Mark 5.35-43 and the little girl raised to life
Mark 5.21-24 - When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.
Mark 5.35 - While he was still speaking to her, 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. 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. Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat.
The journey with God is one of motion. The Bible says that Jesus had crossed over by boat ‘again’ to the ‘other side’ of the lake. So Jesus had crossed over many times. The challenge to us is to keep on travelling and moving forward: to keep making the crossing. Willow Creek church once did a series about crossing the room a few years back, encouraging evangelism. Jesus wasn’t stationary. What about us?
He’s In The Waiting
We’re looking at this as the church being represented by the daughter. There is a start to this story of revival, a middle and an end. Notice that in the middle of this revival, Jesus, the head went around doing good and healing all. He was active about his Father’s business, noticing the one in the 99 and healing her and setting her free. As we wait for God to move in power, we stay faithful and fix our eyes on him. Our call is to go around being mini Jesus’s whenever and wherever we are.
The Bible tells us about a seedtime and harvest. Or as Joyce Meyer calls it, “Seed. Tiiiiiiime… And harvest.” This was a time. There was a time in between the revival of the daughter and the cry from the heart of Jairus himself. So often there is a time between the cries of God’s people and God’s interventions. This is especially true in big issues and world events. But time after time recently, God has reminded me from the Word that he hears every prayer, every call and every cry that we make to him and he answers us.
The story of Jesus meeting the woman on the way to bring life to Jairus’ daughter was also to bring life to individuals and to showcase God’s goodness. Bill Johnson says we should be wary about believing anything about God we don’t see in Jesus.
The servants of Jairus came to Jesus because in their eyes, things were too late. There had been a death as they saw it and there was no longer any hope. Very often when situations seem hopeless, it’s only because we don’t see the bigger, higher and wider picture that God sees. After all, his ways are higher, wider and deeper than ours. What seems like an immediate situation to us is part of a wider jigsaw that God is fitting together. And remember that people make choices.
So we have only one option – to trust. Or as Jesus said to the servants and Jairus, “don’t be afraid. Just believe.” As the Amplified puts it, “don not be afraid; only keep on believing (in me and my power).
Believing God is not a striving. It is a resting in God’s faithfulness and what he has done on the cross already. It is something we receive not something we have to hype up. It is simply believing God is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do. “All your promises are yes and Amen.”
Psalm 119:140 - Your promises [O God] have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.
But sometimes it just takes time.
So let’s recap – what we could see as an equivalent of a church leader came to Jesus with a problem that could only be solved by Jesus. This was a life and death issue.
This talk is about looking at the church. We’re going to see the life of the girl as the life of the church, the body of Christ, believers.
The reports were that the little daughter was dying. This church leader had it right. He came to Jesus as the answer. I recently heard a speaker say that we have rules in every sphere of life such as politics, science, law etc. But it seems that when it comes to morality, the law is that we should have no law. Things are falling apart disastrously because we haven’t gone to Jesus.
One thing you won’t hear on the news is that Donald Trump called for a Day of Prayer in the USA on 3 September. Whatever your views, you wouldn’t have got that under many other leaders. Theresa May should be doing that right now too. Donald has it right – he has gone to the right place – Jesus. So did the church leader.
True Nature of God
And contrary to the God that the secularists proclaim, Jesus went with the leader (even someone of a different ‘faith’) because God is good and wants to bring his goodness (not worldly goodness) to every situation and person. Stephen Fry famously said he doesn’t believe in a God who could allow the suffering and death of people. As many Christians replied to him – we also don’t believe in a God who Stephen Fry doesn’t believe in. The message is that God is not evil but good. Don’t let society or humanist hostile thinkers shape your picture of God. But we also need to know a theology of the God of the Old Testament.
In the Bible we learn that when Jesus said the child was only sleeping, the Amplified tells us that the people laughed scornfully at Jesus ‘because they knew he was dead.’ The world is still full of people who think they know better than Jesus and who are only too keen to tell you what they think, they see and they believe. Sometimes the atheists are more evangelical than the evangelical Christians they abuse.
But God sees what man does not see and we too must walk by faith and not by sight.
Jesus surrounded himself with a core team – we all need that. We need people around us who will support us, walk with us, be with us and us with them. God needs us to be like that. In the song ‘Yes And Amen’ by the Housefires, the lyric says to God ‘Faithful. You are.’ But God also seeks that kind of faithfulness from us. Are you a Peter, Andrew or John - a close friend of Jesus? Are we the kinds of people that Jesus would take with him (or these days, would go with us) to bring healing, hope, health and happiness to situations and people?
Not only did Jesus stop the crowd coming along to witness (again probably contrary to most strategies today!) he put the extended family and friends out of the room. Were the people put out of room by Jesus because of their unbelief? It seems likely.
I definitely do not want to be one who Jesus has to put in a place away from the supernatural working of God through my doubt, fear and unbelief.
The ones who mocked and doubted didn’t see the miracle – they missed out. We don’t want to be those people. We don’t want to be ‘put out of the room’ by Jesus.
Was the child actually sleeping? This is the same word used for sleeping and also in 1 Thess 5.10 when the Bible talks about people ‘sleeping’ when they are actually dead. Some suggest the child was only sleeping but the Bible shows clearly that she was dead and was raised to life.
This shows that when God gets involved, the impossible is made possible and the supernatural supersedes the natural.
Interesting that Jesus made a confession of faith that the child wasn’t dead but sleeping. He did this contrary to the visible human evidence and despite people’s words, accusations and doubts. This is the world today. Let’s make positive confessions that believe God and his Word above everything we see, hear, taste, feel. I would say this is true faith. But it’s a hard place to come to. (Andrew S’s call)
Jesus saw in the Spirit what really was (or what could be). We don’t always have that kind of connection with the Father in heaven. But we have the word of God. Sometimes we’re desperate for a word – well, I can tell you that the very best place to find a word is the Bible which is tried, tested, proven and true.
Jesus took the girl by the hand. Ephesians tells us that Jesus is the head – decisions come from the head. So we need to let Jesus be the one who leads us and we follow. This is the only way to life.
Jesus spoke the word to the child just saying ‘little girl, get up.’ If this was on GOD TV today or during a revival, we’d have someone shouting but the power of God and faith is not measured by the volume of our words or the excitement we generate!
Isaiah 55.10-11 (Amplified) says, ““For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, Making it bear and sprout, And providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
A good translation of this is that God’s Word has the power within it to do what God says it will do. It is the word that God speaks and not the words that we speak unless they are from God and inspired by God. The power is not in the speaker of the words from the one inside the speaker of the words. Christ in us, the hope of glory…
God knows the exact words we need to bring life, restoration, revival, resurrection.
Interesting that this incident of raising from the dead took place at home of the synagogue ruler – this place of seeming lifelessness was the place where revival started. Don’t dismiss church leaders or the church!
Elijah and the prophets – God said there are 5000 others. In 1 Kings 19.14 Elijah said he was the only one left but in verse 17, God said he had 7000 others. Don’t ever think it’s just you or just your way of seeing things – you have no idea what else God is doing. God is always doing something in ways we often don’t see, don’t hear about or don’t understand.
It’s interesting that life came to both the home of the leader and the young person. God brings life in different ways to different people, often through the same incident. This is also the amazing thing about God’s Word, which is able to speak to people in different ways from the same verses – speak across generations, cultures, nations and to the same person in varied ways.
The transformation happened in the life of a high school student. Maybe God will do this again in our day. And let’s call revival when it is that – not just awakenings!
What Jesus did for the little girl was out of the ordinary. It was not something that people were expecting. As they saw things, it was a mess and a situation without hope. But Jesus interjected hope and a solution that they did not see coming and had no compass for. Jesus did something they may have heard about Elijah or Elisha doing but did not expect Jesus to do. They were amazed at what happened. With the Spirit of God in us let’s expect even the unexpected. We can get so used to the mundane that we forget who Jesus is. Jesus can bring things to life and bring life back where it appears in the natural that it has been stolen. That is who he is. He’s a Good, Good Father…
And Jesus did this in a way that was fresh, new, unique and a one-off. I’ve heard people, speakers say that you have to do this or that in order to have this or that happen. But it’s not that simple. There are principles we can apply and at times God will bring a rhema word to us. But our job is to rest in who God is, what he has done and in his promises. Then we’re obedient. Don’t get caught up in rules, even masking as freedom or 'new ways of doing things' (some of what we do in the charismatic churches could be seen by some to be as 'religious' as older things we sometimes may criticise).
The key is living life in the Word, inspired by and alive in the Holy Spirit