Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Shocking Attitudes of Jesus, Part 3

Jairus had traveled far in the hope that Jesus would come to his house and heal his sick little daughter. Jesus was delayed by another healing and on their way home, Jairus was given the devastating news that his daughter had died. Instead of apologizing for the delay, Jesus just told Jairus not to be afraid and only believe, and kept on walking. He found Jairus’ house full of wailing mourners and heartlessly threw them out, telling them to stop crying for a sleeping child! Not only did He come off as rude, He appeared ridiculous. The shock of His faith against their sentimentalism created a hostile reaction, and they laughed at Him. Jesus wasn’t phased one bit, and without understanding the what or why of Jesus’ actions, Jairus just humbly obeyed. It didn’t take long before the mocking of the mourners turned into amazement when the little girl rose from her bed just like she had been sleeping. If Jesus needed to appear rude for the sake of faith, it was well worth it.

Jesus had a totally different view of death than we do, which was evident when a man eager to learn from Jesus was invited to follow Him. The guy wavered, wanting to go with Jesus, yet feeling that sentimental obligation to stay for the sake of his father. “Let me bury my father first,” was his response, which Jesus shot back the very callous order, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.” How cold! He broke all the bereavement guidelines for counselors—no sympathy, no hug, no understanding arrangement to meet him later at a town further down the road once the funeral was over. Jesus knew that making that choice then and there was crucial to the man’s salvation. We don’t know what happened to him, but his story is an example of a man who was more attached to this world than to God.

And then there was that time when He publicly disrespected His own mother. Mary and His brothers had come to see Jesus as He was preaching in Galilee, and when the disciples interrupted Him, expecting Him to be the “good son” and stop His work to see them, Jesus refused. “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” He asked, and then stretched out His hands to the crowd and said that they were right there, the ones who did the will of His Father. Did that mean Jesus didn’t love His family? No, that meant that Jesus understood what His real family was and is today.

Jesus always saw the bigger picture, and He calls us to see it too. Family is not more important than Him, and death is not bigger than Him either. We’re all headed for eternity in His Kingdom or eternity in darkness and agony. Why worry about inconsequential things like funerals when we can invest in eternity with Him? As for Jairus, why be afraid of lost time when the God who created time is by your side? Why worry about family obligations when souls are at stake? When we see the bigger picture, death, time and family take on a much smaller importance in the whole scheme of things. Heartless, callous and disrespectful to those with hardened hearts, but to the humble He taught that the worldly things we elevate to such importance need to be viewed as small and inconsequential. If we follow Him, we’ll be mocked like He was, but then again, we’ll see the shock of faith against the hostility of this world creating miracles to bolster our faith even more.  

Everyone was crying and mourning for her. But He said, “Stop crying, for she is not dead but asleep.” They started laughing at Him, because they knew she was dead. So He took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then He gave orders that she be given something to eat.  (Luke 8:52-55 HCSB)

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