God’s unfathomable, unlimited, unparalleled creative and restorative powers are on full display in Mark’s fifth chapter where three miracles are recorded, back-to-back-to-back.
First, the Gadarene, a demon-possessed man, was liberated from a legion of supernatural spirits who had taken up residence within the man. With a word, Jesus defeated the devil’s evil warriors and sent the demons packing. After years of bondage, the Gadarene was gloriously emancipated! Free! Free at last!
After Jesus and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee from east to west, a woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve miserably long years met the Master. Year after year this woman had become weaker as blood was leaking from her emaciated body. She had visited every doctor and spent her last dollar, but there was no help in sight. As white as a ghost, as weak as a kitten, as helpless and hopeless as a corpse, she heard that Jesus had come to town. With her last ounce of courage, she pushed through the crowded city streets to touch the fringe of the Lord’s robe. Her chalky, anemic features suddenly turned pink and her wobbly legs became sturdy, steady, strong! Healed! Instantly! Completely!
And third, Jesus’ gift of life to the lifeless occurred when Jesus raised a twelve-year-old girl from death.
I’m not unfamiliar with twelve-year-old girls. I have three, yes three, twelve-year-old granddaughters. They are full of life, full of fun, full of possibilities and potential. Halfway between a kid and an adult, at one minute they seem like adults, then turn around and giggle like toddlers. I love my girls!
This twelve-year-old girl was dying. The Bible doesn’t disclose her symptoms. Maybe she had been suddenly stricken with a high fever caused by an infection. Or maybe it was a chronic problem that had plagued her for much of her short life. The Bible doesn’t say. It just says that the girl’s daddy saw his precious daughter slipping away.
The girl’s daddy, Jairus, was a “synagogue leader” (Mark 5:22) and most likely in cahoots with the Pharisees who had already “started plotting … against (Jesus), how they might kill him” (Mark 3:6). Jesus’ miracles and ministry were changing the religious landscape, so Jairus probably saw Jesus as a challenger, quickly draining the power and prestige from the establishment. But Jairus wasn’t thinking about his job. He was worrying about his baby girl. She was twelve, and the apple of her daddy’s eye. Oh, how it hurt to watch her lingering in her bed. Her eyes were growing dim, sweat beaded above her upper lip, and her hands were clammy and cold. She was so sick. So weak. If there wasn’t a miracle soon, she was going to slip away, leaving a gaping hole in her daddy’s heart!
“Jesus! Jesus”, suddenly thought Jairus. “Jesus has healed others. Maybe Jesus would heal my daughter!”
Jairus didn’t send a messenger. He went himself. “When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet and begged him earnestly” (Mark 5:22-23). To Jesus he fervently pleaded, begged, “My little daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her so that she can get well and live” (Mark 5:23).
When they arrived, the gathering crowd “came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?’ ” (Mark 5:35). The words hit Jairus like a heavy-weight’s power-packed punch! “Your daughter is dead!”
Moments later, with the girl’s mom and dad at his side, Jesus “took the child by the hand and said to her, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up’. Immediately the girl got up and began to walk… At this they were utterly astounded” (Mark 5:41-42).
What happened next? The Bible leaves that to our imagination. Did Jairus and his family become followers of Jesus? Did they immediately become constant and consistent worshippers? Surely! They must have!
God’s amazing grace changes everything!