Luke 8:49-56 (ESV)
While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler's house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
The word “asleep,” as used in the first century, doesn’t always mean normal snoozing.
Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. – 1 Cor. 15:6 (also see 1Cor. 15:18 and 1 Thess. 4:13-15)
But this crowd misses that and they laugh at Jesus (some translations say “ridiculed.”) The laughing bit seems way over the top, but it’s just fine with Jesus. He doesn’t want everyone to know who He really is. That’s why He only let a few people enter with him and that’s why He charged them to tell no one what had happened.
This is known as the messianic secret.
There are lots of explanations and interpretations for the messianic secret but they all involve Jesus keeping his crucifixion on track.
Every minute of every day, Jesus was walking on the road to the cross, and He took great care to make sure that everything unfolded according to plan.
Jesus’ bravery and focus boggles the mind. While no one can rise to His level, for two thousand years Christians have risen pretty far. This still goes on today.
Christians around the world, especially in areas controlled by Islam, suffer massively for Christ. We need to pray for them regularly. Ask the Lord to give them divine protection and comfort.
There are many organizations and websites that specialize in prayer for the persecuted church. Search on “persecuted church” and you’ll find thousands.
I cannot endorse any particular one, but this website has a good current events/news section.
The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here: