“And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.” (Luke 8:52-53)
As Jesus walked into the house, the mourning party exploded in ridicule. What He had told them concerning the little girl inside sounded preposterous, and they responded in a chorus of irreverent laughter.
However, what an amusing array of expressions they must have displayed a few minutes later as the Lord and His trio of disciples said goodbye to the happy family.
Once again, the Lord’s assessment had been true, though it had made no sense.
Throughout His ministry, the Lord was continually shaking up people’s thoughts about reality.
For centuries the Jews had been without a prophetic word from Heaven, and their faith had all but died. Oh, they had adopted a lifestyle of sacred traditions and rituals inherited from Moses and others, but in every practical aspect of life, the majority lived on a completely horizontal level.
It is not that they openly denied the truths of the Old Testament. They still heard them read at the synagogues and claimed them as their treasure. However, much of that knowledge they stored on the dusty, old shelves of theory.
So deeply was this error entrenched that when the Lord came and actually lived according to those principles, they questioned His sanity. When He gave the true diagnosis, which inevitably was at odds with the interpretations of the day, the atmosphere would turn nasty. A few of the bolder and more humorous ones would start to laugh, soon to be joined by their admirers. Before long the whole bunch would be making fun of Him.
Tragically, few of them ever seemed to realize or admit that they were actually laughing at the facts according to God!
We can learn from their mistakes.
As we read the Bible, the voice of Deity makes statements that are squarely against popular attitudes and philosophies. Faced with these opposing ideas, we have to choose.
Either we listen to the tune of the culture, and move to their side, or we lean our hearts toward the words of the Lord. If we are of those who have ears to hear, His authoritative voice will drown out the cheap cackle of the scorners and our souls will swell in harmony with the majestic symphony of Truth.
Though rarely a large crowd at any given time, the ensemble of true worshippers has a long history, and down through the ages, thousands have joined its ranks.
Earlier in this Gospel, when Luke recorded his investigation into the arrival of Messiah, he revealed evidence that not everyone had been swayed by the mood of unbelief. Even in that dark hour of ignorance, there were still a few who believed the prophets of the Lord, no matter how hopeless the situation looked. Simeon and Anna were two of these, an elderly duet that knew God was always right.
And so each of us faces the choice of every individual of every age: Who will I believe?
Dear Father, You are always right. Even when what You say doesn’t seem to make sense on this sin-cursed earth, Your diagnosis is correct. Help me listen and believe.