Today Mark shows us that Jesus could even raise people from the dead. The crowds had given up hope on the religious leader’s daughter once she died, death itself could not stop Jesus from healing the girl. Physical death may be final for us now, but like His raising of Lazarus in John 11, this miracle shows us that Jesus can give us life beyond the grave.
The Text (Mark 5:35-43)
35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”
36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”
40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.
While Jesus is traveling to heal Jairus’ daughter, a group of family and/or friends arrive to tell the man that it is too late – his daughter has died. Jesus has done many great miracles and healings so far in His ministry, but no one has heard of Him raising someone from the dead. Before the synagogue leader can process and react to this terrible news, Jesus challenges him not to give up hope but to believe. What did Jesus mean? I think Jesus was saying, “Don’t give up your faith in me. You came to Me for a reason – you believed that I could save your daughter. I still can. Now your trust in who I am is being tested beyond what you can understand. Hang on and believe in Me still.”
Mark does not tell us how the man responded, but he does show us that his family and friends did not believe. They ridiculed Jesus, thinking He was too foolish to understand or accept that the girl was dead. He was not. Jesus knew that the girl had physically died; by saying that the girl was sleeping, He meant that her soul was still inside her and that He was planning to awaken her body back to life. Her resurrection was part of His Father’s plan to show the people that Jesus was His Son, fully equal with the Father in all power and authority. Only God could raise the dead. Jesus raises the little girl with a few words and a gentle clasping of her hand (notice that He does not need to pray for God to do it like Elijah did with the widow’s son in 1 Kings 17:17-24). Mark is showing us in yet another way that Jesus is God.
Jesus Christ has the power to give us life beyond death. When we turn from our sin and put our faith and trust in Him as our Lord and Savior, He brings us to life spiritually. As Ephesians 2 tells us, we were “dead in our sins” until He saved us, making us “alive” in Him. We went from being “without hope” in this world to having the hope of eternal life in both this world and the next. When one day we finally die physically like Jairus’ daughter, Jesus promises to carry us safely into our homes made ready for us in heaven. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Like Jairus, we are challenged to hang on to our belief in that great truth, to daily put our trust in our Savior. The sinful voices of this world, under the sway of our enemy the devil, act like the crowds who did not believe. This world ridicules our faith and wants us to doubt and lose hope about the great reward of heaven that awaits us. We must instead let God’s Word and Spirit renew and transform our minds so that our faith in Christ and His power to take us to heaven grows and spreads to others. I pray that today we would not be afraid of whatever fears and doubts we face. I pray that instead we would truly believe in the eternal life that Jesus has given us. Blessings.