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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Better to Be Inside

Better to Be Inside

But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in 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!”). (Mark 5:40,41, NIV)

For Jairus, it must have seemed like a dream unfolding in slow motion. He had come to Jesus urgently, asking help for his 12-year-old girl.

But the procession through the crowd took “forever.” They are stopped by a woman with a 12-year illness. Next, word comes to Jairus that it’s too late. But Jesus resumes the walk with Jairus — now, not to a dying, but a dead daughter.

Upon the Lord’s arrival, He declares her sleeping. That provokes laughter from the same people who had just been weeping and wailing. It’s the only time in Jesus’ recorded ministry when people laugh at Him. So distinct is the memory of the derision that Matthew, Mark and Luke all take note of it.

Jesus put them all out of the house except the mom and dad and Peter, James and John.

Jesus will not operate in a home or a life filled with cynicism, derision, despair, disrespect or ridicule. He functions in an atmosphere of hospitality, trust and faith. Unbelief will always put us outside the door of His presence. We must remain inside the room that unfolds His delivering power.

A short time earlier, Jesus had been ritually defiled by the bleeding woman who touched Him. Now He ritually defiles himself by touching a dead body, taking the little girl’s hand.

Of the three recorded resurrections done by Jesus for others (this one, the Nain widow’s son and Lazarus), this is the only one in which He touches the dead body. Unlike the other resurrections, this one is in the privacy of a bedroom. You can sense the family intimacy and the tender pastoral care and compassion of Jesus as He takes the daughter’s hand.

This is one of only two times in Mark that the Aramaic of Jesus comes straight across into the text — Talitha, koum. The other time is on the cross — Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani (15:34). It is as though these words to the little girl made such a powerful impression on the disciples that in telling the story years later they record the mother tongue of Jesus before translating the words.

In fact, Peter must be hearing echoes of Talitha koum when several years later he says almost exactly the same Aramaic words to the dead Dorcas — Tabitha, koum (Acts 9:40). I suspect, in the raising of Dorcas, that Peter’s faith flowed out of the memory of the healing of Jairus’ daughter because Peter not only used practically the same words, but he also put all the mourners out of the room.

These verses teach us at least two things: (1) Cynicism will never get you close to Jesus. If you want to draw near Him, you must come with an open and honest heart. (2) We learn from Peter’s raising of Dorcas that the past acts of the Lord influence our present approach to any impossibility. What the Lord did for us yesterday is meant to fill us with faith in the challenges we face today.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, never put me outside the door because of my unbelief. Let me always remain in the room with You. And, what You did for Jairus’ little girl You will also one day do for all of us who trust in You. You will raise us to eternal life.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.


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