Get Up and Eat!

Jesus, his three closest friends (Peter, James, and John), and the parents of the young girl who has died are in the room with her body.

I can’t even imagine the emotional atmosphere inside those four walls. Grief and sadness mixed with hope and expectation.

I doubt Jesus wasted any time once He went inside. He clasped the young girl’s hand in His and told her to get up!

And she did! She immediately stood up and started walking around the room.

I’m sure the dramatic switch in emotions almost gave her parents whiplash. The grief and sadness instantly evaporated, hope and expectation were no longer needed, and their exuberant joy was, I’m sure, tangible and loud.

Then Jesus cautioned them not to tell anyone. I can’t imagine relatives, friends, and neighbors not immediately knowing what happened as soon as they saw this young girl, walking around . . . and breathing. So there’s no way they could keep it a secret.

But Jairus was one of the Jewish leaders in charge of the synagogue. And some of the religious leaders had recently accused Jesus of doing miracles using the devil’s power. So, I think Jesus was possibly warning them that it could be dangerous for Him if news of their daughter’s resurrection reached the wrong people.

But telling the parents to keep quiet about this very obvious miracle isn’t even the strangest thing Jesus says at the end of this story.

The final words recorded here are “. . . and told them to give her something to eat.”

I have to say that for decades I just ignored that part of the story. It seemed to have been hastily tacked on at the end. Surely it couldn’t have been real important. It’s almost like Jesus felt he needed to say something else, something a little more practical, after He told the parents to keep quiet about what happened.

But you know as well as I do that Jesus never wastes words. And I don’t believe this instance is any different.

I started thinking about why He would tell the girl’s parents to give her something to eat. I mean, of course they would feed their daughter. They had been feeding her for 12 years. Why would they stop now?

And then I thought about the miracle Jesus had performed. This young girl had gotten real sick and then died. And dead people don’t eat. But now that she’s no longer dead, she needs to start eating again . . . on a regular basis . . . in order to maintain the LIFE Jesus has brought back into her body.

Because if her parents didn’t start feeding her again, they would soon need Jesus to perform another miracle . . . to bring her back to life . . . again.

Here’s a different example, same principle.

A couple has extremely serious marital problems. They’re both from dysfunctional families and they’ve each dragged their familial dysfunction into their own marriage. And now, after several years of tremendous hurt and pain, the situation has exploded into a hot mess and things have escalated to the point that separation has occurred, divorce papers have been drawn up, and some of the furniture has been moved to another residence.

Everyone knows it’s over. Well, almost everyone.

You see, one-half of the couple is still praying and believing. And Jesus is still listening and answering. And miraculously an unexpected reconciliation occurs, a family is reunited, and a marriage is saved.

Or is it.

Just like the parents had to feed and continue feeding their daughter, who now required food again in order to grow and mature, this couple needs to start doing whatever is necessary to grow and mature in their marriage relationship.

You see, if they treasure their marriage for a while, but then slowly regress and start treating their spouse and their relationship the same way that got them to this point in the first place, one day they will need Jesus to perform another miracle to save their marriage . . . again.

I believe Jesus was telling Jairus and his wife that with their miracle came responsibility. He had given them their daughter back, now they needed to do what was necessary to help her grow and mature and maintain a healthy life. She wasn’t to be a protected anomaly that people came by to look at and carefully touch and maybe ask for an autograph. It was now time for her to get on with life . . . the life He created her to live.

Jesus doesn’t perform miracles for us so we can remain focused on the miracles He performs. He performs miracles for us so we can fulfill the purpose He created us to fulfill.

Yes, we need to thank Him and remember everything He’s done for us and share our testimony with those who need to hear it. But our focus shouldn’t be on an ‘event’ in the past, or even the out-of-this-world future He is preparing for us. Instead, we should be focused on what He created us to do in this present world, in this present day.

We should be focused on feeding ourselves whatever it is we require in order to become the person God created us to be, in order to be equipped to perform the good works He created us to perform, in order to fulfill the calling He has placed on our lives.

What do you need to get up and eat today?


What past event, good or bad, has a habit of stealing your focus?

Are you more concerned with collecting spiritual events . . . or fulfilling your purpose?

What aspect of your life could use more feeding and growing in order to be healthy?

In what area of your life do you need more maturity?

What can you do to regularly remind yourself to stay focused on what God is calling you to do today?


41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Mark 5:41-43 NIV

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