Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Mark 5:21-43

Jairus was a synagogue ruler. By definition, he was an enemy of Jesus. The teachers of the law who had been sent from Jerusalem to deal with Jesus had declared that he was possessed by Beelzebub. Therefore, as a synagogue ruler Jairus had to take a position against Jesus, regardless of his own personal convictions. If he were to break with the official position of the Jerusalem religio-mafia he would be stripped of his position and be cast out of the temple.

Jairus was a father. He had a darling, a twelve-year-old daughter who was his pride and joy. She was sick and soon to die. Oh, Jairus had done everything he could for her. He had spent vast amounts from his treasury on the best doctors but none of them had been able to reverse the disease that was wasting her body away.

Now Jesus was back in town. Jairus knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that Jesus was capable of doing marvelous miracles of healing. He had seen it himself. Jesus had healed a man right in his own synagogue! He believed Jesus could heal his daughter. How he could do it really didn’t matter to him. He just believed. So Jairus was faced with one of those difficult situations. Was he a synagogue ruler or a loving father? Jairus ran down to the lake to try to talk to Jesus.

When the people saw their synagogue ruler running toward them they weren’t sure what to think. Was he coming to confront Jesus? Was he going to demand that Jesus and his evil powers leave their town? The people opened a way for Jairus to get to Jesus. But instead of confronting Jesus with his power and authority as a synagogue ruler, Jairus fell on his knees and begged Jesus to come and heal his daughter before she died! Jesus went with Jairus. Perhaps the disciples murmured to one another, “What is he doing? Doesn’t he know this man is our enemy?”

They were walking toward Jairus’ home when Jesus suddenly stopped and said, “Who touched me?” Now the disciples were certain Jesus was acting strangely. With such a crowd pressing around him how could he ask, “Who touched me?” Jairus must have been supremely frustrated with this delay! Jesus just stood there. Valuable time was passing and his darling might die at any moment. Finally a woman stepped forward and admitted what she had done. Jesus blessed her and freed her from her suffering.

But before Jesus finished speaking to the strange woman some men came from Jairus’ home to tell him there was no longer any need for Jesus to come. Jairus’ daughter had died. Jairus felt his knees begin to buckle under him. Jesus said, Don’t be afraid; just believe, and he proceeded toward Jairus’ home.

The mourners were already mourning. Jesus threw them out. He went into the room where the girl lay, took her hand, and raised her from the dead. He restored Jairus’ darling daughter to him.

For whom did Jesus come? We know he came for the sick, for the sinners, for the lame, the lepers, the blind and deaf, and demon-possessed. We know he came for the poor and simple people. But did he come for Jairus too? Am I willing to show the love of Christ to those who are his enemies?

Jesus brought life. Life to the woman who was dying slowly, bleeding to death over twelve years. Life to a twelve-year-old daughter of a synagogue ruler. Life from death. I was just as dead as Jairus’ daughter. Jesus took me by the hand and raised me to life. I can do no less than reach out to anyone God brings into my path!


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