Mark 5:41-43 (ESV) -- Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
When was the last time something amazed you? I would venture to say that most people are not amazed very often. It takes special things to amaze us. One could argue that we should live in amazement because we take for granted spectacular things everyday (sunrises, jet travel, cell phones, etc.). But that is another topic. Most instances of amazement are things that actually stun us when we see or experience them. The things Jesus did during His earthly ministry qualify.
Our passage today is an example of His power causing amazement. Mark records, “Taking her by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha cumi,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.”
The story is about a young girl who has died. Her parents are distraught. They are devastated, as you can imagine. The crowds are grieving. Jesus sees it and asks what the commotion is about. But then He says the child is only “sleeping.” Now, make no mistake, she is dead. But Jesus says she is sleeping because her death is only temporary. She is about to be awakened by the Lord. The crowds respond in laughter to Him. He sounds ridiculous to them. So Jesus makes everyone leave, and He takes the father and mother into the room where the girl lay. Then He took her by the hand and told her, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And she did.
You can imagine the amazement of the crowds. They are stunned. They can’t believe what they have witnessed happening, and the kind of power that must reside in this man that did it. We need that kind of amazement to remain in us. Our Lord is able to do anything. We shouldn’t believe anything is beyond Him. His simple exhortation to “arise” causes her heart to pump, her brain to function, and for her cold, lifeless body to rise. There is nothing beyond the power of Christ. Take your burdens to Him. Lift up your requests to Him. We may find ourselves amazed by what He does that we assumed He would not, or could not.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do you think the crowds laughed at Jesus’ words about the girl sleeping?
- What does this passage teach us about the nature of Jesus?
- How does this passage correspond to our lives today?
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