“Little girl, get up!”
Mark 5:21-24, 35-43
Today’s message is a continuation from the last week’s text, and last week, we looked at how the woman of blood flow risked her life to act on her faith in Jesus. She believed that since Jesus was the Messiah if she touched the tassels or the edges or the borders of his outer garment which was his prayer shawl, she would be healed. Because it is written in Malachi 4:2, “…., the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings….” Which means, in the wings of “The Sun of Righteousness” that is Messiah, in the four corners of Messiah’s prayer shawl, in their blue corded tassels, there is healing, the Bible says.
We covered that the “wings” are the same meaning as the blue corded tassels in the four corners of Messiah’s prayer shawl, that was why this woman of blood flow for twelve years risked her life to touch the tassel of Jesus’s prayer shawl so that she can get healed. In order for her to touch Jesus’ garment as an unclean woman due to her constant blood flow for twelve years according to Levitical law, she had to defile other people, including Jesus, intentionally, which was a serious crime, a deserving death sentence.
That was why she feared and trembled when she was found out that it was she who touched Jesus. Her desire to get well, her desire to touch the tassel of Jesus’ prayer shawl, prompted her to venture outside and risking her life. If she only had the faith that Jesus was the Messiah, but if she did nothing out of fear that she might be caught and sentenced to death, then, she could not have experienced healing, the miracle. But she acted on her faith. She daringly went out in public and touched the tassel of Messiah’s garment that had healing power according to the scripture she knew.
Likewise, when we come to Jesus for healing or for solutions for problems in life, we have to come with the mindset that our life is depending on touching his garment. As a sign of their absolute dependence on Jesus, some people fast and pray. ‘Our life is depending on you, you are the only one who can save us, ‘Oh Lord. You are our Lord and Savior!’
Today’s message is on Jairus whose daughter was dying. If the woman of blood flow for twelve years got healed because of her faith, her own faith, Jairus daughter’s case was different. She was raised to life from death because of her father’s faith. It takes one’s own faith to come to Jesus if they can, but for those people who cannot come to Jesus on their own, it takes other people’s faith, like parents’, siblings’ or friends’ or relatives’ or people who do not know them at all. We call it intercessory prayer. We all are called as intercessors for those people who cannot come to Jesus on their own for various reasons. We see that Jairus came to Jesus on behalf of his daughter who was dying. Verse 22 reads, “Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet.”
Jairus daughter was dying; she was not in the condition to come anywhere because she was dying: no strength! That was why, for her, her dad Jairus came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet.
As we noticed and covered last week that he was a man of importance and authority. He was a ruler of the synagogue; he not only saw to arranging worship in an orderly fashion but also had the power to excommunicate people from worshipping God in the synagogue. This powerful man, as soon as he came into his presence, he threw himself at his feet. In ancient time, people bow or kneel before someone else when they have a favor to ask or pay homage to that person. When someone bows or kneel in a temple setting, it symbolizes worshipping and honoring God. In most cases, kneeing was followed by praying or making a request to God, — a sign of submission and humility.
In this context, although we do not know whether Jairus knelt before Jesus as in asking for a favor or worshipping Jesus as his Messiah, we know that he put himself at the mercy of Jesus by falling before at his feet, submitting to his lordship, asking Jesus to save him and his daughter. Verse 23, “… and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.”
We notice here that he not only knelt before him but also begged Jesus repeatedly, kept begging in another version. Not just once but he kept begging Jesus repeatedly. Our prayer should be persistent, not giving up until Jesus moves to do our bidding. When we pray for ourselves or for our children or for someone else in our community, we should continue, keep praying to the point of moving the throne of God for God to act on our behalf. Verse 24, “So Jesus went with him…” In other words, Jesus was accompanying Jairus, in his faith journey to healing because he persistently begged Jesus.
Verse 35, on the way to his house where his daughter was dying, Jairus heard from people from his house that her daughter was dead; since she was already dead, there was no need for Jesus anymore, he was told. In the face of disappointment and at the point of giving up, Jairus heard a voice of Jesus saying that “Do not fear, only believe!” Let’s pause here for a moment. Let us put ourselves in the Jairus situation. Now Jairus was accompanying Jesus to his house with the hope that Jesus will make his dying daughter well, only to hear that his daughter was already dead. There were people who were saying that there was no need for Jesus any longer since his daughter was already dead, and here was Jesus saying that he needed not to worry but to believe that she will get well. What would be our choice in a situation like this?
our family member is seriously ill to the point of death. So, we would pray so hard and we have the assurance that Jesus is in the process of healing our loved ones, only to hear from medical doctors that our loved one is as good as dead and there is no cure for it. But Jesus says that we need not fear but to believe in Jesus accompanying us to heal our loved one. What would be our choice? Would we give up and tell Jesus that we do not need Jesus any longer for the healing purpose of our loved one since our loved one is already dead, or would we trust Jesus and hope against hope in the reality of death? Think about it!
One thing for certain is that if Jairus had given up when he heard that his daughter was already dead, then, he would not have experienced Jesus’ miracle of raising his daughter to life from death. As long as we know that it is not our blind faith that Jesus will heal no matter what the God’s will for our loved one is, but hearing from Jesus himself that he will heal, then we should cling onto Jesus’ promise no matter what the world says to us. But then, how can we tell the difference between blind faith and assurance of faith from God in terms of healing? (example)
One more important point is that Jesus does not give up on those the world considers dead. When Jesus came to Jairus house, there were commotions and wailing, mourning for Jairus’ daughter. In the ancient oriental societies, professional mourners were hired to make mourning cries and noises. Families and relatives who gathered at Jairus’ house, along with professional mourners, were in the middle of mourning of the dead. No one considered this Jairus daughter might not be dead yet; all of them believed that she was dead with good reason; they might have seen all those signs one sees in a dead person. Yet, Jesus did not give up on her, but went to her and raised her by hand and said, “Talitha Kum!” “Little girl, get up!” ‘Get up from the place of death, rise up!’ ‘I am the resurrection and life, get up!’
There are people in the world that we consider no hope for salvation, no hope for healing, no hope for recovery from their conditions. They are as good as dead if not already dead. We tend to do nothing for them, yet it is the will of God to raise them to life. He or she is a sin-sick sinner, he or she has untreatable sickness, he or she is an impossible drug addict and alcoholic. No hope for them at all, why bother! I do not know about you, but I am guilty of judging people like that.
Thanks be to God, Jesus is not like us. Jesus does not give upon those who are dead spiritually and physically, as in the case of Jairus’ daughter. “Jesus said, Talitha Cum!” Get up from the place of hopelessness and disappointment. Get up from the place of alienation from God and people. Get up from the place of death and isolation!! I am here to help you!
Lastly, Jesus accompanied Peter, James, and John, but it was Jesus who did the work. Jesus sent his disciples, us, to heal, cast out demons, and raise people from death to life, but it is not us that are doing it. It is Jesus who does it by himself through us. We are just his companion, if not instrument, in doing God’s work. God is continuously waiting for us to be available for God to work in and through us. Are we willing for God to do God’s work in our daily lives? “God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.” God wants to save everyone in the world through us!
Thanks be to God!!!