Friday, September 28, 2012

Death and the Maiden

“And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.” (Luke 8:55)

         For Jairus, getting Jesus to his daughter was quite an ordeal, but once He was there, it didn’t take long for Jesus to set things to right. From the time Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading for the life his only child, he was hindered by throngs of people (v. 42); sidelined by the need and subsequent healing of a very sick woman (vv. 43-48); and finally advised to stop pestering Jesus, since his precious daughter had died in the meantime (v. 49). But Jesus reversed all the frustration and despair by saying, “Fear not; believe only, and she shall be made whole” (v. 51).

         When they reached Jairus’ house, Jesus dismissed the “rent-a-mourners,” leaving Him and the child’s parents, along with Peter and James, in the room with the dead girl. Then Jesus simply took the little girl’s hand, and said, “Maid, arise,” and instructed someone to give her something to eat. I love how the Holy Spirit chose to tell us that while everyone was rejoicing, only Jesus noticed that this child was hungry. For some reason, that always touches my heart.

Now, compare this with all that accompanied the raising of Lazarus (Jno. 11). In his case, a full-grown man, a heavy stone had to be moved and grave clothes peeled away, for he had been dead four days. Jairus’ little twelve-year-old daughter had perhaps drawn her last breath only minutes prior. Both were dead, but the resurrection of the former was accompanied by a lingering odor, hard work (removing the stone), and remnants of his past condition that had to be painstakingly eliminated. This was not the case with the child.

         My point here should be obvious. The time to guide someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, from death to life, is while he or she is young. This can’t always be the case, of course, and the gift of salvation is priceless (for us), no matter how old or how young the recipient. But who would deny that reaching the heart of a child with the gospel is of far greater benefit to him or her than waiting until he or she has been lulled into a deep sleep of sin? I close with these words from George H. Morrison’s Meditations on the Gospels.

“All spiritual awakening is of God, but the young are the most easily awakened. No grave-clothes bind them yet. No long continued sins have made them loathsome. Let fathers and mothers realize their opportunity, and plead with God for definite conversions. Christ still is saying, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me.’”

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