Mark: According to
The Other Book End of Faith
The heart of the Synagogue ruler must have been pounding as he waited for Jesus after the healing of the woman with the issue of blood. Second after second turned into minute after minute which to Jairus, must have seemed like an eternity. And then came the news he had been dreading. “Your daughter is dead.” And the speaker said to the ruler, “Why trouble the Teacher any further?” Mark 5:35.
Oh, how often we hear or speak these words ourselves. We feel it is too much trouble to speak to God and pour our heart out to Him. He is so busy with other people’s problem he will not have time for me. Perhaps Jairus thought this now that his daughter had died. After all it was because Christ had been so busy that he had been unable to go in time and help. Imagine the grief that must have gripped this father’s heart. His little girl, his precious little girl was dead.
36 “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe.’”
The Bible does not record the reaction of this Synagogue Ruler nor of those that came to tell him that his daughter had died. But I can only imagine the grief he must have felt. “Only Believe, and she shall be made whole.” Doctor Luke the New Testament writer, physician and historian when writing about this event added the words, and she shall be made whole (Luke 8:50). First we have a touch of faith that healed a woman that was sick with an issue of blood for 12 years and now after hearing the news that Jairus’ daughter was dead, he said, “Do not be afraid; only believe and she shall be made whole.”
It had been quite the 24 hours for the disciples. They had crossed the lake in a storm and Jesus had calmed the winds and the waves, he had then healed the demonic man allowing the evil spirits to go into the pigs, which aroused the hatred of the towns people. Then because of their hatred they crossed the lake again only to be interrupted by a woman who showed great faith asking for healing not with words but with actions by touching the hem of Jesus. An event that interrupted the journey to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter who was sick, but instead of making it on time, the little girl died.
“And as soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid only believe.” 37 and He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.”
In the gospel of Mark this appears to be the first time these three disciples were shown to be part of Jesus’ inner circle. Why, perhaps he saw a quality in them the other did not possess, perhaps these three had shown more faith than the others, and sometimes this is evident as the gospels weave their story, that the others faith did seem to be less than these three.
38 “Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly.”
It was the custom when one saw that death was approaching that the family would hire mourners to come and cry and wail and shout all to give comfort to the family and bemoan the fact that a life had been lost.
39 “When he came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.”
I can imagine the reaction of the people who were gathered to mourn. Many of them were professional mourners who had seen many a dead person and new that there was no hope, for this young girl to ever wake up again.
Within the Jewish community there was to prevailing thoughts concerning death. Many believed that once death occurred it was all over and there was no hope of an eventual resurrection. There were also those that believed in a resurrection, but their concept as to the type of resurrection was incomplete or incorrect. But none of them had ever seen a dead person brought back to life and then here is Jesus calling death a sleep. The mourners and those with them ridiculed Him, but as the scripture says, he put them all outside.
Why would this be? Why would he call death a sleep? It is a fascinating study, using just the Bible alone to do a word study on just the word sleep, and I can guarantee it will change forever the way you view death and the process of death. But time does not permit us to explore this here.
One final word regarding the putting the people outside except for Jairus, his wife, Peter, James and John. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and therefore he will lead us or allow situations in our life that will cause our faith to be tried and ultimately strengthened.
It is obvious by the fact that Jairus did not discourage Jesus from coming after the very sad news that his daughter had died. Instead he drew closer to Jesus and together along with the three they made their way to the house and once the others had been put out, he entered where the child was lying.
41 “Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘little girl, I say to you, arise.’”
The power of God to change lives is instantaneously. Where the sinner has no power and strength of their own, God supplies healing and strengths the body, and where the sinner is dead, he restores that sinner to life. The scriptures says in verse forty-two, “Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.”
It is always amazing to see the power of God working in the lives of people to restore them both physically and mentally and spiritually. He can calm the angry seas, he can toss out the evil spirits that press around us. He can use the influence of changed lives to influence a whole town, causing them to see and acknowledge the power and mercy of a mighty God, that loves them while they were yet sinners. And he can restore us even though we are spiritually dead, he can restore us to life. And, one day soon, he will return in clouds of glory, and those sleeping in Christ, Sleeping the sleep of death who have accepted Christ as their saviour along with those still living that have also accepted the saving power of Jesus will be caught up in the air to meet our Lord and Saviour.
What a wonderful, wonderful, glorious day that will be.
“But he commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.” In order for the vitality of life to be maintained, the physical body and spiritual life must be fed. Therefore, Jesus commanded them to give her something to eat.
If we fail to feed our spiritual life and physical self, we will soon again fall sick and die. Therefore, when we have received the healing power of Christ in our life, we must maintain a relationship with Christ. This is done with prayer and prayerful study of God’s word.
But Jesus did not want attention drawn to this for fear that it would causes further jealousy and place in jeopardy his ministry because of the hatred of the Pharisees and the priests.