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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Laughing at the Lord"

January 23, 2007

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And they laughed at Him Mark 5:40

The television show, American Idol, is on tonight!

I am absolutely convinced that the short sentence above will cause more reaction from the readers of these devotions than anything else I’ve written. In all probability, some of you are thinking something like: “Watching American Idol is a ridiculous waste of time. Anyone who watches that program needs to get a life.”

Allow me to explain American Idol to those of you who have recently awakened from a coma and still think Elvis is king and Dwight Eisenhower is in the White House. American Idol is an immensely popular TV program that auditions tens of thousands of young people who think they have the talent necessary to become a pop-singing star. Most of them are mistaken.

Some of those young people are terribly, embarrassingly, shockingly mistaken. For every person who can sing, there are a hundred who can’t carry a tune with a scoop loader. Listening to these vocal catastrophes, the audience may feel sorrow when a nice person is told he has no talent. More often than not, the audience laughs when they see some pompous performer being taken down a peg by a critical judge.

That same kind of critical laughter was once directed against Jesus when He entered the house of a man named Jairus. The Savior had been asked to do what He could to help Jairus’ daughter who was dying. Sadly, the girl passed away before Jesus ever got to her house. By the time the Savior arrived, the crowd had already begun to mourn her passing.

When Jesus commented, “the little girl was just sleeping,” the people responded with laughter. Many must have thought, ‘Jesus may be a wise teacher and a worker of many miracles, but He is sadly misinformed if He thinks He can help a girl who has breathed her last.’ The crowd laughed because they knew that anyone who thought he could conquer death was miserably mistaken. If it hadn’t been for a single, notable fact, they would have been right.

And what is this single, notable fact? Simply this: Jesus brought the dead girl back to life. Although the Bible doesn’t say so, I’m pretty sure that when the girl started moving, the laughter of the crowd was stilled.

Of course 2,000 years is too long for the snickers of a smug crowd to be silenced. If you watch television; if you read the papers you will hear many people scoffing at the Savior. “Jesus is a joke,” they say with a smile. How wrong they are; how sad is their smile. Will you not join with me in prayer for those who laugh at the Lord? Ask the Holy Spirit to take them for a visit to Jairus’ house or to the empty tomb. Pray that they may be lead to faith in Jesus who said, “because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19).

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, to the world the cross is foolishness, and the empty tomb a hoax. I ask You to touch skeptical hearts with the truth and wonder of Your resurrection miracle. In Your Name. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Job 36-37    Matthew 15:1-20

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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