Saturday, February 28, 2015

Jesus raises Jairus' daughter

2.28.2015 Saturday of Lent 1       Mark 5:21-43 Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter from death

Jesus raises Jairus' daughter

Jesus returns to the Jewish side of the Seas of Galilee by boat. He is met by Jairus, a leader in the local synagogue, who begs Jesus to come to his house to heal his little daughter. Jesus decides to god, but He is interrupted by a woman who touches Him to get healing for her twelve-year-old issue of blood. This cause a delay and friends report that Jairus’ daughter has died. Jesus ignores this and goes to the home. A great multitude is already mourning. He asks them why they are mourning, for He claims that the child is not dead but sleeping. Their ridicule does not stop Him. In Aramaic He addresses the girl. To the amazement of all, she rises from death to life. He orders silence about the miracle and food for the girl.

Jesus takes the girl by the hand and says, “I say to you, arise.” The dead hear His voice and obey! Here is an instance demonstrating the authority and power of Jesus’ word. What He says happens. Who but God can with a word bring life out of death? It is no wonder Jesus orders His disciples and Jairus to tell no one of the miracle. He did not want people to see or accept Him as Messiah on the basis of miracles. The revelation of His identity was to come on the cross.[2] 

Do circumstances dictate faith? Consider Jairus. His daughter was ill. What parent would not stop at anything to seek treatment for sick child? Naturally, he goes to the one he knows will restore her. He runs to Jesus. He has faith that Jesus can restore her. This hope is raised when Jesus accepts the invitation to go to his house. That faith is tried when Jesus is interrupted by a woman also seeking treatment, and might have been crushed when he receives the disturbing news, “why trouble the Master, your daughter is dead.” When could have been will not happen. Healing was once possible. Death seemed to exhaust all hope.

Jesus speaks new life to this helpless situation with His word and promise, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.” Not only does Jesus take charge in this impossible circumstance. He is the object of such hope and trust. Do you only trust only when circumstances dictate a positive end? Faith must always be focused on Christ. Not a desired outcome. And especially when all hope is lost. The impossible, “the child sleeps” becomes the new reality, “I say to you arise.”

O God, by your Word you marvelously carry out the work of reconciliation: Grant that in our Lenten fast we may be devoted to you with all our hearts, and united with one another in prayer and holy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.[3]

[1] Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff, pg.208 © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
[3] Collect for Saturday of Lent 1,

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