I was addressing an Assyrian audience on the raising of Jairus’ twelve-year-old daughter by the Lord Jesus Christ, and using the narrative to illustrate how God, through His Word, gives resurrection life to those who are “dead in trespasses and sins.”
I had as my interpreter the incomparable Bedour Hanush Afraim Kassab, but there was one point in the narrative where my audience needed no interpreter. I will explain.
It so happens that Aramaic, spoken by our Lord on earth, is almost identical to Assyrian and there is one small phrase in the story where our English Version presents the very words our Lord spoke to Jairus’ daughter: “Talitha cumi,” or “Little girl, arise.”
Now it also happened that in our audience there was a little Assyrian girl who, like Jairus’ daughter, was twelve years old. As I told of Jairus’ anxiety for his dying daughter and his anguish at the news of her death, the little Assyrian girl could understand nothing; she had to wait until my words were interpreted into Assyrian. But when I got to the words “Talitha cumi” she needed no interpreter. Leaping from her chair she stood looking at me with eager, sparkling eyes, as if to say: “What do you want of me? What can I do now?”
Like Jairus’ daughter, our little girl had heard and understood just those three words and had applied them to herself. So it is with those who have received “life in Christ.” “Dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), they paid little heed to the Word of God (I Cor. 2:14), but one day, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, they did take heed and believe some simple gospel passage, like “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3) and, applying it to themselves, were “raised to walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
Nothing would please us more than if some reader should thus apply the gospel of God’s grace to himself and receive eternal life.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and THOU shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.