When our girls were babies or when still young, they would sometimes cry or call out in the middle of the night.
It wasn’t convenient; and – honest disclosure – usually my wife went in; she was equipped to feed them as babies, but also she had the ability to go right back asleep. I didn’t have that ability.
But I never heard her complain that the kids were a bother.
One time, when one of our daughters was about four years old, she called out about 3am with a bad dream.
That time I went in. I held her, and prayed with her.
She went back to sleep. I didn’t.
But it wasn’t a bother.
It was never a bother because we loved them and they not only loved us but were dependent upon us.
Jairus’ friends did not want to bother Jesus.
There are times in reading the Bible that a particular word causes me to stop; to reflect; and to ask the Holy Spirit why He wants me to park on that word.
Today’s word is found in Luke 8:49.
While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader.Luke 8:49 (NIV)
“Your daughter is dead,” he said.
“Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
The word that leaps off the page: bother.
The word is found in the context of the well-known story of Jairus’ desperate plea for Jesus’ help to come heal the synagogue ruler’s dying daughter.
But as Jesus, Jairus, and a crowd head to Jairus’ house, they are interrupted by a woman with a medical condition.
One can imagine Jairus’ anguish at the interruption.
Then, just as Jesus was announcing to the woman, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace,” a messenger comes from Jairus’ house and says, “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
Don’t bother Jesus.
Though Jarius and friends had hoped Jesus could help them in their situation.
But it’s too late now. Let Jesus go do His thing – but we have to get back to the hardships of life.
Don’t bother Jesus anymore!
The Invitation of Jesus
Yet in the very next verse we read,
Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just believe, and she will be healed.Luke 8:50 (NIV)
In effect, Jesus is saying – bother me! But do this in faith.
Brothers and sisters, I would suggest that Jesus is calling us to continually “bother” Him, whatever our situation.
“Bothering” Jesus really amounts to recognizing that our total lives are dependent upon Him whose shed blood reconciled us into our Father’s loving arms; and whose Lordship is exercised now by His continual guidance through the Holy Spirit.
In John 15 Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing”, that is, “Bother me because that is really abiding in Me and trusting Me.”
To bother Jesus is to say “We trust You.”
She bothered Jesus.
The woman with the hemorrhage had a smoldering wick of faith that Jesus could heal her.
She bothered Him by interrupting the procession to Jairus’ house to touch His garment.
But Jesus was concerned for more than her physical health. He “bothered” her; He called her out.
Why? To restore her – “Daughter…”
He publicly restored her to the community. And He identified her as now part of God’s family through faith in Him.
What would Jarius do?
Jairus had faith in Jesus and bothered Him to come heal his daughter.
Jairus faith was strong – but was severely tested by Jesus’ delay.
Would Jairus give up once he heard that it was too late; his daughter was dead – “don’t bother the teacher anymore”?
Or would he believe Jesus – “Don’t be afraid; bother Me and keep on believing.” Jairus chose to bother Jesus.
Jairus kept trusting and his daughter was restored to life.
Would we bother Jesus?
Many of us have walked with Jesus many years. We trust Him.
But like the woman, we may face a chronic situation where our faith is weak.
He wants us to bother Him; to touch Him and let the Holy Spirit fan that flame of faith so that our shame and weakness is laid at the foot of the cross, and we experience Jesus lifting us up in restoration.
Or, like Jairus, we may have faith that Jesus can move mountains and He can heal a daughter almost dead.
But can our faith in the Lord accept God’s timing?
This interruption seems backwards.
Jairus’ need is a matter of life and death; the woman’s need, as pathetic as it is, could wait until after the visit to Jairus’ house. Couldn’t it?
To bother Jesus is to trust Him and to trust His timing; for what seems to us an unnecessary delay, for God is an opportunity for greater glory as we keep trusting Him.
The Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has brought an interruption to our individual lives and corporate lives.
It is an interruption that tests our faith like Jairus was tested.
But let’s keep bothering Jesus!
There’s no need to fear. He’s in control. And… He never has to go back to sleep. Because He’s always awake and interceding for us at the right hand of our loving Father.
To “bother” Him is to say that we love Him, trust Him, and are ready to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and serve Him.