Please read. Luke 8:40 – 56 (See also Math 9:18 – 26 and Mark 5:21 – 43)
A. Jesus’ Ministry
Before we go into Jairus’ story, let us reflect on Jesus’ lifestyle first. His ministry was particularly demanding, more so than that of the average spiritual worker, not even talking about the ordinary Christian. He was trapped in a tremendous storm during the previous night, almost drowning together with his disciples. Stepping ashore the next morning, an outraged, dangerous man (actually two) ran towards and met up with Him, the demons within one of them challenging Him that He had no right to judge them before the appointed time.
After delivering the possessed man of the demons that harassed him, the whole community turned against him, imploring Him to leave their territory. So He got back into the boat and returned to the Capernaum side of the lake. When He set foot ashore, a multitude of people flocked so densely around him, He could barely move.
When did he eat, bath, rest? His time did not belong to Himself. Opportunity to relax was scarce. On occasion He remarked: “I must do the works of him that sent me, as long as it is day; the night comes when no one can work.” (John 9:4).
B. Your And My Balance Sheet
God made the day and clothed it with light so we can rise up out of our night’s rest to fulfill the tasks He planned for us for that day. If you succeed in properly completing your appointed duties, you enjoy the following nights sleep so much more. What Jesus says therefore is that in the spiritual sphere there are also days and nights; periods and opportunities to do Kingdom Work and that we must utilize it wisely, because there may come days when spiritual day time is over and there will be no further opportunity to do the work of God. Therefor we should not sit on the balcony watching life flowing by. A daily record of time spent watching TV or playing video games, may be an eye opener. People called into specific spiritual ministries should be role models in this regard.
But every Christian must keep in mind that he was bought by Christ and that includes his time. Time that has “passed under the bridge,” cannot be retrieved, but taking stock of how we spent it, can help us to plan better for the future. How much of my 24 hours per day did I set aside to work positively with God in establishing His new Kingdom in the hearts of people. What percentage of my income did I gave for it; what percentage of my prayers have I prayed for myself and how much for others?
Time is a valuable commodity. Jesus knew that also His time to minister on earth would be short, only 3 1/2 years and so He made every moment to count.
C. Jairus, A Leader In His Community
Enough on that topic, Jairus stands waiting for us to write about him and his little girl. He was the head of the synagogue and fell before Jesus’ feet and pleaded for him to come to his house because his only little daughter, a girl of about 12 years, was dying.
In the rural areas, which were far from the temple at Jerusalem, the Jews erected “church buildings”, called synagogues, where they could gather to listen to the preaching of the Word and worship God. One of the local spiritual leaders was usually appointed as head of the synagogue. Jairus was such a head of a synagogue and therefor a respected leader of the community. Of course, he held strictly to the Jewish faith, observing the Law of Moses carefully. Most of these spiritual leaders were envious of Jesus because their followers saw Him as a special Man of God, a strong leader, a wise teacher, an amazing miracle worker. Some abandoned their own powerless leaders, following Jesus and even accompanying Him to other towns.
D. Jairus Seeks Divine Help
However, Jairus was different. He was a humble man. He was honest with himself and admitted that Jesus was much greater than him. We can even say that he was also a follower of Jesus by truly believing in him.
Jesus’ followers are not free of onslaughts and trials, but they are connected to Someone infinitely greater than themselves to Whom they can go for help. That is what Jairus did when his daughter got so sick. He realized the doctors could not do anything for her. She was dying. He acted in faith. Instead of supporting and comforting her by staying at her bedside, he got up and ran to Jesus. Perhaps someone came to tell him that Jesus was back from his journey to Gadara. He had to rush because the mourners were already gathering in the street.
He pushed his way through the crowd to get in a personal word with Jesus. Finally, out of breath and sweating, he dropped on his knees at Jesus’ feet. He did not care what his “church members,” his followers, would think of him. He humbled himself by admitting his inability to cope with the situation. Included is the admission that his prayers as leader of the synagogue, were not answered and that he urgently needed Divine help.
Jesus immediately heeded his distress call and began to walk towards his house. Hope flamed up in his heart. “Now my daughter is going to be healed”.
E. Deferred Hope
Suddenly, however, there is a delay. Something must have happened because Jesus stopped, looked around and asked who had touched Him. Then, many precious minutes expire as He unhurriedly deals with the woman that was healed from a flow of blood while Jairus squirms with impatience. Every second counted. It was a matter of life and death for his little girl. Couldn’t Jesus first attend to her? Everyone knew the woman to whom He was ministering; she had been ill for 12 years; could she not have waited for just another hour or two?
F. Defeated Hope
And then, exactly what he feared, happened. A messenger from his household arrived, gesturing and shouting over the heads of the bystanders, “Your daughter is dead, don’t bother the Master!” Jairus’ face paled, his hands fell slack at his sides.
He had just heard the woman’s testimony, how she was healed simply by touching Jesus’ garment in faith, and the next moment he received the crushing news that his little girl had died. It was all over, finally, forever. Never would he see her dear face again or pick her up onto his lap. Death always has the last say.
G. The Enemy Of Hope
We have a terrible enemy, the devil, and he sneaks around with a bucket full of sand. Wherever he finds a heart into which God poured the oil of gladness and faith is now flaming skywards, he seeks an opening through which he can cast his sand of discouragement and doubt to extinguish the flame. Oh, he is awfully scared of faith fires because he knows it can so easily jump to another person’s heart, and another one, and another and just now an entire village is burning with faith in God.
So the words he probably poured into Jairus’ heart was: “It’s over man, Iisten to me, everything is óver. You were too late. You should have come earlier. Don’t bother Jesus any further. He will get mad at you. Leave Him to heal the other sick. Your daughter is not sick, she is dead, mister, stone dead. He can’t do anything for her now.”
The messenger’s words were true, just reporting a fact but the thoughts the devil probably put into his mind, were lies.
H. Renewed Hope
Jesus, however, overheard the messenger’s words and immediately turned to Jairus, assuring him, “Fear not. Just believe and she will be saved.” These words enabled Jairus not to run home in panic, away from Jesus, but to stay calm and continue leading Jesus to his house.
If Jairus had followed this demonic advice, he would have returned home in tears, comforted his wife and arranged for the funeral, but what did he do? He responded in faith to Jesus’s encouragement, crying out, “Lord, my daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hands on her, and she will live!” (Math 9:18).
The Lord hears every word the devil whispers inside us and is ready to speak to us Himself so that the devil’s council can be wiped off the blackboard of our minds. So, we are to keep the ears of our heart continually set on Him and when we receive discouraging reports, it must be second nature first to ask, “Jesus, what are you saying about this? What is Your advice?” We’ll then hear the identical words, “Fear not, just believe.” Do not panic and run away from Jesus to your problem, stay with Him by faith and He will accompany you into your problem and solve it for you.
(Let me repeat the secret: the Holy Spirit is continually attentive to our thoughts and when potentially disturbing thoughts come to us, He immediately counters them by conveying the truth to us and encouraging us to continue trusting Him. If you are tuned in to His inner soft voice, you will save yourself much anguish and unnecessary, futile action.)
I. Are You Lead By Hope Or Chased By Anguish?
So often, when fear grips us, we run away from Jesus to try and do something about the matter without His assistance. Maybe we want to change a situation we cannot do anything about, something which only Jesus can solve. The fact is, all we must do is stay calm, trust on the almighty Son of God, and sooner or later we will experience a miracle.
J. Jesus Takes Over
So, Jesus, Jairus and the disciples walked to Jairus’s home. On arrival, they found a disorderly crowd of “mourners” creating a terrible din of noise for the passing away of the child in order to draw the inhabitants of the village to the house, as was the custom in those days. Sometimes mourners were even hired for this purpose.
This false expression of grief was not conducive to the exercising of faith in God and Jesus immediately quietened them and restored order by commanding: “Make room for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” This switched their mood from grieving to mocking. They jeered at Him calling out words like, “We’re not that stupid; we know when a person sleeps and when he is dead. That girl lying in that room is dead. There is no life in her. She can’t wake up. She’s gone forever.”
K. Sleeping Or Dead?
Why did Jesus say that the girl was only sleeping if He knew she was dead? He said exactly the same at the tomb of Lazarus; that he slept. Perhaps He wanted the people to understand that, to Him, it was just as easy to raise a dead person from the dead as it is for us to wake up a sleeping person. Death is but another form of existence. He, as God, has access to the place where the spirit of man goes after death. His voice is also heard there, and He has the authority to recall the spirit of man that has departed from this world. He can restore it to his lifeless body and reinstate that body in life on earth. To Him, this is as simple as it is to us to recall a person from his state of sleep into a state of consciousness of his surroundings, causing him to become active and continue living his life.
L. The “Hopefuls” Are Included But The Mourners Excluded
Another question: why did He point everyone, except for a chosen few, out of the room before performing this great miracle?
Firstly, they were acting in the flesh making it more difficult for Him to perform a miracle by faith.
Secondly, it is an awesome experience to see God raising a person from the dead. The incredible power of the Almighty is revealed and those present must show great respect because they find themselves on holy ground. This can be compared to the incident when Moses approached the burning bush or when he was on the slopes of Mount Sinai to meet God in the cloud and lightning. Although God did not reveal Himself here in thunder, smoke and lightning, He was present by His Son and by his Spirit. It was not a place for sensation seekers, but for those who understood the greatness of the moment and would afterwards give reverent testimony of the mighty works of the Lord. Sometimes it is good stop for a moment and call into remembrance how God slew more than fifty thousand men at Beth-Shemes for opening up and looking into the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 6:19).
In this case, the Lord Jesus took only the little girl’s father and mother and his three most trusted disciples, Peter, James and John with Him. They would, during the following years, be reliable witnesses, bearing testimony as to the miracle Jesus performed behind that closed door.
M. Hope (In Christ) Will Not Put The Believer To Shame
Also note with what little effort Jesus brought the child back to life. He merely grabbed her by her lifeless hand and cried “Little girl, get up.” At once her spirit returned to her body and she got up. Then Jesus instructed her awed parents to give her something to eat.
N. Do Not Blow Your Own Horn
He also ordered them not to go about all over, making known what had happened there. To those that actually saw the lifeless child, the now living walking, talking, eating girl would be ample proof of the miracle of resurrection. They would believe in Jesus as a man of God and would later when hearing of His resurrection after being crucified, find it easy to believe in Him as the Son of God and Saviour of the world. And that was the greater purpose of this miracle.
When God uses us and we testify of His mighty deeds, we need to ask ourselves why we do so: is it to give glory to God and draw more people to Him or to glorify ourselves. People so quickly look for a human being to glorify as if he possesses supernatural power.
(A last thought: just imagine how Jairus’s faith grew by this incident.)
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