Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. ‘Stop wailing,’ Jesus said. ‘She is not dead but asleep.’ (Luke 8:52)
This story is familiar for many of us. Jairus approaches Jesus about his sick daughter, and Jesus agrees to accompany Jairus to his home. On the way, someone meets Jairus from the house to notify hi that his daughter has died. Jesus encourages Jairus to believe, and they continue on their way. When they arrive, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with the girl’s parents, and they approach the girl’s body. Speaking the phrase, “My child, get up!”, Jesus raises her from death. We remember this story because it is so striking to see Jesus’ bring life in the face of death.
But equally striking is Jesus’ exhortation to stop wailing when the girl is dead. Equally shocking is His statement that she is not dead after all but merely asleep, when all the facts say otherwise. We have to ask ourselves some questions. Does Jesus see things others do not see about the girl’s physical condition? Does Jesus see something in the purposes of God that others do not see? Is Jesus speaking a rebuke of some sort about a lack of faith? Is Jesus poking fun at the people who are there?
The last question seems unlikely because Jesus rarely did that sort of thing to people in grief, but directed His piercing critiques to the hypocritical. The third question seems possible, given that faith is a theme throughout this story. The first question seems unlikely because all evidence pointed to the girl’s actual death, and there is no evidence from the text that Jesus had examined her in some way. The second question seems to draw closest to the heart of what is happening here. Jesus sees something that others do not see about what God wants to do in this situation, and that it is connected to the call to faith/believing.
Jesus’ ability to see beyond the natural and into the realm of God’s kingdom purposes with clarity is a gift beyond most of us. We see physical phenomena with natural vision, failing to consider or apprehend the magnitude of the vision of faith related to God’s plans. Jesus’ vision was different.
Lord, give me eyes to see what You have in store, even today. May my eyesight become more like Jesus’ eyesight, for the glory and the fullness of Your kingdom.
Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Compassion,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series, “Jesus on the Move.” The text for this week are from Luke 8:40-56 and 9:37-43.
- When did you experience compassion from someone directly or observe it in someone else?
- We continue the series “Jesus on the Move” by looking at three stories from Luke 8 and 9. Before you begin this study, ask God to speak to you from His Word. Then, whether you are alone or with a group, read Luke 8:40-56 and 9:37-43 aloud.
- In these three stories, Jesus encounters three different types of people and situations. Take a moment to compare and contrast the three different groups of people he is spending time with: who are they?; what is their predicament?; why do they seek out Jesus?; what else do you notice?
- Jesus’ first encounter is interrupted by the second encounter with a woman suffering from a bleeding problem (8:43-48). What do you find most surprising about this story? What do you notice most about how Jesus responds to this woman and her difficulties?
- The delay with this woman apparently keeps Jesus from reaching his destination in Jairus’ daughter (8:49). What does Jesus do in response to this news? What is different about Jesus from everyone else here?
- Have you ever had a time when you felt afraid to approach Jesus like the woman or like Jesus didn’t show up on time as with Jairus’ daughter? What happened?
- The third story takes place immediately after the transfiguration, where Jesus’ glory is revealed. What is notable about Jesus’ response to this situation in contrast with His disciples’ response?
- What is one thing that God is speaking to you personally through this study? If you’re on your own, take some time to write it down and share it with someone later. If you are with a small group, share it with one another.
Daily Reading Plan
To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.
Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.
Jan. 30 Luke 8:40-48; Mark 5:21-34
Jan. 31 Luke 8:49-56; Mark 5:35-43
Feb. 1 Luke 9:37-43
Feb. 2 Mark 1:40-44
Feb. 3 John 3:16; 1 John 5:1-11
This weekend at Eastbrook Church I continued our series, “Jesus on the Move,” with a messaged entitled, “Compassion” from Luke 8:40-56 and 9:37-43. These three stories from two chapters in Luke show us the wonder-working power of Jesus, but that wasn’t the focus of my message. Instead, I called us to step back and see the compassionate love of God wrapped all through and around Jesus’ interactions with people.
You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.
Also, join in with the weekday reading plan for this series here.
Compassion that Stops (Luke 8:40-48)
Trembling turned to peace
Compassion that Goes (Luke 8:40-42, 49-56)
Pursuing and welcoming Jesus
Grieving turned to joy
Compassion that Comes Down (Luke 9:37-43)
Asking and approaching Jesus
Unbelief overcome with deliverance