By Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke.
What a remarkable story we have before us in Mark 5:21-43. The dedicated Pharisee, Jairus, has a 12-yearold daughter who was dying. Jairus went to Jesus for help, found a huge crowd around Him, but begged Christ to leave them and go to his home to help the child.
Jesus did so, but on the way Jairus received word that it was too late. The child was pronounced dead, and thus there was no longer a need for Jesus to come. Probably there were those who were glad Jesus was no longer coming. He was despised by many Pharisees as well as by the Sadducees, the other major Jewish group. Jesus single-mindedly continues on the journey, ignoring the announced death of the girl. Upon their arrival at the home of Jairus, they found the place inundated with people weeping and wailing. No doubt the noise was unsettling.
In such a case, mourners were hired to bewail the deceased. These professional mourners were quite good at their job.
Long, loud sobs of grief, accompanied with the blowing of pipes, produced the atmosphere of death, sorrow and unspeakable suffering. Even the poor were required to have at least 2 pipers and 1 mourning woman to follow along with the deceased to the grave.
This showed the proper respect for the loss of a loved one. Into this situation comes our Lord to do His work. He is not deterred by our sorrow, by our concern nor our noise. However, before He would perform His glorious work, there had to be a change. The atmosphere of grief and sorrow, with no faith and belief for help, had to be remedied. So our Lord starts with the lack of faith. “Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth” (Mark 5:39). He gave them a chance to see Him for who He really was, the Great I Am, the God of the living and not the dead (Matt. 22:32).
Their response was to laugh Him “to scorn” (Mark 5:40). Scorn means to have no respect for, to disdain, and to have derision for (Webster’s Dictionary). They had no use for Christ, no faith in Him, and mocked Him. His response was to put them all out of the house. If you don’t believe, then you don’t get to see the miracle. My friend, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ today, the God of the living, and He will perform a miracle in your life. Otherwise, you will die alone and lost.