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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’ Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.”—Mark 5:35–40 (NIV)
Jairus pleaded for Jesus to heal his daughter who was home on her deathbed, and Jesus went along with him. Along the way, a woman touched Jesus’ garment and was immediately healed from her twelve-year hemorrhage because of her sincere display of faith in Jesus. Afterwards, before arriving at Jairus’ home, some people came to Jairus saying his daughter was dead and not to bother with Jesus anymore.
Jairus probably experienced something that seems all too familiar to us today: a moment of despair. It more than likely was hard for Jairus to even bring himself to ask Jesus for help as he was one of the religious leaders in the synagogue who had been opposed to Jesus and His actions—and then this happened!
But right away after overhearing what the people from the house of Jairus told him, Jesus just tells Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mark 5:36 NIV). This is a familiar scenario in our walk of faith doing life with Jesus. At times our world seems to be falling apart, everything seems hopeless, and there appears to be no logical way out, yet we’re supposed to not be afraid and “just believe.”
Like Jairus, who more than likely came to Jesus because he had at least a small amount of faith that Jesus could do something, when we’re hit with bad news or something seemingly tragic, it can be easy for us to forget about the things Jesus has done, His sovereignty, and His faithfulness. Sometimes we can even think He just moved on or forgot about us.
Despite the news of Jairus’ daughter, Jairus, Jesus, and three of His disciples continued on to his home. When they arrived, they saw people wailing—some of which were professional Jewish mourners who were always summoned when death occurred. The presence of the mourners in the home was proof the girl was dead as the family would not have called them if there was even the slightest chance the girl was still alive.
When Jesus declares to everyone, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep,” (Mark 5:39 NIV) the mourners laughed at Him. Why? Because these mourners only grieved superficially, as we can see here by how quickly they turned to ridicule Jesus.
But Jesus doesn’t care about the superficial! He asked everyone to leave except the child’s parents and the disciples that were with Him, and He went in to where the child was. Be sure to tune in tomorrow when we’ll discover the beauty of what Jesus does next.
Pause: Was there ever a time in your life when you were in despair and Jesus told you to not be afraid and just believe?
Practice: If your Bible has a concordance, find the word “fear” and look up those verses. If your Bible doesn’t have a concordance, research Scriptures about fear to see what God has to say about fear.
Pray: Dear Lord, even though You are so faithful, sometimes I can be so faithless. I pray that You strengthen me to keep hanging on when I have little faith, and help me to keep my focus on You and not on who or what is around me. Please help me in my moments of unbelief. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.