God’s People, part 190: Jairus

Read Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”  (Mark 5:34, NLT)

When we think of God’s people, we tend to think one of two things. We might think of the Israelites who were God’s “chosen people”, or we might think of specific characters in the Bible. Either way, we tend to idealize the people we are thinking about. For instance, we may think that God’s people are super faithful, holy, perform miracles and live wholly devout and righteous lives. Unfortunately, this idealism enables us to distance ourselves from being God’s people, because we feel that we fall short of those ideals. As such, I have decided to write a devotion series on specific characters in the Bible in order to show you how much these Biblical people are truly like us, and how much we are truly called to be God’s people.

jairusPart 190: Jairus. In the last part of this devotion series, we met a little girl how had died and Jesus resurrected her back to life. In that devotion, the focus was mostly on the crowd of people, the family, friends and neighbors of Jairus, the little girl’s father. If you recall, the crowd did not believe Jesus when he said the girl was not dead, but was merely sleeping. They laughed and scoffed at him. Yet, when Jesus uttered the words, “Talitha Koum”,  the little girl “woke up” from her “slumber” and the unbelieving crowds were AMAZED. I would imagine they were probably terrified as they saw the dead girl alive and well.

While the miracle, and the crowd’s reaction to Jesus before and after it, is an important account for obvious reasons, it is also important that we do not overlook Jairus. In the Scripture, Jairus was described as “the leader of local synagogue” (Mark 5:22, NLT), which means that he was one the religious leader in his community. This is important to note because, up to this point, Jesus’ has not had many positive interactions with the religious leaders.

Yet, this Jairus was not only positively interacting with Jesus, he was seeking him out for help. His little girl, his precious daughter, was on her deathbed and Jairus was at wits end. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. He was desperate and, in those desperate circumstances, pride falls by the wayside. “If this Jesus is who he says he is, if he can do what he says he can do, I had better do what I can to make contact with him and get him to visit my litte girl!”

Jairus’ little girl was, in fact, twelve years old; however, to a parent, one’s child is always their little boy or girl! It is significant to note that when Jairus’ daughter was born, that was the same year that the woman Jesus had healed, just hours earlier, started bleeding. She had been bleeding for twelve long years, which means that she started bleeding the same year that Jairus’ daughter was born. He also distinctly referred to this woman as “daughter”, even as he was on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter.

Anyway, Jairus would have been well-known as a religious leader in Capernaum, but that didn’t stop him from seeking Jesus out. In any other circumstance, Jairus may have found himself offended by Jesus. In any other situation, Jairus might have been oppositional toward Jesus; however, this man was desperate to save the life of his daughter and came to Jesus for help. Even when everyone else scoffed at Jesus when he said the girl was sleeping, Jairus believed. He had to! His daughter’s life was at stake.

Of course, Jairus’ faith led to his daughter’s resurrection. We know that because we have the benefit hindsight. We know the end of that story; however, we ought to be challenged by it. Do we trust Jesus enough to seek him out for healing in our lives? Do we trust Jesus, even when all seems terribly lost and hopeless? Do we trust Jesus when healing seemingly does not occur, or even when it most definitely does not occur?

That is the kind of faith that Jairus’ displayed and that is the kind of faith we are being called to have! Trust in Jesus and, when all else fails, trust in Jesus. Jesus is where our trust begins, and Jesus is where our trust must rest! Have faith and believe in the one who gave everything up for you!

“Life is full of happiness and tears; be strong and have faith.” – Kareena Kapoor Khan

Lord, you are the author of all Creation. In you I have faith and place my trust. Amen.

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