If you read chapters twelve, thirteen, eight and nine in Mathew’s record of the life of Christ, and chapters three, four and five of Mark’s record, along with chapters eight and nine of Luke’s record, you will have read a harmonized account of several events in the life of Christ. All of those events took place in about a twenty four hour period of time. So, in this harmonized account we are looking at a single day in the life of Christ.
What I want to do this morning is to very quickly move through that day, and detail the events reported, and then draw some conclusions which I believe the Holy Spirit wants to speak into this day of our experience.
Let me begin with some background.
Leading up to that day, Christ had just finished the selection of the twelve. He then went to Capernaum and entered into the house of Simon for rest. Great crowds began to gather, filling the house and surrounding area.
A delegation of Scribes and Pharisees infiltrated the crowd, spreading the lie that Christ had become emotionally and mentally unbalanced because of the intensity of His work. His friends, influenced by that lie, tried to persuade Him to take a leave of absence.
All of that is background leading up to the day we want to consider.
Regarding the day itself, here is a list of the happenings- the events that unfolded in that day.
-A man, blind and mute, possessed of a spirit is brought to Christ and is healed.
-You then have the reaction of a Jerusalem delegation of religionists; they report that Christ is in league with Beelzebub- and that by the power of the evil one He is casting out the evil one. Jesus takes apart their theory, and warns them sharply of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Because of their unbelief they were attributing to Satan the works of the Holy Ghost- and in particular the work they had just witnessed demonstrated through Christ.
-The Scribes and Pharisees then demand a sign. The response of Christ was so staggering- regarding their request and their future judgement- that they were kept busy the rest of the day trying to figure out what He said.
-Then His mother along with His brothers showed up to take Him home, for they had concluded that He was- in the words of the text- ‘beside himself’. His response was to point out the true nature of relationship in the kingdom of God. It was a family, but relationship here was not determined by flesh and blood; relationship here was spiritual, and the most important issue was obedience to the will of God. So much so, that if the choice ever had to made between earthly relationships and the will of God- then the will of God must come first.
-This is followed by His presentation of eight parables- first from the beach and then from a borrowed boat.
-It was now late evening, and to escape the multitudes, for the sake of rest He requested the disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee in a north-east direction to a village on the other side.
-During the crossing Christ falls into a deep sleep. A huge storm suddenly blows in and Christ orders it calmed.
-They arrive on the shores of Gadara, and Christ proceeds to drive the demons out of a couple of guys- and they are healed.
-It is now morning and they return to Capernaum to find the waiting multitude.
-At this time Christ is met by Jairus, who petitions Him concerning his daughter.
-On His way to meet this need, He is touched by a woman who for twelve years has suffered chronic menstrual bleeding. This made her a social outcast; kept her from the synagogue and public worship; was accepted grounds for her husband to divorce her; disallowed her from touching or being touched by another; and in the words of the text- ‘Had suffered many things at the hands of physicians.’
She is healed in touching His garment.
-He proceeds to the house of Jairus and raises his daughter from the dead.
-He returns to Peter’s house, followed by two blind men who cry after Him regarding their need. They push their way into the house and are healed by the touch of Christ.
Here are the collected miracles of that day.
A blind and mute man is delivered from a demon and is healed.
A storm of nature is calmed.
Two demoniacs are instantly healed.
A social outcast is healed in the streets.
A twelve year old girl is raised from death.
Two blind men are healed by a touch.
What we need to consider are the lasting values of this day in the life of Christ.
First I would ask that you consider the realms in which these miracles took place.
There was the spiritual realm- that is- the spirit world. Secondly there was the realm of nature- that is, the elements. Thirdly there was the physical realm- that is, the realm of physical disease. And fourthly there was the realm of death.
Notice these four realms- realms over which mankind in himself and in general has little to no power- and yet all men live their lives out in relation to or in the context of these four realms.
But here is what this one day in the life of Christ teaches us regarding these four realms- and I can tell you it is nothing but great and wonderful news. No matter what our present experience may be in relation to these four realms- this is eternally true and beyond any alteration- Jesus Christ is absolute Lord of all four realms. None of these realms is outside of or beyond the lordship and control of this Christ. And in one single day during the days of His flesh He demonstrated that fact of His lordship.
The second lasting value has to do with the nature of the needs He dealt with on that day.
No two needs were exactly alike. Each need represented a different background. Each need represented a difference of social position or status. Notice also that these needs included both men and women. Some needs were physical- some were spiritual, and some were both.
The lasting value we take away from this is that the nature of the need is never an issue with this Christ. No need- be it massive or minute- is beyond the reach of His healing grace. Christ demonstrated that He does not measure nor define need the way we do; He simply issues His invitation to come as we are, where-so-ever we are, who-so-ever we are, what-so-ever we are, and how-so-ever we are. The invitation is to come despite what we have become.
The third lasting value of this day in the life of Christ has to do with the method of approach.
Notice that each persons approach to Christ was different. >The man, blind and mute, didn’t come of his own volition- he was brought by others. >The disciples in the storm came out of fear and panic- and out of a deep desperation they, with violence, awoke the Christ. >The demoniacs were driven violently to Christ by spiritual forces within them- spiritual forces which trembled in fear and submission before the authority of the Son of God. >Jairus came in deep humility and worship. >The woman in the multitude came secretly and silently; she was inconspicuous and unnoticed. She came out of a deep sense of shame and disgrace- a profound and disabling consciousness of not belonging. >The two blind men ignored everything and everybody- created a public scene by shouting after the Christ, and finally forced their way into the house and the Lord’s presence.
The lasting value of this is to understand that the issue in our coming to Christ is not a particular structure or formulation of approach. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How do you put a structure around that? He who cometh to God must believe that He is. How do you reduce that to a particular posture or place or setting?
The fourth lasting value of this day is found in the fact that Christ’s method of dealing with each need was different.
With the blind mute, He simply cast the spirit out. >With the storm, He spoke directly to the elements. >With the demoniacs He conversed with the spirits and even granted their request concerning the swine. >The daughter of Jairus, He took by the hand, gently spoke to her and raised her up. He spent no time bellowing about a spirit of death. >The woman in the streets, He neither touched nor commanded- she touched Him. >The two blind men were asked a question concerning their faith- were promptly touched and healed.
The lesson in this is that we must be vigilant in resisting the narrowness of mere religion that reduces the infinite God to any particular method by which He engages human need. God is so infinitely creative that when it comes to meeting the needs of mankind He never has to repeat the same methodology twice.
Here are the differences we have considered regarding the events of this busy day in the life of Christ: -the differences of the realms in which the miracles took place, -the differences of the needs He dealt with, -the differences of approach to Christ, and finally -the differences of methodology in how Christ engaged those needs.
I will close this out by referring to the similarities.
First, it was need, and the profound sense of helplessness created by need, which drove these people to Christ.
Second, in the midst of the helplessness and in the swirl of their need there remained some spark of faith and hope that in coming to Christ (even as a last resort) there was possibility of change or transformation.
Third, wherever people- regardless of the realm, and the nature of their need, and no matter what their approach to Christ may be- wherever people reach out to Jesus out of an honest transparency of heart, Christ will be there to meet them, as He was during that day so long ago.