual. Do you see what Mark is doing here by putting these two side-by-side? He is showing that Jesus has to be God because He has power over the creation, which means He must be the creator. He has power over the spiritual world, and He is superior to anything in the spiritual world as well.
So only God can have those powers. And that’s what Mark is trying to get us to see here.
One more point here we’ll look at, and that is an interesting thing that’s going to happen one day soon that was prophesied in Philippians, Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Chapter 2, let’s go there. Philippians 2. And we’ll start reading in verse 5, but I’m really heading for a verse later down, but to get the context of it we’ll start reading in Philippians 2:5 where he says:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
The literal Greeks says He is God in a form, a tangible form.
But he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped;
he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And so the same word “nature” here in verse 6 and in verse 7 is saying He is God in human form, but He appeared as a humble servant.
You get the contrast there? You see, here is God in the flesh, but He doesn’t go around bragging about it, is basically what Paul is saying here. Instead, He is very humble, and He appears as if He is nothing more than a servant. That’s the contrast you’re getting.
Everybody who’s not God wants you to think they are, okay? But the one who is God wanted you to see Him as a servant. Are you familiar with the phrase “people who lorded over others?” That’s somebody who’s not God trying to act like he is.
So, then we go and we’re back in Philippians 2:8:
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
Now verse 10 is where we’re going:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Now, what did this man who is possessed by this legion of demons do when he came to Jesus? He came and bowed before Him and begged Him, “Please, don’t send us into the pit.”
Now the interesting thing here, Paul actually invented a Greek word in this verse. It says in the English that “Every knee should bow in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth.”
The Greek word for Heaven is Ouranós but Paul added a prefix to it, “epi.” Epi Ouranós which means above the Heavens, if there was a place. So that’s just to make sure you knew he was talking about everybody, from above the Heavens to below the Earth. That takes in everyone. Everyone will bow, and everyone will confess.
Now you know what the problem with that verse is? While everyone will be forced to accept the fact (confess means agree) while everyone will be forced to accept that Jesus is Lord, the problem is, there will be many who do so having refused to accept Him as their savior. And that is a huge difference.
In the Church, we talk about the problem that some people have accepting Jesus as their savior but not making Him Lord of their lives. These are the Christians that bear no fruit; these are the Christians with the pagan world view. They accept Him as their savior, but they didn’t make Him Lord of their lives.
At the end of the age, there are going to be millions of people who will have to agree after they’ve seen the evidence will be irrefutable, they will have seen that He is what He said He’d be. He is Lord. The problem is they will not have accepted Him as savior, and therefore when He consigns them to eternity in Hell, they will have to agree that His judgment was just. They deserve it because they refused the one thing that He asked them to do, and that is to accept Him as their savior.
And so now like the defeated armies in the Earthly sense, they will be forced to bow before the Man who is King after all, and who will have just conquered the entire world, they will be forced to bow before Him and agree that He is who He claims to be. But it will be too late for them to ask Him to save them because that had to have happened before He returned.
You see when He returns, that’s the end, right? Just like in the Parable of the Wheat, the farmer sows the seed, it goes into the ground, it grows, it gets a stalk and then it gets a head, and kernels in the head, and then when it’s ripe, the harvest. After the harvest, it’s too late! And so that parable is telling us at the end there’s going to be a time when everything stops, after which it will be too late to take sides.
This is why in Matthew 24, it says they will look up in the sky and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with glory and majesty, and all the Earth will mourn.
Now, why would they mourn? We think the coming of Jesus would be the greatest thing ever! Why would they mourn? Because they know, Oops, here He comes! He is who He said He was and now it’s too late. Woe is us. Now we’re going to pay.
So, safest way, Lord and savior, right? Make Him Lord and savior. Now you’re covered. But if you can only do one, start with savior. That way, if the bell rings before you get the Lord part, at least you’re saved! Just like the man coming through the fire, tail feathers still smoking.
Okay, so I wanted you to see that. All this is leading up now to this next story. This is not a parable; this is a true event.
Book of Mark 5:21. And I believe that this was all put here just to get you ready to see the message behind it. Here’s where the idea of not just reading it but pondering, considering, and trying to understand is going to pay off for you.
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side
He’s going back and forth and back and forth. Now He’s back in Israel, on the other side of the lake.
A large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. And then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there, seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her that she will be healed and live.”
All right, this man is named Jairus, and he is one of the rulers of the synagogue. Now, what nationality would that make him? He’s a Jew, yes he’s Jewish, he’s also Hebrew. He’s a follower of Judaism; he’s a Jewish person living in Israel. And he says to Him, “Please come with me. My little daughter is dying come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” He already knows that He can do this because he’s heard the stories of Jesus healing.
And verse 24:
So Jesus went with him.
And a large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. And when she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
Verse 31. This is good:
“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?'”
I mean everybody is, they’re just jostling Him, you know, because it’s so crowded.
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Before we go on, what nationality is she? She has to be a Gentile. Does anybody know why?
A Jew would not be allowed in the crowd. A Jew who was suffering from a discharge of any kind is ceremonially unclean. Anybody she touches would be unclean, all the people this woman jostled on the way to get to Jesus would be ceremonially unclean and kicked out of the synagogue for seven days and had to go through a purification process.
Therefore, any Jewish woman with that kind of problem would have to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” As she came up toward the crowd so they could scatter and not be worried about touching anybody.
This is why she was afraid when she admitted to Jesus that she had touched Him because she had made a Rabbi unclean. She was scared to death of this. She is a Gentile woman, and He healed her. Actually, her faith, He said, healed her because by faith she fought her way through the crowd, by faith she reached out and touched the hem of His garment, by faith she was healed.
This is what He said, “Your faith has healed you.”
Now keep those two in mind: we have a Jewish girl and a Gentile woman.
While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
I wish I could do what Jesus asked these men to do in verse 36:
Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Can you imagine? He’s come to Him as a last resort. His daughter is home dying. Jesus is the one person who can save her, and before He can get there, the daughter dies. Wouldn’t the natural thing be to think, Well that’s the end of that, I didn’t quite make it.
And then the Lord turned to him and said, Don’t pay any attention to that. Just believe.
He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.
In those days, they hired mourners to come and cry and wail and play musical instruments and sing sad songs to dramatize the mourning. And these are the people that are standing around.
He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
All right, so here’s the story. Jesus has just got off the boat, and He’s walking along. The synagogue ruler comes up and calls Him to come and heal his daughter. On His way, a Gentile woman fights her way to Him and is healed by faith. After that, He goes to the house and raises the daughter from the dead. This is the story of the Messiah’s mission. It’s nothing less than an enactment of what Jesus came to do.
Let the little Jewish girl represent Israel, let the woman represent the Gentile nations. He has been sent to heal Israel and raise her from the dead, but on His way, a Gentile fights her way to Him and by faith is healed. And so between the First and Second Coming, what did Jesus say in John 4, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of Israel.” Right?
His job was to come to Israel; He was Israel’s Messiah. He didn’t send His disciples among the Gentiles until Israel had rejected Him. And they didn’t reject Him at the cross, by the way. They rejected Him in Matthew 12 when they accused Him of healing by the power of Satan, that was their rejection. After that is when the door was open to the Gentiles.
He was sent, just as He was sent to the little girl, He was sent to Israel. But on the way, the Gentiles are healed by faith. He didn’t go to them; they came to Him.
If you’ll notice the miracles in the Scripture, always He is going to the Jews; the Gentiles come to Him. Always the Jews are healed up close and personal, and the Gentiles are healed from a distance or by their own initiative. And so this tells the story of what Jesus is to.
Now of course, Israel, while He was on the way to restore Israel, He was rejected. And during that period of rejection is when the Gentiles will come by faith to be healed. The end of the story is when in the Second Coming, He comes again to Israel, and this time, Israel is raised from the dead.
Got it? That’s the story. That’s what’s going on here, and that’s why these two miracles appear. They’re in three of the four Gospels, and they appear just like this each time. He is sent to the girl, but the woman comes by faith—each time.
How many nations come back from the dead? What other nation has been as thoroughly dispersed and scattered as Israel and has come back from the dead, to speak the same language it spoke originally? Only Israel. And in the interim during the scattering, the Gentiles have come by faith and have been saved.
She was a daughter of Zion, and on His way to raise her from the dead, a Gentile woman has been healed by faith.
Now how long had the woman had the disease? How old was the girl? You can just sense. Ever since there was an Israel, the Gentiles have had this disease. What was the woman’s disease? It was a blood disease, a blood disorder, wasn’t it? Do you and I have a blood disorder? We need a transfusion, don’t we? Our blood is contaminated, and it is killing us.
There is no cure. Only His blood can cure us. Nothing we can do, nothing this woman could do could stop this bleeding. She was dying in spite of everything. Luke says she had exhausted all of her resources. Her money was gone; everything was gone except her faith. She went to Him, and by faith, she was healed. That’s the story of the Gentiles.
So just as the little girl, you know she died before Jesus could get there, right? This is the First Coming. Israel died, but He kept coming. And when He gets there, He’ll raise her from the dead.
You can see this is prophecy being fulfilled in front of us. It will be completely fulfilled when He comes and says, “Get up!” and brings Israel back to life, in the sense that she is God’s favored nation thus far.
But in the meantime, we who are Gentiles go to Him and fight our way to get there, and are healed by faith. And our incurable disease, which is called our sin nature, is healed. Got it? Okay.
That brings us to the close of Mark 5, and that’s where we’re going to stop for this evening.
So just a quick review, we got the lamp which is meant to give light; we are meant to share the Word. We scatter the seed, the Lord makes it grow, and we don’t know how that happens, He just does it.
But when you’re looking for Satan, don’t confine your search to outside the Church. Because just as Satan masquerades as an angel of light, his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. So you have to be careful, just because it’s in the Church doesn’t mean it’s of God. Understand?
He has power over the creation, the physical world. He has power over the demons, the spiritual world. Only the creator has that kind of power, and as He comes to raise little Israel from death, we who are Gentiles, are healed by faith. And this is really the full measure of what He came to do.
What does it say in Isaiah? One of the so-called servant songs of the Messiah.
Listen to me, you islands;
hear this, you distant nations:
This is Isaiah speaking to the distant nations now. And listen what says:
Before I was born the Lord called me;
from my birth he has made mention of my name.
He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow
and concealed me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”
You see Israel was really given four things to do:
1) Israel was to be a witness for God. Israel was to witness to the world the things of God
2) Israel was supposed to be a showcase for God’s blessing. And isn’t it true that at the height of Israel’s glory, which was during the reign of Solomon, the Queen of Sheba came to visit, and people came from all over the world to visit, and the Queen of Sheba says, “I had heard these stories and I didn’t believe them. I came to see for myself, and it’s much bigger than I was told!”
3) Her third job was to transmit the Scriptures. Israel was supposed to write down the words of God and spread them into the world
4) And the fourth was to be the channel for the Messiah
These are the four things Israel was called to do.
Be a witness for God to show forth His blessings—by the way, these are all contained in Isaiah:
- The witness for God is in Isaiah 43:10
- Show forth His blessing Isaiah 49:3
- Transmit the scriptures Isaiah 42:9
- And be a channel for the Messiah Isaiah 49:5
These are the four things Israel was called to do. And so in Isaiah 49:3 he says:
You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”
And this is Israel speaking:
But I said, “I have labored to no purpose;
I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand,
and my reward is with my God.”
Now look at verse 5:
And now the Lord says—
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strength—
Who is this talking now? Who did God send to bring Israel back to Him? The Messiah!
Verse 6, this is God speaking now:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
You see, it was always intended that Jesus would bring salvation to the ends of the Earth.
Now it’s fascinating to me that if you read this in Hebrew, you’ll find that the Jewish name for Jesus is in this verse. Where it says “salvation” there? It’s “yeshua.” “Jesus” is the Greek version, the Hebrew version “yeshua” means God brings salvation.
And you’ll find His name there. It’s on the strength of this verse that Christopher Columbus’s parents named him Christopher. Because Christopher Columbus’s parents had a vision that their son would bring the Gospel to the new world, and they named him Christopher, which in Latin means Christ-bearer, because they believed he would be the fulfillment of that prophecy.
And if you read the real history of Columbus, not the history you got in your schoolbooks or the history you see on the movies a couple years ago, if you read the real history of Columbus you’ll know that Christopher went to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain to get the money to come to the new world, and they set an impossible fleece before him, they said, If we win this certain battle (that they were facing, which they were destined to lose), we’ll give you the money.
Now of course, they won the battle. They should not have, but they won the battle. They made good on their promise, and they gave Christopher Columbus the money to come to the new world. He told them of the riches and wealth and fame, but his mission was to bring the Gospel.
Now you don’t hear that in the histories, but that’s exactly the way it happened. And if you dig you’ll find it. And that’s how the Gospel got to the new world, that’s what started the whole process, and it was due to this verse, Isaiah 49:6:
I will make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
So, there’s a little free history lesson thrown in, no extra charge.
But now you see that it was always God’s plan that Jesus would also save the Gentiles. It’s not the only place you can find this, in several different places throughout the Scriptures. Isaiah particularly makes mention of it 750 years before the Lord was born.
But it was always His plan that salvation would come also to the Gentiles and that Jesus would bring it. His Son would bring it when He came.
All right and so that miracle then, of the double healing, has huge spiritual connotations to it as well as being a fascinating story of how this Gentile woman fought her way into the presence of Jesus and was healed as her reward.
Okay, well, that brings us to the end of chapter 5 then, and we’ll pick up the study our next time in chapter 6.