Devotional: August 8, 2020
35 While he was still talking, some people came from the leader’s house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher anymore?”
36 Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”
37-40 He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader’s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: “Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn’t dead; she’s sleeping.” Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about.
40-42 But when he had sent them all out, he took the child’s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child’s room. He clasped the girl’s hand and said, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, get up.” At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy.
Mark 5: 35-42 The Message
The story of the healing of Jairus’ daughter is remarkable for many reasons. In all likelihood, Jairus was a gentile. Yet he was intrigued by the stories about Jesus, and particularly the ones about the Lord’s amazing power to heal. So, when Jarius’ daughter became ill, he sought out Jesus, and begged Jesus to come to his house. Jairus desperately wanted Jesus to heal his daughter.
Now, as they approach his house, Jairus is greeted by some people who have just come from inside. Their advice? “Your daughter is dead. Why bother Jesus, the Teacher, anymore? It is hopeless. It is over. End of story…”
How does Jesus respond to this discouraging news? He tells Jairus to ignore their pessimism. Instead, he invites Jairus to trust Him. What follows is that Jesus resurrects Jairus’ daughter from death to life. In some ways, it is a preview of His resurrection.
I believe the most important advice Jesus gives to his new friend Jairus is to ignore the nay-sayers: those who said it was hopeless. Hope, I believe, is a word we all need to hear. There will always be voices in our world and in our culture which say we would be better to ignore the hope of Jesus. By following and listening to the scriptures, we are already beginning to face the direction of “hope”.
When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testified recently before Congress, he talked about some of the negative predictions about Amazon.com. One newspaper article from more than a decade ago opined that Amazon would soon be acquired by Barnes and Noble! What happened? Mr. Bezos and Amazon ignored the hopeless predictions, and I believe we all know what happened. Today, Amazon is a remarkable success.
The other piece of advice Jesus gives to Jairus is just as important: “Just trust me.” Jesus asks us to trust Him. The world can be full of messages that can give us the sense that there is nothing positive going on anywhere. However, Jesus calls us to trust Him, to be confident in Him, and to lean on Him. There may be times when it feels like Jesus is the only one who can give us hope. The good news is that He always offers us hope. He always offers us a path to healing, and redemption, and renewal. Even death cannot stop Him. If you don’t believe me, just remember the story of a certain grateful father named Jairus.
God of all healing,
Often there are many voices speaking to us in our world today. Some of those voices are uplifting, but some are discouraging. Give us the wisdom to discern which voices we need to listen to. The voice we long to hear, and the one which is most important to us, is Your voice. Help us to ignore the background noise of distraction, and keep our ears always attuned to Your voice. Give us ears to hear You! We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
PS. Please join us for online worship tomorrow. The scripture is Matthew 14: 22-33, and the sermon title is "Stepping Out in Faith: the story of Peter walking on the water"