Dunbar UCC

July 1, 2018

Mark 5:21-43

Pro-Life

 

I.             Jesus was pro-life.  He said “I came to give life in all its fullness.”  For Jesus, life was more than having a pulse and breathing.  One of his harshest judgments was against people who seemed to be “living the good life.”  They were wealthy and powerful but Jesus told the Pharisees and legal experts: “You are whitewashed tombs, beautiful outside but inside, dead bones and filth. Outside pretty, inside rotten.”

 

II.            Jesus said religion is about serving people who need help, the poor, the desperate, widows, children, people too sick or crippled to work, the elderly. But leaders of his day said the poor were poor because they were bad and God was punishing them.  They said it was God’s will, so don’t help them.

 

III.           The  irony of the Gospels is that when God came to earth to love and help people, they killed him.  Today's Gospel reading showed Jesus in a typical day.

                 He was in the middle of two people on  opposite ends of the social scale, a powerful and wealthy religious leader, an enemy of Jesus -- and a poor, sick, frightened, nameless woman.  Opposites.

 

IV.          In twelve years the woman spent all her money on doctors but she got worse.  Now she was desperate enough to try Jesus.  If we hurt enough we’ll  try anything.  AA says an alcoholic has to hit bottom to  recover. The woman thought a touch of Jesus’ clothes would heal her.  She hid in the crowd and touched his clothes and was healed.  She come to Jesus through the back door, like Nicodemus, or Zacchaeus. 

V.            Jairus came to Jesus though he was also part of a group who wanted to kill Jesus.  Jesus knew this but helped Jairus anyway.

                On the way to Jairus’ house, the sick woman touched Jesus’ robe.  As Jesus talked with her, messengers came with the news that it was too late, Jairus’ daughter died.  Jesus told Jairus not to be afraid but to keep trusting, and they went to his house.  When Jesus said the girl was just sleeping, people laughed.  Jesus threw them out.  He took the 12 year old girls hand and told her to get up, and she did. 

                Jesus turned death around because he was pro-life.

 

VI.          When Jesus said he came to give life, he meant life for every one.  A rich enemy and his child, a poor woman, Samaritans, Jews, Romans, Greeks.  We use the term pro-life so narrowly.  I like the term -- pro-life -- but I like the all-inclusive way Jesus used it.

                When we are pro-life like Jesus was, we won’t have a problem at our border.  We will bring families together.  We will find a place for everybody who wants a better life -- because Jesus is with us and he will show us a way. The disciples said, “Impossible -- we can’t do that -- we can’t feed all those people!”  Jesus said,”We can do that -- I’ll show you how.”