Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Jairus' daughter

Sometimes when tragedy comes, we've had time to prepare for it. Sometimes it strikes with no warning, and it seems it was that way with Jairus. His name means "God enlightens" and truly God did enlighten him and cause him to seek the One Who could save his precious daughter . . .

Let's dive in!
We've touched on the fact that Jairus would have been a man of wealth, and highly regarded in the community. It was his duty to conduct the worship in the synagogue, as well as to select the individuals who would lead the prayers, read the scriptures, and do the teaching. But this leader of citizens thought nothing of falling at the feet of Jesus and pleading for Him to come to his house. He was investing his faith in Him. We can see his faith in the words that Mark recorded:
He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” (Mark 5:23)
Then the interruption happens. Imagine, if you will, Jairus' thoughts as Jesus deals with the woman who has been healed. "Oh, can't we hurry! My daughter is at the point of death, Teacher! Please, please! Every moment counts!"
Then this worried father sees one of his close friends pushing through the crowd to where he stands beside Jesus. His words are a crushing blow to Jairus' heart: "your daughter is dead." I'm sure that Jairus must have begun to weep even before the man finished speaking.

But listen to the man's next words: "Don't bother the teacher any more."
Don't bother, don't impose on Him. It's too late, after all.
Do we sometimes think that? Do we feel that our prayers, our requests are an imposition on God? That somehow He has better, or more important things to do?
Does God view our prayers as an imposition? No way!
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
God doesn't think we are a distraction -- He is delighted to hear us pour out our hearts to Him! And Jesus knew what was in Jairus' heart, so He said gently to him:
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:36)
This same Teacher Who wept at the death of Lazarus knows the sorrow in Jairus' heart, and comforts him. He knows our fears and our limits, and when our faith begins to give way, He carries us on.
When they got to the house, only Peter, John, and James were allowed to go in with the parents and Jesus; I think it must have been to exclude those who might mock and show unbelief, or perhaps to limit the sensation that would be caused. As it was, there were many there mourning noisily, and Jesus wanted quiet and privacy. He cleared out those who scornfully laughed, saying the girl was already dead, in order to train those disciples and the parents to use their faith, not just what they sensed with their eyes, ears, and hands. And these parents cling in their fledgling faith to Jesus' words.

Jesus took her hand, and gently says, "My child, get up!"
Immediately, the life returns to her body -- she didn't lie there and gain strength, or raise herself on her elbow -- she stood up! Even with the small number of people in the room, can you imagine the joy and perhaps the shouting? The praise to God?  And Jesus calmly reminds them that she needs to eat. Perhaps she has been ill for a while, and He knew she would now be hungry; perhaps it was to prove that she was real, not a spirit, and would need food.

What a wonder this must have been for Jairus' daughter! Perhaps before she had died, she had composed herself and prayed, and known that her death was imminent. Perhaps she had told some of her friends tearful farewells. Perhaps she had dreaded going to sleep, for fear that this would be the day or night that her life would end.
Now she is awakened, as if from a time of sleeping, and looks around at her mother, father, and this Teacher they've heard much about, and it dawns upon her that she is newly alive. Imagine the joy that she feels, and the gratitude to Jesus! But He tells them not to tell people what happened . . . some scholars say that it would spread even more talk of His miracles, and He would be mobbed even more. Others say that He didn't yet wish to be hailed as the Messiah. That would accelerate the plots and plans against His life.
But seriously, how could the girl, or her parents, keep the resurrection a secret? The family and neighbors who had been mourning there would have seen Jesus walk into the room, and then they would have seen the girl walking out. I'm sure that the word of the miracle spread like wildfire, as they say.
Tomorrow we'll conclude our story of Jairus' daughter. Join us, won't you?


Katie Isabella said...

This lesson is like food to me.

Belinda said...

Thinking about how Jesus only let those chosen few in with him, reminds me of our instruction to go into our closet and pray, not pray extravagant loud prayers in public to impress others. It may not be connected, but it was just something I thought of.

Sometimes I feel that my prayer will not be answered and it's hopeless. I feel in my heart that it's wasting time to even pray about it, convinced of the outcome because it just doesn't seem possible. So, I kind of see how Jairus must have felt. But with God, all things are possible!