Invitation and Interruption

Scriptures: 2 Kings 5:1-8 & Luke 8:43-48

Pastor Clyde’s September 25, 2016 Sermon

2 Kings 5:1-8

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

(2) Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. (3) She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

(4) Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. (5) “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. (6) The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

(7) As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

(8) When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

Luke 8:43-48

(43) And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. (44) She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

(45) “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

(46) But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

(47) Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. (48) Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

1. Did you hear about the man who saw a sign that said, “Talking dog for sale.”

2. He went into the house and asked to hear the dog talk. The dog said, “I have quite a history. I used to be a mountain rescue dog. Then I went to Iraq to be work with the Army there. Now I read to people at the rest home.”

3. The man said, “That is fantastic. Why are you selling a dog who can talk?”

4. The man replied, “Because he is such a liar. He has never done any of that.”

5. Today we are going to continue our series on being a good neighbor.

6. Last week, we asked if Jesus really meant what he said. Did he really mean that we are to love our God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves?”

7. And if he meant that, did he mean that everyone is our neighbor as we saw in the Good Samaritan?

8. I believe that he did mean it. I would ask you to consider how well you live these commands out.

9. To love God and neighbor is to act like Jesus.

10. Today, we are considering the story of the woman with the issue of blood.

11. It tells us that first Jesus was summoned to the house of Jairus who was an important official.

12. Jesus starts towards the house of Jairus and word quickly spreads that Jesus is not only on the move but he is also going to heal this little girl.

13. In a town where there was no movies, no TV, no cellphones—it was quite important to know the Jesus was going to heal someone.

14. It says that a crowd gathers all around Jesus and goes with him.

15. They are stoked; they are ready for action!

16. They want to see Jesus do a miracle.

17. I want you to get it into your mind this scene. People are running and pushing each other out of the way so that they will not miss this miracle.

18. In the middle of all of this, Jesus stops.

19. Something very unexpected happens.

20. Crowd is in a hurry; the disciples are in a hurry; Jesus is in a hurry.

21. Everyone stops when Jesus stops.

22. Jesus says, “Who touched me?”

23. Peter, bless his heart, says, “How can you ask who touched you? Don’t you see the hundreds of people all around you? Of course, someone touched you.”

24. But Jesus will not move until someone tells him who touched him.

25. My first question to you today is: Would you stop?

26. If you are in a big hurry, especially to do something good, would you stop?

27. What about in the elevator or in the grocery line? Do you stop and notice the people around you?

28. To be truthful, many people are doing this—LOOK AT CELLPHONE.

29. We want to be comfortable and uninterrupted. We use our phones to check out, to abandon those around us.

30. Eric Pickersgill had a series of photographs called, Removed.

31. In them, he photoshops out the electronic devices that people are using.

32. What we are left with is a glaring example of how we do not even have time for those closest to us.

33. LET’S LOOK AT SOME OF THEM.

34. These photos show how disconnected we are to the people we love most.

35. What does that say about us and our neighbors?

36. You can go to any mall and what do you see—people walking around with their faces glued to their phones.

37. For a while, it was Pokemon Go. How much of the beauty of the world do we miss when we do this.

38. How many people need us and we never see them because of this problem?

39. There are at least three things that we can learn about the encounter of Jesus with this woman.

40. First, Jesus stops. Jesus is always ready to stop for us.

41. For Jesus the future is never more important than the present.

42. He always has time for those who need him.

43. He gives priority to the woman who needs him right at the moment.

44. This is one of the ways that we show that we are like Jesus: we are ready to stop to help others.

45. There is something else to notice about Jesus.

46. He is always approachable. I have to confess that this is a problem I face from time to time.

47. I think that I am very approachable but people have told me that isn’t always true.

48. I believe that it came about because I am basically a very shy person. I have learned to put up a wall to protect myself.

49. That comes across as cold sometimes when I really am just shy.

50. Whatever the problem, Jesus was approachable. The crowd was on the way to a miracle but Jesus had time to stop for another miracle.

51. There is a third lesson in this story and it is not really about Jesus.

52. You notice that the woman was desperate.

53. She had suffered for 12 years and no one could help her.

54. With the purity rules of that day, she was limited in how she could intermingle with other people.

55. She took the initiative to go to Jesus for help.

56. She thought that if she could touch the fringe of his clothes, it would change her life.

57. That is the mark that I want you to see: she was willing to ask for help.

58. Jairus, too, sent word to Jesus to ask for help.

59. I would ask you: how willing are you to accept help?

60. Being a good neighbor means that we notice other people and are willing to stop and help.

61. It means that we are approachable.

62. But it also means that we are willing to accept help.

63. If no one ever accepted help, then we would have no one to help.

64. I remember my best friend in Texas. He and his wife would invite me to dinner and to ball games.

65. I felt bad that I could not reciprocate. He said, “Just be gracious and accept what you are given. It allows someone else to give.”

66. How many times do we squelch the giving of others because we cannot accept help?

67. We all need help at one time or another.

68. That is being a good neighbor—stopping to give help; being approachable; and accepting help when you need it.