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Lesson 9: Times of Loss *

Introduction: Have you ever thought that life is like a hill? As you gain more experience in what you do, as your reputation and circle of friends widen, things get better? What happens when you get to the top of the hill and start looking down? For some people, life is a series of hills and they have experience in repeatedly looking down. Let's explore what the Bible has to say about handling the trip down!

  1. Jairus

    1. Read Mark 5:21-22. What can you tell me about Jairus?

      1. Is he a man on the top of the hill? Or, at least headed towards the top?

      2. Is Jairus acting like he is at the top of the hill? (No. He falls at the feet of Jesus.)

    2. Read Mark 5:23. Is there a worse loss in life than having your child die? (Jairus is absolutely looking down the hill.)

    3. Read Mark 5:24. Has Jesus agreed to heal Jairus' daughter? Will all be well now?

    4. Read Mark 5:25-26. Where is this woman with regard to the "hill?" Is she at the top or bottom? (The bottom - for many reasons. First, she was ceremonially unclean, according to Leviticus 15:19 & 25. Anyone who touched her would be unclean. Even those who touched something she touched would be unclean. Leviticus 15:22. Second, this had been going on for twelve years. She had spent all of her money on doctors, and the problem was just getting worse.)

    5. Read Mark 5:27-29. Where is this woman now with regard to the "hill?" (She is definitely heading up.)

      1. What is the lesson for us with regard to loss?

    6. Read Mark 5:30-32. Have you ever been in a hurry, and someone ahead of you in traffic is doing something stupid? How do you feel when you are delayed for no reason?

      1. How do you think Jairus is feeling right now? His daughter is on the brink of death. Time matters and Jesus has stopped for what are ridiculous sounding reasons - even His disciples question this!)

    7. Read Mark 5:33-35. If you were Jairus, would you now be uncontrollably angry and sad?

      1. Does Jesus have no sense of priorities? Why not make Jairus' daughter His priority? This woman had been sick for twelve years, what difference would another day make?

    8. Let's focus on Mark 5:34. What healed the woman? (Faith.)

      1. What now comes over her? (Peace.)

      2. Why is it that she has peace and Jairus has the worst day of his life?

    9. Read Mark 5:35-36. Compare Mark 5:33. Notice that the woman's fear has been replaced by Jairus' fear. Why?

    10. Read Mark 5:37-42. Think back to the anger and frustration that Jairus felt when Jesus was "fooling around" with the woman who was not an emergency case. Does Jesus' delay matter now?

      1. Think back to times when Jesus did not answer your request?

      2. Read John 11:21 and John 11:32. What are Martha and Mary really saying to Jesus?

      3. What would prevent feelings of despair, frustration and anger? (Re-read Mark 5:36. Friend, this is the answer.)

    11. Let's discuss how this story applies to loss or potential losses in our life. How important is time?

      1. After Jesus brought Jairus' daughter to life, did the prior delay make any difference?

      2. What about you? If Jesus waits until His Second Coming to heal those you love, will the delay make any difference?

      3. Can we explain why Jesus chose to heal the woman with the issue of blood immediately, but delay the miracle for Jarius' daughter?

        1. Is Jesus' judgment in the matter something that we should question?

  2. Lazarus

    1. Read John 11:1-3. What did Mary and Martha expect of Jesus?

      1. Why did they expect it? (Jesus loved Lazarus.)

    2. Read John 11:4-6. This time Jesus delays and it is not because He is helping some other sick person. Why does the Bible say He delayed? (The glory of God. Note that the text confirms that Jesus loves Lazarus and his sisters.)

      1. Let's discuss this. The deterioration of Lazarus' health brings glory to God. Is that a possibility in your life and the life of your family members - God lets things get worse for His glory?

    3. Read John 11:7 and John 11:17-20. Why do you think Mary did not go out to meet Jesus? (I think she was unhappy with Jesus. He had let her down.)

    4. Read John 11:21-24. Is Martha unhappy with Jesus? (Yes, we looked at this text earlier.)

      1. Did Martha want to wait until the resurrection to see Lazarus again?

    5. Read John 11:25-27. Why is Jesus stressing that He is the Messiah who will give eternal life? (It is events like this that test our faith. Martha was certain that Jesus would heal His friend Lazarus. He had healed many strangers! See John 11:37. When Jesus failed to do this, it was a great test of her faith.)

    6. Read John 11:38-44. You now know the entire story. Tell me if you agree with the decision Jesus made to delay?

      1. If you agree, do you think the same is true for every story in your life where Jesus did not seem to help you? If more time passes, will God's will become clear to you?

    7. Skip down and read John 11:53. The resurrection of Lazarus causes the Jewish leaders to decide that they must kill Jesus. Do you think that Jesus understood what would happen as a result of such a high profile resurrection?

      1. If you said, "yes," then re-read John 11:4. Is part of the "glory" of Lazarus' resurrection, the death and resurrection of Jesus?

      2. If you agree, what does that teach us about Jesus' love for us? What does that teach us about trusting Jesus? (Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. They suffered and they were disappointed, but Jesus turned that into joy. More importantly, Jesus did not spare Himself from suffering, so that we could all be resurrected in the last day!)

    8. Friend, if you are looking down the "hill" in life, if you face problems that you know God could fix, I hope you see that God is trustworthy. He loves you! Will you agree to simply trust God no matter what happens?

  3. Next week: Little Times of Trouble.
* Copr. 2019, 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.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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