HE AWAKENED OUR DAUGHTER (Mark 5:21-23, 35-43)
I am Jairus and a headmaster of a school. My daughter was at the point of dying. This was not a time to debate whether Jesus was who He claimed He was or what people believed He was. I needed His help. When I heard that He was coming our way across the lake, I hurried to meet Him and threw myself at His feet and begged, “My little girl is dying. Please come and lay your hands on her so that she will get well and live.” Without a word, He pointed to me to lead the way. We had walked a short distance when Jesus stopped and asked who had touched Him. There were all kinds of arguments until a woman confessed and gave her account that seemed endless to a man whose child was dying. When at last He dismissed her and blessed her, a messenger from my home arrived and told me not to bother the teacher any longer for my daughter had passed on. My heart sank into my knees and I must have looked as if I too had died. But Jesus paid no attention to my messenger’s report and said, “Don’t be afraid, just keep on believing.”
At my home, there was a devastating commotion. Everybody acted as if they were out of their minds. There was so much groaning, moaning and weeping over my daughter. All I heard over and over, “She is dead!” Jesus did not allow anyone except Peter and the Zebedee brothers to enter our home. Inside, He tried to restore order, but to no avail. My people insisted that our daughter was dead and Jesus persisted that she was merely sleeping. When they began to laugh at Him, He had them all ordered out of the house except for my wife, his three close followers and I. Then the six of us went to my daughter’s room where she was laid out. She had turned twelve and was a picture of beauty. She was our only child, the pride of our life. She was everything to us. We expected her to grow up, marry a good man and provide for us a home when we were old. There she was all laid out in white, ready to be picked up by an angel. And she was more beautiful than ever. My wife and I held on to each as never before. And I said and whispered more prayers than ever. Our last hope was this man, Jesus who was rumored to be a miracle worker. Now we were in His Hands. He had told me not to fear, but believe. I did believe, but I also trembled.
The first thing Jesus did, when we entered my daughter’s room, was to take her by her hand as if she were alive. He did not treat her as a dead person, but as a living being. Jesus told us that she was merely napping. I, too, now saw that she looked like she was sleeping. But the truth of the matter was, her life returned when Jesus held her hand. Jesus was bringing her back from the valley of death. We were seeing a miracle in progress. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that Jesus was the Son of the Living God and that He had power over life and death. What was even more remarkable was that He responded to my pleading. He came to the home of a man, if all things had been well, I would never have invited Him. It is very likely that I may even have testified against Him at His trial. But my little daughter changed all that for me. She brought us together and restored the joy of salvation to our home. Before this event, religion was just a daily routine; now it was real life.
The second thing He did, He spoke to her as if she had finished sleeping. Jesus said to her, “Little girl, get up!” Right there before our eyes, she obeyed His orders. At once, she stood up, and walked about. There was absolutely no sign that she had been ill or that the members of our household had pronounced her dead. She was as nimble as ever and just as beautiful than before she fell into comma. We were speechless, except Jesus. The three disciples that were in the room with us, they too were amazed at what their teacher was capable of. We felt inner joy that our daughter had been snatched from death. We were so overwhelmed that we did not even thank Jesus for what He had done for us in giving us back our daughter. But then, He was not finished with us. He had two more things to say to us.
We were to tell no one what had transpired in that room with my daughter. We were very much puzzled by His demand for strict silence on the matter. We had a powerful reason to tell the world what Jesus had done for us, but He wanted no publicity. This was strictly between Him and us. As far as the people outside were concerned, He wanted them to believe that our daughter had been sleeping and that they had mistakenly declared her dead. Later on, I began to realize that the world was not ready for such a demonstration of power over death. A misconceived religious public that was already suspicious of Jesus may not have understood who Jesus was. A revelation of what He could do, so early in his ministry, could have shortened His life. Our story would not be told until after Jesus would depart this world.
We were to stop treating her as if she were dead or even sick. We were told to feed her. Jesus never explained why it was important that people saw her eat. My guess was that they could not spread their assumption that our daughter had died. At this time, no one had any idea what miraculous power Jesus had. He had us all convinced that our daughter was merely sleeping and that our diagnosis was wrong. In our hearts, her mother and I believed differently. When He urged us to remain silent, we were convinced that we were in the presence of our Deliverer. Even if we had tried to share with others what Jesus did, who would have believed us? It was more believable to say that our daughter was asleep, than that she had died. For those that believe that the soul does not die, only the body dies then, we all need Jesus to awaken us. Our daughter was not the only one that awakened, we also awakened.