Summary: Jairus had a great need, and he met One greater than his need. When he faced an impossibility, Jesus provided life. We all have difficulties beyond our control. We have great needs, and we serve a great Christ for our needs.
Faith in the midst of Despair
Mark 5: 21-24; 35-43
Following the great miracle in Gadara where the demonic was healed, Jesus made His way back across the Sea of Galilee. Most agree He returned to the region around Capernaum, the home-base for His ministry. As soon as Jesus steps out of the boat, He is immediately met by a large gathering of people. Among those gathered that day was a man by the name of Jairus. He had a pressing need, and was determined to get to Jesus.
Our text today is likely very familiar to most of us and yet we never tire of reading this encouraging account. It is a dynamic story, filled with anticipation, despair, and eventual triumph. We may not be faced with a situation as severe as the one Jairus faced, but we often face situations that require the Lord’s help. As we consider the details of this encounter, I hope you will find the encouragement you need and the help you desire for your current situation. I want to discuss: Faith in the midst of Despair.
I. An Urgent Request (22-23) – As Jesus made His way to shore that day, He was met with a desperate situation that required immediate attention. Jairus brought his request to Jesus. Notice:
A. The Presumption (22a) – And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name. We find that Jairus was a ruler in the synagogue. He was a man of position, prestige, and power. He had worked hard and achieved a prominent place in society. He was regarded as a man of influence, in charge of the local assembly at the synagogue. At first glance, all seems well. However, he is now in a difficult situation. His only daughter, according to Mark, was dying. All the prestige and power he had couldn’t help her.
He had heard about a Man named Jesus who he believed could heal her. But, Jesus was no longer accepted by the religious rulers. The Pharisees desired to get rid of Jesus. If Jairus went to Jesus, how would those with whom he worshipped respond? He could possibly lose all that he had worked so hard to achieve.
Jairus makes a profound decision; he decides to put his family ahead of his own personal achievements. Jairus made his daughter the priority of his life. He was willing to risk it all to get her to Jesus.
B. The Petition (22b-23) – Here we read of the impassioned petition Jairus brought to Jesus. Notice:
1. His Humility (22b) – and when he saw him, he fell at his feet. The word fell means “to descend from a higher place to a lower one.” Here is Jairus, ruler of the synagogue, a man who has others in submission to him, bowing at the feet of Jesus. He has laid aside his pride and dignity. He wasn’t concerned with the opposition or prejudice of others. He has put his position, with all its security, fame, and authority on the line. He has humbled himself before the Lord. (As we come before the Lord, bringing our petitions, we too must come humbly before Him.)
2. His Faith (23) – And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. He makes no mention of his position or status. He immediately mentioned the dire need he faced. Jairus was confident that Jesus could bring healing to his daughter. She was at the point of death, and he knew that Jesus had the power to heal her if He desired.
Notice the extent of his faith: she shall live. Jairus was aware that the situation was beyond his control. There was nothing he could do no matter how desperately he tried. He had learned to trust the Lord for things he couldn’t provide.
I’m glad God is able when others are not. When you face situations that are beyond your control, and they are many, trust in Jesus – He will never fail! I’m glad there is hope for those who believe in faith. Honor Jesus with your faith; expect Him to do the unexpected!
II. An Uncertain Journey (24, 35-40) – As Jairus left with Jesus, heading toward home, he faced an uncertain journey. Consider:
A. The Delay (24) – And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. As they journeyed many followed them. Among the crowd were those who had desperate needs. In the verses we passed over, Mark records the account of the woman with the issue of blood. She had come with a great need, and as Jesus was ministering to her there was a delay in getting to Jairus’s daughter. He had placed his need in the hands of Jesus and fully trusted Him to provide for his daughter, even when delayed.