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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 11: Waiting in the Crucible *
Introduction: Most lawyers handle cases in the town or state where
they live. Unlike most lawyers, my nearest case would often be
hundreds of miles away. Many of my cases were thousands of miles
away. This meant traveling. One of the lawyers who worked with me
announced one day that he "never waited in line." How could that be?
I was constantly waiting in line. Getting through security at the
airport, getting on the plane, getting a rental car or cab, checking
into the hotel: all involved some sort of wait. As I was patiently
(or impatiently) standing in line this fellow's words would come back
to me. He described a world which, in my experience, did not exist.
If you wanted to get somewhere, you had to wait. Our lesson this
week suggests that this is a Biblical principle - patient waiting
helps us to get somewhere. Let's dive into our study and learn more
about what the Bible teaches about why waiting is good!
- Jairus and the Wait
- Read Mark 5:21-23. Assume that you are Jesus' "handler,"
His "booking agent," to help promote the gospel. What kind
of opportunity do you see here? (This is an opportunity to
help someone of great influence in that town. It would
really help to promote the gospel there. I would tell
Jesus to "go for it!")
- Read Mark 5:24. Does Jesus follow your good advice? (Jesus
decides to help Jairus.)
- Read Mark 5:25-26. Compared to Jairus, what position does
this woman have in society? (She is poor, she is sick, she
is "unclean" (because of the constant bleeding) and she is
- Read Mark 5:27-28. Why would this woman decide on this
approach? Why not say to Jesus, "I've been sick for
years, have no money, and the doctors cannot figure out
the problem - I really need your help!" (We can be sure
that she had faith. Whether she was too embarrassed to
explain her problem in the middle of a crowd, whether she
thought Jesus would turn her down because of her low
status and being unclean, or whether she did not want to
"waste" His time is unclear.)
- Read Leviticus 15:19-23. How do you think this rule
plays into her thinking about sneaking up and
touching Jesus? (She would arguably make Him
"unclean" just by her touch! He might not like that.
It might interfere with some official business of
- Does this teach us anything about coming to
- Read Mark 5:29-33. How does this woman react to the
healing and to Jesus' question?
- Does she feel guilty?
- How do the disciples react to Jesus' stopping to
determine who touched Him?
- Most important, how would you react to the delay if
you were Jairus?
- Read Mark 5:34. I have no doubt that this whole sequence
of events took some time. Put yourself in Jairus'
position. This woman had been sick for 12 years and had
not yet died. For his daughter, seconds were important.
Why would Jesus stop to fool around with this woman when
He had a genuine emergency on His hands? The woman could
wait, his daughter could not.
- How would you take the delay and the wait?
- Read Mark 5:35. The worst has happened. Waiting has caused
the worst tragedy. Jesus has absolutely no sense of
- Read Mark 5:36-42. What is Jairus' view about the delay
and waiting now?
- Assume that Jesus spent two hours or two days with
the woman who had been sick for 12 years, would even
that kind of delay have mattered NOW to Jarius?
- Read Psalms 27:14. Compare Mark 5:36. Does God have a
consistent message to us about waiting?
- Are you waiting for God right now? Are you waiting for
Him to fix a problem? Are you waiting for Him to fix an
illness? Are you waiting for Him to fix a relationship?
Are you waiting for Him to return?
- If so, on what logical basis can we accept God's
command to be strong and confident, not fearful and
upset? (In Jairus' case, the "faith event" was the
raising of his daughter to life. Imagine a time-line
which has in the middle of it the "faith event." When
Jairus was on the right side of the "faith event"
(i.e., after the miracle) the delays that took place
on the left side (before the event) were now
meaningless. As faithful Christians, we need to live
as if we were on the "right side" of the faith event.
Whether that faith event is the Second Coming of
Jesus or something before that, we can know that
ultimately the waiting makes absolutely no
- The Timing of the Faith Event
- Read Galatians 4:4-5. This suggests that God had a
specific time in mind for the first coming of Jesus. What
does this suggest about the timing of Jesus' Second
- When you consider the story of Jairus, did Jesus make an
executive decision on the timing of the faith event, or
did the events of the day shape Jesus' timing?
- Assume your answer is, "Events shaped Jesus' timing.
We live in a sinful world, and thus God's work has to
take into account the impact of sin." The delay in
Jairus' case had to do with Jesus getting physically
to the daughter. The delay took place because the two
needed to get together in the same room. Did Jesus
have to "take [Jairus' daughter] by the hand" (Mark
5:41) in order to heal her? (In Matthew 8:5-13 we
read the story of the healing of the Centurion's
servant. Jesus performed that healing remotely. Jesus
had the power to heal Jairus' daughter from the
moment Jairus asked Him for help. Jesus was not
delayed because of the events of life.)
- If I'm right that Jesus had full control over the
timing of the faith event, why did He delay? Why
does He delay in fixing your problem? (Reading the
mind of God is hardly an exact science and humans are
not fully equipped for such a task. But, we do get
some insight into God's mind from the Bible. Jesus
did not control when the sick woman came to Him. That
delay allowed Jesus to do the most good for two sick
people. The delay also increased the magnitude of
Jesus' work. Raising someone to life is an
extraordinary event that gives us faith that Jesus
can raise us to life. Finally, the delay teaches us
the value of waiting in faith.)
- Delight in Delay
- Read Psalms 37:1-2. This describes events which have gone
wrong. Evil people are creating a problem. What does God
tell us to avoid? (Fret. To fret means to worry. Worry is
concern that things will not turn out right. It is the
second cousin to impatience over delay.)
- Read Psalms 37:3-4. If the entire time Jairus had known
the end of the matter, would he have been impatient, upset
- This text reveals the end of the matter for you. What
is it? (The Lord will give you the desires of your
- Friend, do not grind your teeth when God does not
intervene on your timetable to fix a problem. Do not
worry and fret over the evil that happens. Do not get
upset when it seems that God is doing the wrong thing, or
has lost His priorities. Live on the right side of the
faith event, because you know that Jesus "will give you
the desires of your heart." Will you pledge today to do
your best to ban worry?
- Next week: Dying Like a Seed
* Copr. 2007, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.