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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6/29/10- Bringing Our Chidlren to Christ

Mark 5:21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." 24 So Jesus went with him... [Jesus then healed a woman who was hemorrhaging]
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher anymore?" 36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, "Don't be afraid; just believe." 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

(Ilya Rupin 1871 St. Petersburg Russian Museum)

Thoughts: The father brought his dying/dead daughter to Jesus, and Jesus heard his prayer.  So every father should seek to bring their children to the Lord- when they are sick physically, or sick mentally, or sick spiritually.  In our individualistic society when so much emphasis is placed on individual decisions for Christ, we need to remember the affects of others upon us.  Our faith is not obtained in a vacuum.  Someone passed that faith on to us, and someone-perhaps many- prayed for us. 
Parents brought their children to Jesus for him to bless them; The centurion brought his servant to Christ's attention (Mt. 8). The friends opened the roof in Capernaum to bring their paralyzed friend to Christ.  It is important to bring those who cannot come on their own to the Lord of the universe.
Jesus  was no respecter of persons.  He would help the poor and unknown as well as the rich or well known.  He did not ignore the poor, nor did he despise the rich.  He went to help the synagogue ruler (tradition says he ruled a district of synagogues- much like a bishop/ presbytery executive of our day).  But on the way (vss. 25-34 that we will read tomorrow) he healed the unknown lady who was facing chronic hemorrhaging.  Jesus was not so task oriented and impatient in ministry that he did not help the needy in his way.  We see the patience of God here.  True, because of his delay the daughter died; but also true that in God's power that dying did not matter- in fact the delay helped to show Jesus' power over even death.  For me, it tells me to help those along the way, and be more patient- trusting in God's power.

Prayer: Today, Lord, I pray for sick children.  For those who have physical, mental, and spiritual sickness.  May they find your love and your grace. 

John Calvin: The synagogue ruler ascribes no power to Christ except kneeling as he would before a prophet.  When he hears news of his daughter's death he trembles as if he gave up hope. Yet Christ yields to his small faith.  Though we may not have as much faith as we would like, we still should not doubt that God will hear our prayers.
"The girl is sleeping"(39)- sleep is oftened used in scripture to denote death.  This points to our future resurrection.
Christ enjoined them to be silent because he did not do the miracle in order to make it known, but to help the girl and family.

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