Only a month ago, on Mothers’ Day, we celebrated the blessing of God’s love to us through our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers! It’s fitting that today we also give thanks for kind, strong, good and godly fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers! What an awesome privilege and responsibility it is for men of God to follow biblical examples as they fulfill their vocations as husbands and fathers by providing for, protecting, leading and loving their families.
In today’s gospel reading we meet a father who is just such a man. Matthew tells us (and the gospel writers Mark and Luke also) that Jesus had just crossed over the Sea of Galilee and “came to His own town” where He was met by large crowds. Among them was a loving father with great faith and hope. Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus, pleading with Jesus to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve was dead. (Luke 8: 41) This loving, earthly father begged, “‘My daughter has just died. But come and put Your hand on her, and she will live.’ Jesus got up and went with Him, and so did His disciples.” (Matthew 9: 18-19) Along the way He was “interrupted” by others for whom He performed miracles, including healing a woman who had been seriously ill for a dozen years!
Messengers from Jairus’ own house tried to dissuade Jairus from “bothering the Teacher anymore [but] hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8:50)
When Jesus arrived at the home, He found a noisy crowd of loud mourners who were weeping, wailing and playing flutes. “He said, ‘Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at Him. After the crowd had been put outside, He went in [with her parents, Peter, James and John] and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.” (Matthew 9: 24-25) In order to demonstrate that she really and physically was alive, at Jesus’ command, they even gave her something to eat.
Jesus’ compassionate miracle, performed in response to the request of a loving earthly father, demonstrates the love of our Heavenly Father for all His children – including you and me. Men, He continues to love you and forgives your failures, shortcomings and sin as husbands and fathers. Jesus’ death and resurrection for all of us – men, women, boys and girls – brings us the Father’s forgiveness and the promise of eternal life with Him and all those who believe in Him!
Men of Faith, be the men who God calls you to be… kind, strong, good and godly fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers! What an awesome privilege and responsibility it is for men of God to fulfill our vocations as husbands and fathers by providing for, protecting, leading and loving their families. Our greatest privilege, responsibility and joy is bringing our families and loved ones to Jesus and Him to them! God bless you to that end as you “Man Up! Oh Men of God.”
See you in church this next weekend!
Blessings in Christ,