Jump Start # 2213
Mark 5:41 “And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, ‘Talitha kum!’ (which translated means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’)”
This morning I preach a funeral of a friend. He was a legend and a hero. His name won’t be mentioned on CNN or Fox News. Outside of our community many did not know him. But among the band of disciples in this area, he was a giant. A leader who spoke with kindness and gentleness and assurance. I enjoyed our time together.
Our verse comes to my mind today. I hope to use it today. Here, the Lord was hurrying to the home of Jairus, a synagogue official. His twelve year old girl was dying. That’s not normal. That’s not the way things are supposed to be. Twelve year olds are supposed to be playing outside. They are supposed to be learning how to bake and cook from their mothers. They are supposed to be full of dreams and hope and life. But for this twelve year old, her life was slipping away.
Her dad, Jairus, the synagogue official, approached Jesus and bowed before Him. He begged for Jesus to come to his home. This took place not in a back classroom, nor in a secluded place. But before a multitude. Mark says a “great” multitude. How difficult this must have been for Jairus. Synagogue officials had a track record of not liking Jesus. They often got angry with Jesus because he healed on the Sabbath in their synagogues. The pressure against Jesus was mounting from priests and synagogue officials.
But things were different. A little girl was dying. Not just any girl, it was Jairus’ daughter. Who cares what people think. Who cares what they might whisper. Who cares what is told back to the priests. His daughter was dying and he came before everyone and bowing before Jesus, he begged the Lord to come. He spoke words of faith. The cover was removed. He revealed himself. He showed all of his cards. He knew and he stated, if You will lay Your hands upon her, Jesus, she will get well. He believed that. He believed Jesus could do that. No one else could do this. The clock was ticking. The girl was dying. He was out of options and just about out of hope. His only hope was to bring Jesus. Boy, the neighbors will talk. His status may fall. He could even lose his job as an official. But at this moment, who cares. Save my daughter is all that he cares about.
After an encounter with the woman with an issue of blood and hearing her story, the report comes, the girl has died. Jesus took too long. It’s too late. The servants declared, “why bother the teacher any more?” There’s no need for Jesus now. He missed it. It’s too late. Even Jesus can’t do anything now. But Jesus comes. He runs everyone out of the house except for the mother, father and Peter, James and John.
This is where our verse comes. Jesus speaks and something wonderful happens.
Notice a few things:
First, Mark gives us the exact words of Jesus. They are “talitha kum.” Those are Aramaic words. The audience Mark is writing to knows Greek. With these words, Mark gives us the translation. The text states, “which translated means, Little girl, I say to you, arise.” It is interesting that two Aramaic words become seven Greek words. Translations are like that.
Second, the little girl heard Jesus. Everyone in that room heard Jesus, but what was most important was that the dead girl heard Jesus. His authority transcends his world and this life. He commands all of life, everywhere. He spoke and she heard.
Third, she obeyed. Jesus told her to arise. The next verse states, “Immediately, the girl got up…” She did exactly what Jesus told her to do. Jesus did this with Lazarus. He commanded, “Lazarus come forth,” and he did. How impressive that the wind obeys Jesus. The demons obey Jesus. Now, the dead obeys Jesus. She got right up. She got up and began to walk. It’s one thing if she had just opened her eyes. But whatever killed her, was removed. She had strength in her legs. She could walk. She seemed strong. She was recovered.
Fourth, I just wonder, between Jesus saying, “Little girl, get up,” and immediately she got up, if she opened her eyes and saw Jesus. She may not have know who Jesus was. Good chance they had never met. Her eyes opened, and there He was. Jesus was holding her hand, our verse tells us. Warmth, love, affection, and life—all there in the hands of Jesus. I like to think when we close our eyes to this world, that we open them and the first thing we see is Jesus. Jesus, the one we love. Jesus, the one we have obeyed. Jesus, the one we have trusted, talked to, and followed all of our life. We have remembered His death through the Lord’s Supper. We have sung songs to His name and glory. We end our prayers with His name. We have taught His word. We have believed Him. We belong to a band of followers called “Christ-ians,” those, that belong to Christ.
We close our eyes to this old world and we open them in the presence of Jesus. That’s a thought worth holding on to. That’s a thought that gets us through tough days. Jesus is there. Jesus is with us. Jesus cares.
Little girl, I say to you… what wonderful words.