Introduction: We ended last weeks lesson by asking the question, “What do you think she was thinking as she fell at the feet of Jesus?” She, being the woman that reached out to Jesus in absolute desperation. For twelve desperate anxious years she had lived in absolute agony. She had lived with a disease that had sucked the very life out of her. Emotionally she was a wreck, mentally she was worn out, physically she was exhaust- ed, and financially she was depleted, and religiously she was deemed unclean. Her only hope was found in Jesus. Again I ask the question, “What do you think she was thinking as she fell at the feet of Jesus?”
Somewhere very close by stood Jairus the ruler of the synagogue who was the first to approach Jesus concern- ing the illness of his young daughter. Jairus’ daughter was at the point of death and in his desperation he had reached out to Jesus. Jesus had consented to Jairus’ request and plea for help. Together they began the jour- ney to Jairus’ home. As they walked on a definite mission, their journey was interrupted.
Question: What do you think Jairus was thinking when this woman approached Jesus and Jesus stopped to give her His attention?
Put your self in Jairus’s sandals, what would you have been thinking?
Daniel Akin offers insight and reflection concerning this. “Jairus by now must be beside himself in anxiety and frustration. His daughter is at death’s door. This woman has been sick for twelve years she could have waited another thirty minutes. Unlike Nicodemus, who came in the dark of night, he came in daylight, humble and begging. He demanded nothing and look where it got him. Note the similarities between Jairus and the nameless woman: (1) they knew only Jesus could help them, (2) they knew they were unworthy (3) they fell down, and (4) they believed Jesus could heal. She got what she wanted. However, things for Jairus appear to go from bad to worse.”
(v35) While Jesus was still talking to the woman bad news arrives for Jairus. Messengers from Jairus’ house had brought dreaded and heart breaking news that his daughter had died. “While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’”
Question: Had you been standing in Jairus’ place what would be your thoughts and reactions?
Question: Jairus being a ruler (official) of the synagogue, what had he risked in just coming publicly to Jesus for help?
(v36) “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken. He said to the ruler of the synagogue ‘do not be afraid’; only believe.”
In verse 36 the fact seems clear. “Your daughter is dead.” In verse 36 the logical follows the factual, “why trouble the Teacher any further?”
But before Jairus can respond verbally to both the factual and the logical, Jesus speaks. As soon as Jesus hears the words of the messengers He turns His direct attention to Jairus and speaks directly to him. “Do not be afraid, only believe.” The literal translation of Jesus’ words that He spoke at this point to Jairus, “Be not afraid, go on, keep on believing.”
It was in faith that Jairus had reached out to Jesus and now Jesus tells him to keep trusting.
Question: Has Jesus ever spoken into your heart by the power of the Spirit “be not afraid keep on believing?” Please prayerfully explain.
In response to the messengers that had arrived with the bad news, Jesus gave two present tense commands to Jairus: (1) “Do not be afraid, (2) Only believe-keep on believing.”
Question: Do you think Jairus was challenged by Jesus’ words?
I am blessed by the words of Dr. Herschel Hobbs, “Jesus overheard the bad news. But He did not merely shake His head and turn away in resignation. Rather, He spoke reassuring words to the already grieving father. ‘Stop fearing, only keep on believing.’ This was a tremendous challenge to Jairus. Fear already gripped his heart with icy fingers threatening to snuff out his candle of faith. But Jesus told him to put aside his fear and to hold on to his faith even in the presence of death.”
Question: How hard (difficult) is it for you personally to put aside your fear?
Question: Can Jesus truly be trusted in spite of the circumstances? Please explain.
(v37) At this point Jesus separates Himself from the crowd. For the rest of this journey it will only be Jesus, Jairus, Peter, James, and John. These three disciples were purposely chosen by the divine purposes of God. In fact this occasion is the first of three times where we see these three permitted to be part of something very sig- nificant. (Transformation, Gethsemane). See Mark 9:2 and Mark 14:32-33.
(v 38) As they arrive at Jairus’ home the sounds and sights of death are all around. The word used in the origi- nal language to describe this scene “thorubos” literally translated “uproar.” No doubt the grief and sorrow of this family and friends is genuine and sincere. But often times sorrow was expressed by paid mourners. Per- haps some of these paid mourners crowd the house with much weeping and wailing. The word for “wailing or wailed” is an onomatopoeia ( the naming of a thing or action by vocal imitation of the sound associated with it, examples hiss, buzz.”)” Webster. The word wail is to cry “alala” ( see 1 Corinthians 13:1 used for clanging symbol).
(v39) Jesus makes an amazing statement. “This is not dead but sleeping.” Jesus also spoke similar words in John 11:11-13 concerning His friend Lazarus.
John Phillips-Sleep in this context “sleep here does not refer to the soul, which never sleeps; it refers to the body. Thus, the Lord viewed death of a child and of a believer as no more terrifying or unusual than sleep.” The Lord saw a parallel between sleep and death. Sleep is an illustration, drawn by the hand of God, to remind us of our mortality and of the certainty of a glorious morning yet to dawn and of a wonderous awakening to a new eternal day.” Death is a temporary condition, much like sleep for the body.
(v40) They laughed at Jesus. The paid mourners, the insincere attention to themselves, folks mocked and ridi- culed Jesus.
Enough is Enough! Jesus put all of them outside.
Jesus compassionately and lovingly takes Jairus and his wife, along with the three disciples into the room where “the child was lying.”
Some people were put out and some were brought in. Please speak to the significance and theological truth of the above statement.
What Jesus was about to do, He did not need or want an audience! What Jesus was about to do He simply wanted a mother and father and three close friends to witness. This is no spectacle or show!
(v41) “He took the child by the hand”-From the eyes of your heart describe this and what it means.
Jesus addresses the little girl in her native Aramaic language. “Little girl I say arise!”
A word from my heart-As some of you read and study this lesson, you know the heartbreak of the death of a child. No one other than those that have walked the journey know the true pains of this journey. I ask you please receive my humble yet inadequate words. Whether in this case (Jairus’ daughter) or with a different earthly ending (perhaps your case) you can be assured of a glorious truth. Be it on this side or the other side- Jesus takes the child by the hand and lovingly says (with authority and power) arise. Arise to the newness of Life!
I am forever reminded of the first line to and Old Hymn:
“I STAND AMAZED IN THE PRESENCE OF JESUS THE NAZARENE.
(v42) One of the great and all time understatements of this Life-”And they were overcome with great amaze- ment.”
When He spoke the word, “immediately” the little girl arose. Hallelujah-Jesus! What manner of man is this?