Not Dead, Only Sleeping

(Mark 5:35-43)

While Jesus was coming to the house of Jairus to heal his daughter, messengers came to tell them not to bother for the girl had died. This must have been dreadful news to Jairus for he was out on a limb coming to Jesus in the first place.

raising-jairus-daughterJairus was a ruler in the synagogue. It is evident from many scriptures that the rulers of the synagogue generally opposed Jesus, to the point where they said if anyone should declare him the Christ they were to be cast out of the synagogue. (John 9:22) Thus for Jairus to come to Jesus shows how desperate he was to have his child healed, as would anyone in the same situation. The rulers also knew that Jesus had to be from God, for Nicodemus said as much to Jesus when he came to him by night. (John 3:2)

So Jairus was prepared to suffer the condemnation of the rulers and possibly to be thrown out of the synagogue for the sake of his daughter. He was prepared to give up all for this child. Then when the messengers came to say that she had died, he undoubtedly would have thought that it was all over. But what did Jesus say to him? “Do not fear, only believe.” (Verse 36) Again Jesus is saying, keep the faith. Believe and anything will be possible. The desire of Jairus’ heart that his daughter be healed was based upon faith. He had sufficient faith to come to Jesus in the first place, and now when all seemed lost Jesus said, don’t stop believing now…hold fast to your faith.

We too need to remember these words as well. Too often we feel like it is the end of the world and we don’t give sufficient credit to the Lord for his blessings. God is faithful and we will receive what we need when we too keep the faith.

We then see Jesus continue on to Jairus’ house and he makes this statement, “The child is not dead but sleeping.” (Verse 39) The people in those days knew when someone was dead or not, and they knew the child was dead, so they just laughed at him. But Jesus put them all outside and going into the child’s room with only her mother, father and those who were with him he raised the child from the dead. He strictly charged them not to make this known and told them to give the girl something to eat.

The likelihood of this not being known was next to zero. All these people outside were weeping for the child who had died and when she walked out of the room with her parents, they would have immediately known what had happened. Still Jesus made the point of not making a big deal of the matter…but it could never be hidden.

All things are possible through faith, even the raising of the dead. In this and the teachings earlier in this chapter we see that faith underpins all of the blessings of God and as the writer of Hebrews wrote, “And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Everything in the Lord depends on faith. There are many other things to learn and understand, but faith is one of the key foundations to everything.

Why faith? Because it is the great equaliser. Not everyone can be strong, not everyone can be rich, not everyone has great talent, ability, knowledge or many other things. But every person has the capacity to believe. This is why it depends on faith because then the way to God’s kingdom is open to every person on the planet. All they need to do is to have faith in Jesus Christ.

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