AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Hymn—“O Jesus, King Most Wonderful”

Scripture Reading—Mark 6:1-6

“And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”

Opening Prayer

Scripture Meditation— ‘A Few Sick Folk’

The little phrase ‘a few sick folk’ describes the blessed people to whom the healing power of Jesus Christ came in Nazareth during the Lord’s visit to that city. While the majority saw no miracle because of their unbelief, ‘a few sick folk’ were touched by the Lord and healed. What a beautiful picture that is of sovereign, electing grace.

A local hero?

The visit of the Lord to His hometown might have gone differently. The Lord’s fame was spreading, His power had been witnessed in other towns and cities and His reputation was growing as a teacher and healer. But at Nazareth the townspeople were offended that One whom they knew so well, knew as a common working man from a poor local family, should be so regarded and even worshipped. It was as though they said, ‘You can’t kid us, we know who you are’.

Pressing danger

But it was not Jesus who was kidding, it was their own wicked hearts that were deceived. Their spirits were blinded to the presence in their midst of the Son of God. They had neither eyes to see nor ears to hear, and must, but for divine intervention, remain insensible to Jesus’ true identity. Indeed, that any sinner can truly and properly discern the Lord Jesus Christ is a heavenly gift of grace and faith. Our sickness is not only serious, but deadly. Except we know the merciful touch of the Healer’s hand we shall all likewise perish!

The Great Physician

These ‘few sick folk’ upon whom the grace of God fell were no better, or deserving, than the others, except that they were loved of God, and on this day God had come to Nazareth to show it. In the eternal purpose of Almighty God they were ordained to better things. Their sickness brought a sense of need, but it also brought a Saviour. Likewise, all who know themselves to be sick with sin discover both a need of cleansing and One fit to provide it. By the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ they find forgiveness and acceptance at the hand of the holy Lord God.

Hope

Perhaps you wonder why sin weighs so heavily upon you, why guilt in your conscience and the state of your soul bothers you when it never did before. Friend, it is because you are sick in your soul. But there is good news. Jesus heals sick folk by the work of His Spirit and the power of His gospel. He heals the broken-hearted. May He heal a few sick folk today!

A necessary lesson

As the Saviour continued to teach His disciples about the nature of the gospel and the distinguishing work of grace, these twelve men saw how men and women by nature oppose the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet they also saw God’s purpose to save His elect worked out in the individual lives of a few needy sinners. These are lessons for us and the church of all ages. It helps explain the reactions of our families, friends and neighbours, indeed all men and women, to our witness for Christ and the call of the gospel.

It is as though the Lord said to His disciples, ‘I’ve told you, now I’ve shown you, “Except a man be born of water (sovereign grace) and of the Spirit (in regeneration), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”.’ It was a necessary lesson for the apostles to learn then, and the church to know now.

Peter Meney

Hymn—“Sweet Hour Of Prayer”

Sermon—“A Few Sick Folk”

Peter L. Meney is the editor of “New Focus“, a web-based magazine available online. Its purpose and aim is to spread as widely as possible the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of free, sovereign grace found in the Holy Bible, the Word of God.

Hymn—“God Will Take Care Of You”

Closing Prayer

Benediction

May the Lord bless you, and keep you; may the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.



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