Summary: We can have and must have faith in Jesus because Jesus is Lord over all.
What miracle will Jesus do now? He has calmed a storm; he has delivered a man possessed by hundreds of demons; and he has healed a woman suffering from an illness of twelve years, merely by her touching his garment. Indeed, that happened while he was on his way to accomplish another healing. Let’s return to that story and see what Mark has for us.
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.
Jesus is still ministering around the Sea of Galilee, which is the lake being spoken of here, and he, as usual, is attended by a large crowd. This scenario was set back in 3:7,8. 7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.
He taught his parables by the lake. He crosses over the lake in a storm that he calms. At the other side of the lake he drives out the demons in the possessed man and into the pigs. He then crosses back over, probably to the northern section at Capernaum, where the crowds are waiting for him again.
Soon after arriving, a man breaks through the crowd and falls at his feet. His name is Jairus, and he is identified as a synagogue ruler. President might be a better word for us to understand his position. It was an elected one. The president was elected by the synagogue members to oversee the services and facilities. It was a position of high honor. Jairus enters the picture as a man of prestigious standing, which makes it all the more dramatic that he falls at the feet of Jesus: 22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet.
Why the drama? His little girl is dying. 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” That says it all. Some people might comment on the strong faith or the uncommon humility of Jairus that would lead him to come to Jesus as he did. Any father, especially any father with a daughter, knows that he would have done the same regardless of the degree of his faith or humility.
24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. Mark seems to emphasize the crowd. For the second time he mentions the large crowd, this time adding how they pressed around him. Jesus and the father have to slowly make their way through the crowd, which, as the disciples make clear, is pushing about them. It is not difficult to imagine the anguish of the father at the pace, especially when Jesus stops to ask who touched him. Every second counts. His daughter is dying.
That touch, of course, was by the woman who had been sick for twelve years. Surely Jairus must have been growing restless as Jesus insisted on waiting for a response to his question. The disciples were perturbed with Jesus; how much more would the father have been. Then the woman comes forward and confesses. What do you think was going through Jairus’ mind and heart as he heard her story? For twelve years she was sick. That’s the age of his daughter. And now she is healed by a mere touch. Surely that would have bolstered his hopes. Now, if Jesus would just come on.
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”
I must confess that I have a lot of problem with these messengers. I don’t know who they were, but they sure seem callus. Maybe, “you just have to be there,” to know that they actually were being kind and sensitive, but it sure does not seem that way. Couldn’t they have waited until he got back to the house, or at least take him aside? And what is this “Why bother the teacher any more” stuff? The word means “to annoy.” Whoever they were, they could have used a training class on speaking with sensitivity.
Do we need to get into the father’s emotions? I know that you parents don’t want to go there. This is the nightmare of all parents. He gets to hear it in the middle of an excited crowd. He gets to hear it just as he would have been filled with hope that everything will be okay.