As Jesus began His public ministry in Nazareth, He stood up in the synagogue and read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to…”
Throughout His ministry, this ‘anointed Servant’ of the LORD, demonstrated heaven’s ongoing authentication of who He was and why He had come. Just as God’s servants in any era must demonstrate an utter dependence upon God, so Jesus modelled it perfectly. The Spirit of God led the Son of God throughout His entire ministry and provided ample evidence for a watching crowd of witnesses.
In Mark 5:21-43 Jesus encounters a dead girl and a sick woman. Jairus, father of the dying girl, some how gained knowledge that the miracle-working Messiah was in the community. Things were in a desperate state and like any caring parent he sought all the help he could obtain. Synagogue rulers, I’m sure, would be chastised by the religious authorities for endorsing Jesus, but the urgency of the hour trumped everything.
Jairus came. Jairus fell at the feet of Jesus. Jairus pleaded earnestly. Time was of the essence, and though on other occasions Jesus had healed ‘from a distance,’ this time He accompanied the desperate parent back to his home.
On the way, crowds followed and pressed around Him. While the previous community (v.17) had pleaded with Jesus to ‘leave their region,’ this community was different. Cultures and communities are not equally open to Jesus Christ. My own nation, appears open to ‘spirituality,’ but speak of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as THE way, THE truth, and THE life and you’ll garner an ‘intolerance’ label.
As Jesus treks with Jairus, in the pressing crowd is another desperately needy person. For twelve years this woman has pressed doctors for help and exhausted her own resources to no avail. She had nothing left, but faith. Not faith in faith, but faith in Jesus Christ–there’s a huge difference! “If I just touch HIS clothes, I will be healed.” He has something I need and if God doesn’t show me mercy, there’s nowhere else to turn. That’s the nature of a serious seeker of Christ. Jesus Christ has ALL I need–if only I would truly believe this and act upon it!
The woman’s faith was rewarded and though exposed before the crowd, she left that day in peace.
Do you note the lack of faith in the disciples? Don’t they know God’s power through Jesus? Why do they doubt His knowledge of all things? Why do I so quickly imitate them more than the desperate woman?
The passage concludes with a confrontation of unbelief and a confirmation for believers. Arriving at Jairus’ home, he encounters more commotion, people coping–or rather ‘not’ coping with the reality before them. ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ The Spirit-anointed servant is here and God is in the house!
The response of the crowd is telling – “But they laughed at him.” The ‘bearing shame and scoffing rude’ wasn’t just limited to the trial and suffering of Jesus at the cross. Throughout His ministry, He put up with the ridicule of those who chose not to believe.
“…he put them all out.” Laughing ridiculers would have no further opportunity that day. Only His disciples, those already following Him, and the girl’s parents would be first-hand witnesses. Jesus concludes the encounter with strange instructions – “…strict orders not to tell anyone…” Why? I don’t purport to know this mystery, but here we are almost 2000 years later still reading evidence of ‘God’s anointed Messenger.’
Read the passage again and let the Spirit of God engender faith in your heart today. O to gain the help of Jesus for our needy lives, families, churches and nation!