The Compassionate Christ (Part Two)

Luke 8:40-56

Everyone was crying and mourning for her. But he said, “Stop crying, because she is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, because they knew she was dead. So he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he gave orders that she be given something to eat. Her parents were astounded, but he instructed them to tell no one what had happened (Luke 8:52-56 CSB).

After the healing of the woman, Jairus would have been filled with hope. “Jesus healed this woman that no one else could help. He can heal my daughter!” But then came the sad message that his daughter had died (8:49). What hope could there be?

Third, Jesus encouraged Jairus. When he heard of Jairus’ sorrow, Jesus spoke to him. He knew the grief that would fill Jairus’ heart, so he immediately encouraged him. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15 ESV). Jairus had just witnessed the healing of a woman; now Jesus holds out hope for Jairus’ daughter. She, too, can be healed. Compare Luke 8:48 with 8:50.

He directed Jairus to his only source of help: to faith instead of to fear. God’s way of dealing with fear is to replace it with faith in the living God. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we must not give into fear. God is in control, though people’s emotions and fears are out of control. The ground or basis of Jairus’ faith became the word of Christ, who told him not to fear. Our faith has the best ground for action when it lays hold of the word of God. Read a “Big God chapter” like Isaiah 40 to feed your faith, rather than being glued to endless media reports that breed fear. Yes, I pay attention to what is happening. But I don’t devote my mind and heart to every opinion that rages through the media, including social media.

Fourth, Jesus continued to help Jairus in spite of scornful rebuke. The jeers of the crowds came when he said that there was hope for Jairus’ daughter. Notice how quickly those “mourners” changed from tears to laughter. People change their opinions quickly. One day the whole world is caught up with some idea, fad or thing. The next it lies forgotten in the dust of history. Don’t dig your own grave in the dust of short-lived popular opinion.

Today Christians still have to bear the ridicule of the world. The Christian faith can never be intellectually acceptable to those committed to the presuppositions of unbelief and hatred of God. For true Christianity demands faith in the living, sovereign God. It speaks of the God who gives life to the dead, and there is no scientific way of explaining acts of God like that. True Christianity is supernatural.

By continuing to help Jairus and exposing himself to ridicule, Jesus set up a situation that would make the glory of God shine brighter. It is as if he had said by his words and actions, “I am glad that you are all affirming that the girl is dead. Now you will have to honor God.” How should Jesus act at this point? Should he walk away because of their unbelief? Should he listen to the public opinion polls and say, “Maybe I can’t do this after all”? Should he call down fire from heaven and destroy all the unbelievers? Should he feel bad and sneak away because those people said things that hurt his self-image?

However, the Lord Jesus raised the girl to life by a simple word of divine power. Child, get up! How easy it was for the Lord of life to give life to a girl that all admitted was dead. Resurrection power is at the heart of true Christianity. Always remember this truth!

Jesus cared for the resurrected girl. He showed compassion by not allowing many to be present when he raised her from the dead. He did not make a theatrical spectacle in which all would be staring at her and yelling and screaming. (How would you respond if you witnessed a dead person brought back to life?)

Observe the contrast with the healing of the woman. She had wanted a private healing, but he made sure it is well known. Here the public is close by, but he withdrew to raise the girl in private. The Bible always shows the Lord working in a variety of ways. You cannot tie him down to a ritual or a certain procedure.

He showed compassion for her by telling them to give her food. Mom and dad need not worry about telling others the good news. The crowds would see to that. They needed to care for their daughter and enjoy fellowship with her.

Some lessons:

  • Faith should find great encouragement in the power of the compassionate Christ. Faith knows that he has the ability to help, and should find should in his willingness to help (Hebrews 4:16).
  • A needy person should not hesitate to seek help from Jesus Christ.
  • Follow Christ’s example of compassion. We cannot raise the dead, but we can raise hurting faces. We cannot heal the incurably ill, but we can show kindness to those that are.
  • True Christianity is compassionate, like Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace,