2412 Griffith Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011   (213) 748-0318   info@secondbaptistchurchla.org

SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES

Inspirational messages for Sunday June 21 through Saturday June 27, 2020

 

 

A FATHER’S FAITH

 

41And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.  /  49While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him,  Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. 50But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. 51And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done. Luke 8:41-42 and 49-56 KJV / Mark 5:21-43 / Matthew 9:18-26

 

Introduction

 

We applaud fathers today! Father’s Day illuminates and distinguishes fathers as positive role models and the influence they have on their children and families. Over many years, Father’s Day has become a significant event within the life of the church.  There is a clarion call across America for men to become the fathers their families need. Many of those who have answered the call are beginning to acknowledge the necessity of having a relationship with God as part of their quest to be good fathers.

Fatherhood is an awesome responsibility and very meaningful and fulfilling. We need more fathers involved in their families, communities and organizations as role models and agents of change modeling fatherhood.  Today, we thank God for fathers who day in and day out take on the heavy load of practicing their faith. They teach lessons that only men can teach. These men are precious jewels. They shine in darkness; their worth is immeasurable and they are adored by their children. A few are famous but most are not.  Their legacies are unique treasures passed from generation to generation. We stand on their shoulders; we owe them a debt of gratitude and emulation. Thanks to almighty God for godly fathers.

 

While the bible does not command such a celebration, it does not prohibit it.  We join with the tradition that has long been established acknowledging fathers.  The day was primarily nationalized in the honor of all good fathers, who contribute as much to the family as a mother in their own ways. The white and red rose was made the official flowers for Father's Day celebration. While the white rose commemorated gratitude for a father, who was deceased, a red rose expressed thankfulness to one, who was living.

 

Let me say from the outset, there is no such person as a perfect dad.  We are all flawed persons with our feet of clay.  The only perfect father would be God almighty, the creator of heaven and earth.  Earthly fathers strive for excellence to be the best we can be given our limitations.   Don’t underestimate the importance of fathers in the lives of their families, in our communities, nation and in the life of our church.

 

Consider some of experiences you have of fathers including your father that have left a lasting positive impression of commitment, encouragement and integrity for you personally.   

 

 

 

Monday June 22, 2020

41And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.  Luke 8:41-41

 

Our scripture today provides a glimpse into the life a father whose name is Jairus.  His name means "Jehovah enlightens." (etymology of Jairus comes from the verb to give light / to shine, enlighten / illumine).   Jairus was the head of a local Sanhedrin or court of elders, supervising the synagogue worship and life of the community in Capernaum.  No doubt he heard about Jesus as Jesus had left Nazareth and made Capernaum his home following the death of John the Baptist.  It was there Jesus healed a centurion's servant, Peter's mother-in-law, a paralyzed man who was lowered through a roof, a man who was possessed, and many others who came to see him.  

 

Jairus was invested in his faith tradition.  He was light, enlightening and illuminating his life with his faith.   Here is a man of faith who is bold, courageous, disciplined and sacrificial.  Men of faith add a dimension to life in all of its aspects a kind of resistance, resilience and resolve.  His daughter was 12 years old and she was deathly ill.  This was his only child.  Jairus comes to Jesus to ask him to come to his home and save his little girl. 

 

Jesus consents and they head toward Jairus’ house.  On the way they are interrupted by a woman who steals a healing from the Lord. The procession stops while the Lord finds out who has secretly sought to touch his garment in search of healing and wholeness.  No doubt Jairus is getting more anxious as the Lord delays.  As the woman who tried to steal what she wanted without being noticed is exposed, Jesus lets her know that her faith has made her whole.  By now they are approaching Jairus’ house and "While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler, and said  'Your daughter is dead,' 'Don't bother the teacher anymore.' " (8:49) Jesus respond to Jairus saying, "Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole." 

Consider how the faith that a father has shapes who he is in the world, particularly with his family and community; his affiliations associations; his commitments and concerns; his practices and participation to name a few. 

 

Tuesday June 23, 2020

41And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.  Luke 8:41-42

A father’s faith expresses itself unapologetically.   

Jairus is a father who has reverence for the Lord.  He is well-regarded in his community. Luke calls him "a ruler (Greek archos) of the synagogue," "the official who has charge of the arrangements for the synagogue services." Now this highly respected citizen of Capernaum comes up to Jesus in the multitude of pushing and shoving individuals. He has a pressing concern about his child and goes to Jesus respectfully and reverently.  When  he finally reaches Jesus he falls upon his knees. The Greek word in Luke's and Mark's accounts is pipto, " 'fall down, throw oneself to the ground' as a sign of devotion, before high ranking persons or divine beings, especially when one approaches with a petition."  Matthew uses the more specific word proskuneo, "(fall down and) worship, do obeisance to, prostate oneself before, do reverence to, welcome respectfully."  

Picture the scene for a moment.  Here is a paradoxical scene: the well-to-do synagogue president utterly humbling himself before the simply-dressed Jesus. He has been waiting for Jesus to return -- hoping he would return in time, and now Jesus is here. Jesus is Jairus' last hope.

Consider fathers faced with situations which are seemingly hopeless discover that faith provides a glimmer of the possibility of hopefulness.   Consider the following quote, “Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.” (Charles Spurgeon)

 

Wednesday June 24, 2020

A father's faith shares honestly the concern/s that have overwhelmed him. 

41And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.  Luke 8:41-42

Mark records Jairus' plea: "My little daughter is dying.  Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live" (Mark 5:23). Jairus is on his knees "pleading" with Jesus. The Greek word is parakaleo, here means, "request, implore, appeal to, entreat." Please come! Please! So Jesus goes with him.

Imagine what Jairus was experiencing.  He was desperate, exhausted with worry, burdened with concern.  Luke tells us that this is "an only daughter" (Greek monogenes). You get the idea that she is the apple of her father's eye -- "Daddy's little girl." And now she lies near death. She is twelve years old.  From his words in Mark he seems to believe: "Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live" (Mark 5:23). He believes that if Jesus will just touch the girl, she will be healed and live. Jairus is staking his faith on a touch from Jesus' hand to pull his daughter back from the brink of death. Jairus hopes they will not arrive too late.

Reverence for your faith will sometimes put you in a situation that has the potential for embarrassment,  humiliation and rejection.   Jairus put the welfare of his child in Jesus’ hands. Jairus put his reputation on the line also.   He did not come by night but in full public view.  He could have sent servants to find Jesus and bring him to his house, but he came himself.  Some things are too important to delegate.  It should be noted that Jesus and the religious persons of his day were at odds.  The Scribes, Pharasees, and Saducees did not embrace Jesus and Jesus did not succumb to them.   By seeking out Jesus he was exposing himself to ridicule from those who discounted Jesus.  Jairus has a problem he could not solve on his own.  He went to Jesus.

Consider when  faith eclipses everything else preventing abandoning your belief even if it means you may be disappointed, embarrassed and ridiculed.  

 

Thursday June 25, 2020 

A father’s faith persists through life threatening interruptions. 

 

49While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him,  Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. 50But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. Luke 8:49-50

Jairus’ life was interrupted by tragedy.  His only daughter was deathly ill.  We are not told what sickness she had but only that it would kill her.  Bad things do happen to good people.  As Jesus begins to go toward Jairus' home the crowd is so overwhelming that it is difficult to move at all, must less make rapid progress. 

There was the crowd that interrupted the progress.  There are always those who gather around and impede progress.  There was someone else in need that interrupted the progress.  Taking advantage of the press of the people, a woman with an incurable hemorrhage -  involving probably a ceremonial uncleanness requiring an official expiation - came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his robe.  She said to herself, 'If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.' (Mark 5:28).  Jesus felt that power had gone out of him, and at once turned around and asked, 'Who touched my garments?'  He realized that this was due to no accidental jostling by the crowd, but to someone's longing for healing, and he insisted that they declare their need.  Bad news interrupts.  The procession stops while the Lord finds out who has secretly sought to touch his garment in search of healing and wholeness.  No doubt Jairus is getting more anxious as the Lord delays.  As the women who tried to steal what she wanted unnoticed is exposed, Jesus lets her know that her faith has made her whole.  By now they are approaching Jairus’ house and "While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler, and said  'Your daughter is dead,' 'Don't bother the teacher anymore.' " (8:49) Jesus respond to Jairus saying, "Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole."

Consider how a father's faith persists through the many interruptions that are in the way of accomplishing a desirable outcome from life threatening situations. 

 

Friday June 26, 2020

A father’s faith listens to Jesus and continues to trust.   

50But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. 51And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. Luke 8:50-52

Jairus is standing near Jesus as the news comes. He hears the words he has been dreading, and his immense grief now turns to inconsolable mourning. But like a friend at his side, Jesus intervenes. "Don't be afraid," he says, "just believe, and she will be healed." Imagine this scene with a compassionate Jesus consoling words. 

There comes a time sometimes when even solid faith buckles beneath the weight of being burdened by potential tragedy. We hope against hope and then our hopes are dashed. We are tempted to give up and walk away from Jesus. But Jesus says, "Don't be afraid," he says gently. He knows our fears and our limits. But if he goes with us, he can carry us beyond our fears. "Just believe," he says, "and she will be healed."

Consider how a father's faith receives assurance to allay fears and doubts when Jesus goes with him to face the worst that can possible happen. 

Saturday June 27, 2020

Jesus goes with us to face our fears with faith.

53And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done."  Luke 8:53-56

Jesus refuses to leave Jairus alone with his grief but goes with him. If you will, Jairus comes to Jesus on the basis of his own worried, hoping faith. But when that fails, Jesus carries him with his own faith.  Let Jesus’ faith carry you forward to face what you fear. 

Jesus simply turned to Jairus and said, 'Do not fear, only believe.'  When they reached the house to find everyone weeping and wailing, Jesus said, 'Why do you make a tumult and weep?  The child is not dead but sleeping.'  (Mark 5:36, 39). 

They scornfully laughed at him, knowing the girl was dead.  Unbelieving mourners laugh at Jesus.  This is the first occasion on which the three of the apostolic band are singled out - Peter James and John.  They and the parents are the only one allowed to enter.  There is a sacredness in great grief which demands protection from the rude gaze of mere curiosity.   Those who were willing to wail so freely were willing to laugh.

 

Jesus then turned them all outside, allowing only the parents and his closest followers, Peter, James and John, to remain. Then in the presence of these five whose faith he could trust, Jesus commanded the child to get up.  Mark records his actual words in Aramaic, 'Talitha cumi - Little girl, I say to you, arise.'  (Mark 5:41).  At once, she rose up and walked, and they were all astonished.  Jesus bound them all to silence and told them to give her something to eat. The gentle thoughtfulness of Christ.  When the maid arises, Jesus commands that meat be given her.  Life restored must be supported.  Death is the final boundary beyond which even today’s medical knowledge and technology cannot break through, but Jesus can. 

There were other voices heard that day.  There was the voice of the one with the dreadful news.  There was the voice of the those who ridiculed Jesus.  Jesus says in the midst of our hopeless situation, don’t be afraid, only believe and everything will be all right.   

Consider how a father's faith faces his worst fears with the assurance that Jesus is with them.  

 

 

Conclusion

 

"Faith of our Fathers" is a popular Catholic hymn that was written by Frederick William Faber in 1849. It was curated in memory of Catholic martyrs persecuted by the Church of England in the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth.

 

Faith of our Fathers! living still / In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword: / Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy / Whene'er we hear that glorious word.

Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith! / We will be true to thee till death.

Our Fathers, chained in prisons dark, / Were still in heart and conscience free: / How sweet would be their children's fate, / If they, like them, could die for thee! / Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith! / We will be true to thee till death.