Dead or Alive!

Opening Thoughts: Every time I open the Bible it’s such an amazing privilege knowing that in so many countries people are sought and even killed for owning this Book. Last night when I was studying in Luke on the story of the ‘woman with the issue of blood’, I actually did not begin there. I had started reading in Luke 8:40 about Jairus a leader in the synagogue that comes to Jesus on behalf of  his only daughter who is sick to the point of death. As we read, this passage shows how sick she really was.

Scripture: Luke 8:40-42, 49-56

    [40] Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. [41] And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, [42] for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him.

Break….. vs 43 – 48 deal with the woman with the issue of blood, which I covered last night.

[49] While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” [50] But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” [51] And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. [52] And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” [53] And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. [54] But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” [55] And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. [56] And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

Desperation for Your Child: As I was reading this story I was thinking, “What if Max (my eldest) was my only child and Danae and I were unable to have any more children, and one day he got deathly sick and was about to die, what measures would I take?” This is the situation that Jairus finds himself in. Jairus was a ruler in the synagogue and a ruler had very important jobs. They presided over the affairs of the synagogue teaching and arranging services, most of them were Pharisees. So in this story we see the picture of a very desperate and sincere Pharisee. The love for his child leaves him hopeless at the feet of Jesus. No doubt they had been working with doctors (as we see the woman with the issue of blood had already spent her life savings on doctor bills) yet nothing had saved his daughter and this was his final attempt at saving his daughter from certain death.

Does Jesus Care About Others Needs more than Ours?: So many times when we are in desperate situations we find ourselves looking at others and thinking  how it seems that God cares for them more. Let me explain, say you’re in the hospital with your son who just had an allergic reaction to peanuts. You know that he has 5 minutes to live and you come in the hospital throwing yourself at the feet of the doctor and say, “Please don’t make me fill out the papers, we don’t have time, my son will be dead in 5 minutes at the most”, a pile of nurses and attendants grab the boy and put him on a bed and rush down the hall with the doctor right behind. Just then the doors crash open and someone comes in with there dad who’s been to the doctor before a million times. He’s old and it’s the same old issue over and over. This man has a kidney stone problem. He’s in pain and needs attention right away. The doctor stops running and tends to the man with the kidney stone and by the time he’s finished your son is dead! How do you feel?  That’s exactly what happened to Jairus. He begs Jesus and Jesus listens, but on the way Jesus gets distracted by a seemingly insignificant situation in comparison to a child dying, yet He takes the time. During that time someone shows up and says, “Don’t bother Jesus any more, your daughter is dead.” Jesus deals with everyone differently and you should never look around at other peoples situations and wonder if Jesus cares about you and yours. Of course He cares, but the way He answers isn’t always how we think He will.

Don’t Bother Jesus: There is always someone in the group that will tell you, “There’s no hope. Don’t bother Jesus anymore.” And that’s what happened here. “Your daughter is dead, do not trouble the teacher.” Jesus addresses the spirit of doubt and fear right away and tells Jairus, “It’s not too late.” Maybe there are people reading this post that would say that their child looks like they are Gospel hardened and spiritually slipping away. The tendency toward fear is so easy to turn to but instead we should hold on to that desperation; that trust in Christ’s ability to save them from the worst kind of death (hell). Fear causes us to blame and to try on our own efforts to accomplish what can only be done through the power of Christ, and to ultimately resent other people for what Jesus has done for them when it appears that He has left you out in the cold. If your child is lost and dying hold onto Christ even if he seems to be preoccupied with someone else. He’s your only hope for their salvation.

Jesus Breaks the Law: Again Jesus does something that is totally forbidden by the law found in Numbers 19:11-16. He takes her by the hand.

    [11] “Whoever touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days. [12] He shall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean. But if he does not cleanse himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become clean. [13] Whoever touches a dead person, the body of anyone who has died, and does not cleanse himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water for impurity was not thrown on him, he shall be unclean. His uncleanness is still on him.
[14] “This is the law when someone dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean seven days. [15] And every open vessel that has no cover fastened on it is unclean. [16] Whoever in the open field touches someone who was killed with a sword or who died naturally, or touches a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

If Jesus had been anyone else He would have been required to go through a whole week of purifying Himself. Jesus again proves through this situation that He is not under the Law but above the law. He is sinless so therefore the law has no dominion over Him; also proving that whatever He touches is healed, delivered, saved and raised to life. He is never defiled by the unclean.

If Your Child is Dying: Jesus uses the the words “she will be well” in vs 50. This comes from the Greek word “sozo”, which means either “Heal” or “Save”. Several places in the Gospels when Jesus uses this term it means that both a physical and a spiritual miracle have taken place.  The miracle of healing and the miracle of New Birth.  Jesus takes the girl by the hand and speaks to her and the impossible happens, she rises from the dead. When someone is dead in their trespasses it is humanly impossible for them to be made alive.

Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-5

[2:1] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—[3] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. [4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

There is nothing but God’s grace, mercy, and limitless power that can bring the spiritually dead person back to life. They are in every sense of the word, finished, and on their way to a deserved hell in a rocket, and nothing can change the course they are on except Jesus. If you find yourself in this situation, you have a child that is dead in sin, do not despair in a worldly sense but throw yourself at Jesus feet and beg him for their salvation. Don’t lose hope but believe, trusting in the only One who can save your child from certain death.

When Someone is Alive They Need to Eat: As soon as this miracle takes place Jesus orders them to feed their child. This is because you need to eat to live, and when someone has been dead and has come back to life the first thing they should do is eat some food. This point cannot be stressed enough. Christ is the bread of life. If you see signs of life in your child, get them some food. Buy them a Bible, email them some passages on where you have been reading and what God has been telling you. Start talking to them about the great things of God. People who are alive must eat and they will desire the food you give them as a new life.

~Preparing The Way

Shane Martin