Wages of the Professional Mourners

Throughout the scriptures we see evidence of individuals who were professional wailers, hired mourners or as some called them funeral criers. In most cases these individuals were hired by family members to grieve at funerals and wakes. The purpose was to increase the number of participants, provide new faces, show support for the deceased through other people’s grief.

We see evidence of this in the book of Amos verse 5:16 “and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.” KJV. We see this also in Jesus time in Mark 5:40; “They laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s mother and father who were with him in.” The professional mourners mocked Jesus seeing this event as just another day on the job. You see their dilemma was when the dead are raised they loose their job. How unfortunate for them.

What I find so interesting about the scripture in Mark’s Gospel in chapter 5 is a sequence of events: Jesus is given the message of death of the damsel, a second message is given to not get involved, Jesus gives his own message in response-only believe, Jesus takes his message with faith to the situation, Jesus confronts the professional mourners saying the damsel sleeps only, the mourners mock Jesus, Jesus puts them out of the house and speaks to the situation and wakes the damsel up from death sleep.

The question rises as well for us; How do we respond to negative situations or reports that come our way? Do we join the professional mourners club and side with the circumstances we see with our eyes or do we view each situation through faith? It’s a challenge for sure. Do we put the mourners out of the house of our own thought life or entertain them and join in the procession wailing in our speech like a hired mourners ourselves, hired by Satan himself to throw gas on the fire creating a funeral pire of unbelief.

Is it possible to see negative situations as sleeping until the message of God’s Word arrives to wake it up through our own mouths? Chances are the mourners of doubt and unbelief will have to be silenced or put out even if it’s just in our own heads. Jesus is the life and the resurrection in every situation even those that seem dead to the world. The wages of the professional mourners do not need to be paid by us if we allow ourselves to see things from God’s perspective.

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