Sermon by Pastor Tom Brown · Oct 02, 2022 · Mark Series

As we continue to work through the account of Jesus’ life and ministry, I want to begin this morning with a reflection.


He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.

Ephesians 4:10


Jesus fills the whole universe.

He is here.


He is the I AM.

He is the eternal one.

He treads the waves of the sea and calms the storms.

He fills the whole universe.

He is here with us.


We don’t need to ask him to come.

He is here.

If our spiritual senses were alert we would be overpowered by the glory, we would be transfixed by his presence.

Turn with me to Mark chapter 6.


53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

Mark 6:53-56


This is the 3rd summary statement of the works of Jesus in Mark.


39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Mark 1:39


10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”

Mark 3:10-12


These statements reveal that Jesus’ works far surpassed the scope of the individual accounts recorded in the gospels.

What is many but the mass of many ones? Every one a story. Every one a life-changing experience of divine love. What pain and sorrow did those ones bring to Jesus? What exhilaration did they experience as they felt his healing power flow through their bodies, soothing away pain, restoring loss and straightening what was broken and crooked?

The wonder of Jesus’ ministry to the masses is that he ministered to masses of ones. His ministry came in the context of individual life stories, just like the ones in this room. Every one of us walks into this room with a life story filled with meaning, filled with hopes and hurts, full of setbacks and sorrows, filled with questions and longings.

This third summary of ministry to the masses takes place in Gennesaret

“It was the name of a town as well as a region, which was densely populated. Wherever Jesus puts his foot “in villages, towns, or countryside,” the sick and needy clamor for his attention. The Gk. krabbatos (NIV, “on mats”) refers to the mattresses or pallets owned by poor people and indicates that Jesus’ influence is extended to the amha’aretz, the common and poor.” -James Edwards

This account does not include any teaching, any lessons or interactions with the ill. The only detail is their pleas that he would allow them to touch just the edge of his garment.

Last week we saw that Jesus is the I AM who treads on the waves of the sea.

Today we see that Jesus is the great physician.


The problem of sickness 

The word ‘sick’ in the English translation is used twice and is two different words in the Greek. The first is kakos.

kakos. Ill, wrong, not as it ought to be. 

That work, kakos, is used in a variety of ways in the New Testament.


On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:17


When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

James 4:3


A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

Matthew 15:22


Kakos describes . . .

Sickness of the body.

Sickness of the soul.

Sickness of the spirit.


The second word is astheneo.

Astheneo. Sick, weak, powerless. 

Ill, wrong, not as it should be. Weak. These words describe an aspect of human nature and their use tells us something significant about who we are.

The Bible describes humanity as an integration of body, spirit and soul. Unified and inseparable.

The Christian faith is for the mind, for the heart and for the will to act. The gospel makes a person a great thinker, a great feeler and a great doer. To the extent the Spirit fills us and the Word dwells within us we will think, feel and act deeply.

This isn’t the view of humanity we learn in our schools.

The Western view – we are just bodies. Unable to account for the free agency of the mind. Unable to give meaning to the affections. Nothing to say about a soulish existence beyond physical impulses.

“The brain is a meat machine.” -Marvin Minsky, AI Pioneer

“a big bag of skin full of biomolecules” – Rodney Brooks

“I went into science because of these religious reasons, there’s no doubt about that. I asked myself what were the two things that appear inexplicable and are used to support religious beliefs: the difference between living and non-living things, and the phenomenon of consciousness…Only with the discovery of the double helix and the ensuing genetic revolution have we had grounds for thinking that the powers held traditionally to be the exclusive property of the gods might one day be ours.” -Francis Crick, The Telegraph, London

The Eastern view – we are spirits temporarily inhabiting a body. The body is insignificant. Over the course of our spiritual existence we may experience many different bodies. The goal is to transcend the physical.

“If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop.” -Kurt Cobain

“Reincarnation is not an exclusively Hindu or Buddhist concept, but it is part of the history of human origin. It is proof of the mindstream’s capacity to retain knowledge of physical and mental activities. It is related to the theory of interdependent origination and to the law of cause and effect.” -Dalai Lama

Rather than limiting the human being to a body bound by physical laws of cause and affect, the eastern view limits the human being to a spirit bound by spiritual laws of cause and effect.

Both of these perspectives are brutal and reductionist.

The material perspective tells us that our greatest dreams and aspirations, our loves and hopes and sorrows are simply chemical impulses in the brain, predetermined by an impersonal physical universe which cares nothing for us.

The spiritual perspective seems to honor our deeper instincts of morality and meaning, but gives a brutal answer to the problem of suffering – why is the child in Nigeria suffering starvation and loss in the midst of military conflict? She is only getting what she deserves for choices made in a previous life.

Our experience tells us that we are more than a mere body or a spirit. The Bible tells us that we are body, soul and spirit.

“We experience our culture as fragmented; we live on bits of meaning and lack the overall vision that holds them together in a whole. Some postmodern writers pride themselves on the liberating absence of a defining unity. But most of us feel lost in a disconnected universe. We may feel attracted to noncommittal open-endedness. But to survive as human beings we need some coherent meaning in our lives. This may be one of the reasons why the integrated Christian culture of the past has suddenly become so attractive to many of our contemporaries. They feel that the fragments of meaning present to us must somehow be united in a manner that modern culture fails to accomplish.” -Louis Dupre

The Biblical view provides an integrated and unified understanding.

The Christian view of illness summarized 

Sickness is the result of the curse. Some is the result of punishment. Some is the consequence of sinful behavior. (ours, others, parents) Some is the consequence of living in a cursed world. All is used by God for his mysterious purposes to display his glory and do good to his creation. All will some day be healed.


The promise of healing 


No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.

Isaiah 33:24


The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.

Isaiah 30:26


But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’

Jeremiah 30:17


down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.

Revelation 22:2-3a


And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:3-4


The promised healer


The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;[a]

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;[b]

2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

Isaiah 61:1-2


5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

7 the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

Isaiah 35:5-7


The result of the ill reaching out to touch the corner of Jesus’ robe was healing. As many as touched it were healed.

The word heal in the Greek comes from the root sozo.

Sozo. Save. Heal. Rescue.


She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:21


For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

The word is full of meaning. It captures salvation from sin. It includes deliverance from oppression. It refers to healing.

Luke 19:10


Jesus is the one who makes things what they ought to be.

Jesus is the one who gives strength to the weak.


He heals the body.

He heals the spirit.

He heals the soul.

He heals the disintegration of our identity.


He makes things whole.


An example of healing the body and the heart. 

“It all started when I heard Lynn Marshall, a visiting sister from Ann Arbor MI, testify at a special weekend retreat for our community about how the Lord had healed her of scoliosis. I suffered from this back problem too but had accepted it as something I had to live with. But lines sharing made me think that perhaps the Lord did want to do something for me.

What worried me most was that I felt unworthy. I greatly wanted to see the Lord’s action in my life but couldn’t help thinking that this was for others only. These thoughts were in my during one of the weekend prayer sessions, when there was a word of knowledge concerning people with spinal problems. I went forward – only because some other sisters in the music group made me – with a mixture of anguish and expectation. I was terribly afraid of feeling let down if I wasn’t healed.

Three sisters, including Lynn, began praying for me and at first it seemed that my fears were being realized. But at the point when my frustration had become almost overwhelming, the Lord brought to my mind some memories I wasn’t expecting right then. I burst into tears and cried till I had no more tears to shed. Through that, I became so filled with the spirit and with a great piece that I simply opened my heart to the Lord and his healing power. That’s when Lynn laid hands on my back. At that moment, I had a vision in which I saw my spine straightening up and taking its original shape. Then I heard the sister shout for joy as the vision was realized before their eyes!

Now I am about an inch taller than before, and I take this physical healing as a sign of the even greater inner healing I experienced during those couple of hours when the Lord came to me and embraced me very tightly. With this permanent remembrance as proof, I can never forget how much he loves me!” -Mercedes Herrera


The power of faith 

Have you wondered why the detail about the robe? Was there something special about his robe? Was it somehow imbued with a special power because of its proximity to Jesus’ body?

Does it sound superstitious?

You may remember a few other incidents that are similar.


She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

Luke 8:44


God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:11-12


As a result, people brought the sick (astheneos) into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

What heals? The garment? The shadow? The hand?

The gospels tell us it is not the robe that heals, it is the faith that reaches out for the robe that accesses healing power.


Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Luke 8:49


Faith is the impulse which reaches out to grab hold of God’s healing power.

There is power in faith. We are hesitant to talk about faith and healing together. We all know someone who has prayed with what they felt was desperate faith for healing and did not experience it. We don’t want to hurt those suffering by telling them it is their fault. “You didn’t have enough faith.”

That is merciful and it is right.

Most of the time.

There is a tension here. A wise man avoids all extremes. We must not compound suffering by heaping blame on those who suffer.

But we must not lose something vital. We must not lose the call to faith. Faith is essential! Some of us need to be inspired and encouraged to have more faith.

We need to spur one another on to faith in the Great Physician.


What about now? Has he changed? 

Here are four ways to answer that question.


He healed peoples bodies in order to demonstrate his far more important ability to heal peoples souls.

Healing was necessary to prove that Jesus and after him the apostles who wrote the new testament spoke for God.

After the resurrection and the establishment of the NT healing bodies is no longer necessary.

We shouldn’t expect to see miraculous healing, though on occasion the sovereign God of the universe will choose to heal a body.

It does not good to have a perfectly healthy body and a desperately sick soul.


But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.

Mark 2:10-12


Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.

Acts 2:22


Faith Healing 

He healed the whole person, including body, soul and spirit.

Through the atonement Jesus accomplished a total redemption.

In faith we should always expect God to heal our souls, spirits and bodies.


16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

Matthew 8:16-17



Who can know?


Now and Not Yet 

Jesus healed many people in a variety of ways and for a variety of purposes.

Demonstrating the reality of the kingdom, confirming his identity as Messiah, authenticating his ability to forgive sins, and simply because he felt compassion and wanted to relieve suffering and make what was broken whole again.

The greatest illness is sin and the most important remedy is the forgiveness of sins, but just as the human person is a whole person, the salvation of Jesus is a whole salvation.

We will have to wait for the return of Christ to see the ultimate completion of that salvation, but the NT sets us up with a clear expectation that Jesus is still healing soul, spirit and mind this very day.


God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:11


Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus.

2 Timothy 4:20


Jesus was the divine healer in the book of Acts


12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Acts 5:12-16


5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

Acts 8:5-8


Jesus was the divine healer in the New Testament church


14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

James 5:14-15


He was the divine healer in the early church 

“What greater pleasure can there be “than to find yourself trampling underfoot the gods of the gentiles, expelling demons, effecting cures, seeking revelations, living to God? These are the pleasures, the spectacles of Christians, holy, eternal and free.” Tertullian, 2nd Century


He was the divine healer in the Reformation 

“We have prayed three people on the brink of death back to life: me, my Katie, and also Philip, whose eyes had already become lifeless.” -Martin Luther


He is the divine healer today. 

Jesus is the same, yesterday today and forever.


For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.

2 Corinthians 13:4


We should fill our thoughts with the reality that one day Jesus will come and finish forever the work of total redemption. A day is coming soon when you will experience existence in a body free from pain and illness, you will experience the strength and freedom of existing in a completely whole and perfectly health integration of spirit, soul and body. Whatever happens in this short life, your eternal future of perfect health is certain.

We should trust ourselves to the care of the great physician who entered into our world, shared our sickness and took our sin on his shoulders to secure our healing.

He would heal our deepest illness, he would restore our desperate lostness and stubborn crookedness by taking on the disease himself. He gave his body and his blood to be wounded so that we would be healed.

Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown