February 8, 2021
Pastor John Hering
29 They left the synagogue and went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was lying in bed, sick with a fever. Without delay they told Jesus about her. 31 He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them. 32 That evening, when the sun had set, the people kept bringing to him all who were sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door. 34 He healed many people who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But he did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.
35 Jesus got up early in the morning, while it was still dark, and went out. He withdrew to a solitary place and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for him, 37 and, when they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 He told them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring villages, so that I can preach there too. In fact, that is why I have come.” 39 Then he went throughout the whole region of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
So you’re trying to figure out how to get more airflow in the closet because it’s always cold in the winter and hot in the summer. What do you do? You call the A/C guy who goes into the attic and adjusts the air pipes and fix the problem. He’s the Troubleshooter. So let’s say there were two neighbors that were angry at each other regarding the fence between their properties. What do you do? You call the president of the HOA who recommends that the owner of the fence gets two estimates, the neighbor gets one, and you pick the middle estimate and split the cost. He’s the Troubleshooters! So, let’s say you’re a member of a church using the illustration of horses and a carriage where there are a couple of horses pulling the carriage, others were riding in the carriage enjoying the ride, others were sitting on top of the carriage with arms crossed wondering why things aren’t happening, and still others are being dragged behind the carriage in the opposite direction. The president is frustrated because more aren’t involved, the members are frustrated because they don’t feel valued, and the pastor is frustrated because he wants to do more, but his plate is too full. What do you do? You call Lori Lorig from Faith Unleashed who will walk along side the congregation and set up a Personal Member Ministry service so everyone can serve the Lord in his kingdom. She’s the Troubleshooter!
Don’t you wish you could find a Troubleshooter for every problem in life? Or if you take a step back, don’t you wish that you never needed a Troubleshooter in your life at all because troubles never came your way? But reality is that you’re probably singing in your head, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen!” because our life is a story of trying to avoid trouble or getting out of trouble. But, sadly, that’s the way it’s been since the Garden of Eden. But, God knows. So he allows and even sends troubles in our life so we realize how dangerous it is to cling to the pleasures of this life. But, we don’t want to walk in these troubling mud puddles every day. So, don’t despair! Rather listen to the lesson from Mark 1 give us encouragement to
Call The Troubleshooter
Supporting us through Temporary Troubles
Jesus had just begun his ministry and he has already run into all kinds of troubles. “29 They left the synagogue and went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was lying in bed, sick with a fever.” If they called the witch doctor a guy would show up with bells, potions and cut off some of the woman’s hair, use the hair to tie a knife to a nearby shrub and start chanting. But, Simon and his friends knew what to do, Call the Troubleshooter! “Without delay they told Jesus about her.” After a busy day at the synagogue preaching and teaching Jesus was probably looking forward to catching a nap in a recliner in Simon’s family room and watching the Super Bowl. But, there is urgency in Simon’s voice, for his mom wasn’t feeling well enough to make snacks for the Super Bowl Party! No jalapeno poppers on the grill, no bacon wrapped chestnuts in the oven, and no French fries in the air-fryer! The only thing that was hot was her forehead burning up with a fever! But, Jesus was there to take care of their troubles. “31 He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her.” You know how you feel after recovering from a fever, right? Weak and wobbly. But, you can immediately see what Jesus did! “The fever left her, and she began to serve them.” What does this tell you? This Troubleshooter has the power to give complete healing and mom’s heart was bubbling over with thanksgiving and eager to serve her Lord.
Can you imagine the conversation! “This Troubleshooter is the best friend we ever could have met. What a great guy to have at our party,” as they were shutting the front door. But Mark immediately goes on, “32 That evening, when the sun had set, the people kept bringing to him all who were sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door. 34 He healed many people who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But he did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.” We covered why Jesus didn’t want the demons to speak last week. You don’t want Satan doing your advertising. They didn’t need to because the word got out about this Troubleshooter! What a picture! As the skies were getting darker, and the gloom of sick people hushed the crowd they watched in eager anticipation as Jesus stepped out of the house. He didn’t say, “Sorry folks, I’ve had a really tough day. Besides the Super Bowl is on and I want to be with my friends!” Rather Jesus healed person after person into the night. With a loving touch and word of blessing the compassionate Troubleshooter, no, the Savior healed them and drove our demons (physically and spiritually!). The people of Capernaum rejoiced that Jesus brought healing into their lives. This Troubleshooter helped them and supported them during their temporary troubles.
Troubles weren’t just in Capernaum. They’re everywhere. Do ahead, drive past a gated community and you might think, “I bet they don’t have any troubles in there!” But that isn’t the case. They have marriage issues, kids getting into trouble, heart disease, cancer, dental problems and the fear of death just like everyone else. Solomon, who was richer than Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg combined admitted, “Whatever my eyes desired I did not withhold from them. I did not hold my heart back from any pleasure. My heart even took pleasure in all my hard work. … 11 But when I turned my attention to everything that my hands had done and to how hard I had worked for it—note this—it was all vapor, all chasing the wind” (Eccl 2:10-11). Sounds like Solomon needed a Troubleshooter! Yes, no matter who we are, troubles, heartaches and disasters strike us all. And we all need support.
So, Call the Troubleshooter! That’s what Simon did for his mother. In fact he even wrote about it! “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet 5:7). While Jesus certainly does have the power to heal today as he did then, more often he gives the brains and skills to doctors to work through them. We all can tell stories of times we went to the doctor to get some help. They worked on our innards with medicine or surgery. They were the Troubleshooters. But, it was the Savior’s healing hands that guided the way. We also know there are times when God allows troubles to linger in order to exercise our muscles of patience, to scrub away self-reliance, or to remind us that just like troubles themselves our life here on earth is temporary. Even if our troubles last a lifetime, they are still temporary because life on earth is temporary. So, Call Upon Jesus our Troubleshooter who Supports us through our Temporary Troubles. And does even more!
Saves Us from our Eternal Troubles
Yes, Jesus was true God and true man. He also took a break. “35 Jesus got up early in the morning, while it was still dark, and went out. He withdrew to a solitary place” Jesus took this time because he was exhausted (human nature) and because he knew what he would be doing (divine nature). Many days and nights of healing and helping, preaching and teaching lay ahead. It wasn’t going to get easier. Jesus would become more and more popular so that crowds began to follow and believe in Jesus. Then would come the opposition from those Pharisees and Jewish leaders that would eventually lead to his carrying his own cross up the hill of Calvary to his death. Jesus, the Troubleshooter, needed to refuel and refresh. So, he turned to his Father in heaven in prayer. “He withdrew to a solitary place and was praying there.”
His prayer isn’t recorded, but from other prayers we have recorded in the Bible we can well imagine a prayer like this, “Dear Father, keep me on task. When I’m tempted to give less than 100% to my mission, strengthen me. When I’m tempted to be distracted by the praises of being only an earthly Troubleshooter, keep me focused on my purpose.” Then his prayer was interrupted, “36 Simon and his companions searched for him, 37 and, when they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is looking for you!” Oh, there might have been another temptation for Jesus—look at all these adoring people who love me! I think I’ll rent a house, set up shop, pick a logo, build a Facebook page and schedule as many clients as I can! Oh, how the people would have loved that! No more suffering, hunger or trouble! Just call the Troubleshooter! But, whatever Jesus prayed to his Father, his actions matched his Father’s will. “38 He told them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring villages, so that I can preach there too. In fact, that is why I have come.” Yes, compassion for people oozed from every pore of Jesus as he helped and healed. But, what really pulled at his heart was not broken bones, but broken hearts. Not blindness of sight, but blindness of sin. Not demon possession of body, but demon possession of soul. So, he had to move on to proclaim repentance and faith for eternal results.
Let’s take home the lesson from Mark 1. Where shall we go when home remedies only mask the symptoms? Where shall we go when our heart’s true desire is unmasked before God as selfishness? When we try to make up for our wrongs with some rights? When we try to buy some more time with family and friends, but can’t buy our way out of the sentence of eternal death in hell? Where shall we go when we realize most of the troubles in our life are caused by our own fault? When we dare to presume to enter in the sterile environment of heaven with the dirt of greed under our fingernails, the arrogance of “at least I’m not as bad as they guy” air stinking up the air around you, and the seeping sores of cussing, swearing and dripping from your potty mouth? Where shall we go? What shall we do? You know—call the Troubleshooter who saved us from our eternal troubles!
How do I know Jesus hears us when we call? “39 Then he went throughout the whole region of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.” The same Jesus that never stopped being the Troubleshooter who continues to be your Troubleshooter/Savior, too. It was too small a thing for Jesus to save just the people of Capernaum, Judea, and Samaria. Jesus came to save all sinners. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty of us all. Jesus is the Troubleshooter who Saved You from Your Eternal Troubles!
So, if you have heating and cooling troubles in the closet, call the A/C guy. If your troubles are fences between you and your neighbor, call a fence guy and get some estimates. If your troubles are at church because you don’t feel valued and appreciated, then call your church leadership and get involved in personal member ministry. But, if you have one little sin floating around in your head and heart, then Call the Troubleshooter! He’ll take care of our Temporary Troubles and he has saved your from your Eternal Troubles. Call on Jesus! Boom! Problem solved! Amen!