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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Jesus and the daughter of Jairus (Luke 8:49-56)

What would Peter want to tell us about all he had seen recently? He would also say that he had learned that Jesus had power over a cursed creation, over demon-possession, over disease and over death, and that combination is a reminder to us of what Jesus came to do, which was to deliver sinners from the various consequences of sin. Peter might also say that he learned from the incident involving the raising of the daughter of Jesus that some things should remain a secret.

Understandably, the news of the daughter’s death caused dismay and sadness. No one believed that Jesus could solve this problem, which may be one reason why, at that time, he instructed the witnesses to say nothing about it. Or it may be that he showed compassion on the child, because she would have been subjected to forms of curiosity if her resurrection became public knowledge. After all, Jesus is interested in conversion, not in a circus of objects on display.

Peter might tell us that he saw on this occasion the priorities of Jesus. First, he wanted Jairus to retain faith in him even although the circumstances were very difficult. Second, he will not work for the benefit of those who do not have a heart interest in the situation – he told the professional mourners to leave and they did not see his miracle. Third, when Jesus works, everything is calm and orderly. (Peter would say that he saw this was the case in each of the four recent incidents – calming the storm, delivering the deranged man, helping the diseased woman and raising the daughter of Jairus.) And on the fourth occasion, he was especially gentle as he spoke to the girl and gave guidance about her. Fourth, Peter would say, some disciples see what other disciples are not allowed to see, and the One who chooses to give this blessing is always Jesus.

In each of the incidents, Peter would say, the help provided by Jesus was instantaneous and complete. The storm and the sea became calm, the madman became docile and devout, the shy unnamed lady was healed and assured, and the young girl was raised to life and taken care off. In each of the situations, Jesus strengthened or created the faith of those involved, and the faith on each occasion was intelligent in that it focussed on truths about Jesus.

Concerning three of the individuals helped by Jesus we never hear about them again, although no doubt they all had their stories to tell about what Jesus did in their lives afterwards. But we will hear more about Peter and the other disciples. We can safely deduce that they learned a lot about Jesus in the space of twenty-four hours.

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