Read: Luke 8:40-56
If you read the title to this post and just keep going, perhaps you’ve been in the Christian bubble too long, but don’t be upset with yourself, you’re in good company!
Our Daily Bread devotion this morning prompts us to read John 14:1-14 where Thomas admits he doesn’t understand and Philip is terribly confused. These two men were in the same room with Jesus and they struggled to understand who was talking to them.
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9
If these guys had difficulty, I think we’re in good company. The point I’m trying to make today is that one way I hope to read these stories is from a perspective of a non-believer, of one who has not been raised in a Christ-centered home or in a church that talks about Jesus all the time. I’m suggesting we should stop patting ourselves on the back for our amazing knowledge and try to appreciate how someone who is not part of our tribe might read these stories.
Luke gives us two people to consider, both lowly females. In our modern world, this probably doesn’t seem odd, but in the ancient world, women were considered second class citizens. Nonetheless, Luke uses the precious daughter of Jairus to show just how ridiculous Jesus can be:
Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Luke 8:52-55
They laughed at him. Thomas and Philip were confused. Dave has no clue. Are you still with me? How about the person pumping gas next to you this morning? Does he or she understand that Jesus came as God in flesh to reconcile the world to Himself?
Peter, James, and John got to go with Jesus to see the little one come back to life. When I read this story, I have to be filled with awe and wonder–I simply must! If I’m not astounded, I’ve been warming the pews for far too long.
Those outside our spiritual family will join many in laughing at the idea that Jesus actually restored life, healed wounds, fed thousands, etc. They view these stories as fantasies, folklore, imagined events. They have to have that perspective, otherwise they would be wrong in their assertion that Jesus was just another cool preacher and therefore, not necessary for their daily lives.
Our individual ministry is to go out into this dark world and make disciples wherever we are. Lord, help me to be astounded at Your amazing love, at the miracles that you choose to enact, for Your crazy desire to reconcile the world to You through us. May I say something to someone today that would help them move one step closer to you.