“Talitha Cumi”: His Touch, His Word, His Voice

Please Note: This is the text of a speech that I recently delivered to a Bible class. If you have any further questions, please feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll get back with you.
Beloved readers, my heart would like to ask yours a question. Have you ever felt like you were dying–even after you came to know Jesus? Have you ever felt shriveled up, weighed down by sorrow or pain or fear, like you were going to wither away? Have you ever felt dry and parched spiritually? I know I have–sometimes for weeks or months. All the gory details would fill pages, perhaps volumes, if I wrote them down. But the Lord Jesus has given me an answer so great, so glorious, that it would fill entire libraries–never mind my few pages!
In Mark 5:40-43, we read of a child who had just died: Jesus “took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.”
This child had died physically; have we ever felt so sick at heart, or in soul or spirit, that nothing else mattered and we couldn’t see clearly?
And yet, my beloved readers… Can you see Him? In that desolate room, amid such grief, He took the child by the hand. He does the same for us–He touches us with tenderness, comfort, compassion. Then, He speaks. His message to us has three parts:
“Little girl”… We may not be able to understand the intensity of this because of cultural differences, but He was identifying with who she was in that moment. Perhaps the translation read more like, “My child.” How does He address you? “My son? My daughter? Dearly-beloved? Young man? Chosen vessel? Man of valor”? Or does He call you by name?
“I say to you”… This is so powerful because Jesus’ authority is more than enough for our need, no matter how great it may seem to us. “I say to you,” says our Father, says His Son, says the Holy Spirit. This is the most important part of the message, and it is enough. Oh, do you hear that authority in His voice!?
“Arise.” That simple command follows directly from Jesus’ authority. Because He is all-powerful, we may arise–not in our own strength, but in His.
This is what Jesus says to us. Now, let’s look at what He does for us.
The girl stood and walked. Immediately–there was no protracted recovery, no continually feeling weak, no waiting to see whether she was really healed. No, she stood and walked, and ate. That is the power of God–His power allows us not only to rise, but also makes us whole enough, often immediately, to walk with Him and to feast on the Bread of Life.
And when He does, the result isn’t just revival in our own hearts. Mark says that all who knew of the girl’s healing were amazed. When Jesus touches us, we are able to so radiate His glory and presence that others will see His work in us and glorify God. That goes back to what many of us are learning about ministry–God works in us to comfort others, all for the aim of furthering God’s kingdom.
I hope the answer for you is no, but I’ll ask again. Do you ever feel like you’re dying–though you have tasted His goodness? Call out to Him. Ask, seek, and knock. He says the same thing to all of our hearts. Calling to you tenderly, touching your life, He will command, “I say to you, arise.” And soon, perhaps in the next instant, you will be strengthened. Even those around you will be amazed, and you will go on your way, leaping and singing and feasting… REJOICING!


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