Today our ‘day in the life of Jesus’ finally comes to an end. And what a day it’s been! He’s been across the lake, calmed a storm, freed a tormented man, got kicked out of the area in a matter of hours, restored a woman who had been suffering for years… and missed a chance to heal Jairus’ daughter. Or has he?
Jesus’ unprompted stop to bless the woman has an unfortunate side-effect: the girl he was going to pray for has just died. So, what happens now? ‘Don’t be afraid,’ Jesus encourages the grieving Jairus, ‘just believe.’ (v36)
What happens next is the greatest miracle of them all – a resurrection from the dead. In Mark’s narrative this is the final piece of the puzzle, indicating who Jesus really was. Only God has power over life and death!
But it also highlights Jesus’ compassion, and his faithfulness in fulfilling what he undertook to do. Jesus had made a commitment to Jairus’ family, and he wasn’t going to let them down. This faithfulness surprised some (v35) and made others laugh bitterly (v40): it was a set of reactions he would have to get used to over the next couple of years.
And his reticence about wanting people to know what he had done (v43) is not false humility or fear, but simply an awareness that people had all kinds of (wrong) expectations about who the Messiah would be: and it was too early for all that. But it didn’t stop him blessing this family on this day.
Jesus is faithful. His faithfulness to God won our salvation. His faithfulness to us is our hope, peace and joy. These things are in short supply at present: indeed, it may be one of those seasons when only Christ can give them to us. Pray for grace to receive Christ’s faithfulness to you – and for all Christians (especially in the troubled parts of our world) that they too would be upheld miraculously by our Lord’s faithfulness to them.