Children of the Bible, Part 13 by Allan McGuirl
We have been talking about Children of the Bible from the Old Testament and today we move onto the New Testament. As we look at the passage in Mark 5:18-26 we read about a synagogue leader named Jairus who came running up to Jesus and fell at His feet. Jesus was surrounded by a large crowd of people who had come from the surrounding area to hear him speak and to bring friends and family members to be healed. Jairus had made his way through the crowd and, bowing before Him, pleaded earnestly with Him to come and heal his daughter, who was very near death. Jairus was well aware that many of the religious leaders and teachers were opposed to Jesus and His ministry. But in his desperate need he laid aside the fear of his peers and came to Jesus. His only daughter, the one who was so precious to him, was dying. Can you feel what this dad is going through? I have four beautiful daughters, and yes, they have been ill, but never critically. But this man was about to lose his little girl.
Notice what he said to Jesus, “Come please and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” He didn’t say, “Hopefully, something will happen,” or, “Possibly something will happen.” No, he said, “Come… that she may live.” Had he seen this happen before? We are not told. Had he heard the reports from other people? Again we do not know. Had he heard about Jesus stilling the storm on the Sea of Galilee or walking on its turbulent waters? Had he heard about the turning of water into wine in the town of Cana just a few miles up the road? Had he heard about Jesus’s recent miracle of setting the man filled with demons free? We do not know. What we do know is that he demonstrated total faith in Jesus. His only hope was in the Son of God, the giver of life, who could restore his little girl.
I keep going back to one of the verses that have encouraged the growth of my own faith: Psalm 37:5, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” This man was committing his child over to Jesus to heal and restore. He was fully surrendering his child into Jesus’ hands. As he made this commitment, his friends arrived breathless to give him the news. It was too late. “Don’t trouble Jesus any more, your daughter is dead.” They had certainly given up hope. Have you ever run into doubts? This faith business doesn’t work when there is no hope in God.
Jesus, in the meantime, had just healed a lady who had been suffering for many years and this was the cause of his delay in coming to Jairus’ house. I love what Jesus says in verse 36. Ignoring the bringers of bad news, he turned directly to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” You know, fear has held back so many people from allowing Jesus to do something special in their lives. It’s the devil’s tactic to make us think there is no hope. Just listen to this next part. As Jesus, Jairus, the disciples, and other onlookers approached Jairus’ house, there was a lot of commotion and wailing because of the death of the girl. The professional mourners had already arrived. But listen to Jesus. He surprised them all by saying, “The child is not dead but asleep.” They laughed a mocking laugh of disbelief – they knew death when they saw it.
Jesus entered the house with Jairus, Peter, James and John. The mother was there, choking with grief. What a beautiful picture we see next: Jesus came alongside the bed of the child, simply took her by the hand, and said, “Talitha Koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” The Bible says immediately this little 12-year-old girl stood up and walked around. Jesus told them not to tell anyone, just to give the young girl something to eat. Eventually, of course, everyone realized that the little girl was now alive and well. What did they think of their taunting then? Jairus and his wife knew the truth; their faith had been richly rewarded.
So what do we learn from this account? We can learn about our own condition. We all face sickness and eventually the separation of death and the sadness of parting with loved ones. But this Jesus not only heals the physical body, He is the healer of the soul with its sickness of sin. In John 3:16 we read, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” For those who come to Him, there is forgiveness and everlasting life. But for those who do not come to the Great Physician, there is separation. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death;” eternal separation from God. If Jairus had listened to his friends and neighbours, he never would have seen his daughter alive again. Instead, he chose to trust in Jesus – it was his faith in the Son of God that restored his child. It is only your faith that can restore you spiritually: to be forgiven, cleansed, made whole, a child of God, ready for heaven. For those who trust in Him, there will be a great reunion in heaven. What an amazing Saviour!