Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him.
While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.”
But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.”
There are two interwoven stories in this section. Both of them happened around the same time, because all of these events in the Gospels were real. They didn’t happen in a neat outline or in a convenient order for Jesus. He was a wandering rabbi that went from place to place teaching what the hearers needed to hear at the time.
Now is the time for them to see that just need to straight up believe that Jesus is the Christ — the anointed One from God.
The way they had the synagogue worship setup in Jesus’ day was pretty different than how we do church today. You had to have at least 10 men there to make it official. Any one of them would get up and teach and talk. If none of them wanted to teach, the synagogue ruler would be the back-up teacher. As you can imagine, he’d probably do a lot of teaching!
Jairus wasn’t just some local pharisee, he was the ruler of the local synagogue. He was influential and probably enjoyed a good salary or at least good housing as the synagogue ruler. He was also well-versed in the Torah and all of the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees.
But he had faith that Jesus could heal his sick daughter. All of the teachings and debate about the Law went away when it came down to the real life of struggle, sickness, and death.
Even though Jarius may have disagreed with things that Jesus said, he believed that there was something amazing Jesus could do here. When Jarius asked Jesus to help, Jesus didn’t retaliate with a “Woe to you, teachers of the Law, Pharisees,” statement. He went along to help.
When opposition came up and the scene became hopeless, Jesus was right there to help Jarius along. Who knows what other people thought of Jarius asking this other Rabbi for help? It didn’t matter. Jesus only words to him were “Do not fear. Keep on believing.”
To continue believing that Jesus could help her even when all hope was lost was a bigger jump than going to ask Jesus for help in the first place!
If Jesus is the Son of God, then He doesn’t just heal. He brings about new life and new hope in all of God’s love and power at once. Note that Jesus didn’t heal people into rehab and occupational therapy for 6 months. He healed them completely.
The struggle for Jarius and even for us, as we walk along and things become even more hopeless, is to believe that Jesus is still the Son of God. Jesus is still the ruler and the king, and He can do anything.