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By President Randall A. Bach
It was the only time in Jesus’ recorded ministry when people laughed at Him. He had experienced disbelief, cynicism, and contempt but not laughter at His expense. The crowd was laughing at Jesus because upon arriving at the house where Jairus’ daughter lay dead, Jesus declared to family members and other loved ones who had gathered to mourn, “Why all of this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep” (Mark 5:39-40, NLT). What did He say? Only asleep? How delusional is that?

Sometimes following God’s will looks laughable to others. Doing the Lord’s will frequently cuts against the grain of tradition, procedure, rational thought, and expectation. Doing His will can strike other people as so out of the norm that their natural reaction is to laugh in derision. How ridiculous! Who in their right mind would say that a dead girl was only asleep? In fact, that statement was likely offensive to many grief-stricken people in the house. How dare Jesus speak to the family in such terms! Every person in that house knew the truth. They were not in a mood for anyone to play with facts. Dead is dead. She was gone. It was time to deal with sorrowful reality instead of making such a preposterous statement. I suspect the laughter was tinged with anger and insult.

First Jesus shooed all of the laughers out of the house so He could perform the miracle He knew the Father desired, to heal that girl. The laughers identified themselves as disbelievers, and Jesus wanted no disbelief in the house when He went about the business of raising the girl to life. Only comedians enjoy eliciting laughter from a crowd. For the rest of us, being laughed at while seriously carrying out an important task is a painful experience. Derisive laughter is a major test of will and commitment. Any time we faithfully adhere to a course outlined by God but are met with skepticism from other people it is a test. The Lord honors people who keep their eyes obediently fixed on Him as they pursue His will for their lives no matter what other people may think or opine.

I don’t know if people laughed at Edgar Figueroa when he and his family let go of “the good life” in order to pursue ministry (view this article here). But whether vocalized or not I can guess their reactions: “You are doing what?” “Why would you give up what you have?” “What about your kids?” “This doesn’t make sense.” “You will regret it.” “You can serve God without going this far.”

I am inspired and humbled by the Figueroa family. How much are you and I willing to release in order to be faithful to God’s calling? Are we so intent upon serving God that after seeking counsel from the Holy Spirit and Spirit-filled friends, we close out other voices of disbelief or even laughter in order to be obedient to the Lord? Edgar Jr. stated the family’s resolve this way: “The way God trusts us is exciting and scary at the same time. We believe in God, but the crazy thing is He believes in us and we can’t let Him down.” Some people might laugh at such commitment. I say, “Bravo!” and suggest we applaud. No disbelief in the Figueroa house!

About The Author

Randall Bach
President of Open Bible Churches

Randall Bach delights in opportunities to serve the Lord, including his current assignment as president of Open Bible Churches. He and Barbara, his wife, have been in ministry for over 46 years and call it “Our adventure together.” Randall loves the church, pastors, and church leaders and is convinced that God loves to work through them to make disciples, develop leaders, and plant churches.