Jesus, it seems, had a hectic schedule. He was always busy meeting the needs of the needy multitudes! Lepers were cleansed, the blind were given sight, the lame walked, the diseased were cured, and the demon possessed were emancipated.
After spending the day on the eastern side of Galilee where he miraculously liberated the Demoniac, Jesus returned by boat to the western shores. Immediately, “a large crowd gathered around him” (Mark 5:21). The first to approach Him was Jairus, the leader of the local synagogue. The important and influential man humbly “fell at his feet and begged him earnestly, ‘My little daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her so that she can get well and live’ ” (Mark 5:22-23).
Luke reports that Jairus was concerned about his “only daughter” (Luke 8:42). Here Luke employed the same word used by John. “God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16). The twelve-year-old was Jairus’s “one and only!” She was unique. Irreplaceable. He loved her desperately!
It is quite likely that the synagogue leader had been in cahoots with the Pharisees who were openly “plotting … against (Jesus), how they might kill him” (Mark 3:6), but this frantic father had watched his twelve-year-old “little daughter” become sicker and weaker, as she slipped closer and closer toward death’s door. Surely, they had sought the assistance of the doctors. She had been given all available medications. Nothing helped. When hope was lost, Jairus came to Jesus.
As Jesus walked toward the synagogue leader’s home, “a large crowd was following and pressing against him” (Mark 5:24). “The crowds were nearly crushing him” (Luke 8:42). Moving slowly over the dusty path, “people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?’ When Jesus overheard what was said, he told the synagogue leader, ‘Don’t be afraid. Only believe’ ” (Mark 5:35–36). “Don’t worry… Don’t fear… Only believe!”
It's a recurring message in Scripture. God admonished Joshua; “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Speaking to a poor widow, the great prophet, Elijah, spoke for God. “Don’t be afraid” (1 Kings 17:13).
Heavenly messengers relayed God’s directive to Mary, a young Jewish virgin. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30).
That same message is as current as tomorrow morning’s newspaper! “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7). “Don’t be afraid!”
Did Jairus need to fear? No! Although the apple of her daddy’s eye had no heartbeat, Jesus “took the child by the hand and said… “Little girl, I say to you, get up”. Immediately the girl got up and began to walk” (Mark 5:41–42).