Mark 5:35-36, 42 (NIV) 35While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?” 36Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
42Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
The town that Jesus used as a base of operations was Capernaum. The synagogue foundation can be seen today. Archeologists uncovered first century coins there. That confirms it to be the one referred to in the Gospels. The ruler or leader, Jairus, had no doubt heard Jesus speak and seen the miracles that were performed, even in his synagogue. The leaders had decided together to kill Jesus because of their envy of His large following and His exposure of the error of their traditions (Matthew 12:14). But when death comes knocking at the door of someone you love, traditions and envy are suddenly meaningless.
In desperation, Jairus went to the man he had probably shunned. Sometimes it takes near tragedy to get us to stop and reevaluate our stand. Jesus never held a grudge. He immediately agreed to go see his daughter. On the way there, men from Jairus house came to tell him the bad news. “Your daughter is dead.” Jesus ignored them and told Jairus not to be afraid, but believe. When we consider what was most likely Jairus’ attitude toward Jesus before this event, we can marvel at the graciousness of Christ. Most men would probably have stopped right there and said, “Ha! God dealt with your envy toward me. Repent or more tragedy will strike.” But Jesus isn’t like most men. He has a heart for the hurting and knows the goodness of God leads man to repentance.
He put out of the room everyone but his closest three disciples and the parents. Then He commanded her to get up. The word of Jesus is more powerful than any affliction. Many Christians today would also warn a hurting soul about the facts, “She is dead!” But please note that this encouragement Jesus gave was not the word of mere man. If Jesus says it, you can say it, and you will see it happen. Be cautious not to build hope for something that is not from Jesus’ lips for a specific situation.
Remember: This is not a formula to deal with death or no one would stay dead. It is a revelation of the heart of our Savior and His power over death itself.
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