Saturday, June 27, 2015

Proper 8

Proper 8
28 June 2015
Mark 5:21-43

Jesus is the person of last resort. At least, according to our text for this morning. Here is a man who receives the bitter news; “Your daughter is dying”.  Immediately he turns to Jesus, the person of last resort. “Jesus, come quickly, place your hands on her and she will get better - I know You can do it! Please come Jesus!  Put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live!”

This man’s daughter was twelve at the time. I can remember when my daughter was twelve –and you, who are parents and grandparents, know what it’s like when your girl turned longer a child but not quite a teenager. Not entirely interested in boys yet but...curious.  Innocent, inquisitive, capricious, sometimes shy. She’s daddy’s little girl - and he’s about to lose her! No wonder he turns to Jesus – the person of last resort. 

What does this miracle teaches us concerning Christ – the person of last resort. He knows better than others; He cares about people especially in their trouble and pain; He alone has power and authority over death.

Jesus knows better than others. He is the person of last resort. Listen to His words in the face of opposition, criticism and ridicule. “Your daughter is dead!” they said, “Why bother the Master anymore!”  Ignoring what they said Jesus told the synagogue ruler “don’t be afraid, only believe” (vv. 35-36)

Jesus ignored them. They could only see a physical dimension; “why trouble the Master!”

They have nothing to offer him. No solace. No consolation. No hope. They have nothing to offer - they can see only one dimension. Jesus cannot help this father. His daughter is dead. They only see and experience life from what can be experienced here and now.

Such people believe life can only be lived in time. They limit their existence to only that which can be experienced by the senses. For such people, life has limits, is temporal and ends at death.

Jesus knows better – the girl is not dead – she only sleeps. True. The girl has died. With Solomon, we define death as the separation of the soul from the body.

Listen as he describes such events in Ecclesiastes 12:7 “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

“…and the dust returns to the ground...” That’s life viewed from the perspective of man.  The Father sees things different; “...but the spirit returns to God who gave it” God sees the reality of life and death from a completely different perspective.

From the Father’s perspective; people may say that a persons has “passed away” but there is a part of us, which we call the immortal soul, which lives beyond the grave.

And if we believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord death is not the end but rather it is a journey, a walk, from one end of the kingdom to the other; from the kingdom of grace into the kingdom of glory. 

He calls us to see death as a gate, which leads to eternal life. He calls us to believe in Him by faith.

He calls this grieving father to behold and believe. “Don’t be afraid, only believe!

Jesus, the person of last resort, cares about people in trouble. “Jesus went with him...” (v. 24)

The man’s daughter was dead. He has compassion; He is moved by his loss – He cares for this grieving father – He goes along with him to his house!  Naysayers will not trouble him. Those who fail to believe that He has the words of life do not distract him. He reaches out to him – He went with Him.

He went with him for He has the sufficiency to grant life. Jairus needed a miracle.  Where could he go? To whom could he turn? He turns to Jesus who walked with him.

In the midst of your hurt, in the midst of your need - turn to Jesus who has promised to walk with you. Remember the last five words Jesus spoke to humans before His Ascended, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20)

Jesus, the person of last resort, has power and authority over death itself. “He took her by the hand and said: “Little girl – get up!”

Jesus said: “No one takes my life from me. I have the power to lay it down and I have the power to take it up!”  At the cross, Jesus willingly laid down His life for you... At the cross, all of your sin was forgiven period! At the cross, the power of death died.

And when Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit. At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rock split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs and after Jesus’ resurrection; they went into the holy city and appeared to many people! “(Matthew 27:50-53)

When Jesus Christ died, death died. Jesus has the power over death.

Jesus has authority over death. With authority, Jesus took the girl by the hand and said: “Little girl – get up!” Jesus who has the authority over life and death restores this girl to life. He returns her to her parents. The family is made whole again!

And on the last day, Jesus by the same authority will say: “old man, young woman, o lad, young girl – get up!

And on that last great day “at His calling all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.”  (Athanasian Creed)  

Jesus – a Savior of power and authority – Jesus - the person of last resort!

Words –1,010
Passive Sentences – 8%
Readability – 82.0

Reading Level – 4.2

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