Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jairus on TV (part 3)

Reporter: "Welcome back for our final segment. Jairus, ruler of the local synagogue is with us today. He has told us of encountering Jesus. Before the last break you said Jesus had just healed a very desperate woman of a 12-year bleeding issue. Then, wretched news arrived."

Jairus: "It was very bad news. I had ran to Jesus to ask him to cure my tomboy before she died. Jesus, the throng, his disciples and I were traveling to my house. There He could place His hands on her to heal her. This is when Roy, my chief servant arrived. He said my 12-year-old was dead."

Reporter: "How heartbreaking! Did you blame the woman for impeding the procession?"

Jairus: "No. It made no difference. Roy ask me why we would inconvenience Jesus any further. I agreed. But Jesus said, 'Don't be afraid. Believe.' Jesus quickly sent the throng away, pick Pete, Jim and Johnny to come, and gestured for us to get going."

Reporter: "What was Jesus suggesting? Why did he restart his trek to your home?"
Jairus: "When it was happening, I was not sure. I just resumed guiding Him to my house."

Reporter: "Describe the scene when you got home?"

Jairus: "The world was insane. People dashing here and there. The employed mourners had arrived, crying and wailing. It was incomprehensible. This could not be my house. Jesus perceived my look. He ask why everybody was so dramatic? Then He said, 'The child is not dead, but sleeping.'"

Reporter: "Do you think Jesus was having a rationality issues?"

Jairus: "It was surreal. I was not sure what he meant. So I was not sure what was happening. I believed Roy. He said my daughter was dead. It irked me was how everybody reacted to Jesus. They slandered Him, and ridiculed his intelligence. It was awful. Yet, they did not delay Him from His chosen work. He hustled everybody out of the house."

Reporter: "What happened next?"

Jairus: Jesus took me, Mom, and the disciple trio to the bedroom where she had been bathed and laid out before burial. He took her hand. He told her, 'Little girl, I'm telling you to get up.' Instantly, her eyes opened. She looked around, saw Jesus ,the trio, Mom, and me. She got up. She walked to her mother and me. My 12-year-old was alive again! The trio gaucked, Mom cried, and I was awestruck."

Reporter: (with contempt) "You are telling us your daughter is alive?? She was dead, and Jesus brought her to life again??"

Jairus: "That is exactly what I said; exactly what happened! She is here in the studio audience today. Would you like to meet her?

Reporter: (stumbling for words) "Uh..., well, Uh, ... yes!"

Jairus: "Child come here and sit with me." (The daughter walks down the stairs, past the audience3, and up on stage. She is well dressed, clean, and healthy. She captures the audience with her 'tin-grin', showing her braces.) (Jairus, with decisiveness) "This is my daughter Jesus returned to me!"

Reporter: (shocked) "Amazing!" (Then, to the studio audience) "I have never visited with a previously-dead person before. This will be fun." (The crowd cheers, and give the child a standing ovation.) (Addressing the TV audience) "Thank you for watching today. Join us again for more amazing stories from the life of Jesus."

I submit these questions for your consideration.
  1. What is it like to hear your loved-one is dead?
  2. Was there helplessness?
  3. Did routine events not make sense?
  4. Picture holding your loved-one again. Can Jesus raise the dead?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jairus on TV (part 2)

Reporter: "Welcome back to the show. We have with us today Jairus. He is the ruler of the local synagogue. We continue his story. He was telling us of an episode with Jesus the migrant preacher-healer, Himself, and his very sick 12-year-old daughter. Jairus, you told us when you met Jesus you crumpled at His feet worshiping. Then you begged Him to place His hands on her and heal her. Did you say Jesus consented readily?"

Jairus: "Yes, I did. He happily came with me."

Reporter: "On the way home, there was a bizarre occurrence? Would you tell us what happened?"

Jairus: "We were interrupted."

Reporter: "An interruption? Did Jesus change His mind?"

Jairus: "No change of mind. It was just a momentary hiccup. The crowd was packed. Everybody was grating each other. 'Throng' paints the picture. Suddenly, Jesus froze. He said, 'Who touched my clothes?'"

Reporter: "The mob was grinding against each other, and Jesus asks, 'Who touched me?' Did it make sense to you?"

Jairus: "No, it did not. And it did not make sense to His disciples either. They expressed concern about Him deserting His sanity. "Whatzup with you? Everybody is touching you," they said. Jesus eyed each person. He concentrated on one woman. She appeared to shrink. She was quivering. But she had the most curious smile."

Reporter: "Who was she? And why that look?"

Jairus: "I do not know her. But I was an eyewitness to the story. She kneeled before Jesus, like I did. She described how for 12 years she had a ceaseless menstrual flow. For 12 years, she was barred from the synagogue. Considered 'unclean' for 12 years is sad. The doctors had tested the newest treatments and remedies, she said. Nothing had worked. The doctors had all her money. Rather than getting better, 'I am worse,' she told Jesus."

Reporter: "What is your opinion about this woman delaying YOUR daughter's recovery?"

Jairus: "Initially, my heart yelled 'Don't stop.' But I saw her; I heard her story. I realized her hopelessness. She was like me. She related how she kept telling herself, "If I can touch his clothes, I will be healed." She finished, saying, 'The moment I touched the hem of His robe, the source of my illness dried up. I felt it deep inside.'"

Reporter: "What did Jesus think and do?"

Jairus: "I do not know what He thought, but for a twinkling moment He looked like He had accomplished something important. He said her faith had made her well. She could now be on her way and be completely healed."

Reporter: "How did this impact you?"

Jairus: "I knew I had witnessed something special. I was happy to watch her go with life and hope in her eyes. My faith grew a little."

Reporter: "Was that when you got the sad news?"

Jairus: "Just as my faith in Jesus began to grow, I got some very bad news."

Reporter: "Jairus, we want to listen to the bad news and the remarkable twist in your story. But, now we need to take a break and hear from our sponsors. We will be back in three minutes. Stay tuned."

Would you think on these questions?
1. Are you a self-sufficient person?
2. Have you been desperate? Was Jesus your only answer?
3. Does desperation produce a new view of the problems of others?
4. How does the uplift of others affect you?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jairus on TV (part 1)

Reporter: "In the TV studio today, we have a local celebrity and prominent religious leader, Jairus. He has come to tell us of a recent event involving himself and Jesus, the traveling preacher-healer. Welcome to the show, Jairus."

Jairus: "Thank you for inviting me. I am glad to be here."

Reporter: "It is our understanding your daughter recently suffered a very seriously illness. Could you tell us about her and her illness?"

Jairus: "I would be glad to. My daughter is a very petite girl for her age. This case of pneumonia-like crud began when..."

Reporter (interrupting): "Excuse me! Is that what the doctors called it, or is that your description?"

Jairus: "Yes ma'am! They called it 'pneumonia-like crud'. The doctor had never seen anything exactly like it. His uncertainty was compounded by her small size. When he got the best medicine, the dosage was too strong. When he considered her body size and calculated the dosage, then the medicine was worthless. The entire time she was hospitalized, she got weaker and weaker. She was in a vicious, downward spiraling cycle."

Reporter: "Was the ever a moment you gave up hope?"

Jairus: "I will not say we gave up hope, but there were times we could see only doom. For example, when our doctor took us to his office and sat us down. He told us he had consulted a doctor just returning from Jerusalem Medical Science University. They had no answers. Our doctor advised us to take her home and make her as comfortable as possible until the end. He said there was nothing more he could do."

Reporter: "So you took your small daughter home. You looked at her knowing the doctors had given up. Tell us of your thoughts."

Jairus: "The first 36 hours my wife and I were in total shock. We could not fathom her not finishing high school. She would never drive a car. She was slowly dying. In one of those depressed moments, I remembered friends of mine telling stories about Jesus from Nazareth. I read in the Galilean Gazette how he healed many that came to him. I am a friend of the now-clean leper. I remember all his talk. An acquaintance told of four men tearing off a roof to lower their friend before Jesus. Jesus healed him, he said. I heard about a man, like me, with a close family servant dying. He went to Jesus, and asked Him to heal the servant by giving the order. They say it worked, but I do not know. I have heard many stories of Jesus healing by touching people. I know some are true. I began thinking, 'Why not my girl?'"
Reporter: "So what did you do?"
Jairus: "A neighbor came by to visit her. They said Jesus was in town. I asked, 'Where?' They told me. I bolted out the door. I did not know what I would do, but I knew I had to get there."
Reporter: "What happened next?"
Jairus: "Before I got across town, I thought about how to speak to Jesus. I am a ruler of a synagogue, a leader, and I must act accordingly. I decided to show dignity when I met this transient preacher. But when I approached him, I realized how great He was. I fell at his feet and worshiped Him. I begged and pleaded for Him to touch my daughter."
Reporter: "I did not know worshiping men was allowed in the Judaism. I thought you could worship only God?"
Jairus: "You are right. We should worship only God. But Jesus is God! Who else could heal my leper friend, or prevent death, or make the lame walk? No one but God could do these things."
Reporter: "How did Jesus respond?"
Jairus: "He gently accepted my worship and did not gripe at my little faith. He said, 'Well, let's go.'"
Reporter: "Was there not an interruption, while you, Jesus, and the crowd were going to your house?"
Jairus: "Yes, there was. A woman as desperate as me touched Jesus."
Reporter: "Jairus, we will come back to hear about this interruption and the conclusion of your remarkable story in just a moment. But right now, a word from our sponsors."
Would you evaluate three ideas from this story?
  1. Was Jairus was right? Could Jesus have shamed him for being a ruler of a synagogue and not having greater faith? He did not. Jesus will not scold you for having a small faith.
  2. Bad events happen. God does not make bad events. He does allow them. Wretched days prompt us to look for Jesus' help. Jesus takes the Devil's gruesome crisis and turns it to stunning, sublime and splendid days. Have you enjoyed one of these lately?
  3. Jesus will fortify your faith. Strengthening requires your complete trust. Read the stories of Jesus. He enhances faith in active followers. Are you reading about Him? Following him daily?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"What Did You Say?"

Imagine this scene. You ask a politician a 'Yes or No' question. He rambles for five minutes sounding lofty. "Sir, a simple 'Yes or No'," you ask. "It is not that simple," he responds, and for five more minutes he tires you with irrelevant clatter. "Sir," you insistent, "'Yes or No'??" He harangues, "Your information flawed. It should be..." Eight minutes later, after a jumble of facts, figures, quotations, personal insights, and flag-waving patriotism, he finishes with an insinuation if you ask again you are un-American. You quit. You think, "Huh??"

You did good. The sensation of "Huh?" is from biblical hearing. Jesus tells us to listen carefully.

Here is information for your consideration.
1. The Greek word for "Take Heed" can mean to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, or understand.
2. Although usually translated "what", the word can be "who, which, or what".
3. "Hear", in the Koinea Greek, incorporates the ideas in #1.

How many re-writes could you make WITHOUT CHANGING THE MEANING?

Being Jesus' skilled listener requires,
  1. Searching for the message by hearing, or reading.
  2. Verifying the understanding as precise. Accuracy requires:
    1. Stripping away cumbersome extras or flowery detractors.
    2. Restating the pure version faithfully.
  3. Do more investigating independently, i.e. separated from message-giver.
  4. Thoroughly compare and contrast the pure version against an accepted standard. The Bible is THE standard in religion.
Following these constructs will guide you. You can know if any message fits Jesus' desires for you.

Why does Jesus want diagnostic listeners? Jesus said false Christ and apostles are present. They are effectively deceiving the best disciples. Because 'destructive heresies' are present. Because there are false prophets. Because of deceitful workers' transformations. Because listeners to inaccurate information spread wrong information. Impostors deteriorate continually, according to the apostle Paul. Paul's writings were to prevent disciples, like you and me, from being deceived "with persuasive words".

Regardless of your current religious convictions, be a quality listener to Jesus.

Monday, January 3, 2011

"We Are Dying and You Don't Care"

Knowing the setting of Jesus' miracles, His actions, the disciples remarks and His responses enhance our appreciation for His wonders. Think about the stilling of the storm, found in Mark 4:35-41.
Consider the Sea of Galilee.
  1. The oversize lake is pear-shaped.
  2. It is about 14 miles long by 7 miles wide (widest point).
  3. Experts differ on its depth, some saying 150 feet; others say 200 feet. If Galilee is a 'Sea', it is very shallow, making large, violent waves feasible.
  4. Elevations are strongly contrasted. Mountains to the east are 2000 feet above sea level. Lake Kinneret (L. Gennersaret, L. Tiberas, Sea of Galilee) is 686 feet below sea level.
  5. Air masses are strongly contrasted. The mountains host cool, dry air. The Sea of Galilee is semi-tropical (warm, humid).
  6. The Galilean Sea is surrounded by smaller mountains, forming a channel for air movement.
When air masses move, mountains funel fast winds onto a shallow, low lake, forming violent waves.

Consider the boat.
  1. The size is unknown. In 1986, a boat was found on the Sea of Galilee. It dated back to our Lord's time period.  Considered similar to first century fishing boats, it is 27 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, and slightly deeper than 4 feet. It has positions for four to row.
  2. The actual boat held at least 13 people (12 disciples + Jesus).
  3. It had a pillow in it.
  4. It was big enough for one person to lay down.
  5. Its sides could not keep violent waves out.
With this information, let's ask questions.
  • Is it reasonable to believe a storm can catch veteran boaters unexpectedly? Yes. Recently I heard of a passenger ship on the Mediterranean Sea being swamped. The sophisticated equipment used by experienced seamen can not avert trouble.
  • Is it reasonable to believe sailors would be afraid during a storm? Read the reports of the Titanic, or the Edmond Fitzgerald. Experienced sailors know if the weather is too dangerous.
  • Could Jesus sleep through a storm? I have two ideas. Consider how tired He was. School teachers know the feeling of 'brain-dead'. Jesus had taught throughout the day. He could be tired sufficiently to sleep through a storm. The second idea is knew the future. He knew the storm would not kill him or the disciples. Did he know in advance the storm could give him a 'teaching moment'? I think he did. This knowledge would remove His fear or apprehension.
The disciples react differently. Are you surprised? Were they worried, or in panic-mode? How would you act if you were in a heavily loaded boat on a pitch-black, windy night with lake waves crashing in faster than you are dipping the water out? Me? Definitely beyond feverish prayer but not passed out. No wonder they asked Jesus, "Don't you care we are dying?"

It is the impending doom that unmasks their condition -- near faithless. Jesus' question literally translated might read, "not yet you possess a conviction or faith?" Fear showed their faith  was dinky. It was as if they had no trust, as if Jesus could not protect them.

Suppose a doctor walked into your exam room. He said, "You have cancer." What would you learn about your faith? 

The police and a preacher show up at your door. Will your faith be meager or sufficient?

Your mate comes to you and says, "I don't love you any more." will you trust God, or blame Him?