What does it mean to be known? To be known by someone.
One of the definitions of the word know is to have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them; be familiar or friendly with.
So, to know someone or for someone to know you – they have a relationship with you – they’ve met you and spent time with you – they are familiar – they are friendly
I feel like I have people in my life that know me – or know certain parts of me
When I hang out with my theatre friends – they know the theatre side of me – we talk about our favorite Stephen Sondheim musical and how we felt about the movie version of Cats
When I hang out with the moms I met thru my kid’s friends – they know they mom side of me – depending on which kid is our connection – we talk about what they are doing and how they are
When I hang out with the gals at the Y – they know the exercise part of me – we talk about the class and which instructors we like
I have lots of people that KNOW me in certain ways – know certain things about me – talk with me about certain things – and I know them in that same way
Believe me the gals at the Y do not want to chat with me about musicals – and that’s not bad or wrong – it’s just a part of me that they don’t really know and probably don’t care about all that much
But all of these people do know me – or parts of me
But to be known is different than just knowing
Being known – thru and thru – means that someone sees you – all of you – every part of you – the beautiful parts and the ugly parts – the wonderful parts and the horrible parts – they see you and understand you – when you’re known – it’s like that person has studied you – and taken you in
They know what you need before you do – they know what words to say to you in any given situation – it’s like they’re 10 steps ahead of you
I believe that best example of this in my life is my mom
Pic of my mom
some might say – of course your mom knew you – she was your mom – but my mom really knew me – all parts of me – maybe it was because I was the baby and almost like an only child – she was older when I was born and had more time to focus on me – but she truly knew me
It actually was kind of annoying at times – when I was in HS, I didn’t want anyone to know me that well – especially my mom
And I really don’t like people telling me where I am deficient or lacking or where my life needs work – but she saw all those places in me and tell me where I could work on things – or where I needed to focus my attention – not to make it sound like she was hard on me – no one supported me or encouraged me more – she also told me all the good attributes and characteristics she saw but she challenged me often – not because she was being mean – it was all because she loved me
And that’s the key, isn’t it? She knew me so well – all the parts of me and yet she still loved me
“If you want to enjoy the rewards of being loved, you also have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.”
― Tim Kreider, I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Essays
I was known and loved by my mom
Talking about how well she knew me can be difficult – my mom has been battling a form of dementia for the last 8 or so years – many times when I see her there is a vacancy in her eyes – but there are still moments – glimpse – when we make eye contact and I know – I know I am still known by her
Can you think anyone in your life that knows you like that? That you feel known when you are with them?
Think about how you feel when you are with them – what words come to mind?
Some words I can think of – seen, understood, safe, settled, comfort, ease, loved
We’re in week 2 of our series Known – looking at some moments with Jesus from the book of Mark. And we’re going to look at another moment today in Mark 5. The book is called Mark, but the book is actually a collection of Peter’s memories and accounts.
This passage is also found in Matthew 9 in less detail and in Luke 8 which is closer to the version in Mark But Mark is the most prominent version – there are some interesting details in the other 2 books but Mark has a leg up on the others because Mark has an eyewitness – Peter – Peter is not only present in this story but he plays a role.
21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.
So Jesus has just finished healing a demon possessed man – Maron preached about that last week – take a listen - and got in the boat and headed to the other side of the lake – about a 2 hour trip across the sea of galilee – back to Capernaum – where he’d been teaching the day before- apparently they really liked his teaching in Capernaum because when he went back over
“…a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.”
This crowd is excited to see him – yearning to see him – unlike the crowd on the other side of the lake that wanted nothing to do with him. We’re talking a large crowd – Jesus had little room to move
Ever been in the cattle herd they call the boarding line for Southwest airlines?
This crowd is seeking him out – they want to see him – hear from him – be seen by him
In the Luke account it says:
“On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him.” Luke 8:40
22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him.
So it says Jairus arrives – again someone is coming to Jesus – the demon possessed man came to him – but Jairus is different than the man from last week – he’s a leader – a synagogue chief – this was an elected position – chosen by the community – these men were local men of high respect – wealthier than the general population – Jairus would have been known and respected – back to back you have 2 stories about 2 very different men – one who is thrown and hidden in a dark cave, another who is widely known and respected – both see their need for Jesus
And both fall at his feet – in the Greek there are different words used for each man’s falling
For the demon it is more associated with worship – or recognizing Jesus’ authority
For Jairus – he falls at his feet – it literally means falling – out of desperation – he was desperate – he recognizes that Jesus is his only hope
It says he pleads fervently
To beseech – To call with great fervor
And he says
“My little daughter is dying, please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
He is a scared father and this word healed means both
Healed and saved.
Healed from sickness – saved from death.
Let her live.
This desperate man has left is extremely sick probably dead daughter because he has heard Jesus is back - this is man is like the demon possessed man is frantic
Both men recognize they need Jesus – one for himself – one for his daughter
In Luke 8:42 it says:
“His only daughter, who was about 12 years old, was dying.”
His daughter – his only daughter – who is 12
The fact that she is 12 is significant for several reasons
She is at the age to be married
Because of her father’s status she has surely been promised to someone
Marriage is the only purpose in a woman’s life in the 1st century
For her to die before she marries and has children would be terrible for Jairus’ family and of the family she has been promised to
People would be suspicious and question both families – who had sinned in which family so badly that they would be punished by God
And then verse 24
Jesus went with him…
No one was concerned about the lives of women – particularly girls and lay his hands on her? Religious Jewish men do not do that
But Jesus goes and Mark says the crowd follows and is Mark says crowding around him – Luke says surrounding him – this means they are pressing in – pushing
Picture any celebrity anywhere – Princess Di
Then there is another story that happens right in the middle of this one – another story of healing – a woman in the crowd – Tim will talk about this next week – I will just say she is desperate, dying and seeking Jesus – sound familiar?
We skip down to verse 35 to continue the story of Jairus
35 While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
Poor Jairus – he has Jesus and is headed home to save his daughter when Jesus stops to heal this other woman – this was a major interruption - he waits there we assume impatiently – I mean I would be his daughter is dying and now this other lady is taking Jesus attention and people are all around crowding in and then as they are beginning to push thru the crowd again – more people approach to tell him – forget it – don’t bother Jesus – she’s dead
And interesting that they call him teacher – he had been teaching the day before – but it indicates that these messengers didn’t believe he could heal – they didn’t have the same faith as Jairus
36 But Jesus overheard[a] them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”
This word overheard – could mean to overhear something or it could mean to ignore what someone has said
In the end I guess it doesn’t really matter – either interp will work but I like the thought of both – Jesus did overhear them and chose to ignore – and he speaks to Jairus for the first time and says
“Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”
Don’t let them scare you – you had faith that is what got you to leave your daughter and come find me and push thru a crowd – keep that faith
37 Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James). 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. 39 He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
40 The crowd laughed at him. But he made them all leave, and he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. 41 Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” 42 And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed.
Jesus holds everyone back – including 9 other disciples – no idea how far they travel from that point but it’s Jesus Jairus and the 3 disciples and they come upon an uproar of mourning – this was socially important – the louder the mourning and grieving – the more important the family was
This is what Jesus barges into and says
“Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
I’m sure the rest of the people think he’s crazy – uh we saw her die – they wouldn’t have been causing this wailing and weeping stuff if they didn’t know she was dead – why is he saying she’s asleep
Again, we know what it will do to both families – hers and her future husband’s if she dies – maybe Jesus is sparing them from this – totally my thought
They all laugh – or as the Greek says ridiculed him
And he clears the room – I would have loved to have seen that – the chaos of clearing the room and then he takes the father and mother and the 3 disciples – and goes into the room where the girl is – from chaos to quiet – from determined to tender
And he takes her hand
He doesn’t just lay hands as requested by her father – Jesus takes her hand
Jesus is supposed to avoid women and avoid dead bodies – touching a dead body is unclean – Jesus has the hand of a young girl who is dead in his hand
And he says little girl stand up – Mark makes sure to tell us what the Aramaic phrase means – these are not magic words – this is a tender command – rise up
And she does
And they are astonished – verse 42 says
Overwhelmed and totally amazed!
Of course, they are – each person in that room knew the girl was dead and they just watched as Jesus took her hand and brought her back to life
Had she died at 12 – it would have been beyond tragic for 2 families – but it isn’t because of Jesus
And then verse 43
43 Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat.
No one can know this – strict orders – do not tell anyone
What? After what we just saw – what we just witnessed we can’t tell anyone
But everyone should know – it’s a miracle
Because I know her – I know what is best – she is known by me
If everyone out there knows that I raised her from the dead she is ruined – that’s why I told that whole crowd out there that she was just sleeping
If she was dead, is she now unclean
How would her fiancé and his family feel about that?
She did not want to be known as the girl that used to be dead
(Story of boy who threw up on the bus)
This reputation would have brought her much pain and heartache and trouble and scorn and ridicule – even though everyone in that room wanted to shout it from the rooftops – Jesus said no
Jesus wasn’t lying when he said she was sleeping – it was a way to refer to those who have died at that time, and he did it to protect her – he used words that would not haunt her in the future
And he said eat something – that way no one thinks you’re a spirit – in that ancient world the belief was that the dead didn’t eat – eating showed she was a living person.
Jesus does give her life, but he does it in a way that ensures that this young girl isn’t branded forever enabling her to reenter her community without this stigma on her life.
Jesus knew her.
And He loved her.
She was known.
Jesus knew her – better than she knew herself – better than the disciples knew her – better than her dad and mom knew her
He knew them all
And he knew what they needed
He did more than they asked for
He brought her back to life thru his power and he gave her full life thru his tenderness and mercy – she would physically live, but she would also live a full life without a stigma attached to her
Jesus knew her and loved her.
Jesus knows you and loves you.
Do you believe that?
Do you see that?
Do you sense that?
Have you opened yourself up to that?
not that Jesus doesn’t know us – it’s that we don’t really know him
Remember the definition - developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them
To fully comprehend that you are known and loved by Jesus you must know and love Him.
In this story – Jairus is not sitting around waiting – he is active – he is pursuing
First, he leaves his sick daughter behind to seek Jesus – to find him
Are you passionately seeking Jesus?
Acknowledging your need for him
He travels and fights thru the relentless crowd to find him
What is the crowd in your life that you must fight thru to find Jesus?
What is your chaos?
Is it in your head – you sin – patterns – hurt – pain – pride – what crowd do you have to fight thru to get to Jesus?
He falls at the feet of Jesus
Have you surrendered it all to Jesus?
Everything you are – everything you have? Are you desperate for him? Are you seeking him daily? Looking for the ways that he is present?
He brings Jesus to his daughter
Do you have people in your life that are bringing Jesus to you?
For me this has been one of the most important ways that I have felt known by Jesus – when others bring him to me – when I allow the people of Jesus to speak him into my life – my mom did this – among many many others – do you have that in your life
Shameless plug – if you don’t – go out today and find those people – community life is right out there waiting to connect you to those people
And are you bringing Jesus to others?
Shameless plug – for this next generation
He was not afraid, and he had faith
Even when the messengers were trying to distract him from Jesus to keep him from continuing on with him – Jairus persevered
Are you pushing through the distractions in your life and persevering in your faith of Jesus?
She hears Jesus – listens to Jesus and gets up
Are you listening for the voice of Jesus?
Are you living a life of obedience to that voice?
And although I’m sure they want to shout it from the rooftops that Jesus healed this girl – Jesus says no – He knows what is best
Do you trust that Jesus knows what is best for you?
Even when it goes against what you want – what you think is best – what you think you need
I know my own kids – often times I know exactly what they need – often times I know exactly what they need even when they don’t – even as they’ve grown into adults – when they don’t want to see it or hear it – when they’re like this to me (closed fist) then I have to let them go and learn – but those beautiful moments when I see the light go on – when they open their palm and allow me to speak or show them – they recognize in those moments – that I know them – every part of them – they acknowledge that and accept that – they know they are known – and they feel loved and safe – maybe not always excited or but definitely known and loved
This story – this moment with Jesus is full of perseverance and persistence and pursuit
To fully comprehend that you are known and loved by Jesus you must know and love Him.
It might be easy to say Jesus knows me and loves me but to pursue that – to pursue knowing and loving him takes effort
As I look over my life – I see how he knows me – how he has lovingly met me exactly as I needed him to
Can you see that?
Close your eyes and just listen as I read these words from Psalm 139
O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
That is the God I am talking about – that is the God that knows you and loves you
Do you want to know him and love him?
In a moment we’re going enter into a time of communion – we will eat the bread that represents his body that was broken for us and drink the juice that represents his blood poured out for us – as we do this take some time to reflect on this Jesus who knows you – this Jesus who loves you this deeply that he sacrificed himself fully for you – for you – so the veil could be torn and you could know God - what does this moment – this sacrament that we do together mean to you this morning? this Jesus – he is worth pursuing and knowing and loving because he pursues and knows and loves us - Allow him to meet you in these next moments and then take the elements when you’re ready