Faith-filled Perspective That Sees Life Restored
Faith finds an opportunity to grow or die when we are faced with adversity. This day would be one of those opportunities, and a faith-filled perspective would prove critical. Jesus was crossing a lake and was met by a large crowd upon his arrival to shore. Among the people was Jairus, the leader of the local synagogue. He would have been well-known by all — a man who could have stood with head up and chest out, proud of his own status,… but his young daughter was dying.
Luke 8:40-42 — On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him. Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him. His only daughter who was about twelve years old, was dying. As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. (NLT)
This synagogue leader didn’t appear to be focused on what people would think of him. He was a leader, and here he was at Jesus’ feet pleading. He had a child on the verge of death, and he knew by faith that Jesus was the answer.
Let’s jump ahead in this trip to Jairus’ house for just a moment. Sometimes when you have your answer and your faith is riding high, something or someone shows up to rattle you and punch your faith in the gut.
Mark 5:35-40 — …messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James). When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” The crowd laughed at him. (NLT)
I noticed that Mark (and Luke), kept reminding the reader that Jairus was a synagogue leader in this situation. At first, I wondered if there was another Jairus hanging around. Why keep repeating Jairus’ position? Perhaps, this was an effort to emphasize what Jairus’ must have been going through. Jairus was a man who was wrecked because his daughter was dying. There he was, a prominent man pleading at someone’s feet in public, and in front of a crowd. He believed he had the solution headed to his house, and then he gets devastating news that he was too late. Jesus told him to have faith, so he pressed on anyway in spite of what he had heard and in spite of the pain he must have felt. Later at his home, he faced a crowd of people laughing, because in a sense Jesus was saying that he could fix what everybody else thought was impossible. Jairus could have easily let embarrassment and anger take over. He had a reputation to uphold because he was “the leader of the synagogue”. Jairus’ image was probably diminished at this point on top of all the pain of losing a child. In spite of all this, Jairus must have had just enough faith to hold on to the vision of his desired outcome. He let Jesus take control of the situation.
Mark 5:40-42 — The crowd laughed at him. But he made them all leave, and he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed. (NLT)
Faith-filled Perspective That Sees Healing
There was a brief interruption that occurred on the way to Jairus’ house. There was a woman who we only know by her condition, not her name. She was “the woman with an issue of blood”. She should not have even been near this crowd because she was deemed “unclean”. She could not participate in any activities amongst the community. Additionally, she spent all she had trying to find a cure. She would have had low social standing, an outcast.
Mark 5:27-31, 33-34 — She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped…Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him… “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” …Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (NLT)
If this woman had let her status get in the way, she would not have even approached Jesus. She, knowing how others viewed her, could have been focused on the crowd and what people would think. She had been suffering for 12 years and had only gotten worse. Her perspective could have been filled with hopelessness. With a large crowd surrounding Jesus, she could have had a perspective filled with defeat, thinking there was no way she could get through to Jesus even if she mustered up enough courage for the attempt. If her perspective wasn’t one of faith, she would not have received the outcome she did.
High Status, Low Status, and Perspective Versus Outcomes
These two people (one high status, one low status) could have been focused on so many different things, but instead they chose to have a faith-filled perspective and see differently. Faith led to the outcomes that each person needed. Faith also led to them being remembered for many generations later.
Check your perspective. Tell me… What do you see?