Digging in Deeper: Mark 5:38-41

“They came to the leader’s house, and he saw a commotion–people weeping and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.’ They laughed at him, but he put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with him, and entered the place where the child was. Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum’ (which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up’).” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Being a parent means wearing a lot of different hats. There’s the chef’s hat. The coach’s hat. The counselor’s hat. The boot camp drill instructor’s hat. The teacher’s hat. The pro-wrestler’s hat (if you have boys). The superhero’s hat (or so says my youngest about me). Lots of hats. My own boys are getting to the age where I’m having to don another hat more often than I like: the referee’s hat. It’s only natural, really. Sorting out issues with other people can be challenging, especially when we’re not willing to give an inch on our desired position. As a result, when we’re kids, we quickly appeal to a higher power to settle disputes for us: a parent. Wise parents know you can’t wear that hat too often or you short-change their opportunity to begin building some problem-solving skills of their own. But man is it tempting to solve things quickly for them so you don’t have to listen to the bickering anymore. The trouble is, when we sort things out, someone isn’t going to be happy. We’re going to be accused of playing favorites. And there’s some truth in that. We play favorites all the time. You know who didn’t play favorites, though, Jesus. And as we finally come to the end of this powerful story, we’re reminded of just how true that is.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 5:35-36

“While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?’ When Jesus overheard what was said, he told the synagogue leader, ‘Don’t be afraid. Only believe.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

In the enormous library of real estate series on TV right now, perhaps the one I like the least is “My Lottery Dream Home.” The basic format is the same as all the rest of them: a homebuyer is shown three different homes by a real estate agent and then chooses one of them to purchase. The twist for this version of that plot is that the homebuyers have all recently won the lottery and are using part of their winnings to buy a new home. Not all of them have won huge jackpots, and some of the lottery dream homes have been pretty humble, but every episode leaves you wondering, “Why won’t that happen to me?” Jealousy doesn’t sit well with me personally, so I don’t watch the show. But I can’t avoid the Scriptures, and this passage feels like an episode of “My Lottery Dream Home” that I don’t want to watch. Let’s look anyway.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 5:30

“Immediately Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. In fact, that’s often the case. And when it happens, we have to simply sit back and marvel at it. Trying to understand will just make our heads hurt. When it comes to the Scriptures, sometimes the things we find are too strange not to be true. This is especially the case when it comes to Jesus and the Gospels. Sometimes the stories the authors tell are so unexpected or seem so different from what we might expect that they have to be true. This is one of them.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 5:25-27

“Now a woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. Having heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothing.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been desperate? I mean, truly desperate. The kind of desperate where you’re willing to do anything—even things you wouldn’t have considered before hitting that point—in order to get what you are convinced you need? That’s a scary place to be. It’s a place where hopelessness and despair can easily take hold of our lives and not let go. For this particular woman, it led her to reach out and do something most people would have considered crazy. Let’s dig in to her story together.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 22:36-40

“‘Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I love two for one deals, don’t you? Stores don’t do it all that often, but when they do, they are almost guaranteed to sell me on whatever it is. This is especially true at a grocery store. When I’m walking down one aisle or another and see some product is on sale, two for the price of one, all of a sudden, I’m hungry for whatever it is. Even if I don’t like it, I’m starting to think that maybe it’s time to expand my nutritional horizons so I can capitalize on this great deal. One day, Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment in the Law of Moses. In response He offered the most important two for one deal ever. As we continue in our Advent journey this morning, let’s talk about what this means for our lives.

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