This Day in History: 0000-07-20

July 20 – Mark 5:21-42 

Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around Him on the shore.
Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet, pleading fervently with Him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around Him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding…
While He was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”
Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with Him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James). When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”
The crowd laughed at Him. But He made them all leave, and He took the girl’s father and mother and His three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, He said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed. 

Yesterday we talked about the first half of this story. We talked about what it would have been like to be Jairus that day. To have such strong faith in Jesus as well as the courage and humility to ask for His help. To believe you’ve received that help, only to be delayed by someone else in need and find that time ran out. Your daughter died before Jesus could get there. We talked about how so many of us have experienced similar emotions – believing God for something and finding ourselves seemingly denied the miracle but only after being led to believe we were going to receive it. We talked about the devastation of that moment. The disillusionment. The faith-breaking heartache. 

But for Jairus, and so often for us too, that moment is quickly followed by the calm and re-assuring whisper of our Lord:

“Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” 

Dear sisters, let’s imagine again what it might have been like to be Jairus on that day. To look into the eyes of the Son of God and dare to hope again that He was going to come through. But how? The girl was dead. It was one thing to believe Jesus could heal her, but raise her from the dead? That seemed impossible. Still, Jairus was a synagogue leader, which meant he was likely familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures. No doubt his anxious mind darted to the story of Elijah and the widow’s son, and then Elisha and the Shunamite’s son. Both times the child had been brought back to life. If the prophets of God could do it, surely God Himself could too! 

Imagine those surreal moments as Jesus told the crowd the girl wasn’t dead, but only sleeping. Jairus, now reunited with his grieving wife likely only faintly registered the laughter of the crowd. The next minutes probably whirred by both in slow-motion and fast-forward all at the same time. One moment the crowd was there, mocking Jesus, and the next they were gone. The next thing they knew, they were being led into the room where his daughter lay on the bed in front of him. Cold and blue. Obviously not sleeping, but dead.  

Imagine those moments as his eyes saw Jesus lift his precious little girl’s hand in His and speak those simple words, “Little girl, get up!” the color rushing back into her cheeks as she jumped up from the bed full of life.

How could it be?

Did he dare to believe it right away? Did his heart hesitate to accept the miracle? Did cynicism rear her ugly head and whisper, “This isn’t possible. She’ll be gone again by morning.”? I only ask these questions because I know my own heart. I know my own doubt. 

Friend, can you find yourself in this story as I can find myself? Are you hesitant to believe God’s call, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” could possibly be for you? Are you more likely to side with the crowd and laugh at the notion that Jesus might raise dead things back to life?

Are you tempted to give up? Lose faith? Walk away?

Don’t do it my friend! Let Jesus lead you into that room. Look that lost dream square in the face and believe He can breathe new life into it. Watch in wonder as the Lord Jesus Christ works a miracle in and through your story and be overwhelmed at the notion that you are precious to Him and He is coming for you!