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Never Hopeless when Jesus is Here

Mark 5:35-36
While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. 'Your daughter is dead,' they said. 'Why bother the teacher anymore?' Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, 'Don’t be afraid; just believe.' (NIVUK)

The little girl was dying, but Jesus delayed His arrival to allow a distressed woman to be healed and sent on her way in peace (Mark 5:21-34).  The girl's father was the respected synagogue ruler in the town and he heard Jesus say to the woman, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (Mark 5:34) As these words were ringing into the crowd, Jairus was told: Your daughter is dead ... it's too late ... let Jesus off your case so He can help the helpable.  "Daughter" - the same word was used, of both the healed woman and the teenage corpse.  One was a child in Jairus' religious household; the other had just become a child of God through faith in Jesus.

In any situation it is terrible news to hear of the death of your own child.  It pierces the heart with such pain that tears cannot relieve.  Whatever the culture and however expected the news it still comes with a brutal violence.  A numbing force and an empty future.  The news-bearers were practically philosophical … do not bother Jesus any more.  Those words may have been designed to extricate Jairus from the embarrassing position of being in a crowd, having trusted Jesus only to be disappointed.  They were not intended for anybody else other than the synagogue ruler.  But Jesus heard.  He hears everything and even knows what we are thinking (Mark 2:8).

It is Satan's plan to make death a root of fear (Hebrews 2:15), as the unknown engulfs, and the broken certainties of life can never be put back as they were.  However, Jesus told Jairus not to fear, but to believe.  It was not just comfort but a challenge.  Would he also believe in Jesus despite the apparently hopeless situation?  Jesus does not console the grieving father, nor offer helpful advice.  Instead, He commands the man to turn his back on fear and simply believe.  Although such a strong word may be at odds with many sentimental ways of dealing with death - Jesus was on a mission.  He came to call people to trust Him with all their heart, and therefore He is right to command people to believe (Acts 17:30).  He was teaching the trainee apostles that He is the only way to eternal life.

Faith in Christ is never presented as one of many consumer options for the religious. It is a royal command - which is always met - either by obedience or disobedience. Those who resist the divine instruction to trust Jesus are not just misguided or independent-minded ... they are disobedient!  They are not the wise free-thinkers of this age, but sad puppets dancing to worldly and satanic tunes (Ephesians 2:1-2).  Their only hope is Jesus, and yet He is the object of their disobedience.  That is why the gospel in your hand and mouth has such urgency (Romans 1:5) - calling people to believe in Jesus before it really is too late. 

King of Heaven. Thank You for giving me the grace to respond in obedience to Your call to believe in Jesus. Forgive me for my reluctance to share the gospel imperative to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Keep me obedient to my calling, as an agent of heaven, clearly to urge others to obey the gospel call. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams