Read Mark 5:21-24; Mark 5:35-43; 1 Corinthians 3:19-20
Trivia time. Who made the following 2 statements, and about whom were they made?
"The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States."
"Silly remarks" deserving of "the veil of oblivion."
Give up? These quotes appeared in the Times of London and the Patriot and Union of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. To their credit, the Pennsylvania newspaper retracted its remarks 150 years after having written them, admitting their poor judgment and indicating that they regretted the error they had made. The scathing comments were made about President Lincoln. The occasion? His address at the Consecrating of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863. Even President Lincoln's own words in this historic Address affirm that he didn't believe that what was said that day would be remembered. He was mistaken because he, as it is true concerning each of us, was unable to see into the future. Though President Lincoln's words were few compared to the opening address given by Edward Everett, Lincoln's have stood the test of time.
What a reminder for me. Man's opinion, though it might carry some weight isn't always correct. And what about my own assessment of my words and actions? I am likely to be incorrect due to my lack of information and the fact that I can so easily underestimate the wisdom, power and love of my God, Romans 11:33-36. Therefore, the most relevant question I should ask is “W.I.J.O, What is Jesus' opinion?” That way, my thinking will come more and more into line with the Savior's.
In Mark 5:21-24 and Mark 5:35-43, we are privileged to watch as Jairus, a leader in the local synagogue had to decide whose opinion he would believe. When we first meet this man, it is very evident that the position he held as a leader could do nothing to change his dire circumstances. That's true in the really big things, isn't it? His daughter, who was only twelve years old, was dying. No wonder he was not ashamed to fall at Jesus' feet and beg Him to come and lay His hands on her so that she would live. So far so good, that is until the interruption. In Mark 5:25-34, the mission to Jairus' home was stopped. Someone else needed the touch of Jesus' hand and the tenderness of His words. Wonderful for the one whom the Master called Daughter, but what about Jairus? Before they could start up again, the terrible report came. Hope was gone. It was too late, and it would be useless to even have Jesus come to the house since his little daughter had died. It is then that Jairus was faced with the choice. Whose opinion would he believe, Jesus' or those who came with the report of what had occurred at his house? Jesus told him to simply have faith and not to be afraid. The fact that Jairus continued with Jesus says that He chose to believe Jesus' words, rather than the report he had heard. So, Jesus, along with Jairus, Peter, James and John went on their way. So far so good, that is until the mocking, Mark 5:38-40. Here was another crossroad for Jairus. I love how Jesus took hold of the situation. When He addressed the mourners and told them that the child was not dead-He knew He would bring her back to life-they laughed at Him. I love how He put them out. Still, though Jesus was wholly in charge, Jairus had a choice. Would he be broken and sway from believing the words that Jesus had given him because of the mockery and laughter of those who were assembled? Or, would he believe what the Master had said? Mark 5:41-43 tells us the answer. Surely the unfathomable joy that Jairus and his wife experienced that day made them forever glad that they valued Jesus' opinion over what others said.
On most occasions, our circumstances are not as difficult as Jairus'. Nevertheless, we frequently have opportunities to ask ourselves, "What Is Jesus' Opinion?” More than not, this question finds us at odds with the prevailing thought of those around us. We like Jairus have the choice. Do we want to choose Jesus' opinion over man's? No wonder we are commanded by Paul the apostle to not squeeze ourselves into the world's way of thinking, Romans 12:1-2. Instead, we should line up our thinking and actions with what God says, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Even when we don't understand it, God's wisdom is vastly superior to the world's and our own, 1 Corinthians 3:19-20. Therefore, His opinion is trustworthy and always right, Psalm 12:6.
Lord, Help us to continue to choose Your opinion rather than our own way of thinking or the world's latest trend.