Get Up!

 Luke 8:40-56

In the reading today, Luke tells of Jesus being approached by “Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue…whose 12 year old daughter was dying.” There isn’t a lot said here about this, but I believe Jairus was putting his career and possibly his life on the line. The Pharisees had realized Jesus was a problem and needed to be taken care of. Having a synagogue ruler go to Jesus for help couldn’t have been good. What lengths would you go to for your child? It is interesting and wonderful to me when the Bible and even I refer to myself as a “Child of God” and I realize what lengths GOD goes to for me.

Luke goes on to tell the story of the bleeding woman who is healed by touching the cloak of Jesus. Jesus confronts the woman, has her tell the story, before the crowd of people, about how she pushed through the crowd from behind Jesus to try to get away with touching him without being noticed, without waiting in line and without facing Jesus directly face to face. And Jesus says to the woman “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in Peace.” Before we brush past this realize that Jesus addressed this woman, this person who was afraid to approach him face to face as “daughter” a term of endearment not used in any other gospel story. It is hard for us to understand Jesus. It is hard for us to realize that Jesus loves us even if we are afraid to face Jesus.

Jesus was busy! Crowds were around him! He was with Jairus, the synagogue ruler, headed to his house to save his daughter… this was good press. But Jesus has mercy and compassion beyond anything we can conceive and in the crowds, in the bustle, Jesus stops for us and says “Go in peace.”

Now while all this is taking place a messenger comes from the home of Jairus and says to Jairus, your daughter died, “don’t bother the teacher any more.” And Jesus says to Jairus “Don’t be afraid.” They don’t say what the walk was like or how long the walk was, but there was a period of time from when Jesus told Jairus “Don’t be afraid” and when they reached his house. It is hard to follow Jesus, even when we know what he wants.

It was chaos outside the house… people screaming and crying and Jesus says to the people “Stop Wailing.” People laughed at him, because they knew the child was dead. It is hard to follow Jesus even when we know what he can do.

Luke says Jesus takes Peter, John, James, Jairus, and his wife alone into the home and tells the child “get up! Her spirit returned and at once she stood up.” It is hard to follow Jesus when our expectations are low.

Now I don’t like it when people take a bible passage and use it out of context, but 10 words stand out for me in these 16 versus…
Get up, Stop wailing, Don’t Be Afraid, Go in Peace!

The more I see the less I know, but I know, one thing, and that is that God loves me! God loves every man, woman, and child on this earth… and how is a mystery to me.

Precious Father, Loving God, Holy Spirit, help me to get up, stop wailing, don’t be afraid, and go in peace. AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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