I have been reading Mark’s Gospel recently and have been struck by the number of occasions on which Jesus tells people to “Get up”, or “Stand up”. I sensed that this might be a word from the Lord for many of us in this new year, in these difficult times.
In today’s verse we see Jesus going to Jairus’s daughter, who has already died. He takes her by the hand and tells her to get up. He doesn’t pull her out of bed, or lift her to her feet, but He elicits a response from her. I wonder how many of us have become a bit dead, passive or sleepy spiritually, especially during these times of isolation and lack of fellowship. I believe that Jesus wants to take each one of us by the hand, to touch us and impart His life afresh to us, but He then tells us to “get up”, to rise up into the fullness of life that He is giving us.
A second example is the story of the man in the synagogue with a shrivelled hand in Mark Chapter 3. Some of the religious people were looking for a way to accuse Jesus, so it would have taken courage for the man to respond to Jesus in front of them. But this is exactly what Jesus asked him to do, when He said to him, “Stand up in front of everyone” (Mark 3:3). As the man did this, and as he obeyed Jesus’s instructions to stretch out his hand, it was completely healed. I believe that we need to be willing to stand up in front of everyone to respond to Jesus, putting aside any fear or embarrassment. As we trust Him and do what He says, any parts of our spiritual lives that have become a bit “shrivelled” may then be restored to wholeness.
A third example is the paralysed man who was lowered down through the roof by his friends (Mark 2). Jesus knew that the man’s main area of need was for his sins to be forgiven. This paved the way for the man to receive physical healing, but he needed to respond personally to Jesus’s command to “Get up, take your mat and go home” (Mark 2:11). There may be people who have received forgiveness for past sins, or healing from past traumatic events, but they are still “lying on their mat”, literally or figuratively, in guilt, shame or inertia. It may be that Jesus is saying to them, “Get up!” Healing is all His work, but He often requires a response from us too.
In each of these accounts, the same Greek word (egeiro) is used. It can be translated as “To awake, to rouse (literally or figuratively), to rise up, to stand”. I believe that in this new year, in the midst of the challenges that the coronavirus is bringing to us all, God wants His people to rise up and to stand firm as beacons of light and hope in the darkness, despair and fear that surrounds us in the world.
Prayer: Lord, I am sorry for being passive in the past. I want to respond to Your call to rise up into all the plans and purposes You have for me in this new year, and to stand firm amidst all the challenges. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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