This is the second in a “Come Alive” series
In Mark 5, we walk through a day in the life of Jesus – as he walks through the town and talks to the people. In the midst of the day, we meet two women. Different women, different backgrounds, but they have something in common on this day. They both meet Jesus.
In the first part of Mark, we see Jesus healing a woman who had been sick for 12 years. (Read about her in Come Alive: A Women’s Story)
During the whole interaction with this woman, there is a man standing next to Jesus named Jairus, a synagogue leader, well known by those in the crowd. His daughter was only 12 years old. She may have known about Jesus and maybe she understood her need for his healing, but she was at a point in her illness when she couldn’t go find Jesus herself. Jairus was willing to leave his dying daughter and fall at Jesus’ feet because he believed Jesus could change their circumstance. In Mark 5:21-24, Jairus said, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And in verse 24 it simply says, “And he (Jesus) went with him.”
They are on the way to Jairus’ house when the woman touches Jesus shawl. So, while I’m sure Jairus is watching and thinking, “This is wonderful, this is powerful, but…my daughter is dying.” So he stands there and waits until Jesus is ready to start moving toward his house again. Just as they start moving again, a servant came and said, “Don’t bother Jesus, it’s too late.” Jairus doesn’t voice his thoughts, but he was probably thinking, “If we just wouldn’t have stopped for that woman, we would have been there by now.” But Jesus knew better. He looks at Jairus and tells him to do two things:
“Don’t fear. Only believe.”
Jairus had already proven himself to be a man of faith, but Jesus knows that fear of what we think is happening, fear of this moment and fear for the future sometimes crowds out what we know to be true about Jesus. ONLY believe – don’t try and figure out what could have been, don’t try and figure out the delay, let faith be the biggest thing in your head.
When they got to Jairus’ house it was already filled with mourners – people paid by the family to wail and weep after a death. Their job was to add to the atmosphere of grief and pain and they didn’t come until they knew the person was dead. But Jesus said: “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.”
Verse 40 says the mourners stopped what they were doing and they laughed at him. They believed it was too late, but Mark 5:41 describes what he did next:
“Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
This story is in three of the gospels. Mark is the only one that records Jesus’ words in the language Jesus spoke. Jesus and everyone around him spoke Aramaic but the Bible was written in Greek. When it came time to write this story, Mark was inspired to share with us the exact words Jesus whispered over this girl. “Talitha cumi” and then he translates it for the Greek readers.
“Talitha” means “little girl” – it’s a term of endearment, much like we say honey or sweetheart. Earlier in Mark, he called the sick woman “daughter.” It’s the same kind of thing. It speaks of a deep love, not some superficial relationship. “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
And she did.
She got up and started walking around and Jesus told her family to get her something to eat. Jesus isn’t just a miracle-worker, but he is practical and kind. He acknowledged her hunger and wanted her to have what she needed to meet that physical need and bring her the energy she needed to live.
Just like the story of the woman earlier in Mark, this story inspires us to think of our own story. Consider these lessons and what you can learn from them.
This woman needed Jesus. Just like me. Just like you. Just like the woman who will walk into your group for the first time next week.
When did you first realize your need for Jesus?
Faith leads us through fear.
Was there a time when you had to fill your fearful places with faith instead?
Jesus offers us what we need to live. He acknowledged the girl’s hunger and wanted her to have what she needed to meet that physical need and bring her the energy she needed to live. For her at that moment it was food. For us it might be rest or play or being with people who care about us.
What did you rely on for sustenance and energy before you met Jesus? What does he give you now?
When Jesus steps into the story, things change. Maybe not immediately but eventually and eternally. Because that’s what Jesus does. He move things from death to life, literally. The cross reminds us that sin is always associated with death but the empty tomb reminds us that Jesus always overcomes death with life. As soon as you decided to follow Jesus instead of following something else, he moved you from death to life.
What did you follow before you met Jesus? How are you following him now?
Jesus whispers life into our ear. He wants to take you by the hand and whisper life into your ear.
When have you heard Jesus whisper in your ear? What does it mean for you to come alive?