Summary: As we look into this moment spent between Jesus and Jairus concerning his dying daughter, we see just how gracious God is and how our faith should be during the tough times of life.
Moments with the Master Series
A TEARFUL MOMENT
In 1871, tragedy struck Chicago as fire ravaged the city. When it was finally extinguished, the fire had taken over 300 lives and had left some 100,000 homeless. A man by the name of Horatio Gates Spafford was one of those who tried to help the people of the city get back on their feet. Spafford, a Chicago lawyer, who had invested heavily into the downtown area, lost everything as a result of that fire. More tragically, Spafford had also suffered the loss of his only son just a year earlier. Still, for two years Spafford assisted the homeless, impoverished, grief-stricken and others ruined by the fire.
After about two years of such work, Spafford and his family decided to take a vacation. They were to go to England to join Moody and Ira Sankey on one of their evangelistic crusades, and then travel in Europe. Horatio Spafford was delayed by some business, but sent his family on ahead. He would catch up to them on the other side of the Atlantic.
Their ship never made it. Off Newfoundland, it collided with an English sailing ship and sank within 20 minutes. Though Horatio’s wife, Anna, was able to cling to a piece of floating wreckage (one of only 47 survivors among hundreds), their four daughters were killed. Horatio received a horrible telegram from his wife, only two words long: "Saved alone."
Spafford boarded the next available ship to be near his grieving wife. When the ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, Spafford penned these precious words to Hymn 410 – It is Well with My Soul
When peace, like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
What ever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well; it is well, with my soul.
Of course, there is more to that story and more to that song, but that is an illustration of how God can work in the midst of tragedy.
Now, every one of us has been impacted by tragedy to some degree. Whether it is illness, infirmity, death, or any of the thousands of things that can touch us, we have all experienced pain. Whether it is the pain of a broken body, a broken heart, or a broken spirit, tragedy has touched us all. Whether the pain is physical in nature or spiritual, we have all been affected. Jesus said it would be this way. I want you to remember that when tragedy comes your way, Jesus is more than adequate to take care of the situation.
In this passage, we are confronted with a father who is experiencing tragedy. That day, death showed up at the house of Jairus and it had come for his 12 year old daughter. He heart is broken, and in the midst of his tragedy, he turns to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jairus found out that Jesus is more than enough in the times of our tragedy.
Today, I want to look in on the events of this passage. I want us to look closely at this tragic, tearful time and see how Jesus is able to snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat.
I. A PITIFUL DIALOGUE (vv. 21-23)
A. The Accomplishments of Jairus (v. 22)
• We are told that this man is a “ruler of the synagogue”.
o That is, he is a man of prominence, position, prestige, privilege, prosperity and power in the community.
o He was a man who had it all, but at this moment in time, none of it mattered!
o When Jairus spoke, people listened.
• But, now, he finds himself in a place where none of that matters anymore!
o Sickness and death could care less about whom this man is, what he possesses or the position he holds.
o Here is a man who is religious.
But, his religion is powerless to help him in this situation.
• I guarantee you that Jairus would have traded everything for the power to change his situation.
o You see, life became much defined for Jairus!
He had everything, or so he thought.
In reality, what he had in the world meant nothing!
o You see, death had come to the house of Jairus, and it had come for his real treasure.
o His “little daughter”, was dying and she was his real treasure!
• Some people spend their entire lives amassing power and wealth.
o But, when tragedy comes, those things mean absolutely nothing!
Death doesn’t care if you are a millionaire!
Sickness and sorrow don’t care if you have power, prestige, position, or popularity.
o When tragedy and death comes calling, you better know one greater than yourself.