SERMON TITLE: “Jesus 101: Jesus & Healing”
SERMON TEXT: Mark 1:40 – 2:12
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: August 12, 2018, at First United Methodist Church
As you entered the church this morning, you might have noticed a big blue banner asking you to vote “Yes” on Proposition #3. I have that banner displayed because I’ve been working hard this year—first with a petition signature book and recently at a parade route, the county fair, and a letter to the editor—to talk with people about Proposition #3, which will be on our ballots this fall. If enough people vote “Yes” on Proposition #3, it will expand Medicaid to cover 150,000 low-income Utahns who, right now, fall into a coverage gap that severely limits their ability to access healthcare.
I’ve been volunteering my time and effort to this cause because I believe Jesus cared deeply about people’s health, and that he wants his disciples to do the same. And I’m telling you about this today because, last Sunday, I began a sermon series on the basics of Jesus as found in the Gospel According to Mark. Like a beginning college course, I’m calling the series “Jesus 101.” Last week’s sermon was on “Jesus & the Gospel.” In that introduction, we learned that the word “gospel” refers to both the good news spoken by Jesus and the good news that the gospel writers perceived and told about Jesus decades later.
Today we move on from the verbal announcements of Jesus’ good news to some of his early demonstrations of life in God’s kingdom. As soon as Jesus began preaching and teaching, he found himself interacting with people who were suffering from physical handicaps and limitations. Like a school child who has trouble learning to read because his stomach is growling, we human beings have physical realities that demand our attention. Jesus quickly came to see that his ministry could never be just abstract words lofting through the air. Jesus perceived that human spirits are very tightly connected to human bodies, and that our well-being and salvation are a function of both. So, this morning, I invite you to consider what the Gospel of Mark tells us about “Jesus & Healing.”