Category Archives: Healings

Raising of Jairus’ Daughter

Text: Mark 5:35-43

Prop: a prayer shawl or a poster of a Jewish rabbi wearing a prayer shawl

Summary: Jesus has the power to raise us from the dead. The story of Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter.

Look what I brought with me today. This is a prayer shawl similar to the one Jesus wore. All Jewish men have a prayer shawl. It is called a tallith (pronounced tal-LEETH). It was used to show their dedication to God and his Word. Great importance is placed on a person’s prayer life. The shawl was worn during the morning prayers. The tassels on the four corners were woven and knotted in a way that it reminded the man to obey all 613 of God’s commands in the Torah (first five books in the Bible) and that the greatest command was “Jehovah is one.” (Deut. 6:4)

One day Jesus was walking along and a great many people were following him. Because he had healed so many people, great crowds would press close to him in hopes of touching him and being healed of their sicknesses and diseases. One woman that had been bleeding a long time touched him on the tassel of his tallith and was healed because of her faith. Then the ruler of a synagogue (a place of worship) came to Jesus in hopes that he would heal his dying daughter. About the same time he approached Jesus, some people from his house came to tell him the bad news. His daughter had already died, and there was no reason to bother Jesus about it.

The Bible says that as soon as Jesus heard this he told Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe. Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him to Jairus’ house. The people were wailing and crying because the little twelve-year-old girl was dead. Jesus asked them why they were weeping because he said the girl was not dead, but only sleeping. The people all laughed at Jesus because they knew she was dead. So Jesus took the parents into the room with Peter, James, and John. It was a custom to lay hands on the sick to heal them. The person laying hands on the sick would place the prayer shawl on the person that was to be healed. Jesus probably followed this custom. He took the little girl by the hand and said, Talitha cumi. He told her to arise from under the tallith, or prayer shawl.

Do you know what happened next? The little girl arose from the dead! Jesus had called her back to life! Because Jesus is God, he can do anything. As you might imagine, Jairus’ family was astonished at what happened. Jesus told them to not tell anyone what happened and to give her something to eat. Jesus gives us hope of eternal life, because He has risen from the dead to be alive forever. One day He will raise those that believe in Him to live forever with him. We have a great hope and a great God.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Lazarus Come Forth

Text: John 11:1-45

Summary: Jesus has the power to raise us from the dead. It is natural and appropriate for us to grieve when someone dies.

Dedication: In Memory of Pam, our neighbor (1959-1998). We love you.

About a week ago a good friend, a neighbor, was called home to be with the Lord. She was a kind woman, only 39 years old, who reared her children well, loved her family and friends, and will be sorely missed. She died of cancer. Have you ever lost a loved one? Do you wonder what happens to us when we die?

The Raising of Lazarus by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1497.
The Raising of Lazarus by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1497.

Let’s look at a story about Lazarus, who was Jesus’ friend. Lazarus was sick. He was so sick everyone was afraid he would die. His sisters, Martha and Mary, sent word to Jesus to ask him to come heal Lazarus. Now Jesus loved Martha and Mary, but when he heard this he didn’t rush over to help him. He stayed in the same place for two days. We may not understand it, but sometimes when we pray, God doesn’t answer us immediately, or give us the answer we were hoping for. Then Jesus said to his followers, Lazarus is dead. He then set out on the journey to a little town outside of Jerusalem called Bethany. When he arrived, Lazarus had been dead four days.

When Jesus approached the town, Martha came out to meet him. She was very sad. She was upset that Jesus had not come sooner, but even now, she knew that God would grant him anything he asked for. Jesus said, Thy brother shall rise again. At first, Martha thought Jesus meant he would rise at the resurrection of all believers at the end of the age. She had no idea Jesus had come to raise Lazarus from the dead that very day.

(Read John 11:25,26] After hearing Jesus declare that he had the power to raise people from the dead, Martha responded in faith with a beautiful confession that Jesus was her Lord and Savior. She knew he was the Son of God and could do anything. Then she went to get Mary, her sister. Mary ran out to meet Jesus, and was near the burial cave. She was crying and very sad. It hurt Jesus’ feelings to see everyone crying because Lazarus was dead. Even Jesus began crying with them because he loved Lazarus too. The Bible says Jesus wept. (verse 35, this is the shortest memory verse I know about).

When we have a family member or close friend that dies, we grieve. That means our hearts are breaking because we loved that person so much and we will miss them. We remember all the good times we shared with them. We cry big tears. It is natural and appropriate that we cry when someone dies. Some boys think that crying is just for girls and is sissy. That’s not true. Notice that even Jesus cried when Lazarus died. It’s okay to cry when someone dies because we know we will miss him or her.

Mary told Jesus that if he had been there then Lazarus would not have died. She had seen Jesus heal many people and knew he could have prevented this. She was angry. When someone we love dies, sometimes we get angry and say things we shouldn’t say to those we love. We should try to comfort those who are in this situation as Jesus did. Jesus told the people to remove the stone over the cave where Lazarus lay. Mary thought this was a bad idea because the body was decaying and would stink after being in the tomb four days. But Jesus knew why God the Father had caused this delay. It was to show others that Jesus had power over death. Jesus knelt and said a prayer aloud, thanking God for what he was about to do. He did this as a witness to those watching. He didn’t do this to show off. Even when you go to McDonalds or Hardees, if you say a prayer quietly, even though God knows you a thankful, then others around you will see that you are a Christian.

Then he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

Then Lazarus’ soul, which had been in heaven, was called back into his body and he arose from the dead. He walked out with the burial cloth still wrapped around him. Everyone saw it and was amazed! Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead! When we believe on Jesus as Lord, when we die our soul goes to heaven and awaits the resurrection of our body. The day will come when Jesus will call all believers to reunite with their bodies. We will see our dead loved ones again and recognize them. Jesus will give us a new body that will last forever. This gives us a great hope. It reminds me of the hymn “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!” This is one of Jesus’ greatest miracles and it proves he is Lord and has power over death.

©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

The Raising of Lazarus by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1497, © 2002 National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Link used by permission.

He Touched Me

Text: Mark 1:40-45; Leviticus 14:2-4; Psalm 103:3

Summary: Jesus heals a leper. Jesus has the power to heal all our diseases.

Prop: a picture of a doctor or a physician’s stethoscope

Shortly after the birth of our daughter my wife needed to have her gall bladder removed. Our pastor visited us in the hospital and we prayed for her. The doctor came into the waiting room after the operation and told us some of the little hardened gallstones had passed into the next organ, the bile duct, and would need to be removed the next day. I remembered Psalm 103:3 and that it is the Lord who healeth all thy diseases. Again, I asked to pray with our pastor and we prayed for her complete healing. I knew Jesus could heal anything! I only needed to pray with faith.

The next day the doctor came into the waiting room after a few hours in the operating room. His face was pale and he looked puzzled. He explained that he had many x-rays (pictures of what is inside your body) showing the gallstones from yesterday in the bile duct. He was unable to perform the operation because now the x-rays showed that the gallstones were completely gone! Jesus had done the operation! I told the doctor I still believed in miracles. Jesus is the Great Physician who healed my wife!

Looking back on that miracle I believe God did it not only to strengthen my faith, but also to give a witness to the doctor. Today I want to tell you about a person who had a terrible disease called leprosy that Jesus healed.

(Read Mark 1:40-45)

Acts 10:38Leprosy is a disease that causes round red sores on a person’s skin and can cause blindness and rotting of the nose bone. It makes a person look terrifying. It is not very contagious, but it could spread after close contact over a very long time. God blessed his people with advanced medical care many thousands of years ago. God told Moses how to care for lepers. He made them live apart from the city in a separate area. This is called a quarantined area.

The leper had faith that Jesus could heal him and he begged Jesus to do so. Jesus was filled with great care and concern. We are not told specifically, but I’m guessing that Jesus went out of his way to the leper colony to visit the sick. Christians today are going to those with AIDS and other diseases to care for them just as Jesus did here. Then Jesus did something no one else was willing to do. He touched the leper with his hand. Other people would not even get close to, much less actually touch, a leper. They were afraid of catching the leprosy.

Can you imagine how wonderful it must have been for the poor leper to feel the touch of another person? Jesus said, I will, be thou clean. Instantly the leprosy left the man. He was completely healed by the spoken words of Jesus! Jesus didn’t have to touch him, but he did anyway because he knew how much it would mean to the leper. Then Jesus commanded the leper to show himself to a priest to keep the law of a leper’s cleansing. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to do away with it. This not only strengthened the faith of the leper, but also was a witness to the priests. The priests were doctors of the law. This would be a testimony unto them. The man was so excited about being healed that he quickly spread the news to everyone in the surrounding area. He was happy to tell others how much Jesus had done for him!

Whenever we get sick or have a disease, let’s remember that Jesus can heal anything. Pray for healing. Remember to thank Jesus for healing you. Just as the leper was excited about his healing, we should be excited to tell others the great things God has done for us.

©1999 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

The Blind See

John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? Then Jesus answering them said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. – Luke 7:20, 22

Text: Mark 10:46-52

Summary: The story of Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus.

I once visited an underground cavern. When the tour guide had the group near the bottom of the cave he turned out the lights. It was so dark that I could not see my hand in front of my face. This is as close as I can imagine what it must be like to be blind. Close your eyes for a moment. If you try to walk around right now you might bump into things. I’m sure you can appreciate what a blessing it is to be able to see.

One day Jesus passed through the city of Jericho. A large crowd followed him. A blind man named Bartimaeus sat by the road. No one would give him a job because he was blind, so he had to beg for food and money.

(Read Mark 10:47-48) Bartimaeus believed that Jesus was God’s chosen One, the Messiah, so he called him the Son of David. Bartimaeus had heard how Jesus had healed other people and he knew Jesus could heal his blindness. So even though the people told him to be quiet, he hollered even louder for Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Then Jesus stopped and told those nearby to call him.

Can you imagine how excited Bartimaeus was to hear that Jesus was waiting for him? He had something very important to ask Jesus. He had so much faith in Jesus that he cast his robe aside and left it behind. That robe may have been the only thing in the world he owned but it meant nothing to him compared to meeting the Lord of Life. Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he could do for him. If you were blind what would you ask Jesus to do? Would you ask for a new robe or a lot of money? (No) Of course not. You would ask to be able to see and that is what Bartimaeus did.

(Read Mark 10:52) Bartimaeus immediately received his sight as soon as Jesus spoke the words. Jesus is God so when he gives the word it happens right then. We don’t have to wait. Bartimaeus followed Jesus in the way. When God finds you (did you think you found God?) and changes your life forever it is only natural to follow Him.

Some people are blind even though they can see with their eyes because they don’t understand that Jesus is the Son of God. This unbelief causes darkness in their hearts and minds. Jesus tells us we are the light of the world and to let our light shine in such a way that others can see that we serve God and give Him the glory. (Matthew 5:14,16) This may be just what others need to understand that Jesus loves them and wants them to see God.

©2000 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Take Out the Trash

Joke: A little girl was reciting the Lord’s Prayer, and said “Forgive us our trash passers, as we forgive those that pass trash again to us.”

Text: Mark 1:23-27,39

take out the trashProp: a few empty trash bags (or one filled with paper only)

Summary: Jesus cast out unclean spirits. He took the trash out of people. Jesus can help us clean up our lives.

Do you help around the house by doing chores? (Listen to responses.) When I was young I would help take out the trash. I would use trash bags like these (show bags) to collect all the garbage in the house and take it outside. The trash bags would be very messy and smelly on the inside, but you could not tell it from the outside of the bag. What would happen if we never took out the trash? (Listen to responses.) We would live in filth and become miserable and grouchy. Sometimes people have trash on the inside in their minds and souls. Today I want to tell you how Jesus helps people like that.

When Jesus began his ministry he would teach in the synagogue, a place like our church. Sometimes people were there that had problems. Some were sick in their bodies and had diseases. Some were sick in their minds and were confused. Some were sick in their souls — in their spirits. They had unclean spirits. They had trash on the inside but there they were in “church” and Jesus could see they needed help!

(Read Mark 1:23,39.) Jesus did what I’m sure you would do. He helped them! He cast out the unclean spirits. He took the trash out of them. He wanted them to have a clean spirit on the inside.

Did you know that people still need Jesus today? When we SIN it is like piling up garbage all around us. If we are mean and hurt someone’s feelings, we are carrying trash. If we get angry for no reason and stay mad, we are carrying trash. If we say bad words, we are carrying trash. But Jesus can help! He does not want us to carry trash around with us. He wants to take out the trash in our lives. He wants us to repent and ask him to forgive us. He wants to forgive our sin. If we repent, he will forgive us and help us clean up our lives.

©2003 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Fixing a Hole

Text: Mark 2:2-12

Prop: a sleeping bag

Summary: Jesus demonstrates that he is Messiah and has the power to forgive sins.

Everybody Needs JesusLook what I brought with me today. Do you know what it is? [ a sleeping bag ] Yes, and the story I want to tell you about today is about a man that was paralyzed and couldn’t walk.  He had to beg for money. He heard about Jesus and wanted to see him, hoping to be healed. Jesus had gone to a man’s house and it was standing room only.  The place was packed. The local reporters were there too because it says they could not come nigh unto him for the press. (grin) This man had so much faith that he got his friends to tear off the roof of the house and let him down on his bed (a small sleeping pallet like this sleeping bag). Jesus saw their faith.  He decided that the hole in this man’s heart was more important to fix than the hole in the roof, so he said to him Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

This upset the religious leaders that were gathered there. They considered this blasphemy for a man to pretend to be God, because in their view only God could forgive sins. Jesus was making the point that he was the Son of God.  People believed if a person was handicapped that it was because they had sinned, or that their ancestors had sinned and that God was cursing them. So for Jesus to forgive this man was the same as healing him and making him whole again.  The scribes were upset so Jesus explained But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way unto thine own house.

Then a miracle occurred. The paralyzed man immediately arose. It didn’t take weeks of rehabilitation and therapy. They were so amazed that they gave glory to God for the miracle and said We never saw it on this fashion. They had never seen anything like it!

We all have a hole in our hearts that needs fixing. Jesus is the only one that can fix it. We must ask him to come into our hearts to fix the hole. He alone can forgive our sins and make us his children.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Lord of the Valley

And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. – 1 Kings 20:28

Text: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Hebrews 12:3

Prop: sandpaper

Summary: Our present suffering is building our character. Our God of the mountaintop is also Lord of the valley. We should never lose heart no matter how tough our personal circumstances may become.

Some of you may know someone who has cancer. I had cancer. Cancer is a disease that messes up your cells, the small parts of your body that you cannot see because they are so tiny. The doctor took out a cancerous growth called a tumor in my body (in October 1999). Then he gave me drugs to kill the cancer at the smallest level. They call that chemotherapy. That is why my hair fell out. The drugs killed the hair and lots of other cells in my body. It made me sick sometimes and I threw up. It wasn’t very pleasant. The Bible tells me to keep a positive attitude no matter what happens to me.

(Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Jim Kerlin October 1999It would be very easy to get to feeling sorry for myself when things are bad, but the Bible tells us that even when things are tough that we should never lose heart. We should never give up. Our God is with us when things are going great, when we feel as though we are on top of the mountain. Jesus is with us when things aren’t going so well also. He is Lord of the valley when we feel things couldn’t get any worse. He uses these tough times like holy sandpaper to smooth out our rough edges spiritually. He uses the hard things of life to build our character.

Let’s watch what this sandpaper does to this little wooden block as we rub on the corner of it. As I keep rubbing the pointed corner it gets more rounded. That is how God works on us to get us ready for Heaven. We are not perfect but He wants us to be more and more like Him by the time we get there. That is why we should not get discouraged in the short term, but remember that He is getting us ready for all of eternity.

Jesus was familiar with suffering. (Read Hebrews 12:3) He decided in the garden of Gethsemane that he would do whatever it took to save us. He went to the cross for our sins. He suffered terribly at the hands of the Roman soldiers who scourged him, or beat him unmercifully with a whip. They pushed a crown of thorns into his scalp. Then they nailed him to the cross. Nothing I have endured can compare to what my Lord suffered for me. So I will not lose heart. I will keep in mind these things and know that they are working together for my good.

Let us pray. Dear God, thank you for being with us in the good times and the bad times. Thank you for making us better persons and more able to serve You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

©2000 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

You may read my testimony of my healing from cancer, Healed by Jesus, on this site. My chemotherapy was completed in May 2000.