“And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, . . . and Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, . . . came in the press behind, and touched his garment.” (Mark 5:22-27)
As serious a trial as the situation was with his daughter’s health, Jairus was about to be tested even more deeply.
At first it would seem that the deathly state of his little princess was in itself the most pressing matter. She was, as the text points out, breathing her last. This drove the distraught father out of the house, even at such a critical moment. And though he was a man of position and wealth, this did not keep him from taking extreme measures. There, in the street, in view of everyone, this ruler of the synagogue fell before Jesus’ feet and begged for his attention.
Out the window went any air of superiority he might have cultivated as an important leader in the community. While normally he might have maintained some degree of public dignity, not today. Not this time. His daughter was dying.
Imagine his delight when the gracious Savior looked him in the eyes and matched his painful gaze with sincere concern. Immediately the Lord moved towards the house and hope began to glow on Jairus’ face. The word spread like wildfire and soon there was a growing flock of neighbors walking with them.
But along the way a sick lady crossed their path. Actually, she didn’t really want to be seen. Attracting attention was the farthest thing from her mind. Teacher and father were being followed by a throng of excited people and she had no intention of creating a scene. Rather, she tried her best to be inconspicuous.
However, the Master would have nothing of it, and kindly exposed her faith as an example for everybody. Of course, this all took precious time . . . and Jairus saw the servant approach with a dreadful look on his face. Jesus had taken too long! His daughter had died.
How impossible it is to measure the pain! A few minutes before, everything was hope and excitement and anticipation. His prayer was being answered and the horrible enemy of his family would be forced to retreat just as its victim was within reach.
But then this woman had erupted on the stage and the compassionate Lord had stopped the event. He turned slowly, and in His kind and thorough way, addressed the lady, the disciples, and the crowd. Everyone was thrilled with the results! Everyone, except a certain daddy. His hopes had just been dashed.
Now, I know the end of the story. It turned out well. Jesus had not been distracted for even a second, nor was His plan ever in danger. As with Joseph and the Egyptian butler many centuries before, the Lord had allowed hopes to be raised and then demolished . . . but just for a while.
Yet have I learned this lesson of trust? Am I able to watch my expectations get smashed and still believe? Is my confidence in Christ solid enough to weather this kind of disappointment? And can I rest in peace no matter what the final outcome is?
Dear Father, how easy to understand the facts without embracing them in “real” life. Help my unbelief. Amen.