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Not Dead, Sleeping

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
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April 12, 2023 9:00 am

Not Dead, Sleeping

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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April 12, 2023 9:00 am

As Pastor J.D. begins a series called The Difficult Sayings of Jesus, we’re putting aside our assumptions and taking a fresh look at who Jesus really is.

Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley

Today on Summit Life, Pastor J.D.

Greer talks about an intriguing miracle. This really is one of the most bizarre encounters in Jesus' life. Both people in this story came to Jesus for one thing, but ended up with something far greater. Yet Jesus required a lot more of them than they were expecting. Jairus came to Jesus in need of a healing. What he got was a resurrection. Welcome to Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. I'm your host, Molly Vinovich, and you picked a great day to join us. Today we're diving into a new teaching series called The Difficult Sayings of Jesus. We're putting aside our assumptions that we may have held and we're taking a fresh look at who Jesus really is and what he taught. A lot of us have this picture in our head of him wearing a flowing white robe, carrying a lamb around on his shoulder, and smiling kind of sadly. But as we'll discover, the true Jesus is so much more compelling than that. Are you ready to paint a new picture of our Savior today? Let's join Pastor J.D. in this first message he titled, Not Dead, Sleeping.

That's kind of how you know you've encountered the real thing. Is you either love him or you hate him. Perhaps the greatest irony today is that most people in our culture find Jesus boring.

Nobody in the Bible ever found Jesus boring. Hated him? Yes. Thought he was full of it? Yes. Bored?

Never. So we're going to take a look over the next several weeks at some of the most challenging divisive things that Jesus ever said. These statements are going to do two things for us. One, you're going to find some of the most confusing things that Jesus said actually answer some of the deepest questions that you and I have ever asked about life. Second, it's going to show you exactly where you stand with Jesus. Do you love him or do you hate him? If you pay attention over the next several weeks, you'll find there is no third category. There's no kind of like, well, he's okay.

You're either going to love him or you're going to hate him. The first one we're going to look at is a statement that Jesus made at a little girl's death. You'll find the story in Mark chapter 5 if you've got a Bible and you want to open it there. But this statement is going to be in Mark 5 verse 39. Jesus makes it at a little girl's death.

The father and mother are beside themselves with grief. She's only 12 years old. And so Jesus walks into the place where her little body is lying on the bed and he said, why are you making a commotion and weeping? This child is not dead. She is sleeping.

And they laughed at him to scorn. Maybe that statement doesn't seem like that big a deal to you, but just imagine if you're a parent, if that were your little girl, or if you are not a parent, imagine if it were your little sister. I have a girl who is about 12 years old and I think about what it would be like if suddenly she was struck down in death. Maybe she got hit by a car or she got sick and died and how heartbroken I would be. And then for you just to walk in and kind of casually cast a glance at the casket and be like, oh, she's not dead.

She's just taking a nap. Furthermore, what you're going to find out in this story is that her parents kind of blamed Jesus for her death. You see, Jesus had been on his way to heal her when he got delayed. And because he delayed, she died.

And her parents are like, why? Why did you delay when you knew she was just hanging on by a thread? I mean, Jesus, if you really cared, if you really cared, why would you have let this happen?

Why wouldn't you have come immediately? Let me ask you, have you ever felt that way? You ever find yourself looking up at God and saying, if you're actually there, if you really care, why wouldn't you have changed this?

Maybe it concerned the death of somebody that you loved. You know, throughout my life, I've had seasons where I really struggled with faith. I know that I'm a pastor and I'm probably not supposed to admit that. I'm supposed to tell you that I'm just, you want to see me as this stalwart kind of bulwark of faith who has no questions at all, but that's just not true. There have been seasons of my life where I've really struggled to believe, and usually it surrounded that question right there. If Jesus loves us as much as he says he does, why is the world the way that it is? And why do you let this happen to that person? In this story, you're going to see that this mother and father have a choice of whether or not to love Jesus or to hate him. And I think you're going to see that you have that exact same choice.

There is no third category. This really is one of the most bizarre encounters in Jesus' life. So let's just go back to the beginning of the story and let's just kind of walk through it.

Verse 22 is where it begins. One of the rulers of the synagogue, which means he's a pretty important guy, he's a religious ruler, Jairus by name, came and fell at Jesus' feet and implored him earnestly saying, my little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may be made well and live. We're going to find out later this is his only child. All parents love their kids, of course, but there's a special bond, they say, between a daddy and his oldest girl.

I think I know that because I have, my oldest child is a daughter. He's rich, so he's hired, I'm sure, the best doctors that money can buy, but they've now told him there's nothing left that they can do, that she's beyond hope, that she's probably not going to make it to the end of the day. And so in desperation, he thinks, Jesus, maybe Jesus. He's heard about this miracle working healer. You see, on the whole, religious leaders were not that excited about Jesus.

We know that probably he had been publicly critical of Jesus if he was like most religious leaders of that day, but now he's desperate. His little girl is about to die. And so his dad instincts kick in and he thinks, maybe Jesus, what if it's true? What if he could actually help my little girl? So he ran all throughout the town looking for Jesus, asking people, have you seen Jesus? Finally, he finds him and he falls on his face and probably says something like, I know that I haven't been the biggest supporter of yours.

I know that I haven't really believed, but if you can do something, please, my little girl, she's dying, please. Verse 24, and Jesus went with him. Could you imagine for a minute what Jairus' joy was at this moment? I mean, Jesus saying, I can do something, and yes, I'll come with you.

Next verse. But as they were going, a great crowd thronged about him. So now Jairus is fighting through that crowd.

He's trying to push people out of the way because he's got to get Jesus to his little girl, right? In that crowd, there was a woman who had a discharge of blood for 12 years. Discharge of blood means that she had a disease that gave her menstrual irregularity. And in those days, Jewish law would consider a person in that condition to be perpetually unclean.

I know we don't think that way and that seems very foreign, but that's how they saw it back then under Jewish law. Here is a woman that has not been able to go into the temple, into the presence of God for 12 years because she's considered unclean. And not only that, people would not touch somebody who was unclean, which means she has not been hugged in 12 years. She'd suffered much under many physicians and had spent all that she'd had. Maybe she used to be rich, but she's not anymore.

Instead of getting better, she just got worse. She also had heard the reports about Jesus, and so she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment because she had thought, if I could just touch his garments, I'll be made well. And immediately when she did so, the flow of blood dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. But Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned and said, who touched my garments? And his disciples were like, what do you mean who touched your garments? There's a crowd thronging around you. Everybody's touching your garments. What do you mean who touched me?

But he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her daughter, daughter, by the way, that's the only time he ever uses that term in all the New Testament.

It's a word that means precious child. She's the only one who ever gets called this, precious daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your disease, which is an awesome story, right? I mean, here's a woman who for 12 years has been disconnected from God and disconnected from other people who thinks if I can just touch his clothes, he'll heal me. And so she fights her way through this crowd. She's on hands and knees, risking being trampled to death. And she finally gets close enough right as he's coming by and she lays on her stomach and she reaches out her hand as he goes by just to brush the hem of his garment. And she's healed. And then Jesus stops and turns around and says, who touched me? And she's just trying to slither back into the crowd, but he won't let it go.

No, I know somebody touched me. And so she comes forward thinking she's about to be castigated because she had the audacity as an unclean woman to touch a holy man. But instead of rebuking her, he calls her the most tender term he calls anybody in all the New Testament, which is an awesome story. But Jairus is like, Jesus, my daughter is at home struggling with every breath, every second counts. Well, Jesus was still speaking with this woman. There came from the ruler's house, someone who said, your daughter just died. Now, could you imagine as a parent what it would have been like to have been Jairus at this moment? What Jesus did here, by the way, could be considered in certain standpoints to be considered criminal malpractice.

You see, doctors practice a thing they call triage in which in an emergency situation, you prioritize people who are in critical condition. Jairus' daughter is minutes away from death. And here you've got a woman who has a non-life threatening disease that she's had for 12 years.

Surely if she has made it 12 years, she can make it another 12 minutes. But Jesus stops, engages the woman, and while he does, Jairus' daughter dies. How do you think Jairus felt? How would you feel?

You knew, you knew, Jesus, you knew she was hanging on and you stopped with something that was non-urgent and while you delayed, she died. Would you be confused? I would be. Would you be angry?

I would be. But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to Jairus, do not fear, only believe. They came to Jairus' house and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And then that statement, he goes in and says, the child's not dead, but sleeping. And they laughed at him.

But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand, he said to her, talitha kumai. Talitha is an Aramaic word that means little girl. It's a pet name, which is probably why the translators didn't put it into Greek. They left it in Aramaic because there is no good translation. Literally, it's like saying honey, honey. Kumai is not a very strong word either. It's a very gentle word that means get on up, get on up. It's the word they say you would try to use when you were rousing someone out of a nap. So in other words, Jesus did not go into this room and say, child, I command thee, come forth. He sat down on her bed like her mother would have, took her hand, probably stroked her face and just whispered to her, honey, get up.

And immediately the girl got up and began walking because she was 12 years of age. This is Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Before we continue with today's message, I want to let you know about a special resource we've created this month just for you, our faithful Summit Life family. It's called the Gospel Flip Book. The Gospel Flip Book is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to dive deeper specifically into the four gospels. It includes a reading plan, information about the authors, key passages and reflective prayers. There are also some important memory verses meant to remind us of the promises and truth found in the words of Jesus. And this resource can help you grow in your faith and develop a deeper understanding of God's word. To receive your copy of the Gospel Flip Book and support this ministry, simply call us at 866-335-5220 or visit Your generous support helps us continue to bring you quality programming and valuable resources each and every day. Thank you again for listening to Summit Life. Now let's get back to today's teaching.

Once again, here's Pastor J.D. There are five crucially important things about life and death that Jesus teaches us in that story. Number one, to Jesus death is as easy to fix as waking somebody up out of a short nap. What scares you most? What scares us most? Is it not our death or maybe the death of someone that we love? Do you see what a beautiful picture of death this is?

Do you see the tender details? You want to know what it's like for a believer to die? Just like this little girl, Jesus sits by your bedside. He takes your hand. When you awake, the first voice that you hear is His. The first face that you see is His.

He sits there and carries you like your mother. That's what Jesus is showing us here about the death of a believer. You see, there are two predominant views of death in our culture.

The first is that of the, what I'll call the secularist. That is the person that believes that we are the result of a random collusion of particles emanating out of a big bang. If that's true, if that's all there is, then when we die, it's all over.

The machine just got turned off. Bertrand Russell, who's one of the most famous skeptics in our yesteryear, said that we just got to have the courage to embrace that. In fact, he says this, he says, don't console yourself with Christmas carols. You and everything you love will die in the death of the universe. No heroism, no sentimentality can preserve any life beyond the grave. All our labors, all our accomplishments, it's all destined to extinction in the vast death of our solar system, and only when you admit that can you ever begin to live life courageously.

Now there's an Easter message for you, right? You see, the alternate view is that death is not natural, that God made us to be eternal beings, and that means there is something not right, there is something foreign, there is something unwelcome about death, and that's what terrifies us about death, that's what makes us hate it so badly because we weren't created for it. So here's my question for you. Which one resonates more with your heart? Which view?

You know, C.S. Lewis asked this question, doesn't the fact that we yearn for eternity point to the fact that we were created for eternity? Fish don't complain about being wet because they were designed for the water. They complain when they're out of the water.

That's when they flop around, that's when they flop around, that's their version of complaining. Doesn't the fact that we yearn for eternity show that we're designed for it? Isn't that the reason we flop around in the face of death, because we're not designed for that? If I find in myself a desire which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation, Lewis says, is that I was made for another world. Listen, does your heart know that to be true?

I saw an interview with the late Steve Jobs, who, I think it was the last interview he gave before he died, was asked the question by the interviewer, do you believe in God? And he said this, because I tried to jot down his work, I was listening to it, I got it mostly correct here, throughout my life, he said, I've been unsure, but as I approach death, I find that I do believe in God more and more. He then went on to say, he says, because of the human body is just a biological machine, that when it's turned off, it's over. And he said, but that can't be right. I don't want it to be right. He said, incidentally, by the way, in the interview, he said, that's why I've never had Mac products that have on-off buttons that are really easily accessible, which annoys the heck out of me, because I'm like, how do you just turn this thing off? But he says, I just don't like that, because I don't like the concept of a machine ever just shutting down.

I'd like it rather just going to sleep. You see, your head might tell you one thing, and there's a time and a place where we can engage your head, but I'm just asking you a question about your heart. What does your heart know to be true about eternity? You see, Ecclesiastes says that God created you with eternity in your heart. So even when your head says one thing, your heart always tells you the truth. And your heart says, this is not welcome.

It's not right. You were created for more. Number two, here's the second thing that this story teaches us, is that Jesus' delay is not inconsistent with his love. Jesus' delay is not inconsistent with his love. Jairus could not fathom why Jesus delayed if he loved me.

If you cared, surely you'd have gotten there in time to help my little girl. But Jesus knew that the delay, listen to this, he knew the delay wasn't going to make any real difference, because to him, death was as easy to fix as waking somebody up out of a short nap. It wasn't harder for him to raise the dead than it was for him to heal the sick. And so this little girl's death was of no lasting significance, just a temporary delay. Now, the point of this story is not that if you pray long enough, then you can escape death on earth.

Of course not. I mean, this little girl died again, right? She's not still alive today, which means she died at some point. The point of this story is to give you a picture of what all of us will experience in the resurrection. And in the resurrection, the joy of what Jesus restores to us will make any pain that we experience from the delay now seem just like a temporary inconvenience, like a short nap.

I mean, to Jairus in the moment, it felt devastating. From Jesus' perspective, it's like, it's just like a little delay. Your pain right now feels devastating, it feels permanent. But I'm telling you, when you know Christ, he says even the greatest pain is like a short nap compared to what's coming in eternity. Paul would say it this way in 2 Corinthians 4, our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory, watch this, that far outweighs them all.

So we fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Our afflictions, our troubles, Paul says, no matter how bad they seem, listen, are only light and momentary. And by the way, when Paul talks about pain and trouble, he's not talking about JV level pain. Paul knew what extreme loss was like. He knew what it was to have loved ones die. He knew what it was to be betrayed by close friends.

He knew what it meant to lose his job and run for his life. But he's saying compared to the weight of joy in eternity and the length of time in eternity, even the worst pain here is light and momentary. You say, well, it doesn't feel light and momentary. My little girl is dead.

This person is gone. This feels like the darkest chapter of my life. I'm just showing you that the moment you step foot into eternity and you feel in that moment, the weight of joy and the beauty that God created out of these things, you'll see that all this delay was so light and momentary. It's like what one guy said is a bad night in a cheap hotel.

It's just like waking somebody up out of a short nap. Listen, I'm not trying to minimize your pain. There are some of you who right now at this moment are walking through chapters of your life that I probably can't even fathom.

They are so dark. I'm not trying to minimize your pain. I'm trying to maximize Jesus's victory over death and sin and pain. And I'm trying to tell you the weight of glory in the one so far exceeds the pain of the other, that the moment you step foot into eternity, it'll seem like a short nap, like a temporary delay that was not even there.

His delay is not inconsistent with his love. Jesus had a plan for Jairus. He's got a plan for you. Number three, Jesus both offers more and requires more than you've ever imagined. He both offers more and requires more than you've ever imagined. Both people in this story came to Jesus for one thing, but ended up with something far greater. Yet Jesus required a lot more of them than they were expecting. For example, Jairus came to Jesus in need of a healing. What he got was a resurrection.

That's a miracle upgrade, is it not? But Jesus required Jairus not just to believe that he had power to heal, he required Jairus to trust him in the midst of completely bewildering circumstances. He wasn't expecting that. The woman with the issue of blood, she wanted to hit and run with Jesus. Get in, get her healing, get out, get home. That's what she wanted. She not only got her healing, she was called precious daughter, the only person in all the New Testament to be called that.

She got called precious daughter by the Son of God. But the cost was that she had to expose herself to Jesus and publicly profess him before the crowd. Coming, listen, coming to Jesus always offers more and also always costs more than you've ever realized. And I say that because many of you have been drawn to Jesus because of a need of your own. Maybe it's a need for forgiveness, help with a family that is falling apart, maybe putting back together a life that has been broken.

Maybe you need deliverance from an addiction or you need purpose or meaning, or maybe you're just afraid of death. What Jesus offers to you is far more than you've imagined. He not only offers you help with your problem, he offers you something better than the solution that you seek to that problem, which is himself. A presence that goes with you, not only in this life, but through eternity, a presence that promises to take every bad thing and weave it for his beautiful plan, where he'll make every sad thing come untrue so that even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you won't be afraid of evil because you'll know that God is with you and goodness and mercy is following you all the days of your life, an inheritance incorruptible that can never be taken away.

He offers you far more than you have ever dreamed, yet he requires more than you've ever imagined. In fact, here's how he said it, if anybody would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. You see, when you take up your cross, that means you lose any semblance of control you believe you have on your life because when you're fastened to a cross, you're not calling the shots anymore. And Jesus said, that's what it's like to follow me is total trust, total surrender, total denial. All of you for all of him.

Is that a trade that you're willing to make today? With the first message in a new series called The Difficult Sayings of Jesus, you're listening to Pastor JD Greer and Summit Life. You know, JD, one of my favorite things about this new series is how you're going to be challenging us to take a fresh look at some pretty difficult things Jesus had to say. There's these difficult sayings of Jesus that people have heard and they're like, I'm not really sure what that means. Sometimes unbelievers, people who aren't in church will know these phrases and they'll kind of throw them back and you're like, I'm not sure exactly how to say that. Things like, what did he mean by judge not?

Questions like that, that you're just like, I'm not sure what this means. What is my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? What, what did Jesus actually mean by that? Along with this series, I think you'll find helpful this resource that we're pairing with it called The Gospel Flipbook. It's a thing of it almost like flashcards that will help you drive the gospel deeper in your heart. Sometimes just having that sitting on your desk or on your kitchen counter and just glancing at it throughout the day, letting one key insight about the gospel saturate you for a day.

You'll be blown away at how much different you think and how much different you pray and how much different you act after the gospel has soaked down deep in your heart. Your gift to the ministry right now helps us proclaim this powerful gospel message all across the country and around the world. Give us a call right now at 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220. Or you can visit us at

I'm Molly Vitovitch. Be sure to listen Thursday as we continue this new teaching series right here on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-12 10:42:03 / 2023-04-12 10:52:51 / 11

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