Summary: If we share Christ with a hopeless, scornful world we will be astonished by the results.
“Tears, Laughter, Astonishment”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
Here Jesus comes face to face with normal attitudes and conduct in the event of a tragedy.
While Jesus is still speaking to a crowd, one of Jairus’ servants comes to inform him that his daughter has died, and that there is no need for Jesus to trouble himself with coming.
When Jesus hears this, he urges Jairus to have no fear, but only to believe.
When they arrive at the house, “Jesus saw a great commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.”
And isn’t this the situation that our world is in today?
It often seems hopeless…doesn’t it?
There is a great commotion…people are crying and wailing.
The other night, my son Ben turned to me and said, “There are a lot of horrible things in this world. There’s rape, and murder, child molestation, war…but no peace.”
I replied, “You’re right, except there is the peace that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is the Only peace.”
“You’re right,” said Ben,
“But the people who don’t know Jesus don’t have any peace at all!”
So, there is much commotion and weeping and wailing…
…there is so much hopelessness.
That is why we all need Jesus!!!
Without Jesus, there is no hope.
There is no Life, there is no Reason for this life…
…only darkness and despair.
Of course we have all kinds of self-appointed gurus telling us where we can find hope…
…they point to riches, fancy cars, big houses, the so-called carnal pleasures of the flesh…
…but these things…in the end…just leave us with less hope than we had before we went after them or acquired them.
But no matter how dark this world may be…no matter how hopeless it seems…
…there is an answer.
There is a solution to this predicament we find ourselves in…
…this predicament called life.
In the beginning of John’s Gospel we are told that Jesus came into the darkness of this world as the Light.
It could have been very easy for God to give up on us.
After-all, we chose our fate.
We chose sin over holiness.
Just think how great Adam and Eve had it before they decided to follow Satan instead of God.
There was nothing but hope.
There was nothing but bliss…
…complete and holy bliss.
God walked among them in the garden.
Work was not a burden, but a joy.
They had all the food they could want…
…they had access to the Tree of Life…
…they were never going to die.
But humankind chose death over life…hopelessness and despair over bliss.
And we continue this charade every time we reject God…every time we try to find peace and meaning in life without Jesus Christ.
Jairus’ daughter was dead. The men who came to tell Jesus about this saw no hope in the situation.
Don’t bother coming to the house, Jesus, there is no hope.
But as always, God is able to see hope no matter how hopeless the we think a situation is.
Jesus “went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion? The child is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him…but they laughed at him.”
There is always a new situation when Jesus comes into the picture.
We can disbelieve His Words, we can even laugh at Him…but we cannot ignore Him.
When Christianity thrust its way into the Greek and Roman world, there was much laughter.
This strange cult following a crucified ‘criminal’---what is a sophisticated person to do but laugh?
Whenever Jesus, His teaching, His Gospel have gone against the grain of anything the world has thought was settled…there has been laughter.
Even within the early Church, when the foreign missionary movement began, lots of people did not take Jesus’ words seriously…
…the words of “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Many laughed at the thought of people all over the world accepting Christ as Lord and Savior and becoming Christians…
…but it has happened, it has happened…and it continues to happen wherever Christ is preached.
One of the biggest problems that has taken place over the past fifty years or so is the fact that in many places…even within the church…Christ is not preached.
Many, through the so-called wisdom of the world…laugh at many of Christ’s teachings.
I remember one time, it was advertised that a certain church was going to celebrate the Life of John Wesley by preaching one of his sermons word for word.