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.