Summary: Aware of Jesus’ healing power Jairus desperately sought Jesus’ help for the greatest need he probably ever confronted, getting help for his dying daughter.

Don’t Be Afraid; Just Believe!

Aware of Jesus’ healing power Jairus desperately sought Jesus’ help for the greatest need he probably ever confronted, his dying daughter.

Mark 5.21-24a, 35-43 - Todd A. Schäve, officiating pastor


1. [She] loved her family, and in this passage we see Jairus loved his family, particularly his 12-year-old daughter, who was dying.

Death is an ever present reality, but Jairus heard of a miracle worker, Jesus of Nazareth, and there is hope when Jesus is near.

2. Now, ignoring social standing, Jairus, “ of the synagogue rulers...” humbles himself by kneeling before Jesus, the country Rabbi, seeking his help, pleading earnestly with Jesus, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” (Mark 5.23).

Why would Jairus and we seek Jesus? Not only because of his healing power, but Jesus was a friend of sinners (cf. Luke 5.20). Anyone could go to him for help.

This reminds me of the hymn “Our Great Savior” by J. Wilbur Chapman:

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!

Jesus! Lover of my soul;

Friends may fail me, foes assail me,

He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Hallelujah! what a Friend!

Saving, helping, keeping, loving,

He is with me to the end.2

Can you hear Jairus’ faith in his plea? “...Please come and put your hands on her so that she WILL be healed and live.” (v.23).

Jesus will honor anyone who has faith like Jairus. My friend, do you trust Jesus? Jesus said, “...I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11.25-26).

3. Our text simply says, “So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him......”

My friend, take it by faith that Jesus goes will with you right now to face what life brings your way, whether it is illness, death or whatever we confront in life Jesus will help us manage and cope.

4. But, as they went, Jairus was confronted by his worst fear. Some men came from his house and reported to him, “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?” (v.35).

You know, Jairus’ faith could have evaporated right there, and he could have focused on how his daughter’s condition was now irreversible and hopeless, the terrible reality she was dead. But, our Lord, encouraged him by giving him hope when he said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (v.36).

I want to speak directly to [her] friends and family. You’re confronted by your worst fears right now in her death, your own mortality.

But, can you hear Jesus saying to you right now? “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” “...I am the resurrection and the life. [She] who believes in me will live, even though [she] dies...” (v.36). And you can believe too!

5. Now, at this point in the incident, Jesus takes the lead now, and “He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James” (Mark 5.36-37). The three disciples who were especially close to him and of course Jairus, who placed his hope in him when he humbly pleaded, “...Please come and put your hands on her so that she WILL be healed and live.” (v.23).

6. But, with Jesus taking the lead, they face Jairus’ fear, and when they arrived at Jairus’ home, he and those with him were not greeted by those who believed in him, for when he tried to explained to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep. ...[They] laughed at him” (v.39-40a).

The world always laughs at people who see things they cannot see.

Jesus saw a child who was asleep. Indeed, everyone knows that sleep can be a euphemistic word for death, but Jesus saw death as temporary.

But, for the world death is not a temporary sleep. It is permanent. Death is extinction, annihilation, we turn back to worm food and continue in the meaningless circle of life.

The Bible does speak of death as the “...last sleep...”, where no one can lift their hands. (cf. Psalms 76.5).

To prove Jairus’ daughter was not permanently dead...

7. Jesus put everyone out, except the girls’s father and mother and his disciples and then, they “...went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around...... At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat” (Mark 5.40b-43).

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