By Chris Chambers
Pastor, Brush Creek Baptist Church, Brush Creek
The Random House College Dictionary defines “restore” as: “to bring back into existence, use, or the like; to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition.”
As Brush Creek Baptist begins the process of remodeling our sanctuary, we are hoping to restore our pews that date back to 1902. Some are cracked and many creak and groan on Sundays. We are finding restoration to be a difficult, and maybe impossible, process. Restoring something to the original condition is not easy. It takes skill and hard work. In Mark 5, three people met the master carpenter and creator who could restore more than they asked.
The demoniac at the beginning of Mark 5 was living in the tombs because he was possessed by demons and unfit for life in society. When he met Jesus, his mind was restored. Later in the chapter, Jairus went to Jesus because his daughter was sick and asked for her health to be restored.
Medical avenues at the time were primitive and offered little hope. The woman who had bled for 12 years understood that. She had been, according to Leviticus 15:25-30, unclean for that whole 12 years. She was probably taking a big risk in just moving among the crowd.
This woman was desperate. Jairus was desperate. The demoniac had been desperate. When they met Jesus, He didn’t just restore health but also their lives. Jesus also restored more than that. He restored relationships. This man in the tombs and the woman who had suffered so long were restored to society. Jairus’ daughter was restored to her parents. Jesus offers completely restored relationships.
The most important relationship Jesus restores is the one between the Heavenly Father and us. Mark 4:38 contains a question I believe is one of the most ironic questions ever asked. “Teacher! don’t you care that we are going to die?” Of course, Jesus cares that we are going to die. The whole reason He came to earth was because of how much He cared. In John 14:6 Jesus says He is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus restores the lost relationship from the Garden. Jesus moving among the crowds, and not living as a hermit on a mountaintop, is proof of His desire to restore a more intimate and personal relationship between God and us.
The first thing Jesus restores is hope. Jairus and this woman had exhausted their medical options. The only hope they had was in Jesus. That was also true of the demoniac. That is also true today. Jesus is our hope to restore peace and joy. He offers restoration to broken relationships and restoration to lives broken by addiction and sinful choices.
The definition says “restore” is to “bring back to a normal condition.” Sin took the normal away from our relationship with God. It took Jesus laying His life down to bring normal back to our relationship with God. That is how much He cared.