Bible Passage: Mark 16
It is only a simple word, but it speaks to our deepest needs and longings.
Do you need help?
The Healthy Place
When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now these days, I’m not so self assured,
You will remember last week that Bro. Potter admitted that when we are young we really don’t think we need any help.
It seems the older we get the more we realize that we all need assistance.
We need to request help,
to recognize and accept help,
and to help others.
I believe most of us receive no help because we fail to request help.
Jesus was constantly giving assistance to those who requested it.
He turned water into wine due to request from His mother.
He healed the blind as a direct result of request.
He healed the lepers due to a petition to help.
He calmed a storm because disciples cried out for help.
He fed the 5,000 because they let it be known that they were hungry.
He heals Jairus’ daughter because he asked Him to do so.
So we need to request that kind of assistance.
But There were instances where no one asked for assistance and Jesus showed up and helped.
I want us to look at three of those instances because I think they speak to the place that many of us may be in our personal lives.
The truth is you may be in a place where you don’t feel like you can ask for help.
This message is for you!
Mark 16:1-9 – Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils.
Mark 5:9 , “What is your name?” “Mob. My name is Mob,” he said, because many demons afflicted him. And they begged Jesus desperately not to order them to the bottomless pit.
Mark14:43 47While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
The Healthy Place
- Help came to the unlikely/unexpected place.
Help came to the unlikely/unexpected place.
Her name was Mary and she came from the town of Magdala, hence the term Magdalene.
This Mary was the victim of a terrible, terrible evil.
Possession by one devil would be bad enough, but her body had become the home of seven.
We are not told what happened in her past that caused her to open herself up to demon possession.
All we know is that her life had been arrested by evil.
Mary Magdalene was living a helpless life, a hopeless life;
she was a woman in terrible shape, a horrible case.
Obviously, she was bound with something stronger than chains,
for the iron that bound her was the powerful arms of hellish demon spirits that wrapped Mary of Magdala in their invisible grip.
Mary could not help herself;
she could not defend herself.
She was enslaved.
The condition Mary was in is an important element of the story and certainly the most prominent feature of this account.
However, there is a secondary feature of this story that is my focus.
Although Mary’s situation was terrible we must look past her condition to see her location.
The Great Physician, wearing a peasant’s robe, at some point visited Magdala incognito.
The little village was positioned on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee.
It was a totally inconspicuous place.
It commanded no strategic importance to Rome or to Jerusalem.
It was a forgotten town.
It was a little, one light, blip on the map and certainly wasn’t a destination for sight seers and most definitely not for a Savior.
Jesus came to Magdala.
It was an unlikely place to find the King of Glory!
He went to an out of the way place.
It was an unexpected place to find the Light of the world.
He arrived there unsought.
It is probably true that no one in Magdala was looking for Him.
I’m convinced Jesus went to Magdala for one purpose and one purpose only, to look up a woman named Mary – and He found her.
Its like Ranlo – ( in need of a recharge) you don’t go to Ranl on your way to Ashville or the beach.
Please note that:
He found her; she did not find Him.
This should encourage you.
Do You find yourself in an out of the way place.
Are You are in a condition spiritually that you don’t expect to find God.
You are so far from Him that you feel like it would be unlikely for Him to show up.
Do You find yourself isolated and don’t think He can find you?
You may not even be looking for Him, and you probably haven’t asked Him to show up, but guess who is coming to dinner?
Jesus will travel to out of the way and unlikely places.
He will walk in unexpected and unrequested to help you!
Right when you least expect Him . . . expect Him to show up.
He will go out of His way!
I want that to sink into your spirit.
He will change His travel plans.
He will detour from His normal travel patterns to come to your rescue!
Some of you feel forgotten,
overlooked, unnoticed, unwanted,
your chains grow tighter, your sickness grows stronger,
your condition deteriorates daily and Jesus will pack a sack lunch and reroute to get to you!
If you are in an unlikely or unexpected place keep an eye pealed for an uninvited, unsought, unexpected visitor who will bring freedom and healing!
Help is in your village.
Help has come looking for you!
He can and will find you!
And not only will He find you He will change you!
The Lord had visited her little town uninvited, looked her up, freed her from Satan’s grip,
and 18 months later gave her the high honor to be the first witness of His resurrection.
Unexpected grace came to an unexpected place!
- Help came to the impossible place.
Mark paints the portrait of an impossible place.
Darkness so black that a cemetery becomes the canvas of choice.
Bondage so severe that it can’t be bound.
If there was ever an impossible situation it was this one.
Can you fathom the depth of the darkness that must have invaded the man’s soul?
In Mary’s case, we know the number of demons that lived in her . . . 7.
In this man’s case, the number is so high that when asked his name he responds “Mob” or “Legion”.
If you take the typical meaning of the word “Legion” it would indicate that there were anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 demons residing in this man.
Let’s say 300 or “only” 30
This may be the worst case of bondage and torment recorded in Scripture.
This man had been offered assistance.
Others had tried to control him.
They had tried to watch over him.
However, on every occasion guards had been lost or perhaps driven off as they ran for their lives,
chains had been shattered, and
clothes had been abandoned.
This was an impossible situation.
Some of you are facing mountains of financial challenges.
You have tried everything the experts have said.
You have utilized every Dave Ramsey trick in the book.
Some of you are facing physical issues that have the doctors scratching their heads and you’re scared for your life.
No remedy seems to be available.
No solution seems to be the final prognosis.
Some of you are in a relationship that seems doomed.
No amount of counseling seems to help.
Adjustments have been made and nothing has changed.
Hearts are hard.
Hope is gone.
Hands have been thrown up and vows thrown out.
It may seem like it is over.
But I want to ask you something.
How impossible is your place?
Has all assistance been given that man can give?
Has every stone been overturned?
Has every logical effort been made?
You are in the perfect place to meet the God who not only can, but loves to walk into and overturn the impossible!
This account is the worst case scenario.
It was a bad environment.
The surroundings weren’t ripe for redemption.
There was no chance!
And that is the powerful news . . . Jesus’ help isn’t limited by or weakened environment that you live in or work in or by the impossibility of your situation.
The impossible bowed its knee instantly to the presence of Jesus on that day and can do so again on this day!
And once again He didn’t seek help . . . help sought him!
- Help came to the touchy or tense place!
If there was ever a moment that was full of with tension this is it.
The disciples are on edge and ready to fight.
The soldiers are armed to the teeth and ready to exert force if necessary.
It was dark, hard to see, adrenaline was flowing, fists were clenched, and weapons were grasped.
One wrong move and a full on street fight would erupt.
And the wrong move was made.
Peter snaps and snips.
You could tell he was a fisherman and not a solider because if he had been practiced in the art of hand to hand combat he would have killed the servant rather than just slicing off his ear.
Do you really think he was just trying to wound him?
It was a touchy place.
It was a tense place.
Blood had been spilled.
Pain had been caused.
Ever been in this place?
Some of you are there now.
Every word has to be measured.
Egg shells have become your carpet of choice.
Tension in every look.
One wrong word could end it all.
Job could be lost.
Love may be abandoned.
One wrong glance could cause everything to spiral out of control.
One wrong decision and everything cold come crashing down.
Maybe you didn’t cause the tension or the touchiness, but you are now caught up in it!
Uninvited and perhaps even unwanted Jesus walks into the touchy and tense place with tenderness and healing and disarms the situation.
He helps and heals what was severed or cut off.
Some of you are tense because of what has been cut off from your life and Jesus is about to walk into that situation and restore what was severed.
Was peace cut off?
Was hope snipped away?
Was your heart spliced in two?
Was your joy surgically removed by a misplaced blow?
Jesus is about to walk in and with one touch restore what was lost!
He will walk in and remove the tension!
What place are you in today?
You may feel like you are living in an unlikely place.
You may feel forgotten and overlooked.
You may feel isolated or ostracized.
Perhaps you are in an impossible place.
Maybe every solution has been sought and failed miserably.
It may appear that your lot in life is bondage, life spinning out of control, totally unreachable!
You are so beyond help that you would even welcome chains because that would at least give some boundary to your misery and pain.
Perhaps you find yourself living in a tense or touchy place?
Every nerve on edge.
Every word scrutinized.
Blows have been struck.
Wounds have been inflicted.
Regardless of where you find yourself Jesus has walked into your place today.
You may not even be able to ask for help anymore.
You may have asked and been disappointed so many times that you have given up hope.
But hope is here because He is here.
He is in this healthy place.
His presence can change hell to heaven.
His presence can put your place on the map.
He can make a cemetery a dressing room.
You are in the Help Place!
David, who knew how to pray the “Help Prayer”, would shout to us about the “Help Place” in Psalms 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” He is ever-present right in the middle of your trouble!
There isn’t a day that goes by that His presence isn’t on sight and on the scene to bring help!
Welcome to the healthy place!