Saturday, February 5, 2011

Can Jesus live up to His reputation?


Two regular folks had heard of Jesus' reputation.

They were each confronted with tragedy in their life. All hope was gone. They had tried everything. Nothing had worked.

They each had heard about Jesus.

Could He live up to His reputation?

The first one is a dad. He had a 12 year old girl. Any parent who has had a child for 12 years knows the love you have for your girl. She got sick. They tried everything to save her.

She died.

There was no hope. But Jesus was doing amazing things. Do you suppose...?

Matthew 9:18 "While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples."

Jesus didn't laugh at this desperate, broken, humble man. He didn't show embarassment. (You want me to do WHAT?)

No. He listened to him, and he and his disciples followed him home.

Meanwhile another desperate person was nearby. Her story becomes huge. But right now it is just a sideline to the main story.

She has gone through the entire medical gauntlet. Doctors. Tests. Medicines. None of them worked. (How many people are in that same place today?)

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

She didn't want to make a scene. She didn't even ask Jesus anything. If only I touch Him, she thought to herself. If only I touch Him. Nothing more. If only I touch Him.

22 "Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment."

A miraculous healing! No scandal! No headlines! Jesus quietly healed her and moved on. It sure changed HER life!!!

23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him."

Here things are not quiet. The professional mourners are in full force. This rowdy approach to mourning in community seems strange to us. However, psychology is showing that grief work needs to be done with others, in community. The stoic quiet individualized approach to mourning that we do is psychologically damaging. So this society long ago had that one figured out. Friends, neighbors, family - all wailing loudly!

Jesus says something very cruel. Very calloused.

The girl is not dead, she is asleep! Some of the folks laugh. That is SO ridiculous!! Who does this guy think he is? He is not family...

The dad bids the crowd be quiet. Sends people scurrying.

25 "After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region."

Did THAT cause a commotion!

This dad's world was rocked. His little girl came back to life.

Jesus lived up to His reputation.

Who WAS He, really? Who WAS this man who could do things no one else on earth could do???

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