House of Kindness
Then [Jesus] took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Mark 5:41
Bethesda, Maryland, took its name from a church called the Bethesda Meeting House (1820), which took its name from the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. In Hebrew, bet hesed meant “house of kindness/mercy.” It is not surprising that one of America’s largest centers of healing, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, is located in Bethesda.
It was at the Pool of Bethesda where the sick in Jesus’ day gathered to look for healing when an angel stirred the waters. And it was there that Jesus chose to heal a very sick man—he was an invalid for 38 years (John 5:1-15). There is no mention of why Jesus chose to heal this man, nor why He didn’t heal others that day. Jesus didn’t heal every sick person in Palestine. But those He did heal were truly healed—body, soul, and spirit. Like the young girl who had died in Capernaum whom Jesus restored to life with a word. Healing is never a question of God’s ability, but of His purpose.
God’s healing is always a gift of kindness and mercy. Ask Him if you are in need, and trust Him for His answer.
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. Thomas Moore
Arise – Mark 5:41
Our world is a changing, uncertain place. Many people seek security in wealth, relationships, and power. These things, however, are not guaranteed from one day to the next. Watching the news provides enough proof that any of them can be taken away in a moment. No wonder there is such despair and fear.
For believers, thankfully, reality is not based on what we see. Nor is our foundation found in this world. We build our hope and trust on the Lord, and we believe the truth in His Word.
Even in chaotic times, our certainty is found in God’s loving relationship with us as His children. Today’s passage tells us that nothing can tear us away from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, in the midst of turmoil and trials, we have assurance that our lives are in the grip of the almighty God. We can rely not only on His love and presence but also on His uninterrupted attention, faithfulness, and perfect care.
When difficulty arises and circumstances seem overwhelming, we can respond with confidence and strength because of Jesus. Along with the psalmist, who also lived during times of war and stressful events, we can call the Lord “my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2).
Consider where you find security. Is the foundation of your life built upon the solid rock of Jesus? Or is it planted in something as unstable as sand—like money or prestige? Placing hope and confidence in anything apart from the Lord will ultimately leave you feeling broken and defeated.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Those whom God calls into spiritual leadership are required to keep their spiritual eyes on eternity because “the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Godly leaders must know and use the Scriptures. The Word of God is eternal (Matthew 24:35) and more powerful than any other tool God has provided for us (Hebrews 4:12). If God’s leaders are to prosper in their work, they must build a cache of the Word to keep their “way” clean (Psalm 119:9-10).
Godly leaders must absorb the Scriptures. Those who lead others may not “walk,” “stand,” or “sit” in the lifestyle of wickedness (Psalm 1:1). To the contrary, they must delight and meditate in God’s Word “day and night” (Psalm 1:2). The psalmist once said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).
Godly leaders focus on obedience to the Scriptures. Another psalmist sought for such leaders when he asked, “Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times” (Psalm 106:2-3). Jesus insisted His disciples seek the Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) if they would know the blessings of worry-free living. Peter simply said, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). HMM III
Was it not well that the troublesome Jews drove the apostle to Athens before his companions, that he might, by surveying that idolatrous city alone, find a fresh stimulus for his zeal?
In the market he met with idle loungers ready to listen to anything and everything new; and even upon such soil, like the sower in the parable, he scattered his seed.
Nothing could have pleased Paul better than to address so large and important an assembly as that which gathered on Mars Hill. With a considerable amount of courtesy the philosophers invited him to speak, curiosity to hear his novel teaching being their leading motive. The doctrine of the resurrection seemed most to startle them. The immortality of the soul they had already known, but the resurrection of the body was a new idea. Paul addressed them both faithfully and prudently. Few could have coped with these educated men as he did. His beautiful address is somewhat spoiled in our version, and therefore we will a little revise it.
What could be more courteous, more cogent, more adroit? He points to their own altars, he quotes their own poets, he appeals to their common sense. He knew the way of putting the truth so as to attract and not repel; and though but few of the Areopagites were saved, yet a noble testimony was borne among men of intelligence, who would talk of what they heard in many a company where else the gospel would have been unknown.
Not many wise men after the flesh are called, but a few are, and if only one be saved the preacher is well rewarded for his pains. Paul spake not in vain in Athens, a church was formed and flourished even in that ungenial soil.
As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. (1 Peter 1:15)
What is the Apostle Peter saying to us in relaying to us God’s exhortation: “Be ye holy as I am holy, and because I am holy”?
First is our own responsibility to bring our spiritual lives into line so that God may settle upon us with the Holy Spirit—with that quality of the Wonderful and the Mysterious and the Divine.
This is not something that can be humanly cultivated. This is something that we will not even be conscious we have. It is this quality of humility invaded by the Presence of God which the church of our day lacks.
Oh, that we might yearn for the knowledge and Presence of God in our lives from moment to moment, so that without human cultivation and without toilsome seeking there would come upon us this enduement, this sweet and radiant fragrance that gives meaning to our witness!
I am willing to confess in humility that we need this in our day.
Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. Deut. 28:6
The blessings of the law are not cancelled. Jesus confirmed the promise when He bore the penalty. If I keep the commands of my Lord, I may appropriate this promise without question.
This day I will come in to my house without fear of evil tidings, and I will come into my closet expecting to hear good news from my Lord. I will not be afraid to come in unto myself by self-examination, nor to come in to my affairs by a diligent inspection of my business. I have a good deal of work to do indoors, within my own soul; oh, for a blessing upon it all, the blessing of the Lord Jesus, who has promised to abide with me.
I must also go out. Timidity makes me wish that I could stay within doors, and never go into the sinful world again. But I must go out in my calling, and I must go out that I may be helpful to my brethren, and useful to the ungodly. I must be a defender of the faith and an assailant of evil. Oh, for a blessing upon my going out this day! Lord, let me go where Thou leadest, on Thy errands, under Thy command, and in the power of Thy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, turn in with me and be my guest; and then walk out with me, and cause my heart to burn while You speak with me by the way.