“When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the sea. One of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet and kept begging Him, “My little daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay Your hands on her so that she can get well and live.” So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against Him. (Mark 5:21-24; 35-43)
Just after the miracle of Jesus calming the storm and crossing over to the other side, a synagogue leader approaches Jesus: his daughter was at death’s door but he knew, having heard about the many miracles that Jesus had performed that He could heal his daughter before she dies. She was at death’s door. At the verge of dying. Not dead yet. But on her way to being dead. Could Jesus do something before it is too late? Before, humanly speaking, it goes to the point of no-return? For death was a seal of never coming back again. Of being gone forever. Would Jesus grab hold of Jairus’ daughter at the brink of death? Jairus knew he had very little time. The Bible records that he kept begging Jesus. He knew Jesus was his only hope. There was no one else he could go to at this point.
I love how the Bible records the story of the woman with the issue of bleeding in between. Her’s was a story of Jesus bringing hope at a point in time when hope seemed like a hopeless word. Would she ever be healed? She knew only Jesus could help. Right in front of Jairus’ eyes, the miracle unfolded. The woman told Jesus everything. Obviously, the crowd was there. Jairus was certainly one among the crowd- he was on an urgent mission to get his daughter saved from death. He was desperate to get Jesus to his house. Probably even annoyed at the crowd pushing and shoving Jesus. The crowd was slowing down Jesus. Much to Jairus’ frustration. The crowd was there to witness what Jesus would do next. They were there out of curiosity. They were not certainly people thronging to receive a touch from God. Curious onlookers. A nuisance to people needing a desperate touch. Jesus felt them push and shove yet His power never left Him to do a miracle in their midst. Until when the woman with the bleeding problem touched Him.
I love that just as Jesus was still speaking to the woman who had just been healed, people from the synagogue leader’s house had arrived. They were certainly pushing through the large crowd to get to Jairus with their message. They probably did not witness the miracle that just happened. But Jairus did. The people from the synagogue leader’s house had a message for him. The Bible records in Mark 5: 35: “While He (Jesus) was still speaking (to the woman just healed from bleeding), people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher anymore?”
Imagine being at Jairus’ position at that moment. In a flash, the tiniest of hope he was clinging to, of Jesus reaching his daughter just before she died would have evaporated right there. Interestingly, Jesus is referred to as ‘the Teacher’. One who taught, educated, instructed, trained others about the things of God. Not a miracle worker. Not Son of God. The people from the synagogue leader’s house knew Jesus as a teacher. What would a teacher do when a situation is beyond His duty and capacity, so to speak? Why bother Him anymore? This situation is now beyond His capacity. It is hopeless. Give up Jairus!!
In Mark 5: 36, the Bible says, “But when Jesus overheard what was said, He told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” Obviously, Jesus was within earshot of Jairus and the people from the synagogue leader’s house. He overheard and reaches out to Jairus with the most reassuring words: “Don’t be afraid! Only believe.” Apparently fear had gripped Jairus’s heart on hearing the words “Your daughter is dead.” Have you ever lost a loved one to death? Then you know the feeling that takes over when you are on the receiving end of such news. I remember when news about a beloved sis-in-law’s untimely demise reached my ears for the first time, I was dizzy in shock. Numb. Unable to process it. My head was spinning, taking in this news. My legs felt weak. I could not stand without support. I was hit by a flood of emotions. Devastated. Tearing up. Wanting to retreat to a private spot and weep with deep gut-wrenching sobs. The death of someone close is earth shattering. Jairus, the Bible records, was afraid. That moment, that he feared the most, had come to pass. Why bother Jesus anymore, his people said. As he stood there, taking in this dreaded moment, Jesus stilled his fears: “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” Have faith Jairus! You just witnessed the impossible before you. A woman being healed when doctors had given up on her and she had nothing left anymore.
In the verses that follow, Jesus does not let anyone accompany Him. The crowd that was pressing in to Him was not allowed to go with Him. He only takes Jairus, Peter, James and John (the latter 3 being His inner circle of disciples). Mark 5:38 says, “They came to the leader’s house, and He saw a commotion- people weeping and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” They started laughing at Him, but He put them all outside.
The Bible does not record how far Jairus’ house was from where Jesus healed the woman with the issue of blood. On arriving at Jairus’ house, Jesus sees a commotion. A child was dead. People had gathered. There was weeping and loud wailing. Jesus confronts them with: the child is not dead but asleep. While everyone around Jesus had given up on the child, Jesus hadn’t. He stepped in right there where human reasoning ended.
In Mark 5:40b-43 we read: “He (Jesus) took the child’s father, mother and those who were with Him, and entered the place where the child was. Then He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”
Child, it is I, who has power over death. It is I, who steps in, when everyone else laughs and shakes their head in disbelief over your impossible situation. Child, it is I, who has the power to bring to life that which is dead. It is I, to whom the word ‘impossible’ means “I’m possible”. There is nothing I cannot do. No situation, however hopeless, that I cannot redeem. I have you. Right here. I am with you. I say to you: be restored. I say to you: be healed. I say to you: I have the last word.
As I chewed on this passage, I saw that Jesus only allowed the child’s parents and His three closest disciples to witness what was about to happen. He did not take the spectators along. When you receive your miracle, sometimes it may only unfold before those that believe with you. Not before spectators who have little to contribute to your well-being.
In the verses that followed we read: “Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was 12 years old) At this they were utterly astounded. Then He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and said that she should be given something to eat.”
Jairus’ grief had changed to amazement within moments. All that crying, begging and pleading with Jesus was not in vain. Jesus showed him that what was impossible with man was possible with God.
As I reflected on this story, I thought back to other instances of miracles that Jesus had performed that are recorded in the Bible. In every situation, Jesus stepped in when everyone gave up. It gives me courage that in Jesus, I can hope against hope. In Him I can have courage when fear overtakes. Jesus gave the little girl a brand-new lease of life. Not only did she wake up from death, she walked!! As though she’d just woken up from deep sleep.
I don’t know what impossible situation you are waiting on the Lord for today. I want to encourage you that God sees your desperation. He sees those tears. He feels your pain. He is very near. He is willing to do His work in you. Don’t be afraid. Only believe.
Heavenly Father, I admit that when situations seem out of control to me, I tend to hit the panic button and begin to despair. But You have shown me through Your Word that nothing is impossible by You. You stilled the storm when the disciples thought they were going to die. You healed a woman with issue of blood when she reached a place in her life where no one could help anymore and she had nothing left. You brought a dead girl back to life and gave her back to her grief-stricken parents when they had lost all hope. I believe today, like Jairus, like the woman with the issue of blood, that only You can do the impossible in my life. God, I give my hopeless situation into Your Hands today. This thing that I have been waiting on You for so long. There seems to be no end to it. I am not able to take this anymore. Would You speak life into these dry bones? Into this impossible situation? I wait on You expectantly. Lord, do Your work in me and through me and make all things new. In Jesus’ Name, amen.