George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
There came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue and he fell down at Jesus feet and besought him that he would come into his house--Luk 8:41
The Only Child Dying
The morning that saw the Gadarene demoniac cured dawned sadly over one home in Capernaum. The sun rose up, the narrow streets became busy, one heard the word of command of the Roman officer drilling his garrison beside the fort (Luk 7:1-10); but in one house in the Jewish quarter everything was hushed. Folk moved on tiptoe, they spoke in whispers; and in the little bedroom the father and mother knelt beside the bed. There lay their daughter--she was twelve years old. They had been watching and praying by her bed all night. They had been hoping against hope, and fighting with their fears. But the autumn morning came, fresh, bright, and beautiful, and the strong light of it flooded the room and fell on the little sufferer's face--and hope was gone. No Jewish doctor was needed to confirm the worst. Their daughter was dying. She was an only daughter, How often one thing, one person, stands at the center of a Gospel scene or story. It was one coin the woman lost. It was one sheep the shepherd missed. The widow of Nain had but one son. Here the whole family was one daughter. Around the throne of God in heaven thousands of children stand; but--
Thou art as much His care, as if beside
Nor man nor angel lived in heaven or earth.
Jairus Believed in Christ but Nobody Knew It 'Til Trouble Came
The father's name was Jairus, and he was the leading elder in the Capernaum Church. He had heard Jesus reading the Scriptures there: he had often talked with neighbors whom Jesus had healed; he had seen a miracle with his own eyes. Everybody in Capernaum knew Jairus; but no one knew that he believed in Christ till his little daughter was at the point of death. Then he confessed it. tie ran to the shore. He flung himself down at Jesus' feet. He implored Him to come and heal his daughter, and Jesus, in compassion, heard his prayer. What different impulses lead men to Christ! Yesterday on the lake the disciples had cried "Master!" and it was fear for themselves that made them do it. And now the ruler of the synagogue cries "Master!" and it was love lot his child that made him do it. A little child had led him. Had Jairus' daughter always been strong and happy, she never would have helped her father so. Health is a precious gift. We thank God for the rosy cheeks in nursery and schoolroom. But there are crippled lads and fragile daughters who have led their fathers and their mothers straight to Christ, and there is no service in the world like that.
We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps,
What seem to us but sad funeral tapers
May be heaven's distant lamps.
To the Sufferer God Seems to Move So Slowly!
It was not far from the shore to Jairus house, but it never seemed so long to Jairus as that morning. The news soon spread up the street that Jesus was back: at every turning the crowd gathered and grew, until at last, the way was almost blocked, and Jairus almost in despair. Then came an unexpected interruption. A poor sick woman had touched the tassel of Jesus' robe and had been healed, and Jesus had to halt and call her forth, and teach her that there was no magic in the tassel, but that her faith had healed her. And all this took so long--or seemed to Jairus to take so long--that when he saw a movement in the crowd, and caught sight of his servant forcing his way through, he knew in a moment that his daughter was dead. How slow God often seems! How hard it often is to wait with Christ! I saw a little girl once playing on the seashore at building castles. She built her fort and dug her trenches, and then waited for the waves to fill them. But the waves were so long in coming that the little girl lost patience, and in a fit stamped down her battlements and went away. And all the time, ceaseless and irresistible, the ocean was creeping up. Invisible fingers were drawing the whole sea up to her moat. I think she would have waited had she been sure of that. So Jairus and you and I must wait. Things seem all wrong sometimes. We cannot understand why Christ delays. "Fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole."
Lament Turns to Scornful Laughter
At last Christ reached the house, and with that tender courtesy that will not rudely invade the home of death, He waved all back, save Peter and James and John, and entered with them. We call for silence in our death-chambers. But in the East the house rang with lamentations--so necessary, indeed, was this show of grief considered that women were actually hired to wail (Jer 9:17). "Weep not," said Christ, anxious to quiet the uproar, "the maiden is not dead, but sleepeth"--and how unreal their grief was we may see, when the next moment they broke into scornful laughter. Then Jesus turned them out. If they would not be still, they would not know that He was God. And He took the maid by the hand, and called, "Talitha cumi!" "And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway; and He commanded to give her meat." Can you wonder that her parents were amazed? Do you not see why Christ wished it kept a secret? Think what would happen if the news spread that a dead girl in your street was raised to life; think how people would crowd to see her, till the excitement would make her ill again; think of the stir and tumult that would surround the man who raised her, and you will understand the reticence of Christ.
Kindness That Is Dishonoring to Christ
One or two lessons from this beautiful story. Note first an instance of mistaken kindness. That servant who came pushing through the crowd said, "Trouble not the Master." It was the honest and kind desire of Jairus' household to save Jesus from unnecessary worry. But it is never truly kind to treat Christ so. It is dishonoring to His power and love. Sometimes when I have done a little service for a friend I add, "It is no trouble"--and the greatest service is no trouble to Jesus. His power is infinite. His love is endless. The more I let Him do, the better pleased He is.
Christ's Hatred of Insincerity
The women who wailed were wailing for a fee. They beat their breasts at so much per hour. Had their grief been genuine, Jesus had been very pitiful. But it was insincere, and He turned them out. Christ hates all shams. He cannot tolerate hypocrisy. He excludes from His company the insincere.
The Unfailing Thoughtfulness of Jesus
It was He who commanded that the maid should have food. Jairus loved his daughter, and would have died for her. But in the joy of that hour he never noticed that she was hungry. Christ noticed what Jairus failed to see.
Those That Are Called Early Are Called Easily
The maid was newly dead. She had not been lying in her grave, like Lazarus. So here there is no agony of spirit, no crying with a loud voice; but all is quietly and easily done. All spiritual awakening is the work of God, but the young are the most easily awakened. No graveclothes 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 children to come unto me."
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