Get Up and Eat!

Jesus, his three closest friends (Peter, James, and John), and the parents of the young girl who has died are in the room with her body.

I can’t even imagine the emotional atmosphere inside those four walls. Grief and sadness mixed with hope and expectation.

I doubt Jesus wasted any time once He went inside. He clasped the young girl’s hand in His and told her to get up!

And she did! She immediately stood up and started walking around the room.

I’m sure the dramatic switch in emotions almost gave her parents whiplash. The grief and sadness instantly evaporated, hope and expectation were no longer needed, and their exuberant joy was, I’m sure, tangible and loud.

Then Jesus cautioned them not to tell anyone. I can’t imagine relatives, friends, and neighbors not immediately knowing what happened as soon as they saw this young girl, walking around . . . and breathing. So there’s no way they could keep it a secret.

But Jairus was one of the Jewish leaders in charge of the synagogue. And some of the religious leaders had recently accused Jesus of doing miracles using the devil’s power. So, I think Jesus was possibly warning them that it could be dangerous for Him if news of their daughter’s resurrection reached the wrong people.

But telling the parents to keep quiet about this very obvious miracle isn’t even the strangest thing Jesus says at the end of this story.

The final words recorded here are “. . . and told them to give her something to eat.”

I have to say that for decades I just ignored that part of the story. It seemed to have been hastily tacked on at the end. Surely it couldn’t have been real important. It’s almost like Jesus felt he needed to say something else, something a little more practical, after He told the parents to keep quiet about what happened.

But you know as well as I do that Jesus never wastes words. And I don’t believe this instance is any different.

I started thinking about why He would tell the girl’s parents to give her something to eat. I mean, of course they would feed their daughter. They had been feeding her for 12 years. Why would they stop now?

And then I thought about the miracle Jesus had performed. This young girl had gotten real sick and then died. And dead people don’t eat. But now that she’s no longer dead, she needs to start eating again . . . on a regular basis . . . in order to maintain the LIFE Jesus has brought back into her body.

Because if her parents didn’t start feeding her again, they would soon need Jesus to perform another miracle . . . to bring her back to life . . . again.

Here’s a different example, same principle.

A couple has extremely serious marital problems. They’re both from dysfunctional families and they’ve each dragged their familial dysfunction into their own marriage. And now, after several years of tremendous hurt and pain, the situation has exploded into a hot mess and things have escalated to the point that separation has occurred, divorce papers have been drawn up, and some of the furniture has been moved to another residence.

Everyone knows it’s over. Well, almost everyone.

You see, one-half of the couple is still praying and believing. And Jesus is still listening and answering. And miraculously an unexpected reconciliation occurs, a family is reunited, and a marriage is saved.

Or is it.

Just like the parents had to feed and continue feeding their daughter, who now required food again in order to grow and mature, this couple needs to start doing whatever is necessary to grow and mature in their marriage relationship.

You see, if they treasure their marriage for a while, but then slowly regress and start treating their spouse and their relationship the same way that got them to this point in the first place, one day they will need Jesus to perform another miracle to save their marriage . . . again.

I believe Jesus was telling Jairus and his wife that with their miracle came responsibility. He had given them their daughter back, now they needed to do what was necessary to help her grow and mature and maintain a healthy life. She wasn’t to be a protected anomaly that people came by to look at and carefully touch and maybe ask for an autograph. It was now time for her to get on with life . . . the life He created her to live.

Jesus doesn’t perform miracles for us so we can remain focused on the miracles He performs. He performs miracles for us so we can fulfill the purpose He created us to fulfill.

Yes, we need to thank Him and remember everything He’s done for us and share our testimony with those who need to hear it. But our focus shouldn’t be on an ‘event’ in the past, or even the out-of-this-world future He is preparing for us. Instead, we should be focused on what He created us to do in this present world, in this present day.

We should be focused on feeding ourselves whatever it is we require in order to become the person God created us to be, in order to be equipped to perform the good works He created us to perform, in order to fulfill the calling He has placed on our lives.

What do you need to get up and eat today?


What past event, good or bad, has a habit of stealing your focus?

Are you more concerned with collecting spiritual events . . . or fulfilling your purpose?

What aspect of your life could use more feeding and growing in order to be healthy?

In what area of your life do you need more maturity?

What can you do to regularly remind yourself to stay focused on what God is calling you to do today?


41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Mark 5:41-43 NIV

Who’s In Your House?

Jairus’ daughter has died. But Jesus has told him to not give in to fear and to ‘keep on believing’.

And Jesus also reduced the number of people around Jairus to three disciples: Peter, James, and John.

When they arrive at Jairus’ house, the commotion inside is loud and chaotic. People are wailing and mourning the death of the young girl.

As they should.

But Jesus comes in and gives them a different perspective on what is going on. He says the girl isn’t dead, she’s just asleep.

Well, they know better. Some of them were there when she died. Others have seen her dead body. They know better than this man who just walked in the house.

And they let him know it. They laughed at him. They jeered. They probably called him a few special words. Crazy. Delusional. Deceiver.

Jesus’ response was to kick them all out.

Again, he removes the naysayers. The doubters. The unbelievers.

What do you do when what you see and what Jesus says don’t line up?

When He says keep on believing and you have absolute evidence that there is no reason to?

When everything in your life, in your mind, in your heart says there is no hope, but Jesus continues to whisper hope to your spirit?

What do you do with that?

That’s a difficult but glorious place to be. And what you do there is critical. I believe what Jesus did in this story was an important lesson for us when we face these faith-building situations.

Jesus removed all sources of influence that didn’t line up with how He saw the situation.

He removed words of death when He said there was life.

He removed words of defeat when He said there was hope.

He removed words of doubt when He said ‘keep on believing’.

Who and what are in your house and in your life that are challenging what Jesus says about you? About your identity? About your future? About your children? About your marriage? About your finances? About your ministry? About His unfathomable love for you?

If you continually listen to mourning about a situation Jesus says isn’t dead yet, how will you have the faith to ‘keep on believing’?

38 They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He looked [with understanding] at the uproar and commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing [in mourning]. 39 When He had gone in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is sleeping.”  40 They began laughing at Him [because they knew the child was dead]. But He made them all go outside . . . .

– Mark 5:38-40a (AMP)

Who’s With You?

We’re jumping back into the story of Jairus. He’s just learned that his daughter has died, and Jesus immediately reminded him to keep on believing and to not be afraid.

But before they continue their walk to Jairus’ house, Jesus does something unusual.

Earlier, the entire crowd following Jesus that day were going with him to Jairus’ house, hoping to watch him heal Jairus’ daughter. But now, as they start out again, Jesus doesn’t allow anyone to accompany him and Jairus except Peter, James, and John.

What has changed?

Jairus’ daughter has died. So this has gone from a mission of healing a very sick girl to now raising her from the dead.

Apparently that changed things in Jesus’ mind. I’m not sure exactly why, but I have a couple of ideas.

I don’t believe raising the dead was any more difficult for Jesus than healing the sick. Or casting out demons. Or feeding the hungry.

They all require faith. They all require belief that the power of God can do anything. And I don’t believe Jesus entertained one ounce of doubt.

But I’m not sure about the level of faith in the rest of the crowd – with the exception of the woman with the issue of blood. Her faith in God’s healing power is what Jesus said healed her.

But like I said in that post, she is the only one in the crowd that we know of who intentionally connected with Jesus’ healing power that day.

And we know that at another time in scripture Jesus could only do a few small miracles because of the unbelief in a particular town.

So, apparently, the level of faith of the people around Him could affect the type and number of miracles Jesus was able to perform.

That’s one possible reason he made the crowd stay behind.

The second possible reason is that he did it for Jairus’ sake.

Jairus had just been told his daughter was dead. And I’m sure when he heard the news he automatically started to break down. That’s why Jesus immediately told him to not give in to fear but to keep on believing.

And I think that may be the main reason Jesus cut the travelers down to five people: Jesus. His three closest disciples, men who had watched him perform a multitude of miracles. And Jairus, the little girl’s father, the one person who would want her alive more than anyone else in the crowd.

Five people. All focused on one goal. Five people who have no other agenda that day but to do whatever it takes to bring LIFE to this young girl.

I think we can learn something from this strategy.  

Have you ever had a need in your life so huge that you knew there was no way you nor any other human being could meet that need? You knew God was going to have to come through for you in a miraculous way or you weren’t going to make it, it just wasn’t going to happen.

How many people did you tell about it? How many times did you share it with your small group, or with the church prayer team, or with anybody else you could think of who had any kind of prayer life? How many times did you post about it on social media and group text your friends to remind them of your need?

I think that’s our instinct. When we’re desperate, we somehow equate the number of people we can get praying for us with how quickly and how well God is going to answer our prayers.

While I’m a strong believer in sharing prayer requests with other people, I also believe we need to prayerfully consider which specific people we share those requests with.

We all know how difficult it is to ‘keep on believing’ when things ‘look’ the opposite of what we’re believing God for. Just like Jairus must have felt on this particular day.

And we know how much more difficult it gets when more and more people keep asking us for updates . . . and when those same people we’re trusting to agree with us in faith-filled prayers start reminding us of the facts, and mentioning that things possibly may not turn out like we’re hoping they will, so we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high.

The strategy Jesus used here, when Jairus was facing a tremendous need, was that he surrounded Jairus with a small number of people with faith.

He didn’t want Jairus overhearing the comments of just anybody in the crowd. People who were there only for the entertainment factor. People wondering aloud what Jesus was going to do when they arrived, what the final outcome was going to be, and how anything could possibly be done now that the girl was dead.

You know as well as I do that when you’re believing God for something HUGE, you have to be very careful who you listen to, what you read and watch, which thoughts you allow yourself to dwell on, and what words come out of your mouth. That’s the only way you can ‘keep on believing’.

How many people have you invited to accompany you on your journey to your miracle?

Who are you listening to?

What are they saying?

Are their words building your faith or tearing it down?

How is your thought life being affected?

As a result, what words are coming out of your mouth?

I encourage you to spend some time asking God if there’s anything you need to change about the way you share your prayer requests. And if there’s anything you need to change about the way you support those who have asked you to pray for them.

Prayer is a critical part of our journey and faith is the essential part of prayer.

“He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.” 

Mark 5:37 TPT

Why Bother?

We’re jumping back into Jairus’ story. You can read the first part here if you need to catch up.

The huge crowd that was surrounding Jesus and Jairus on their way to Jairus’ house had stopped because the woman with the issue of blood had just been healed (here). And Jesus was still talking with her when people from Jairus’ house came and gave him some devastating news.

They told him his daughter had died. And they told him there was no reason for Jesus to continue to be involved. It was over.

They said, “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

Do you ever feel that way? Have you received any news lately that convinced you there’s no use bothering God about that anymore? It’s too late. It’s over. Done. It’s time to give up and update your prayer request for that situation.

Your dream is dead. That relationship is finished. Your career is no longer an option. You’ll never get ahead. You’ll never even catch up. You’ve made too many mistakes to be part of that ministry. You’ll never get well. That diagnosis is real and deadly.

I’m sure the people who came from Jairus’ house were friends. And I’m sure they meant well. They honestly couldn’t see how continuing to involve Jesus in the situation at this point would benefit anybody. They had no grid for Him being able to do anything now.

They knew what they had seen. A dead little girl. A heartbroken mother. A grieving family. And since they were his friends, they had the horrific duty to give Jairus the news. Then to bring him home and help him grieve.

Because that’s what friends do.

But listen to what Jesus is doing while this is going on.

In verse 36 the Amplified Bible says, “Overhearing but ignoring what they said . . . .”

I love that! Jesus hears the horrible news the friends bring, but ignores it and tells Jairus to not be afraid . . . “only keep on believing.”

What was Jesus asking Jairus to keep on believing? Back in verse 23, Jairus asked Jesus to come lay his hands on his daughter “so that she may be healed and live.”

It’s so easy to let go of our faith and give in to fear when bad news comes. We’re trusting Jesus to come through and we’re believing He’s with us on our way to our miracle. Then we’re blindsided by bad news and we feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us. Fear takes over and our faith quickly fades.

That’s when we need to be reminded to keep on believing.

Jesus was reminding Jairus of the strong faith he had proclaimed just a little earlier that day. Jesus was letting Jairus know that it wasn’t time to give up. That there was still hope. That Jesus wasn’t finished with the situation yet.

What situation in your life have you been believing Jesus wants to heal . . . but right now looks like it’s dead?

What were you believing Jesus was going to do?

When did you expect Him to do it?

What news has made you doubt what you once believed?

Sometimes, in order to keep on believing, we have to ignore some of the news that’s out there. I’m not encouraging you to live in denial. I’m talking about believing what Jesus has told you He would do . . . even when everything you see and hear is screaming the opposite. Even when you’re encouraged by well-intentioned friends to believe what appears to be happening more than what Jesus tells you is happening.

There’s a famous quote that says, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.” (V. Raymond Edman)

If Jesus has promised you something . . . if you believe He wants to bring healing into a particular situation in your life . . . don’t forsake that faith you have in Him just because something that looks like the opposite appears on the scene.

The currency of the Kingdom of God is faith. And faith isn’t faith if you can see what you’re believing for. Faith is believing when you can’t see it. Even when things look the opposite of what God has told you will happen. Even when things look that way for a long time. Even when some of your good friends tell you it’s time to give up, to let go of hope, to settle for less than what God has promised you.

Sometimes we have to be like Jesus in this passage and ignore the bad news . . . and just keep on believing.

What bad news do you need to ignore today in order to continue to have faith that Jesus will do what He has promised you He will do?


Mark 5:35-36 AMPC

35 While He was still speaking, there came some from the ruler’s house, who said [to Jairus], Your daughter has died. Why bother and distress the Teacher any further?

36 Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.

How Desperate Are You?

One of my favorite Jesus miracle stories is actually two of Jesus’ miracles combined into one story.

I prefer the way it’s presented in Mark 5, so that’s the scripture reference we’ll be using. Here are the introductory verses we’re discussing today.

Mark 5:21-24 (AMPC)

21 And when Jesus had recrossed in the boat to the other side, a great throng gathered about Him, and He was at the lakeshore.

22 Then one of the rulers of the synagogue came up, Jairus by name; and seeing Him, he prostrated himself at His feet

23 And begged Him earnestly, saying, My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be healed and live.

24 And Jesus went with him; and a great crowd kept following Him and pressed Him from all sides [so as almost to suffocate Him].

Jesus and his disciples have just landed after another trip across the lake. As soon as they got out of the boat, people started gathering around. Pretty soon a huge crowd surrounds Jesus while he’s still on the shore.

All of a sudden, a man pushes through the crowd and falls down on his face in front of Jesus.

The man’s name is Jairus. He’s one of the rulers of the local synagogue. While Jewish leaders like him weren’t typically big fans of Jesus, Jairus has a huge problem and he believes Jesus is the only one who can help him. So, at least for today, Jairus has set aside any political or religious issues he has with Jesus.

Jairus was probably well known in the community. And I have a feeling he had never fallen face down in the dirt in the middle of a crowd of people in his life. At least not on purpose.

But he does today.

And he does it at the feet of Jesus.

Jairus had heard the stories about Jesus healing people. And while he may have written them off as unfounded rumors last week, today he needs them to be true.

In fact, he’s desperate for them to be true.

Because Jairus’s little girl is dying.

She’s not just sick. She’s not just getting worse.

Today she is at the end of her life.

And Jairus doesn’t want his little girl to die, so he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep her alive.

No matter what it costs him.

And being bold enough to ask Jesus for help in the middle of his hometown could potentially cost Jairus a lot.

It will cost him at least some of his pride. But it could possibly cost him his reputation, maybe even his role in the synagogue, his position in the community, or potentially relationships with some of his friends and family.

But today Jairus could not care less about any of that. Because today Jairus is desperate.

And when we get that desperate about a dire situation in our life, we pretty much lose the ability to care about anything else.

Today Jairus is putting all of his focus and all of the faith he can muster on his hope that the rumors about Jesus are true. That Jesus can actually heal people. That He really does have that kind of power.

So as soon as he hears that Jesus has landed in his town, he runs there, pushes his way through the crowd that’s already gathered, and prostrates himself at Jesus’ feet and asks Him to come heal his daughter.

How desperate would you have to be to do that? To push your way into a huge crowd of people in your hometown – maybe in your home church? To forget all about your reputation? To NOT care about how you look? About what people are going to think of you? About what they’re going to say?

What would it take for you to be so focused on Jesus . . . on what He can do for you and for those you love . . . that NOT ONE THOUGHT of what other people are going to think about you would even cross your mind as you fall at Jesus’ feet, telling Him that you believe He can and will do the impossible for you?

There are several things I can think of that I would be that desperate about. But I wonder if there should be more?

Because, instead of waiting until there’s a desperate situation in my life, how would things change if I recognized my complete dependence on Jesus every day of my life? If I took a few minutes every morning to bow before Him and declare that He IS my only hope . . . for life . . . for my next breath . . . for any semblance of sanity in this circus of a world we’re living in?

I wonder if I lived like that every day, how long would it take for my ego to subside? For my concern about my friends’ and family’s image of me to decline? For my self-focus to move out of focus and for Jesus to be the center of my field of vision wherever I go?

With all the faith he could muster in the only hope he could find, Jairus begged Jesus to come to his house and lay His hands on his daughter so she would be healed.

And Jesus didn’t hesitate. I can just see Him pulling Jairus up off the ground, giving him a big hug, helping him dust the dirt off his clothes, and telling him to lead the way.

And the crowd, even more excited now that a big miracle is brewing, went along for the ride.

This crowd was so big and so intent on being close to Jesus during the whole process that it was almost suffocating Him (verse 24 AMP).

They’re all walking as fast as they can, trying to get to Jairus’ house in time. Everyone’s bumping into each other. People are pushing their way through the crowd to try and get close to Jesus, or maybe to say an encouraging word to Jairus.

And then it all comes to a grinding halt.

And while I’m sure all Jairus can think is, Jesus, we need to hurry up, we’ve got to get there before my daughter dies . . . someone else in the crowd is suddenly ecstatic. Because her life was just radically changed.

That’s where we’ll pick up the story next time.

Are You Ready to Start Walking?

We’ve been talking about the miracle Jesus performed at the Pool of Bethesda and the lessons God showed me.

If you need to catch up, you can read the first post (Are You Stuck?) and the second post (How Do You See Yourself?).

In today’s post, we’re going to cover the Continue reading “Are You Ready to Start Walking?”

How Do You See Yourself?

Last week we started talking about the Healing at the Pool of Bethesda.

About getting too comfortable in our lack, hanging around people who are also focused on what they need, and waiting for someone else to come to the rescue.

Today’s part of the story shows what happens when Jesus confronts us  Continue reading “How Do You See Yourself?”