Mark 5:21-24a, 35-43 Jesus is the Lord of life! Pentecost 6 July 1 & 2, 2018
By Pastor Kenneth Mellon, Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Pleasant Valley Rd., West Bend, WI

Grace and peace are yours from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen
God’s amazing word about life for someone dead is written in Mark 5:21-24a, 35-43
This is Your Word heavenly Father. Help us to grow in our faith through Your Word. Your Word is truth!

Dear Friends, in Christ, our living Savior,

What is our country coming to? We are about to celebrate 242nd anniversary of our government’s establishment. The ways things are going, how much longer will our form of government last? Our nation has seen another mass shooting. More people continue to devalue life. A growing number of people don’t want to follow the laws of our land because they are not convenient. Terrorism is still a threat. Attendance for organized worship is on the decline. Things sound hopeless for our future! But, we cannot be discouraged or afraid of the future, because our powerful God is in charge. He has given His Son all authority to help us!

Jesus is Lord of life!

First, death is a sign of a greater problem that we need to overcome. Jairus had a 12 year old daughter near death. He found Jesus and pleaded with Him to come to his home and help her. Jesus was delayed, and then while they were on the way, Jairus got the news: “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher any more?” (v. 35). Jairus’ hopes were dashed. There is an old saying, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” The opposite also is true, “Where there’s death, there is nothing more that we can do.”

We are helpless because the power of sin is at work in the world and in us. We can eat healthier, exercise more, and have the best doctors, but in the end the power of sin will win and we will lose to death. It doesn’t matter if people are Christian or not when it comes to death, all of us are sinners and all will die. It happened recently to two of our members. At Jesus’ time, it even happened to a 12 year-old girl.

Our nation won’t be around forever. No matter who we elect, we will find things in their lives to criticize because all of us are sinners. We cannot make excuses before God for anyone, even for ourselves. There are many problems in our nation, how are we helping as Christians to answer them? Anyone who believes in God should be praying for our nation daily. Like with God, we do not want anyone to perish, but to repent of their sins and be saved. We should be promoting peace by praying for our armed forces and law enforcement. We should pray that those who are ill or addicted can be cured. And yet even when we pray, people continue to die. We all should admit to God that our country does not deserve blessings any more than Jairus deserved them. We all deserve God’s punishment for sin which includes death.

But just as Jesus showed a solution for Jairus’ daughter, He has help for us. Second, Jesus is Lord of life who gives certain hope. Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (v.36). Don’t be afraid of what? Jesus did not want him to fear that he was beyond help. And, what should he believe? Keep believing that Jesus will work for good despite sin and death. Jesus turned the saddest day of his life into his happiest day!

His daughter truly was dead. By the time Jesus entered the house and He viewed the scene of people, Mark wrote that He saw a “commotion.” Flutes were playing sad songs, women were wailing or mourning loudly, and the house was filling with people giving their condolences. (v.39). But Jesus “went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him.” (v.40). The people thought there was nothing they could do. Her life was over. They considered it a sad loss. In their minds, not even Jesus could help and they thought He was a fool to think otherwise.

Yet, Jesus saw the whole situation differently since He is the Lord of life. God gives life to all people. Jesus is the Son of God and He is far from being helpless as the mourners supposed. He saw death as sleep. What a contrast. We hear the word death and we’re sad. We hear the word sleep and we think how nice it is!
Our verses state that Jesus took the parents and a few disciples and went into the room where the child was. “He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was 12 years old). At this they were completely astonished” (v.41-43). Luke wrote that after Jesus spoke, “her spirit returned” (Luke 8:55) She came to life!

We know that Jesus is the Son of God. His miracles listed in the Bible prove it. He has power over life and death. His own death and resurrection are the greatest proof of this! (Romans 1:4) In the proper time, Jesus will return to end this sinful world. He will call all people to life, without exception. Jesus said, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out– those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29).
Jesus will give eternal life to those who believed in Him as the Savior. His power will destroy death and give us eternal life. He won that blessing when He died on the cross to pay for all sins. “The wages of sin is death”, Paul wrote, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:23) But the end isn’t here yet!

In our troubled times, we need to keep hearing the words that Jesus told Jairus: “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” (v. 36) Jesus had power to raise a girl from death and completely restored her to good health. Does He not have power to raise our country from moral death and decay? He certainly does! Do we believe it or live in fear and doubt about our God and His power to help our nation?

Martin Luther commented on the rising of Jairus’ daughter: “All misfortune, no matter how great before our eyes, is before our Lord Jesus less than nothing.” If Jesus can overcome death, He can overcome anything. We recently had a reading from Ezekiel 37. Ezekiel saw a large valley full of dry bones. God told him to speak His Word. When Ezekiel did, the bones came together and formed into human beings. He prophesied God’s Word again and the Spirit brought life into a vast group of people. The meaning of the vision was that Israel was in exile in Babylon. Physically, things couldn’t have been worse for them. The people thought they were as good as dead. God had forgotten them. They were wrong. God had a plan to get them back to the Promised Land and restore them. He did that so that He could send His Son to live a sinless life as their Savior, to die in their place for their sins, and to rise to give eternal life to all believers. God used them to accomplish His plan.

God also has raised our nation for a good purpose for His kingdom. Let us call on Him to bless our land. Let us not fear the troubles we see, but trust in Him who has shown His power to help us and to help our nation. Let us be vigilant in learning God’s Word so we can guide others to know the saving truth. Paul reminds us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). God has an eternal plan that He will complete. It includes parents, children, and all of us who speak about the great things Jesus has done.

Jairus’ daughter was brought back to life only temporarily. Jesus’ resurrection is eternal. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26). So, despite the evil things and moral decline in our nation, all is not lost. The Lord knows those who are His. (2 Timothy 2:19) He promises that no one can snatch us out of His hand. (John 10:28) If Jesus can turn the worst of situations, such as the death of a young girl, into something great, He can certainly take the problems and concerns of our nation and work them for good. As we pray for His help we may have to wait like Jairus, but by faith we can be confident that Jesus is the Lord of life. Amen.