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Mark 5:22-24, 35-43

Before Reading the Passage

Mark 5 is a busy day in the life of the Lord Jesus. He performs three miracles and they present Jesus as the Great Physician.

1. In Mark 5:1-20 you see Jesus as a Psychologist – He cast demons out of a man.

2. In Mark 5:25-34 you see Jesus as a Gynecologist – He heals the woman with the issue of blood.

3. In Mark 5:22-24, 35-43 you see Jesus as Pediatrician as He brings back to life a twelve year old


Jairus, the father of the twelve year old girl, was a ruler of a synagogue, which means he held a position of responsibility and power. But his prestigious position and duties didn't keep his home from a trial of serious illness, for heavy trials come to folk in every level of society.

• These rulers of the synagogues were not priests, but were what we would call laymen. Their duties were to select the readers or teachers in the synagogue, to examine the discourses of the public speakers and to make sure everything was done with decency and order.

• Jairus probably heard about Jesus from the centurion who built his synagogue. Luke 8 gives this same account of Jairus and his daughter, but Luke 7 says that this centurion who built the synagogue had a servant who was very sick and he sent some of the rulers and elders of the synagogue to ask Jesus to speak the word and his servant would be made whole. Jesus wouldn't even have to come where the sick man was; just speak the word. (Luke 7:2-5) No doubt Jairus remembered what happened and how Jesus responded to the centurion's faith and his servant was healed. So now, when his own daughter is sick unto death, he makes his way to Jesus.

• Luke tells us that this little girl is Jairus' only daughter.

Read the Passage

Three things I want you to see from this passage:

I. The Desperate Request 5:22-24

Jarius was desperate, and he came to Jesus – not for himself, but on behalf of his daughter.

Psalm 119:71 – “It was good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn your statutes.”

Psalm 119:67 – “Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy Word.”

Affliction can be a great blessing if it brings us to the Lord. It's difficult to see affliction as a blessing


when we're in the midst of it. When it comes it seems like a curse with all of its burdens on our body and minds, but we look back and see the blessings.

If it had not been for his daughter's sickness, Jairus would never have gone to Jesus. That's true of many families.

I think Jairus sought care for his daughter everywhere he could think of, but all failed. He exhausted every means, and his last resort was Jesus.

His little girl's life was quickly passing away from her and now he comes to Jesus and makes his desperate request.

A. How the Request was made 5:22-23

1. He made his request Reverently 5:22

He fell at Jesus' feet. That's a good way to start – humbled himself before Jesus.

2. He made his request Passionately 5:23 “He besought Him greatly”

- What caused Jairus to go to Jesus? Love! Love for his little girl!

- Jairus didn't go to Jesus because he loved Jesus, but because he loved his little girl, and her

life depended on it. In fact he was likely like the other religious leaders of his day – opposed

to Jesus. He knew he would probably get in trouble with the other religious leaders if he went

to Jesus, but it didn't matter: when it comes to someone you love, you'll try anything.

- And, so, it was love over pride! Love and pride both tugged at his heart that day. Pride in his

position; love for his daughter. Pride whispered, “Don't demean yourself. Think of what

your friends will say.” Lover whispered. “Your little girl is at the point of death.” And a

battle royal between two mighty forces in his human soul took place.

- He looked at his little girl's face with the color of approaching death spreading all over it; her

little frame was shaking as she gasped for breath; he thought what his home would be like if

her life was taken away. That settled it. Love triumphed; pride was thrown to the wind.

3. He made his request Prayerfully 5:23

- It was a prayer of love. You can feel love throbbing all through his prayer, as he sobs and

says through his tears, “My little daughter.”

- It was a prayer of faith and confidence – “Come and lay Your hands on her.” He had been

watching Jesus. He saw Him lay His hands on folks and they were healed. Power was in His

hands. What He had done to the centurion's servant, He could do for his little girl.

B. How the Request was met 5:24

The response of Jesus was positive and prompt. Jesus arose and followed Jairus. Jesus had been calling men to follow Him; how He is following Jairus.

Then suddenly, a pause: some other need had reached Him – the woman with the issue of blood.

- Jairus was waiting and waiting. He had come in urgency! His heart was gladdened when

Jesus started with him. Now – an Interruption!


- We don't know how long the incident with the woman with the issue of blood lasted, but for

Jairus, it must have seemed like ages.

- I think he must have been angry with the woman. “She's had the disease for twelve years.

She could have waited one more day, but my daughter can't! It's now or never!”

Then what he fears is about to actually happen.

II. The Devastating Report 5:35-36

Jairus runs into doubt: “She's dead. Don't trouble Jesus anymore. Hope is gone.” They were saying that Jesus could no longer help him or his daughter.

• His faith was shaken. His love wounded. His hope destroyed. Tears wet his eyes. He whispers to himself, “Too late.”

• The crowd looks on in sympathetic silence. Maybe the woman who was just healed feels her healing came at a high price.

• I wonder if Jairus thought hard thoughts about Jesus. Did he reprove Jesus like Mary and Martha did – “Lord, if you had been here, our brother would not have died.” I wonder if Jairus said, “Jesus, if You hadn't messed around with that woman, it wouldn't have turned out this way. I told You we needed to get there as soon as we could. You let me down!”

But Jesus doesn't apologize for being late. In fact He pays no attention to those prophets of doom.

Have you ever been in a hurry to go somewhere? You had to be there by a certain time, and a train catches you – a train with three engines pulling the cars, so you know it is a long, long train. You're sitting there, waiting, boiling with anger, wondering how late you're going to be. You keep looking down the track to see if you can see the end of the train. But up above you is a plane. A man in the plane looks down, sees the three engines and the caboose and knows how many cars must pass before the end of the train comes.

In our little world and from our little viewpoint things look much different than it does to God who sees all.

Jesus says, “Don't be afraid, only believe” , “and she will be made well” (8:50).

“Fear not” – but to the physical understanding, all of Jairus' fears had been confirmed. She was dead! But there were two things that eased his fear: The word of Jesus – this was a command – fear not. Then, too, his faith had just been strengthened by what he saw Jesus do in the life of the woman with the issue of blood.

“Only believe” – There seemed to be no more room for hope or faith, but stick to your faith. Don't give up on God. Be patient; He'll come through – Psalm 40:1-3

“Only believe, only believe, All things are possible, only believe.”


III. The Delightful Result 5:37-43

When Jesus got to the home of Jairus, He was met with a typical oriental scene. Still today when a person dies in the Middle East, a group of professional mourners come to the home. There were the wailing of flutes; professional mourners would actually tear chunks of hair from their head, rip their clothes and beat their chest. The air would be filled with mournful shrieks and appeals to the dead to speak again (of course they never did speak again, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if they did.)

Jesus said, “Why all this commotion? The girl is not dead but asleep.” And they laughed at Him.

• The professional mourners stopped crying on the spot and started laughing.

• Jesus put them all out of the house, except for the mom and dad and the inner circle of three disciples, Peter, James, and John. (By the way, this is the first instance of the inner circle of disciples.) Why? He didn't want any doubters who believed not when He raised this girl.

Jesus is not only the Great Physician, He has good bedside manners.

He takes the little girl by the hand and says – not in Greek or Hebrew, but in Aramaic, the language of the house, “Talitha cuma” – “little girl (literally, “little lamb”), I say to you arise.” “Immediately the girl arose and walked … and He said, give her something to eat.”

That word “little lamb” is a word of love and tenderness.

• It was an authoritative word – “Arise” and her spirit returned.

• She heard His voice as it penetrated beyond, reaching the spirit world.

Only three times the Bible says that Jesus raised the dead – this little girl, the widow of Nain's son and Lazarus. Why not more? In calling them back to earth, He was calling them back to the place of sorrow after they had entered the land of blessing, peace and glory.

• Each of the three times He raised the dead, it was not for the benefit of the one who had died, but for the loved one on earth.

• When she heard the Lord's voice to arise, her eyes began to flutter and then opened wide.

• The first face she saw was the tender face of Jesus; then the wet face of her mom and dad; then the enraptured faces of the three disciples; then the amazed faces of those on the outside.

In his book, The Great Physician, G. Campbell Morgan wrote of this miracle: “Even now when I study this miracle, my mind goes back 40 years when I asked the Lord to heal my first born daughter.” Jesus told Jairus, 'Fear not, only believe, I will make her well.' The same Lord,” he said, “told me, 'Fear not, only believe' but He did not say 'I will make her well.' She was not made whole on the earthly plane. She passed away into the life beyond. He did say to her, “Talitha Cuma,' 'Little lamb, arise,' but in her case that did not mean, stay on the earth level. It meant that He needed her, and He took her to be with Himself. She has been with Him all these years as we measure time here, and I have missed her every day; but His word, 'Believe only,' has been the strength of all those passing years.”

“Fear not; only believe!”