Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Sixth Sunday After
I. Teaching a teacher
A. Jesus, the Teacher--Mk 10:17; John 11:28
B. Jairus, the synagogue ruler, the taught--Matt 9:28-29; John 4:48-50; Rom 4:18-24 ("Sola Fide")
II. Expelling the scoffers--v40; again later--Matt 25:41, passim
III. Restoring life--Luke 7:15; John 11:11-13; Acts 9:40-41
John Mac Arthur, Jr. on Matthew 9:23ff.: Jesus surprised and annoyed the mourners first of all by His asking them to leave. They were following the long-established and revered traditions set down by respected rabbis centuries earlier. What they were doing was not only proper but required. Jesus surprised and annoyed them even more, however, by daring to suggest that the girl has not died, but is asleep. In scorn and derision, they began laughing at Him. It was the hard, haughty laughter of those who gloat over a foolish act or statement by someone to whom they feel superior. That their weeping could so quickly turn to laughter, even mocking laughter, betrayed the fact that their mourning was a paid act and did not reflect genuine sorrow. It also betrayed their complete lack of faith in Jesus' power to raise the girl from the dead.
In Christ there is no longer reason to fear sickness, disease, demons, deformity, tragedy, or even death. As believers, we can even rejoice in dying, because our Lord has conquered death. Though we will not be brought back to this life, we will be raised to new life. In Him is fullness of joy and life everlasting. "No longer must the mourners weep," a poet reminds us, "nor call departed children dead, for death is transformed into sleep and every grave becomes a bed."
When as a young man D. L. Moody was called upon to preach a funeral sermon, he began to search the gospels to find one of Jesus’ funeral messages--only to discover that He never preached one. He found instead that Jesus broke up every funeral He attended by raising the dead person back to life. When the dead heard His voice, they immediately came to life.
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The Message for Children on Mark 5:22-23a; 35-43
Today I want to talk to you about something that no one wants to talk about. No one wants to think about a child dying. But sometimes we have to think about it. In the first church that I served I remember getting a phone call from a nurse at the hospital. She told me that two little girls from my church, ages eight and six, had a plugged-in hair dryer fall into the bath tub with them. "It doesn’t look good," the nurse said. She was right. By the time I traveled the six blocks to the hospital, they stopped trying to revive them and they were pronounced dead. That was a very hard time, a time I will never forget.
Nobody wants to think about it, but children can die. So you need to be prepared for it, just as you prepare for your life.
There was a boy named Ken who must have heard a story like the one I told you. He asked his father what it was like to die. His father was ready for the question. "Ken," he said, "do you remember when we went to your Uncle Jim’s for that birthday party a few weeks ago? We stayed past your bed time and you fell asleep on uncle Jim’s big bed. I picked you up when it was time for us to go and I carried you on my shoulder to the car and then I laid you on your bed. Now you don’t remember any of that, do you?"
He didn’t. "Well, Ken, that’s what it is like to die." You fall asleep with faith in the Lord Jesus in a place that is not your home. Then Jesus picks you up and carries you on his shoulder and you wake up where you belong, at home in our Heavenly Father’s house.
In the Gospel for today, Jesus was asked to come quickly to the home of a man named Jairus. His daughter was very sick. While Jesus was on the way to this man’s house, a messenger came. "Why bother the Teacher anymore? Your little girl is dead." Jesus said: "Don’t be afraid; just believe." And Jesus raised that little girl from death, just the way he will raise up you and me when he comes again. When we die, it’s like Ken lying down on his uncle’s bed. When Jesus wakes us up, we will be in our Father’s House. He gave us this promise: "In my Father’s House are many rooms... I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
Until then, make sure that Jesus is the most important part of your life. He’s the only one who can help you in this life and in the life which is to come.
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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 01:00:00 PM