Last time I ended with the question, “What happens if He (Jesus) walks too slowly toward our point of need and He arrives too late?” This is exactly what happened to Jairus. He came to Jesus with his need– “My little girl is dying. Please come and heal her.” We’re not told what Jesus said, but here we are told that Jesus set off with Jairus toward his home and while they were on the way Jesus was mobbed by the crowd (Luke 8:42).
Can you imagine how anxious this man must have felt? His little girl lay dying while Jesus slowly made His way through this clamoring crowd. We are not told that Jairus had any reaction, but I bet he was on the verge of exasperation with Jesus’ slow and distracted progress. Then–and here is where the horror of Jairus’ situation far exceeds my own–while he was on his way home with Jesus he receives that news that his daughter had died (v. 49).
At this point, I suppose that Jairus must have asked himself a form of the same question everyone who has ever experienced a great loss asks, “Why had Jesus walked so slowly?” The age-old question must have occurred to Jairus, “Lord, if you are good and able to do something, then why did you allow this tragedy to happen?”
It’s at this point in the story that we hear Jesus speak to Jairus for the first time and he simply says, “Don’t be afraid, just believe” (v. 50).
I won’t lie. It was hard to have faith during those dark days in the hospital. It was hard to stay hopeful as I watched my little boy’s body become a fleshy prison. There were times when I thought that my feelings of fear and despair had eclipsed my ability to believe.
What can get a person through a time in life when they have experienced great loss and sorrow? How do you keep believing when your world has fallen apart? Well, for my wife and me belief persisted as God reminded us time and time again that faith is not about getting what we want when we want it, but it is believing that Jesus is with us and that He cares even when all the external evidence of our situation leads us to believe the contrary. The Holy Spirit kept reminding us that our hope in Him is not bound by time and space and that even when we cannot see Him, He is there walking slowly with us through our pain.
And He was there. I’ll tell you how next time, but for now let’s think about how Jesus responded to Jairus and the ramification that might have for us. He did not talk; He did not hurry; He simply walked slowly with him through his pain and toward his point of need.