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
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 . . . .
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
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’
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.”
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.