Someone said, “I bet the Funeral Parlors in Jesus’ day just about went broke. Anywhere Jesus went, the dead were being raised.” Jesus probably raised many people from the dead during his earthly ministry, although the Bible records only three of them.
- Lazarus of Bethany (John 11:1-46)
- The Son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17)
- Jairus’ Daughter (Mark 5:22-23; 35-43).
One might question why only three miracles are recorded in the Bible if Jesus actually raised many others from the dead? Truth be told, these were the most significant miracles in which the dead were brought back to life.
So I have decided to preach from one of those significant miracles today. It’s the raising of Jairus’ daughter. This miracle is significant to us because of four reasons. (I will not take time to talk about the woman who touched Jesus’ garment. I have already covered that here.)
1. Jesus’ Goodness doesn’t Have B
Read Mark 5:22-24
Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet and begged, not because he was a man of humility or even faith as the text might suggest. It was merely the behavior of a father desperate for the life of his child. He was just “grasping at straws.” Here’s why?
- His daughter was an only child. Certainly, none of the Physicians he consulted could heal her.
- Unlike in the case of the Roman Centurion, we don’t see any explicit evidence of humility or faith.
- As the ruler of the local Synagogue, Jairus had seen Jesus perform healing miracles before. He believed because he saw. That’s not faith.
- Jairus wasn’t sure Jesus can heal his daughter. He said maybe she will be healed and live. He did not say she will be healed and live.
Nevertheless, Jesus didn’t condemn Jairus. He did not hesitate but went with Jairus freely.
Sigfried Gold is a 45-year-old Software Engineer and an atheist. Four years ago he suffered from being overweight and joined a program for food addiction that required recognition of God and prayer. Today he has lost all the extra weight and believes that prayers helped him.
Neither I intend to condemn Jairus. The point is, although Jesus definitely appreciates humility and faith, he doesn’t let down those who seek his help whether they have faith or not. Jesus is so good, that arrogance and unbelief cannot come between us and him.
2. We must take a leap of Faith Eventually
Read Mark 5:35
Jesus happened to heal another woman on his way and could not reach Jairus’ house as soon as he planned. In the meantime, Jairus was informed that his daughter died and it was too late even for Jesus to do anything. Jesus, however, ignored the messengers and turned to Jairus. He said, “Do not be afraid; have faith.” Jesus wasn’t saying “Don’t worry, everything will be alright.” He was rather challenging Jairus, to take a leap of faith!
The African Impala can leap to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. This shows sometimes we need to take a leap of faith to free ourselves from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.
God is so good, that he answers even the unbelievers if they cry out to him. But they cannot continue in unbelief because at some point in life they have to cross the bridge from unbelief to belief. It’s exactly what happened to Jairus. He knew Jesus can heal. But did not know whether Jesus could raise the dead? He had to take a leap of faith.
3. We mustn’t let others Limit Our Faith
Read Mark 5:37-39
Jesus challenged Jairus to have faith. But the atmosphere in the house was chaotic and confusing. Nobody believed Jesus. This was not healthy for Jairus’ budding faith. Jesus’ response was dramatic and unexpected. He chased everyone out except the disciples and parents.
One day a bunch of Frogs announced a competition to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower. The competition began and the Frogs quickly started to climb while a crowd below cheered.
A moment later though, someone shouted ‘The Tower is very high. They can’t do it!’ Some of the Frogs collapsed at these words but others continued to climb. Then someone shouted again ‘It is very difficult. No one will make it!’
This went on until all but one Frog was left climbing the tower. He made it to the top somehow despite many in the crowd shouting he cannot do it. Everyone wanted to know how this one Frog succeeded while others failed? It turned out that he was deaf. People cannot draw the boundary lines of your faith when you don’t listen to them.
Jesus’ actions may appear to be rude but he did what he had to do. He would not let people draw the boundary lines of Jairus’ faith! How many of us are not able to reach our full potential in life, because we listen to people? Never, ever listen to people who tell you what you can do and cannot do in the Lord. The moment you do, you have permitted them to draw the boundary line of your faith.
4. We must use the Authority given unto Us
Read Mark 5:41-42
Jesus didn’t pray for the dead girl to return to life. He rather held her gently by the hand and commanded them to get up (“talitha cumi” = “girl, get up”). She returned to life immediately. Even death could not resist Jesus’ authority. In Acts 9:40 Peter used a similar phrase when he raised Dorcas from the dead, (“tabitha cumui” = “woman, get up”).
Once the Governor of a state in the US went for a church barbecue. He held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person in line. The Governor asked for a second piece and the lady said she is not supposed to give more than one piece of chicken to each person.
The Governor insisted, “I am the Governor of this State.” The woman said, “I’m the lady in charge of the chicken. Next!” The Governor was certainly more powerful than this lady. But the organizers of the event had granted her the authority to say no to anyone who asks for more than one piece and she knew it. Likewise, we should understand the authority we have in Christ and exercise it against the effects of sin.
The Bible clearly says, Jesus has vested that same authority and power on us. “After Jesus called the twelve together, he gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1-2)
The trouble is we have neglected our authority in Christ. For example, Jesus did not tell us to pray for the sick. He gave us the authority to heal the sick because miraculous healing opens the masses to the Gospel. It’s like a heavenly dinner bell for sinners to come and be saved.
Then why does James instruct us to pray for the sick? Jesus commissioned us to heal the unbelievers that are sick, while James’ instructed us to pray for the sick in the church family. As simple as that.
“Is anyone among you ill? He should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up – and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:13-15)
In closing, Jesus ordered Jairus and his wife to do two things, (Although the crowd knew what happened inside that room.”)
“He strictly ordered that no one should know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.” (Mark 5:43)
It seems Jesus wanted to avoid any publicity so he could continue His ministry with maximum freedom of movement. Today however it’s different. Jesus wants us to share our faith with others so they will also know and believe.
“Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Second, Jesus told Jairus and his wife to feed their daughter. He wanted them to know she was actually alive. There were no tricks involved. She was not just an animated corpse.
Jesus is not a prankster. He is genuinely concerned about you and the problems in your life. I told you his goodness is unlimited. He wants to touch you. He wants to heal you. Why not give him a chance?
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