Posted on November 20, 2013
#29: A Platform for Praise
Welcome to Knowing Jesus, our study through Mark’s gospel. Last week, we read about a woman healed by touching Jesus’ robe. Her story is woven into another—of a frightened father and his dying daughter. Today, we’ll learn the rest of their story.
Read Mark 5:21-24, 35-43. (The same account can be found in Matthew 9:18-19,23-26 and Luke 8:40-24, 49-56.)
Jairus was a prominent man. Four times, Mark identifies him as the synagogue ruler (v. 22, 35, 36, 38). Everyone in Capernaum knew who Jairus was. But his position didn’t protect him from pain; his only daughter—just twelve years old—was dying, and Jairus was terrified.
In Palestine’s arid climate bodies decomposed quickly, so mourners often began to gather before death claimed its victim. Jairus passed them in his yard on his way to see Jesus—sickening evidence that his daughter was as good as dead. They pitied Jairus; the poor man couldn’t accept the inevitable.
But Jairus wasn’t giving up. He reached the edge of the crowd, then struggled through, straining to find Jesus. Finally, there He was! Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet gasping, “My little girl is dying! Please. Please come. Put your hands on her so she’ll live.” Jesus pulled Jairus to his feet and began to follow him.
If you’ve tried to hurry through a crushing crowd, you understand Jairus’ frustration. Every lost second was precious. Then abruptly, Jesus stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” More minutes of delay ticked by as Jesus talked with a woman who’d just been healed by touching His robe. (See last week’s post.) Jairus’ pounding heart reminded him with each thud that his girl was a heartbeat closer to her last.
As they were about to be on their way again, Jairus saw friends approaching, shaking their heads sadly. No. “Don’t bother the Teacher any more,” they said. “She’s gone.” No. No!
Then Jesus spoke. “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”
To Just Believe
Pause the story. When all seems lost, the hardest thing to do is just believe. In those moments, the only thing that keeps faith moving forward is habit. The person who has established a long pattern of trust will instinctively cling to it when life turns hopeless. Daily time with God incrementally builds a reserve of strength and power that carries us when hard times hit. We’re prepared, because we know where hope is found.
Mourning Into Dancing
Jesus turned toward Jairus’ home, and Jairus numbly followed. Past the commotion and the wailing mourners, into his home, Jairus followed. Through a haze of emotion, he heard Jesus order everyone out of the house. Only three of Jesus’ disciples remained. Jairus followed Jesus into his daughter’s still room, his weeping wife clinging to his arm. He watched as Jesus lifted his girl’s lifeless hand.
Then Jesus said, “Little one, get up!”
Jairus’ daughter immediately stood up and walked toward him—her eyes full of life! The joy of that reunion, of grief suddenly turned to gladness, was nearly indescribable. Psalm 30:11 says it best: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
A Platform for Praise
Jairus and his family were clothed with joy on that day, and we can be certain they were forever grateful. Though Jesus told those present to not let anyone know what had taken place, Matthew wrote, “News of this spread through all that region.” From then on, Jairus’ prominent position became a platform from which he could honor Christ.
When He turns our mourning into dancing, we too have a platform for praise and a new reason to give thanks to Him forever. In addition, I think we have a responsibility to share the news, to not be silent. The world needs to hear firsthand about our great God who turns sorrow into joy!
What platform for praise has God given you? Will you sing and not be silent?
© Diane McLoud 2013