We wish you the Lord’s blessing as we wait upon Him to be amongst us. God is there in all His glory and majesty to help me and you and save us out of our troubles, this world and the power and darkness of Satan. We ought to praise God for such opportunities to be enlightened by His word and hear Him speak in a voice that cannot be likened to any other.
There have been many portions of Scripture that have blessed me so this service will be different. My first portion is taken from Mark 5
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 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.” 24 And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. Mark 5:21-24
Then follows the story of the woman who suffered from bleeding in her body for 12 years. She said, “If I could only the touch the hem of His garment and be healed.” Jesus responded and said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering”.
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing[e] what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus[f] saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 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. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this and told them to give her something to eat. Mark 5: 35-43
Here we find the Lord is at work. Our leader has said how privileged the people were who lived with Jesus on this earth and yet that Jesus said on another occasion, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7 Jesus in all His fullness was at work while it was day, while He was in this world.
Christian, do you want to experience the fullness of what Jesus has for your life? Listen to His words. His words are life. He Himself is life. No one comes to the Father but through Him. If you are a child, and you want to experience Jesus raising you from the dead, draw close to Him, listen to His words, believe in Him. Jesus who is the author of life, the one who brings meaning to life - get to know Him. Let your heart cry out to Him.
When Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, saw Jesus, he fell at His feet. He saw Jesus as the Savior, the Redeemer, God who has come down to help him in his need. He is the only one I can turn to now. My only daughter is sick unto death.
Maybe you loved life, you had joys in friends and family but somehow or other your joy has been robbed. See Him. He is the One who alone can help you in your need. A sin may have grown over your head and you are now enslaved. You do not know what to do anymore. Sin has caused death in you. There is no reason to live. A type of sickness has crept in and you are in anguish, in agony and day and night you are harassed by this trouble. If you are in earnest – and may I ask, are you in earnest when you come to Christ or is it just a hallelujah or a prayer affair? Are you in earnest when you come to Jesus? Do you see the need? Do you see there is death at hand – do you know that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is Jesus, our Saviour?
Jairus 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.” The position as ruler of the synagogue was of no avail to him anymore. This was his hour of need. This was now his opportunity to see Jesus. May God grant that you may also see Jesus this morning. Yes, there is a crowd that encompasses Jesus. Everyone has his/her own words, ideas and convictions about Jesus but Jesus looks for you. He waits for you. That is why He is passing by. Can you see him? Can you hear Him passing by?
Prior to this Jesus crossed the lake to the region of Gerasene where a demon-possessed man lived. When he saw Jesus, he ran to Him in his demonic state and uttered things from the spirits that possessed him. He fell on his knees before Jesus and He commanded the evil spirits to leave. On that day, this man who was uncontrollable and the fear of the community, received salvation and healing. It was as if Jesus came just for him. Although Jesus had wanted to get away from the crowds, He came to this man on that day and said, “On this day you will be freed from the ties of bondage and slavery to Satan and his demons.” Therefore, come out from the crowd. Leave what others say. Leave their experiences and their wise advice. You need Jesus and you alone can find Him. No one can do it for you. It is for your life. It is for your benefit and salvation.
When Jesus got into the boat, the man who had been healed, begged to accompany Jesus but He had another commission for him. He 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.” The family had known him as a vagabond, a destroyer, a man who had wounded himself, a man who tore chains apart. Now Jesus said, “Go and tell your family how much the Lord has done for you.” He was obedient. It is sweet to be obedient to Jesus. Child, it is also sweet to obey your parents because you have the assurance that you are fulfilling God’s commands. You can expect a good life, a long life and it will go well with you. These are the promises of the Lord. If you transgress them how can it go well with you? You will be blessed by being obedient and others will be blessed through seeing it.
People wonder why such a fuss is made about our leader, Rev Stegen? Why is so much importance put on that? I am one who can testify how much the Lord has done for me through this vessel who was willing to deny himself and forsake father and mother and what was gain to him for the sake of the gospel. I am enriched. I now have a standing. I have a family. God cares for me - perhaps more than for others. I have been under his admonition and correction. There are times when I had to cry - not out of joy but pain because of being corrected by this servant of the Lord. In his old age, should I now mock him? Should I not be patient with him? Should I not love him more for what I have received at his hand? Should I say let him be silent, let him sit down? Because of the love and appreciation I have for him, should I not be able to endure his fragility and aging? At his age he still seeks to fulfill what Christ has laid on his heart. He does not want, with his last breath, to withhold anything that the Lord has instructed him to do. Why can’t I show my appreciation for the years of blessing. Should I dump him over board? I told you this service may be at bit different.
This man whom Jesus healed went abroad telling people in the Decapolis, the 10 cities, what Jesus had done for him. The people were amazed. It is a pity that we often stop with amazement. It only lasts for a short time – a few years – then the amazement ends.
Jairus asked Jesus to put His hands on his daughter so that she would be healed and live. He did not want her only to be saved and healed but to live in abundance – not as a cripple or half-sick person – he wished life for his 12-year-old daughter. Children, that is why we preach as we do – hard and thundering - because we want you to live and not be swallowed by this world which is passing by with all its pleasures, glory and fashions. Jesus heard this earnest cry, his plea.
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” Humanly speaking, there was no hope. If you are dead you are dead. It is too late but Jesus ignored what they said. Jesus must ignore the words of Christians who are alive or dead. Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not fear, only believe.” Jesus was on His path. “Do not be afraid, just believe.” He said. Have you been struck by fear? There is no hope? Jesus commanded Jairus: “Do not fear, only believe.” Jairus remained silent. He did not hang his head in hopelessness and lost despair. We can be blessed if at times we keep our mouths shut. Jairus had to wait upon the Lord. Jesus was attending to this woman who had been healed. He knew what the time was. We do not know what the time is. Can we tell God what to do and when to do it? You are not on the station. You are working with an earthly watch. How blessed if we would react like Martha at the death of Lazarus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” John 11:21 It was not too late for Martha. Watch out what you say! Do not bind yourself by your own words. The consequences of your words can be catastrophic. Words can be binding. What you have said has been binding words on many hearers – on those who have heard them spoken or written. In the Parents Conference we heard that a husband can nullify the words of his wife. Parents can nullify the words of their child. Have you allowed the words that your child has uttered to live? Now those words have bound you and your listeners. You say, “It’s too late!” Why do you not rather say, “I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jeremiah was a prophet and spokesman of God. He had to stand against other prophets. All that he prophesied came into fulfilment. The prophecies of the wise and trusted advisors that the kings relied on, fell to the ground. These men threw Jeremiah into a pit. They beat him and put him in the stocks.
“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts… 5 Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength,[a]whose heart turns away from the Lord. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Mit dem falschen Vertrauen auf Menschenhilfe wird man zu Schanden und gleicht dem verdorrenden Strauch im heißen, wasserlosen Wüstenland. Das lebendige Gottvertrauen gewährt auch in Zeiten der Dürre reichen Zufluss göttlicher Tröstung und Stärkung. Jeremia 17:8
The true and living trust in the Lord endures in times of drought. There is rich abundance of godly comfort.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?10 “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind,[b] to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:9,10
Das Menschenherz – Jeremia kennt es-ist wörtlich ein überaus arglistig und heillos Ding. Wie weiß es Entschuldigungen zusammenzuraffen und seiner Bosheit ein schönes Mäntelchen umzuhängen! Kein Mensch kann seine Heuchelei und Tücke ergründen und ans Licht ziehen. Nur der Herr kann’s und darum sind seine Gerichte allezeit recht. Jeremia 17:11
Jeremiah knew the heart of man which is full of guile and corruption. It can gather excuses and throw them on as beautiful mantle. No person can bring hypocrisy and evil wiles to the light - only the Lord can know, which is why His judgements are always right.
Jesus told Jairus do not be afraid, do not listen to that, only believe.
13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you[c] shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water. 14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. Jeremiah 17, 13,14
18 Let those be put to shame who persecute me, but let me not be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed; bring upon them the day of disaster; destroy them with double destruction! Jeremiah 17:18
Was den Propheten dermaßen erregt, das ist vor allem der Spott der Feinde: “Wo bleiben denn die Gerichte, mit denen du uns bedrohst? Nun drohst du schon 25 Jahre, und es geschieht immer noch nichts!” Und doch hat er sich nicht selbst zum Prophetenamt herzugedrängt; es ist ihm keine Freude gewesen, Unglück zu weissagen; was er geredet, ist nur, was der Herr ihm zu reden befohlen. Daher bitter er: “Werde mir doch nicht zur Entmutigung.” Lass mich nicht im Stich, gib mich nicht dem Hohn meiner Feinde preis, vergilt ihnen zwiefach. Jeremia 17:18
What especially moved Jeremiah was the mockery of the enemy. They asked him “Where are the judgements which you placed before us? You have reprimanded us for 25 years but nothing has happened.” Jeremiah never gave himself the position of a prophet. It was not his joy to prophesy destruction. He only spoke what the Lord told him to. That is why he pleads: 17 Be not a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
In chapter 18 God sent Jeremiah to the potter.
Was sollte Jeremia in der Töpferwerkstätte lernen? Antwort: Gott hat das freie, königliche Verfügungsrecht über Israel und alle Königreiche der Menschen. Er ist an seine Aussprüche nicht sklavisch gebunden wie an ein unabänderliches Gesetz. Er kann Drohungen oder Verheiβungen zurücknehmen, je nachdem ein Volk oder ein Mensch seinen Sinn ändert zum Guten oder zum Schlimmen. Er nimmt also gerechte Rücksicht auf die menschliche Freiheit. Jeremia trachtet nicht nach dem Ruhm eines unfehlbaren Wahrsagers. Er will ein Prophet des Herrn sein, des heilig-barmherzigen Gottes. Seine Gnadenverheiβungen sollen nicht in Sicherheit einwiegen, seine Gerichtsankündigungen nicht in Verzweiflung stürzen, sondern zur Buße und Bekehrung treiben. Jeremia 18:10
What did he learn in that workshop? God is the one who decides the fate of Israel and all the kingdoms of men. He is not bound to His commands like a law that cannot be changed. He can retract His judgements or promises according to whether a nation or man changes his mind towards good or evil. God adjusts Himself to the freedom that man exercises. Jeremiah yearns not for honour like an unmistakable sorcerer, no, he wants to be prophet of the Lord, of a God who is holy and full of compassion. All His promises of His mercy should not lull us to sleep. His announcements of judgement should not lead to doubt but instead it should lead us to repentance and a change of mind.
18 For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened? 21 “I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds. Jeremiah 23:18-22
Dreierlei kennzeichnet sie als falsche Propheten: sie empfangen ihre Verkündigung nicht aus dem Munde des Herrn; sie verkennen den göttlichen Gerichtsernst in die Zeichen der Zeit und lullen die Leute in Sicherheit ein; ihr Wort hat keinerlei bessernde Wirkung auf das Volk. Also nach Ursprung, Inhalt und Wirkung ihres Wortes unterscheiden sie sich scharf von den echten Gottesboten. Wie wichtig auch für die, die das Predigtamt des Evangeliums verwalten!
There are 3 things by which you can identify false prophets: They do not receive their pronouncements out of the mouth of the Lord; through their prophesies they lull the people to sleep; their word does not bring a transformation to the nation. The origins, contents and result of their words are greatly removed from the genuine messenger of God. This applies especially to those who are preachers.
23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Jeremiah is preaching to us today. How wonderful that we can be on his side and serve his God. If you say it is too late, you have bound yourself by your own words. May God help you to still unbind your words. If you have false things you will have to appear before this God who sits upon His throne. Woe to you if you have prophesied things which were false. Now is the time of grace. I am not God but I urge you, while there is still grace, to turn and listen to the words of Jeremiah.
Ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”. Jesus went forward and we can follow Him. Only Peter, James and John were permitted to follow. Are you a Peter, a James and a John? You may say that you are always left out, you don’t know where Jesus has gone, He has not told me what He is doing. These three men could be his witnesses because they were with him. Are you striving to be with him? He will come to your need and you will be able to go with Jesus where He will speak His words of life.
Jesus arrived at the home where people cried and wailed. There was a commotion. Death reigned. If Jesus comes, He puts all these things out. He says, “This child is not dead but asleep.” May we have the eyes of Jesus and hear His words. If you hear His words, do not laugh at Him. Do not mock Him. Do not say that you have proof this child is dead and you have the death certificate. Jesus, the master of earth and sky, took the child’s father, mother and disciples and went to where the child was. He took the girl by the hand and said, “Little girl, get up.” What a day for Jairus. He had never dreamt this would happen. Jesus – the holy and compassionate One– do not spoil His holiness in your life in the eyes of the onlookers. Do not spoil His compassion in your life and in the eyes of believers and non-believers. Moses was prepared to remove his shoes because God told him that the ground on which he stood was holy. Jairus was prepared to throw himself on the ground saying, “I do not deserve anything but hear my cry and be compassionate, Saviour of the world.” Jesus heard his cry and walked with him. Jairus waited on the Lord’s salvation. But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Cry out to Him. He is your Saviour. Wish Him to come to your aid so that He can whisper in your ear, “Forget about the others – do not fear, just believe.” I cannot explain the implication of what Jesus is capable of and how He can come to your aid, your sorrow and your lost condition.
Conclusion Michael Ngubane
We thank the Lord for His speaking. This is a clear message we can all understand. Why is my heart restless? What causes doubt? What causes me to doubt the power of Jesus Christ? Jesus says, “Be at peace. Be still. Do not doubt.”
The gospel came to the Jewish nation. They saw the power of Jesus Christ. They saw things they had never experienced. Those who had lost hope said that something could result from this. There are many who bring doubt to others – like these men. If there is a flickering fire, they quench it. The Lord quietened them and said, “Do not listen to them. You have need of me. What does not help others, will help you.” They reached the place where the child lay, “My little girl, arise.” Young people do you hear this when you face those problems which you think you cannot overcome. You might have been disappointed by those you have trusted in the past. It may cause you to think there is no life, you want to go into the world. Where is life now? Where is the gospel you had? “Young girl, stand up!”
Arise, you who are dead! How can you decide when there is no more hope for a life? Come to the Lord in truth and He will do things others never expected. Jesus can heal, save and forgive. You know if the life of God is in your life. We are invited, “Little girl, arise.” Faith brought about things. Faith in the Son of God will do things in your life. Jesus fixed the broken vessel. He remolded it. You are broken. There is no hope. You are dead. But if we draw nigh to the throne of grace, we will find life and be healed and by God’s grace something new will be born and new life will be found in the church of Jesus Christ.