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Crushed to Life – part three

Mark 5:21-43

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So we've seen how the woman's expectation was frustrated, she was driven down then lifted up. 

The same happens to Jairus.  He had expected Jesus to come and heal His little girl.  But talk about frustration.

Can you imagine being Jairus in v24?  You're leading the way back to your place, Jesus is coming but the crowd is holding everything up.  How fast can you go when a large crowd is pressing around?  You can bet Jairus wished the whole crowd would just disappear.  I mean there are even people grabbing hold of Jesus' clothing as they're racing back to his house.  But frustration just isn't the word when in v30, Jesus stops.

"Why have you stopped Jesus?  Didn't you understand v23: my daughter IS dying."  This is a race against the clock.  Jesus has brought everything to a halt and now He's looking around a large crowd and asks 'who touched me?'  Put yourself in Jairus's shoes. 

"Who touched you?  Who touched you???  A) Everybody.  B) Who cares!!"  It's incredible isn't it.

I mean verse 31 from the disciples is just dripping with sarcasm and incredulity:

"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask,'Who touched me?'"

That's how the disciples were thinking, how must Jairus have been thinking?? 

I have no medical training, I have no healing powers but if you told me your daughter was dying I'd come with you in a second.  And nothing would get in my way.

Jesus is very different.  He frustrates our expectations.  We keep coming up against this in Mark.  Just think about the last three weeks.  In Mark 4 a hurricane blows up and not only does Jesus not immediately still it, He takes a power nap.  And the disciples say "Jesus don't you care if we drown!?"  Jesus does not do what He's meant to.  Unbelievably Frustrating.

Last week we saw Jesus deliver a man oppressed by an army of unclean spirits.  If you were here last week you'll remember Jesus had granted the request of the demons, He'd granted the request of the hostile crowd but when this delivered man just wants to hop aboard and be with Jesus, Jesus says 'No.  Go back as a missionary.'  Jesus frustrates our desires. 

Here a father wants healing for His dying girl.  Is there anything wrong with that request?  Anything wrong with wanting your twelve year old daughter to live?  Well then Jesus, if you have the power and if you're good, you'll do this thing.  But what does Jesus do?  He waits. He stops and talks to a woman - a destitute, unclean woman who wouldn't have even been allowed into Jairus's synagogue.  And what's more this woman has been bleeding for 12 years now, she could wait another hour Jesus.  But no.  Jesus is unmanageable.  He has His own agenda.  He's insanely frustrating.

And verse 35,

"While Jesus was still speaking to this woman, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler." 

And here are some of the most painful words you could ever hear

"Your daughter is dead." 

"Your daughter is dead."  Put yourself in Jairus's shoes.  He's left his daughter's bedside.  He's come and put his career on the line, he's prostrated himself at the feet of Jesus - begging for his little girl's life.  And Jesus has not come through for you.  Now you hear 'Your daughter is dead.'

Jairus's story is our story.  Every one of us either has had or will have moments like this in our Christian lives.  We have come to Jesus.  We have real needs.  We are sure we know the best way He can help us.  But He doesn't do what we'd thought and our worst nightmare happens. 

These last three weeks have been teaching us painful but invaluable lessons. 

The storm of Mark chapter 4 taught us: We will go through storms and Jesus won't calm them right away.  It will get to the point where we say "I'm dying here and you don't care do you?".  The story of Legion in Mark 5 taught us:  Jesus will say 'No' to us even when our desires seem completely legitimate and godly.  This week we learn:  Jesus will delay and nightmare scenarios will arise. 

What do we do?

This is what we're supposed to do - v36:

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

That's incredible.  How can that be in the bible?  How can Jesus say that?  Everything in us tells us this is the moment NOT to trust Jesus.  This is the moment to conclude He's not good or He's not powerful but either way He's not helping, He can't be trusted.  Jesus says "Don't be afraid, trust me."

Jairus is being driven down further than he'd ever anticipated.  You would have thought at the start of the story that begging Jesus for healing was as desperate as Jairus could have been.  But no, his daughter is now dead and still Jesus asks Jairus to trust him.  Jairus is being driven down.

He is brought to the point where there is no earthly hope whatsoever.  Only the God of resurrection can be trusted at this point.  When your daughter is dead you must either be swallowed by despair and conclude that nothing is bigger than the grave or you can trust in the God of resurrection, but there's no other option.  Either death swallows everything or there's a God of resurrection.  Jesus says 'Trust me - I am the God of resurrection.  I eat death for breakfast.'

Jairus gets to see firsthand the God of resurrection at work. Let me read from v38 (it's worth just reading this in full):

38 When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, 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 walked 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.

Jairus was driven down and then lifted up in the most incredible way.

Jairus came to Jesus for a healing.  He got a resurrection.  And when it came, verse 42 says they were 'completely astonished'.  Literally it says they were mega-ecstatic. Mega-ecstatic.  Greatly beside themselves.  Completely astonished.  Jesus raised their dead daughter the way you or I would wake the sleeping.  Those words in verse 41, "Talitha coum," are in Aramaic - the language Jesus spoke most often.  And Mark leaves them in their original Aramaic because people remembered the exact words that came from Jesus' mouth.  It was such a precious moment people would always remember the way He spoke to that little corpse.  Jesus said 'Talitha coum' which is a term of great endearment.  'Talitha' has the feeling of 'Little girl', 'little madam', 'little missy' - it's warmly affectionate.  I heard one American translate it 'Honey.'  Honey, it's time to get up.  That's the flavour of what Jesus says.  He takes a 12 year old dead girl by the hand and says 'Honey, it's time to get up.'  Immediately she rises from the dead at the word of Jesus. 

And at the end of the story Jesus has saved both daughters.  He's saved both daughters.  Everyone thought the bleeding woman could wait while Jesus healed the dying girl.  But no - Jesus He's saved the woman with the flow of blood and He's saved the dying girl.  He calls the one 'daughter', He calls the other 'Talitha' - both terms of great affection.  He does care, He is powerful and He does know how to bring things to a happily ever after that far outstrips anything we expected.  Through sickness and suffering, through frustration and painful delays, through death and grief, Jesus brings us through to resurrection and leaves us in verse 43 feasting.  That's what you do when you rise from the dead you eat.  That's what we'll do when we rise from the dead, we'll feast with Jesus, and on that day we will see how Jesus has brought us through suffering into astonishing glory.

Do you know that the same Jesus who said 'Talitha koum' is alive and well and ruling the universe?   Do you really know that?  Do you really know that this Jesus who calls the woman 'Daughter' and the girl 'Talitha', He is seated on the throne of the universe.  He is the One ruling the events of this world and this week and my past and my present and my future.  This Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and forever, this Jesus is Lord. 

And He was crushed ultimately at the cross so that power could come out for our salvation - by His wounds we are healed.  He ultimately went down into death, and He ultimately rose up again and is now reigning over history and over you.  And now when we come to Him we find forgiveness and cleansing.  We can have a one-to-one with Him where we tell Him the truth about ourselves. And we can know ourselves to be a beloved Daughter or Son.  And one day beyond our own deaths Jesus will say to us 'Rise and shine.  It's time to get up.  It's time to feast.'

In the meantime we may face crippling pain, financial ruin, sickness, overwhelming grief and horrific frustrations.  But all the time Jesus is saying to us "Don't be afraid, just believe!"  He is saying this to us right now 'Don't be afraid, trust me.'  And we can trust Him.  The One more powerful than the storms, more powerful than the demons, more powerful than death itself, will bring us through suffering to a completely astonishing glory of resurrection and feasting.

So, "Wait for the LORD.  Be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (Ps 27:14) 

Therefore to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be ascribed all the glory, all the honour, all the majesty, all the power and all our trust, now and forever.  Amen.

 

Taken from this sermon.  Audio here.

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