What Were They Thinking?

In all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) we find the story of how Jesus raised a little girl from the dead. At the moment just before the climax, we find a tumultuous crowd ridicule Jesus. Here’s how it went…

While Jesus was having a conversation with John’s disciples about fasting, a ruler of the synagogue, Jairus, interrupted them to make a special request. Explaining that his daughter was on her death bed, he begged Jesus to come to his house, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” Upon hearing this, Jesus got up and went with Him.

Along the way, Jesus was again interrupted. This time by a woman who touched the hem of His garment because she believed that if she did so, she would be healed. (She was right!) Unfortunately, while Jesus was dealing with the woman who touched him, a messenger came from the Jairus’ house to inform him that his daughter had died: There was no more need to bother Jesus. (If you are familiar with the story in John 11 of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, you will recognize that earthly issues like “time” and “death” do not bother Jesus at all.) Telling Jairus to “believe,” Jesus, along with his inner 3, continued on to the house.

When Jesus got into the ruler’s house, He couldn’t help but notice a wailing mob (complete with flute players). There were so many people there that Jesus had to ask them to make room for Him. (In that culture, there were people who would hire themselves out as “professional mourners.” These individuals, usually women, would be paid to weep and wail, giving the impression that the deceased person was very important. It’s likely that a portion of this crowd was made up of these professionals.)

Jesus clears a way through the crowd and asks the mourners to step outside, assuring them that the “The child is not dead, but sleeping.”
This is where that sad statement appears: “And they ridiculed Him.”

Can you believe it?

Jesus Christ, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, was ridiculed by a crowd of people because He told them that their weeping was in vain.
This is sad for multiple reasons. First, if you were at a funeral and someone came in telling you that the person wasn’t actually dead, you would likely rejoice at the possibility. Furthermore, if the Person who told you this was the One who had just cured a woman of an illness she had suffered from for 12 years, it might make sense to let things play out!

After Jesus put the clamorous crowd outside, He took the girl by the hand and said to her “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Immediately, she got up.

Imagine the shame of this crowd when they saw the little girl walking around.

In Mark’s gospel we see that the people who witnessed it were “overcome with great amazement.” We also see that Jesus commanded them to keep the event a secret. Unfortunately, Matthew reports that “the report of this went out into all that land” (Matt. 9:26).

Are you ever tempted to disbelieve Jesus to the point of ridiculing Him?
Is there anything in His word that is too hard for you to believe?

We do not want to be people who ridicule the Lord in this life, only to be rejected by Him in the next.

Read the whole account from Mark’s Gospel by clicking here.

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