Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Luke 8:51-56

Luke 8:51-56
And after coming into the house, He did not permit anyone to enter in with Him except for Peter and John and James and the father and mother of the girl.  And all were weeping and lamenting for her.  But He said, “Do not weep.  She did not die, but rather she fell asleep.”  And they were laughing at Him in scorn having known that she died.  But seizing her hand, He cried out while saying, “Child, rise up!”  And her spirit turned and she stood up immediately.  And He arranged to give something to eat to her.  And her parents were amazed.  And He commanded them to say nothing about that which has become.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I typically pause when I read that Jesus allowed nobody axis to what He was about to do except for His closest disciples and the parents.  I think there are multiple things going on here. 
  • Jesus is not about the show.  He’s not about impressing the crowds.  He is not about the glory.  He is about getting the job done.  He is about demonstrating God’s grace and glory to those who would understand. 
  • Jesus is perfectly okay with separating out His disciples.  Many of His disciples were with Him, but Jesus only lets the three closest in.  Why?  We don’t really know.  But Jesus could have known that these three were the most likely to understand.  It could be that these three were the least likely to gossip about it later.  It could be that the room was small and Jesus had to pick a small group.  But whatever the reason, Jesus selects the disciples that were closest to Him to be witnesses to this event.
  • Third, Jesus is intentional about shutting out the crowd.  Sometimes the work of God is public.  Sometimes the work of God is just for those who God has ordained to see it.  There’s nothing wrong with either case.  But here we clearly see Jesus intentionally shut out the world.  He even gets laughed at because of it.  Of course, that’s probably why Jesus knew to shut them out in the first place.  They weren’t in a position of receptivity in the least.

Do you ever feel called to public ministry?  Do you ever feel called to private ministry?  Have you ever been made to feel guilty for having a private ministry to which many do not have access?

Second Thought:

I love that the part of the story where they laugh at Jesus.  They honestly think they know better.  After all, they’ve seen with their eyes.  They’ve been in the room and in the house with her.  They’ve heard the testimony about her from others.  Isn’t that a normal pattern of behavior in humans?  We see.  We hear.  We think we know.  But how often are we wrong?  We think we know it all, but in truth we seldom ever know the whole story.  Just because we see the actions of another person and hear their words, do we know the whole story?  Can we see into their heart to know why they are doing it?  Can we know their true motivation?  Can we fully comprehend their thoughts in the moment as they are doing it?  No.  The truth is we like to think we know but we really don’t.  We should be more patient and rely more on God’s wisdom and less on our own.

How quick are you to determine that you know what is happening?  How often do you think you know what is going on that you don’t even pause to think about whether there is more to the story than you could possibly understand – things like motivation and thought process?

Third Thought:

Jesus demonstrates an other-worldly power here.  Jesus knows that she isn’t permanently dead.  He lives out of that truth.  Jesus also commands this dead girl to stand up.  That’s no simple matter, either!  God’s power is simply amazing.  God’s power sometimes defies explanation.

Have you ever felt stupefied by God’s power?  How do stories like this help us understand that it is okay  to not comprehend God fully?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 9:1-6
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