April 14

Mark 5:35-36, 42 35While 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?" 36Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

42Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Jesus used Capernaum as a base of operations. The synagogue foundation can still be seen today. Archeologists uncovered first century coins there. That confirms it to be the one referred to in the Gospels. The ruler or leader, Jairus, had no doubt heard Jesus speak and seen the miracles that were performed, even in his synagogue. The leaders had decided together to kill Jesus because of their envy of His large following and His exposure of the error of their traditions (Matthew 12:14). But when death comes knocking at the door of someone you love, tradition isn't valuable enough to fight over.

In desperation Jairus went to the man he had probably shunned. Sometimes it takes near tragedy to get us to stop and reevaluate our stand. Jesus never held a grudge. He immediately agreed to go see his daughter. On the way there, men from Jairus' house came to tell him the bad news. "Your daughter is dead." Jesus ignored them and told Jairus not to be afraid, but to believe. When we consider what was most likely Jairus' attitude toward Jesus before this event, we can marvel at the graciousness of Christ. Most men would probably have stopped right there and said, "Ha! God dealt with your envy toward me. Repent or more tragedy will strike." But Jesus isn't like most men. He has a heart for the hurting and knows that the goodness of God leads man to repentance.

He put out of the room everyone but his closest three disciples and the parents. Then He commanded her to get up. The word of Jesus is more powerful than any affliction. We can voice extremes of either doubt or presumption. We can say, "Forget it, she is dead!" Or we can say presumptuously, "Rise up!" If Jesus says it, you can say it, and you will see it happen. Be cautious not to doubt God's ability or to build hope in something that is not from Jesus' lips.

Remember: This is not a formula to deal with death or no one would stay dead. It is a revelation of the heart of our Savior and His power over death itself.