Notes on Mark’s Gospel (18)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

Miraculous Grace (Chapter 1 Verses 29-34)

The miracle is described graphically, Jesus takes her by the hand, rebukes the fever, it left her and she took up her duties as hostess v31. Yes miracle, the Lord speaks to the fever as he does with the elements and it does his bidding. Almost as though it were personal, as though it was some principle that was hostile to the woman. Not every sickness is the direct result of a person’s sin, but we know that sickness in the world is most definitely the result of our fallen state and condition, its ultimate source is the murderer of mankind, the devil (John 8:44), who authored sin. But notice here there is none of the normal tiredness following a feverish illness, you know after the flu for instance, you need a few days to get back to full working strength. Not Peter’s mother-in-law. This is a wonderful authentication of Jesus’ Person, his divine mission, it ought to stimulate a deep and remaining and worshipful confidence in the Son of God. It was then (v32) following sunset, the conclusion of the Sabbath, the people came to the Lord, bringing sufferers of all different classes, some sick and some demon possessed, see the clear distinction again? There was a lot of people there (v33). He laid his hands on each one (Luke 4.40), and healed them. It is not that a mere word would have been insufficient, but simply a touch of Divine kindness. Wholesale, abundant miracle. Do you see the personal kindness, despite the obvious tiredness after such a day of ministry? There is something profoundly human in his touching them, the tenderness that the human heart longs for. Yes, Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me it is so.

But it is possible that there is a moral aspect to his touch also, for Jesus’ ultimate desire is to effect restoration to God through union to himself. He, Jesus Christ, is the instrument of Divine grace in the midst of humanity. The Church’s business is no different. Our business is to declare God’s salvation from sin! To express the grace of God to people who have been wrecked by the ravages of sin expressed in a whole variety of ways in their lives. Yes, sickness and evil, drug and alcohol abuse, every form of sexual perversion known to humanity, down to plain self-righteous respectable religiosity. Deeply sympathizing with the sufferers, whoever and whatever they may be, but always remembering that these are but the symptoms of the much deeper disease. Sin in the human heart. And there is but one cure for that. The clear proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ, in all his fullness, as he is displayed and offered to men and women in the good news about himself (Romans 1:16; 1Corinthians 1:18-2:5). It is only as folk are captured, drawn by the Holy Ghost, through the preaching of Christ, that they become true Christians.

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

Sermon Audio

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