Laughing at God

When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. – Mark 5:38-40

Sarah did it (Genesis 18:13-15). The people at the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler, did it (Mark 5:40). Jesus’ enemies did it (Matthew 27:32-44). Do I do it?  Do I laugh at God? My first thought would probably be, absolutely not! How could I be so disrespectful! How could I be so arrogant! How could I stand toe to toe with God and laugh in his face!

Although I may try to convince myself I would never do anything so foolish, what does my response to Jesus and his word actually reveal? When I refuse to trust his promises, what am I doing? When I reject his direction for my life, what am I doing? When I disregard his authority over me, what am I doing? I am laughing at God.

In humility I need to acknowledge my pride and my rebellion. I also need to open my eyes to what Jesus is saying and doing in my life. This is what the people missed on the day Jesus entered Jairus’ home. They laughed at his claim the little girl was only sleeping. They could only see Jesus as a misguided well-wisher. In reality, he showed he was much more. In an incredible act of compassion, Jesus called the girl from the sleep of death and brought her back to life. Jesus displayed his power as God and his power over life and death, and this was no laughing matter.

It is a lesson I need to take to heart. Before I conclude anything Jesus says is ridiculous or laughable, I need to listen to what he has said, and pay attention to what he has done.

Jesus’ ministry is all about his work to rescue me. He lived as my substitute because by myself I could never be without spot, stain, or sin. He went to the cross because I could not release myself from the curse of God’s just punishment. He rose from the grave because I could never free myself from Satan’s deathly grip. He reconciled me to his Father because I could never stop being hostile to him. Everything Jesus did was for me, and it was established as valid and believable because of his faithfulness and his love.

It is this faithful love that leads me to believe every word he speaks, and assures me my confidence is never misplaced. It is this faithful love that provides me with joy in every difficult time, and moves me to thank, praise, serve and obey him. It is finally this faithful love that gives me every reason to rejoice in Jesus as my God and Savior, and this is no laughing matter.

Prayer: Oh blessed Jesus, give me the strength of faith I need to trust everything you say. Give me the confidence I need to follow your loving direction. Give me the understanding I need to accept your faithful control over all things. Amen.

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