Slightly Obsessed #210: Arise

Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.

– Mark 5:36

She lay on her bed with her eyes closed, her long, black lashes kissing her gaunt cheeks.

Her father hovered over her in distress, the sight of her ravaged body disemboweling him again. He had never, ever, felt so helpless, so full of pain. His cherished daughter, his gentle little lamb, lay dying, and he could only stand by and weep.

The house began to fill with family and friends as the news shot through the city. Panic filled Jairus. Then it occurred to him that there was still a ray of hope: to find the prophet Jesus from Nazareth.

Jairus was a man of some reputation and stature. He was a synagogue official in charge of overseeing the services and work of the synagogue, a man who ordinarily conducted His affairs with solemn dignity.

But his grief over his daughter had stripped him of any such contrivances. When he learned Jesus had crossed the Sea of Galilee and was in his city, he eagerly searched Him out. Jesus wasn’t hard to find, surrounded as He was by a crush of people electrified by the miracles. Jairus made his way to Jesus, fell at the feet of the Christ, ignored the crowd, and begged for his daughter’s life.

Jesus consented to go with him. They headed toward Jairus’ home, jostled by a crowd pressing Jesus for their own miracles.

On the way, Jesus suddenly stopped and asked who had touched Him. This was an odd question. People were everywhere. Everyone wanted to be healed.

Then a woman, trembling in joy and fear, came forward and confessed to touching His garment. She had been completely healed by the power that flowed from Him.

While she rejoiced with her Deliverer, Jairus waited in agony.

These short moments taken to restore one person kept Jesus from the bedside of the lamb who lay dying.

Before Jesus could finish speaking to her, messengers arrived with the news that Jairus’ daughter was dead, striking fear in his heart as they destroyed the hope to which he clung.

It’s too late. Don’t trouble the Teacher anymore.

Then God spoke into his despair. “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”

Jesus dismissed the crowd. He took three disciples and came to the house of Jairus, where the mourning had already begun. Jesus told them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.”

The wails of grief quickly gave way to derision. Jesus sent them away.

Then He took his three disciples and the girl’s parents to the room where the girl lay. He took her hand and said, “Talitha kum.” Talitha is the feminine form of the Aramaic word “lamb.” “Kum” means “arise.”

Lamb, arise.

In one moment, a family in torment was restored. That which was impossible with man was accomplished with just a word from the Savior.

Of all the miracles Jesus performed during His earthly ministry, He must have especially loved reuniting children with their families. This, after all, was the very picture of His purpose for dying on Golgotha. He came from heaven entrusted with one mission, to reunite Father God with His fallen creation, the children dead in their sins and for whom He grieved deeply. It was, and is, His great joy to enter the house of the dead and awaken us to new life with the words to which unbelief must always bow:

Lamb, arise.


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