Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered August 2, 2008 by Pastor Don Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

How To Raise Your Children From The Dead

Romans 5:16-18

(RealAudio Version available)

You know, Jesus and His 12 disciples, they had just healed the demoniac.  The people told them, “Get out of here. We don’t want you.  Go!”, and the disciples said, “Let’s do it.”  And so they did.  They left.  And they got in the boat, and I picture 2 thousand bloated, crazy hogs floating belly up, with their legs all pointing in the air.  8 thousand legs pointing toward the sky.  They’re floating there in the sea of Galilee.  They’re drifting along down the shore.  About the time the disciples leave, they encounter this flotilla of hogs.  And they navigate their way through more pork than they have seen in their entire lifetime, because you don’t see pork on the other side of the lake of Galilee, and they try not to contaminate the oars of their boat, or get their boat scraping against all of that drifting lard.  They could not have been happier to get out of that area, and they head west across the lake of Galilee, perhaps toward Capernaum, up that way. 

But there’s serious trouble, and I want you to come to Mark, chapter 5 in your Bible and let’s read about some of the trouble that was brewing there.  Mark, chapter 5 and verse 21.  “When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around Him, and while He was by the lake, one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there.”  Jairus was there.  He came.  He was seeking Jesus, and he said in verse 23, “My little girl is dying.”  We’ve got to have help.  “If You just come, You come and You put your hands on her and she will be healed.”   Now that’s some faith, isn’t it?  A Jew having faith in a Christian.

Jairus was the president of the local synagogue, and as a local he probably had witnessed the healing, a couple of days before, of the man with the withered hand.  This was done on a Sabbath, and Jesus was in that country, and wherever Jesus went, He healed people, and so people zealously came to Jesus asking Him, begging Him, to put His hands on them.  Even youngsters needed His help.  But you know, this healing on the Sabbath infuriated the exasperated Jews. 

You just don’t do things like that, especially in Jerusalem, and the tragedies though, can change your perspective.  Did you ever notice that?  I have known people that have had a wreck and they’ve stopped attending church.  Have you ever known people like that?  They get some serious disease and they stop attending church.  A tragedy can change your belief system, and Jairus had a crisis at home, and he was a good Jew.  But notice what happened to him.  His little girl, she was not expected to live, and she was an only child, and she was 12 years old.  A pre-teenager.  By now her mother may have been beyond childbearing age, so if that’s the case, and if the little girl died, then Jairus and his wife would be “parent orphans” for the rest of their lives.   

You know, parents feel that their youngsters seem to die when they reach the teenage years.  And the yardstick by measuring this is that they stop talking.  They’re hard to get out of bed, and most of the movement that you see is in the texting thumb.  So listen to this exciting story about this 12 year old girl and the miraculous power of Jesus.  And let the knowledge of this soak into your life.

You know, she was a preacher’s kid.  A P.K.  Her daddy ministered in the synagogue, and as a pastor, I can relate to this story.  This is a neat story, because my wife and I also have one daughter, and she has been through some dire circumstances, and I know how this family must have felt, and his pre-teenage girl came down with some deadly sickness.  Day after day she grew worse, and the parents sat there and they prayed, and they maybe called for some of the local Pharisees to come and pray and anoint her.  She got weaker and weaker and weaker.  She’s turning blue, and the father thought, “She IS dying.”  He’s about to lose his girl.  They’ve done everything humanly possible.  The girl is too sick to move, and he may have thought about the story of Abraham.  You know, Abraham and Isaac went up to the mountain, and Isaac was just about to die.  The knife was poised above him, and God sent a lamb and saved his son.  But you know, for Jairus, no lamb came.  His little girl was dying.  The situation was hopeless.   But wait!  God actually did send a Lamb.  Right!?  The Lamb was in town.  The Lamb was in town, surrounded by a big crowd, and Jairus knew that.  Just at the time, the exact moment when he needed the Lamb, the Lamb was there, and that is providential.

And He said, “You know, I’ve seen Jesus heal before.  He healed the man with the withered hand.  I know He can do it.   But I’m well known.  I’m a wealthy leader here in this town, and this synagogue, and this might ruin my reputation, because this Jesus is not a member of our church.  He’s a member of some other denomination, and I could lose my position,” and this haughty Rabbi, it says in Desire of Ages, (DA342) that he was haughty, and he may have thought, “What about my reputation?”  But you know, when you come to the end of the rope you get desperate, and he had done everything he knew to do, and finally he swallowed his pride and jumped up from his worrying and his praying and in his synagogue regalia with his tassels flying, he ran off to find Jesus, and Jesus will save you, and he probably said, “Honey. I love you, and I’m going to go get Jesus, and Jesus is going to save you.  So you hang on.  You hold fast till Jesus comes, and He’ll save you.”

After pushing through the immense crowd he finally saw Jesus, and he cast himself fully at Jesus’ feet.  A man of such dignity ought not to be all stretched out there on the dirt, but that’s where he is.  But he was involved, as a father, and I admire that.  Today we live in the age of the absent father, don’t we?  So many fathers are absent, and when the kids get their finger cut, what do fathers say?  “Oh, it’s bleeding.  Go see your mother.”  Isn’t that what we do?  “She’ll take care of you.”  How refreshing it is to see this father, here in the Bible, actually involved in the family emergency. 

Now I want to give you some facts here.  Compared to children in male-headed, traditional families where their natural parents are married to each other, children living in female-headed, single-parent, lesbian or other environments where they are deprived of their natural fathers are 8 times more likely to go to jail.  5 times more likely to commit suicide.  20 times more likely to have behavioral problems.  20 times more likely to be a rapist.  32 times more likely to run away from home.  10 times more likely to do drugs.  9 times more likely to drop out of high school.  33 times more likely to be badly abused.  73 times more likely to be fatally abused.  One-tenth as likely to get an A in school.  An average of 44% higher mortality rate, and an average of a 72% lower standard of living.  [The Garbage Generation by D Amneus]  Now if these facts are true, wow!  I kind of would think that it might also be true if the roles were reversed and they were living with a single man.  I’m not just sure how all these facts play out, and you may say, “Well, I’m single.  Are my kids doomed?”  No.  If your spouse died, if you’re divorced, you need to redouble your efforts.  You need to connect with a godly life.  You need to connect your kids to Jesus, to their Father in heaven.  If you’re split up you can’t do much about that, but the church’ll help.  We could get together.  There are godly men in the church, and if you’re a father, and you’re single and you have the kids, there are plenty of godly ladies that you could help to raise your kids, and raise them right.  But folks, if you are the original daddy, and if you are the original mommy, stick together!  Don’t split up!  According to these statistics, it will hurt your kids.

Now let’s continue.  Verse 23 says he pleaded earnestly.  He wanted his little girl to be restored more than anything else in the entire world, and so he came in eager, earnest, anticipation to Jesus.  And in James, chapter 5, it says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  He was fervent.  He wanted this.  He was willing to risk his job in the sanctuary and the synagogue.  He was willing to risk his reputation to save his little girl, and too many groggy Christians today pray in a lackadaisical, stuporous way.  They pray as if they’re half asleep, and our prayers should show more desperation.  They should show extreme urgency.  

He prayed in faith, and you know, in verse 23, he said, ”If You put your hands on her she WILL live.”  “I know that.”  He had faith.  Verse 24, “So Jesus went with him.”  He asked Him, “would you come and lay hands on my daughter?”  “Yes I will.”  So He went with him.  “But a large crowd followed and pressed around them.”

Jesus started to come but alas, there was a terrible traffic jam.  Have you ever noticed when you’re in a hurry, when you’re late, when you’re running late, it always happens.  The red light, there it is.  And every light’ll be red, after that.  Why is, that’s Murphy’s law, I guess.

There was a traffic jam that day.  The crowds were all pressed around Jesus, and just then, somebody else had the audacity to cut in line.  A lady came and reached out and touched His robe, and Jesus stopped cold.  He was wondering why power went out of Him.  He felt power leave Him, and He said, “Who touched Me?”  Well, this lady cut in line.  Here they were, going to heal this little girl, and this lady stops the procession.  Imagine the synagogue ruler’s impatience.  “Come on.  We’ve got to go.  We’ve got to go now.  Don’t worry about whoever, whatever happened here.”  But Jesus was waylaid for some time trying to find out why power had gone out of Him.  Finally a timid lady comes up and casts herself at His feet, and she said, “I’m the one. I did it.,” and she said, “For 12 years, I’ve been bleeding.  I’ve been to all the physicians and the doctors, and I had to touch You, and I’m healed.”  12 years.  She had been bleeding ever since Jairus’ daughter was born, right?  Cause Jairus’ daughter is 12 years old, and then she was instantly healed.  In verse 34, Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

And then the worst happens.  You know, all of Jairus’ fears were realized when he looks around and he sees coming in the distance some of his friends, and they’re pushing through the crowd, and he thinks, “This can only be bad news.”

And in verse 35, ”When Jesus was still speaking,” He wasn’t even moving, and He was still standing there talking, “some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the Teacher any more?’”

He could not have been crushed any harder by a steamroller.  A lasting lump grows in his throat.  Can you imagine this hurting fathers thoughts?    “If we had only rushed, my daughter would not have died.  Why did we have to... If we had just hurried a little more.  Why is God so slow?”  Does God seem slow to you?  Too slow?  You need an answer.  You need the answer now.  You’re running out of money.  The deadlines are happening, and the deadlines are even past.  Is God too slow?  Actually, Second Peter, chapter 3, verse 9, ”God is not slow keeping His promises.”

Jairus thinks, “Why didn’t I come to Jesus sooner?  My procrastination has caused my little girl’s death, and now it’s too late.  She’s gone!  She’s dead!”  Actually, is it ever too late, with God?  You know, you pray.  You wait.  Then you wait some more.  Finally you run out of money.  “Lord, what’s the matter?  You aren’t doing anything.”  And you run out of patience.  The deadline comes and goes and finally you give up.  DON’T give up!  Never give up.  If God is alive, there is always hope.  Amen?

But the synagogue leader’s biggest fear did not upset Jesus, because Jesus runs the ‘Impossible Shop’.  Jesus specializes in impossibilities.  Now a bigger miracle could actually happen, couldn’t it?  So it was going to be better.

Verse 36.  ”Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, ‘Don't be afraid; just believe.’"  There were numerous reasons not to believe, but He said, “Just believe.”

When troubles come we cringe when we ought to believe.  We throw in the towel when we ought to keep going.   Don’t be a quitter.  His continuing faith is what saved his little girl.  She would not have been raised to life if his faith would  have died, would she?  Her very life hung on his faith, and his living faith connected her to Jesus and gave his daughter life.  You know, your kids will not  have faith if you give up.  If you quit the church, and this is especially true for the father’s faith, some how.  If you want to raise your kids from the dead, then you need to be alive in your faith.  You need to attend church.  You need to keep spiritually strong.  You need to keep praying.  You don’t quit.

Verse 37.  ”He did not let anybody follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James, and when they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.”

You know, even the poorest family would hire 2 minstrels to play funeral dirges, and there would always at least be 1 lady to cry, and wail.  They would hire these.  But here we don’t just see 2 minstrels and 1 woman crying.  We see a whole crowd of criers and wailers, hired by this wealthy, elite family before the father could even get home.  And why was there such a rush?  Because in Palestine, when somebody dies, you bury them the same day, because it gets hot in Palestine, and there are no crematorys.  There are no embalmers and morticians, and so they’re all there.  There’s a big commotion.  The criers are waxing eloquent.

Mark 5, verse 39.  ”Jesus went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’"  Was Jesus correct?  And in verse 40, what did they do?  “They laughed at Him.”

Jairus and Jesus were encircled by another crowd characterized by their rash unbelief.  By their jesting.  They laughed at Jesus.  Jesus said, “She’s asleep.”  Now to Jesus, death was more a technicality than a finality.  More of a technicality than a finality.  Jesus could quell the waters of the raging deep.  Jesus could quiet the raging demoniacs, and Jesus could conquer the ravaging death.  Jesus could do anything.  He’s the Impossible Man.  He’s the Miracle Worker.

When a Christian dies, of course he’s dead, but actually, he’s sleeping in Jesus, because he’s going to rise again on resurrection morning.  Jesus calls it a sleep, and Christians who have died in Jesus are sleeping.  Sleeping, because they can awake, so we tell them goodnight.  We don’t tell them goodbye.

Because of their zany attitude the crowd were not allowed to witness one of the greatest miracles that Jesus ever did.  Because of their attitude.  How often our lack of faith shuts out the miracle that Jesus wants us to witness.

The last part of verse 40.  ”Then He put them all out, and he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with Him,” Peter, James and John, “and He went in where the child was.”

There were only seven people in that room, and only five of them witnessed the Life-giver restore the little girl to life, and when you put Jesus in charge of your house He will take control.  That’s basically what happened.  Jesus got rid of the people that did not belong there, didn’t He?  When you put Jesus in charge of your house, give Him authority over your house, He will eradicate your house of all who should not be there.  All influences and all factors, and He will invite others to come in who should be there.  He’ll take control.  He’ll decide who to let in and who to evict.  So give Him authority over your home.

Verse 41.  ”He took her by the hand and He said to her,” and this is in Aramaic, which is the common language there, ‘Ta/ litha koume!’ (which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’), and immediately the little girl stood up and walked around, and she was twelve years old, and at this they were completely astonished.”

You know, many is the morning that the little girl’s mother uttered those same words, in Aramaic.  “Little one, arise.  Get up.  It’s time to go to school.  Get out of bed.”  But when the Life-giver says it, He says it with power.  He says it with authority, and she went from being a cold corpse to being a warm, living, little girl again.  She came back from death.  She didn’t come back from heaven.  She wasn’t up in heaven.  Now if she had really been up in heaven, how cruel of Jesus to yank her out of paradise and bring her back down to the earth again, and her resurrection is not like the resurrection of the last days.  Her resurrection was a modified resurrection, because she was not raised to eternal life, as far as we know.  She lived out her normal life.  She was 12 when she died, she was 12 when she was resurrected.  Probably lived to be 90 or a hundred.  Ladies outlive men.  I don’t know how old she was, and then she died.  She was raised back to life.

And then Jesus did something for the girl that demonstrates His exceedingly kind and loving nature.  He told them to give her something to eat.  She’s hungry.  She had been so sick she hadn’t eaten for days, and Jesus apparently knew all that.  He said, “She’s hungry.  Give her something to eat.”  Now Jesus could have provided a fresh steaming plate of manna or potatoes but He didn’t, because Jesus expects you to do your part.  That’s something they could do.

Jairus did the finest thing for his little girl.  Now think about the main thing.  What is the main thing that Jairus did for his little girl?  Think about this.  He did the finest thing that any parent can ever do for their child.  Jairus brought Jesus into his home.  You need to bring Jesus into your home, fathers.  Mothers, you need to bring Jesus into your home.  Jesus must be more than a picture hanging on a nail in your house.  Jesus must be the unseen Guest at every meal, the unseen Inhabitor of every hour in your home.  Modern children need daddies who will bring Jesus into the home.  You men need to do this.  Psalm 127 and verse 1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”

And I’m speaking to fathers.  You need to bring Jesus into your house.  Kids need daddies who will lead out in Bible story and in prayer, and you fathers are failing if you don’t make your home a place for Jesus to dwell.  You are the spiritual head of your house.  Do your God-given duty.  Bring Jesus into your home!  

Years later Jairus’ grandkids heard the story of the day that grandpa brought Jesus home to save his little girl.  Only Jesus will give you this hope.  Do you have the hope of the coming of Jesus in your heart?  Now I know we’re looking for the second coming as Seventh-day Adventists, but do you have the hope of Jesus burning in your heart?  Someday Jesus is going to come, and He won’t come in the clouds for you unless He’s come into your heart now, and into your home now.  You need to get Him in your home right now.  The dying girl’s only hope was the coming of the Lord, to her home.  Do you have this hope?  Do your children have this hope?

We’re going to sing our closing hymn at this point. We Have This Hope.

Hymn of Praise:  #509 How Firm A Foundation
Scripture: Mark 5:21-24
Hymn of Response:  #214 We Have This Hope

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McDonald Road Sermon transcribed by Steve Foster 8/15/08