|The two stories I will start off with today from Matthew 9 is the calling of Matthew and the Girl Restored to Life. These two stories have one great similiarity to bring out.
Jesus says to Matthew, “Follow Me.” And Matthew rose and followed him.
Jarius (from Mark 5) says to Jesus, “Come and lay your hand on her. . .” and Jesus rose and followed him. Jesus in this story is the one who now will rise from the table and follow. The one who has called Matthew to rise and follow from the tax collectors’ booth, is now the one called to rise and follow from the table. Matthew’s call was to follow. Jesus’ call was to resurrect.
Here is how Matthew brings that out. Matthew the author, uses two different words in these stories for ‘rose.’ In the calling of Matthew it is the word ‘anistemi.’ It means to raise, arise. It is absolutely fitting for this moment as Matthew gets up from the tax collectors’ booth. But in the next story, Matthew the author uses ‘egeiro’ meaning to awaken, rise. This word here is the word that the Gospel writers will use to describe, to announce, to declare the resurrection of Jesus. This word is resurrection language. This word is resurrection action. This rising of Jesus is much more than just getting up from a table. This rising is a picture of things to come. This rising is showing us Jesus’ mission. Jesus rose. And we know it wasn’t just from a table, but from a tomb!
Egiero, the Greek word used in 9:19, is also used in the paralytic story to signify restoration. It is the command from Jesus “EGEIRO (9:6).” The former paralytic rises (9:7) in full view of all those present in the packed house. His rising from the mat becomes his testimony. His rising becomes his story of discipleship.
Egiero is used to describe the action of the little girl in Matt. 9:25, “she arose.” The beauty behind this story is the resurrection of the little girl that comes from the one who will bring victory over death. The beauty of this story is that one who calls you, to follow him, will also be the one who comes to you. The cost of discipleship comes with the gifts of discipleship: healing, restoration, and yes, resurrection!
The song Resurrecting by Elevation Worship has the lyrics, “the Resurrected King is resurrecting me.” I encourage you to play this song.
As you listen,
May you be reminded of the Gospel story revealed to you.
And as you worship,
May you hear the call of Christ as the gifts of discipleship bring you healing.
May you know that your rising each and every morning is by His Spirit.
May you RISE as Christ will Rise to come to you.
Written by John Kimberlin, LRC Youth and Family Minister