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!’
Luke 8:52-54 (NIV)
Read: Luke 8:40-56
Consider: Jesus was quite prepared to be ridiculed and laughed at because he knew something the crowd didn’t know. At least the crowd of mourners thought they knew that the girl was dead, but Jesus knew that while she may have been dead she could be brought back to life. Does this mean that the crowd were mistaken? Hardly, they had seen death before and knew what it looked like. What they hadn’t reckoned with was that Jesus had power over death and could raise the girl back to life.
How would we have reacted in the same circumstances? We would all like to think that we would be different, recognising Jesus’ authority and being expectant that he would raise the child from the dead. However, I suspect that we would probably be like the mourners – we know the difference between death and sleep, so we would probably laugh too.
Despite the ridicule and being laughed at, Jesus did not give in to the crowd and walk away, knowing that nothing could be done. Instead we are told that Jesus took her by the hand (being willing to become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead body) and spoke the words ‘My child, get up!’. The remaining verses in Luke 8 tell us that the child came back to life and was restored to her parents.
What are we to get from this incident? Are we to expect Jesus to bring back to life any of our relatives who have died? Hardly, although if God is God then it is entirely possible. What we can learn is that when things might look hopeless and even when our common sense might say otherwise, we should rely on Jesus to do what is right. Take encouragement from the words ‘But Jesus …’
Pray: Father, help us to see that you are entirely capable in all circumstances. If you could raise a dead child back to life, then you are in control of all our circumstances. May we come to see that even in despair you are present and working in our lives. Amen