Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God for the beautiful weather and the season of growth that it brings. Praise God that he sustains the world at seedtime and harvest. Genesis 8:22, Hebrews 1:3.
Confess the sin of too often thinking that our labours provide for our needs, without acknowledging that all we have comes from the gracious hand of God and that apart from Christ, we are nothing. 1 Chronicles 29:14, John 15:5.
Please read Luke 8:49-56 - Jesus does know what is best for us.
Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you in your understanding of his Word.
V49. Jairus' daughter dies.
What happens while Jesus is speaking with the woman with the hemorrhage? This news of his daughter’s death must have been devastating for Jairus. If only Jesus had not stopped but gone straight to Jairus' home. If only the woman had waited until Jesus was on his way back from Jairus' house to touch him. She'd had her problem for twelve years, yes it was serious but not life-threatening; what would a few more hours have cost her? Now, because of the delay, the girl who had only had twelve years of life is dead.
The 'if onlys' of life. Sometimes they come down to the minutest of details and can be devastatingly life-changing. Often, they turn on choices and decisions you and I make. You are making a good choice now to engage with God today. If it is your daily practice, please keep doing it. It will bode well for you. If it is something you have not yet developed as a habit in your life, I would really encourage you to do so. The time you and your family invest in the daily worship of God will result in growing knowledge and understanding of his ways, and take away some of the future 'if onlys' in your life.
V49. There's no point in Jesus coming now.
The conclusion drawn by the person bringing the news to Jairus is understandable. Why bring Jesus to his home now that his daughter is dead? What will he be able to do? As an aside – we have already seen that Luke doesn't give us a chronological record of Jesus' life and ministry, which is important to note, especially since he told us about the raising of the young man in Nain in the previous chapter, i.e., Luke 7:11-17. If Luke had recorded these events in time order, then the messenger's statement would surely have been different. What do I mean? Well, if what happens in Nain had already taken place, then news of it would have reached Capernaum and the messenger knowing that might have said – 'Your daughter is dead; ask the Teacher to come and raise her like he did the widow’s son in Nain.' I think it's a reasonable hypothesis, but one I can't prove because neither Matthew nor Mark, who tend to be more chronological in their accounts, record the miracle at Nain.
V50. Jesus speaks.
Before Jairus can say a word, Jesus speaks. He directs his words not to the person who has just spoken, but to Jairus. He is addressing the depth of despair that will have engulfed Jairus at that moment. Jesus' words literally mean, 'engage in an act of faith in me', 'put your trust in me'. The essence of our lives as followers of Christ is not merely trusting in him for our salvation, but putting our trust in him daily. That is why I am constantly encouraging you to be with God, so that you are in the right place to hear God call you daily to trust in him. We need it so much. Dwelling, quietly and steadily, in Christ is essential to your life and mine. John 15.
The statement that his daughter is going to live must have; startled, excited, confused, overwhelmed, engendered fear, but ultimately ignited a new measure of faith in Jairus. How do we know? Because he doesn't try to prevent Jesus from going to his home. When they arrive, Jesus only permits three of his disciples to enter the home with him – Peter, James and John. We will find that while Jesus has twelve disciples, that he begins to draw these three men into a closer relationship with himself because they will play influential roles in the life of the church after his death.
The house is a cauldron of noise, with people weeping and mourning, loudly crying because Jairus' only child has just died. Matthew mentions the fact that the 'professional' mourners had already arrived, Matthew 9:23. It would have been quite a chaotic scene and one which Jesus takes immediate control of. He tells the flute players and the paid wailers to leave. He speaks to those in the home and tells them to stop weeping because the girl is not dead, but asleep. They respond as people would, with muted, mournful, and yes, scornful laughter. Let's not be too quick to be harsh on these people, though. How else would you expect them to react? They know the girl is dead. They didn't need modern medical equipment to read her vital signs. People were more familiar with death than they are now. This ignorance of death is one of the major problems in western cultures, for it breeds an unhealthy and unrealistic expectation about life and the need to preserve it no matter the cost. The handling of this current pandemic with measures continuing to be enforced where the death rates in areas such as Ottawa are negligible, is just one example of that. And if you are someone who is seeking to take care because of health concerns, please do not read that as a criticism of you; it is not. It is just making the point that when you compare the current approach to the legislated killing of the unborn, it speaks to a staggering level of irrationality. The people in first century Palestine lived with death. It was not something that took place, as it does now, predominately in hospitals, but in their homes. Jesus, of course, knows that the girl is dead, his use of the word 'sleep' has to be understood in the sense of understanding the death of believers. John 11:11-14, Acts 7:60.
V54. Jesus raises the girl.
Jesus takes the girl by the hand, a gentle human gesture, and says two words, "Child, arise." Simple, unpretentious, yet powerfully effective, as is the work of God in our lives. Her departed spirit returns, and she gets up as though she had just been awoken from sleep. Life is about our 'being', our spirit. The body is merely a vessel, yes, an important vessel, and one that we should take care of and look after. But our lives are inside us. That is why God tells us to, "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life," Proverbs 4:23. And how do we do that? “By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart, I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you… In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches." Psalm 119: 9-11,14.
The power of Jesus is incredible. And don't think that because he is no longer on the earth that his power is not being exercised today; it is. We need to be lifted out of our mundane, mediocre acceptance of life, and look to the Lord to do amazing things. We need to ask and believe that he can bring new life to the spiritually dead around us, if he so wills it.
Amid this incredible act, Jesus continues to be the epitome of measured, common sense composure. He tells the family to give the girl something to eat. Whatever had caused her death was now gone from her body. We tend not to want to eat when we are not well. In their amazement and joy, Jairus and his wife might not have thought of giving her food, but again, we see Jesus concerned about the simple things in life.
Jesus says something else to the parents – he tells them not to publicize what had happened. Of course, people would find out. The professional mourners who had been dismissed from the home, the wider family and friends whose weeping has turned to joy, wouldn't be keeping this a secret, so what is Jesus' point? Focus on the girl and don't fall into the potential trap of becoming local celebrities because of this. The man set free from the Legion demons was sent by Jesus to tell others because he was on his own. This family is to stay focused on being a family who will love and serve Jesus quietly in their community as they go about their everyday affairs.
Jesus calls different people to different tasks. Don't crave the responsibility or task of another, be content with the task and calling he has given you.
A Psalm to Sing.
Psalm 122A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung. Sing with joy in your heart to God.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,"
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 60 - How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
Answer - The sabbath or Lord's Day, which is given for man's good and as a pointer to his eternal destiny, is to be kept holy by resting all that day from our work and recreations, and spending the whole time in the public and private worship, except the time spent in works of necessity and mercy.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God for the power of the Lord Jesus to bring the spiritually dead back to life. Ask God to do such a work in the lives of those you know who are dead in their trespasses and sins.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley