(Pastor Ock Soo Park’s Sermon for Children)
The Choice of Jairus
In Mark chapter 5, Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue appears. Jairus was the one who led services and managed the synagogue—where the Jews gathered. Jairus had one daughter, who was sick and was at the point of death. Jairus sought for Jesus and fell at His feet, pleading with Him to save his daughter’s life.
Jesus heard the plea of Jairus and headed towards his house. But on their way, there were people who came from Jairus’ house.
“Your daughter is dead. Why would you trouble Jesus any further?
People were saying despairing things to Jairus. That is when Jesus spoke to Jairus,
“Be not afraid, only believe.”
Jairus heard the Jesus’ words and headed towards his house again with Jesus. As Jesus arrived at Jairus’ house, He said “Talitha cumi (Damsel, I say unto thee, arise)!” Then, the damsel arose and revived.
The Two Voices We Always Hear
In the Bible, there are always two voices. The first voice is the voice of despair, just as Jairus had heard, “Your daughter is dead. Now it’s the end. There is no use for Jesus to come. Why would you trouble the Master any further? Let’s hurry up and hold a funeral.” The next voice is the voice of hope, just as Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”
In 2 Kings chapter 7, the people of Samaria, who were besieged by the Syrian army, were starving to death because of severe famine. As the people were desperately hungry, they even ate children. Elisha, the prophet, spoke to this city of Samaria. “Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.”
That is when one officer spoke.
“Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?”
The prophet spoke of hope, saying that there will be abundance of food, while the officer spoke of despair.
Likewise, as we live spiritual life, there are always two voices that we hear from our heart. One voice is from Satan, which is despair and says that it is not possible. The other is God’s voice, which is hopeful and astonishing. Among the two voices, it is very important which voice we hearken to.
The New World the Little Maid Saw
Captain Naaman from 2 Kings chapter 5, had captured a girl from the war with the Israelites, and gave her to his wife as a maid. The little maid had lost her family and become captive to serve as a slave in the house of Naaman, who was a captain of her enemy and also a leper. How miserable and unfortunate this is! If she would think to live like this for the rest of her life, she would not be able to sleep and eventually become sick. But there was a new world that God made her to see, which was not a world seen through her own eyes.
“Our master has leprosy. If he would go to the prophet in Samaria, he would surely recover. But the master would not know this. How happy would he be, once he meets Elisha the prophet and becomes healed from leprosy? Not only would his leprosy be healed, he would also receive salvation! Then he would serve God. I wonder how beautiful this household would become when the captain believes in God.”
The little maid did not fall into pain and despair by the circumstances, but rather saw the hope that God showed her. Now let us also imagine Captain Naaman coming back home, cleansed from his leprosy. Captain Naaman would hold the little maid’s hand and say,
“Thanks to you dear, I became healed from my leprosy! I was supposed to live as a leper for the rest of my life, but you gave me a new life. I got to believe in God because of you. You are no longer a slave. You are my daughter!”
Captain Naaman would have been very grateful to the little maid. He would have talked about God whoever he met.
As a slave in the household of Captain Naaman, the little maid cannot come out from despair by her own intelligence or beauty. But as God gave hope in her heart, we can see that the difficult circumstances were no longer problems and that she was able to live in happiness.
The Bible Always Speaks of Hope
Even today, Jesus is creating a new world in our hearts. Until now, I also had many difficulties and hopeless incidents happen to me. But God always gave me new hope. I am supposed to worry and become anxious seeing the circumstances, but on the contrary, God creates a new world in my heart. Happiness, that cannot be expressed in words, starts to arise in my heart along with thankfulness and hope. This is so amazing.
Even though Jairus heard that his daughter had died, he rather believed in the Word of Jesus, and thus received the grace of having his daughter revive. Just as the Bible shows what was spoken to Jarius, even today the Bible is speaking of hope to us. If we accept the Word in our heart, a new world is created in our heart. We can live a blessed life together with God, in the wonderful world, where flowers bloom and fruits yield through God’s grace.