Little girl, I say to you, arise! 

Some versions of the Bible put the words of Jesus in red print as a way of drawing our attention to what the Lord said as he walked the earth. Of course, the words we read are just a translation. But today’s Gospel passage is different. Talitha koum isn’t a translation; these are the exact Aramaic words that Jesus would have said.

Imagine yourself in this scene. Perhaps you are the anxious parent or a scornful mourner or one of the disciples standing outside Jairus’ home. Linger with these bystanders as long as you like. But then lie down in that bed of nothingness as that lifeless girl. Suddenly two words break into your darkness: Talitha koum!

At this moment, there is nothing but silence in the room. Jesus is speaking to you alone. He has made it possible for you to hear his voice. Then you notice that he is holding your hand. Power flows from him, enabling you to rise from your deathbed.

But don’t hurry off just yet! Jesus is smiling at you. Just as he singled out one bleeding woman in a crowd of people a few moments earlier, he is looking intently now—at you. With a firm love that can heal any disease and calm any storm, he is telling you to get up: arise!

God often tells his servants to arise. He told Elijah, “Arise, go to Zarephath. . . . I have commanded a widow there to feed you” (1 Kings 17:9). He told a dead man, the only son of a widow, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” (Luke 7:14). A blind man outside Jericho heard, “Take courage; get up, he is calling you” (Mark 10:49). An angel told the deacon Philip, “Get up and head south” (Acts 8:26).

Arise! Get up! I have a plan for you! We may not know exactly what will happen next, but we can be sure that God has everything in hand.

Today during your prayer, stand up as straight and tall as you can. Ask God what he wants you to do next. Don’t worry if it sounds impossible. Just keep your eyes “fixed on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). If he can raise the dead, he can surely take care of you!

“Jesus, I stand ready to do whatever you call me to.”

Hebrews 12:1-4
Psalm 22:26-28, 30-32
Mark 5:21-43


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