"He Will Enlighten"
The phrase "he will enlighten" reminds us of Jesus. Jesus is the light of the world. I suppose almost everyone automatically thinks of Jesus when they read the title of this article. Probably very few think of Jairus.
Jairus? Oh yes, the one whose daughter was very sick and ended up dying while Jairus was away seeking help from Jesus. Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue, which meant that he was responsible for seeing that all the physical arrangements necessary for worship were taken care of.
The name "Jairus" is Hebrew and means "he will enlighten." So, it is Jairus' name that supplied the title to this article. If we read carefully and contemplate Jairus' encounter with Jesus, I think that he will render us a service compatible with his name; he will enlighten us (Mark 5:22-24; 35-43).
The Account of Jesus and Jairus
"And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and upon seeing Him fell at His feet, and entreated Him earnestly, saying, 'My little daughter is at the point of death; please come, and lay your hands on her, that she may get well and live.' And He went off with him; and a great multitude was following Him and pressing in on Him... While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, 'Your daughter has died. Why trouble the Teacher anymore?' But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, 'Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.' And He allowed no one to follow with Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. And they came to the house of the synagogue official; and He beheld a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, 'Why make a commotion, and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep. And they began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took the child's father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, 'Talitha kum!' (which translated means, 'Little girl, I say unto you, arise!'). And immediately the girl rose and began to walk; for she was about twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this; and He said that something should be given her to eat." (Mark 5:22-24; 35-43).
Blessed Through Affliction
"And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and upon seeing Him fell at His feet, and entreated Him earnestly, saying, 'My little daughter is at the point of death; please come, and lay your hands on her, that she may get well and live." (Mark 5:22,23). Sometimes we need to be reminded that this world is not our home. We need to remember our Creator and His plans for us. When our lives are going well, we sometimes tend to forget our need for God and to prepare for eternity. If adversity can serve to remind us of more important things, then it is a needed part of our lives. The book of Ecclesiastes says, "It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart." (Ecclesiastes 7:2).
It was adversity that motivated Jairus to seek Jesus out. For a short period of time Jairus' heart was broken, but the end result was for good. He, his wife and daughter, were blessed, for it was through this affliction that they came to learn of the Son of God.
Jesus' Presence Means Everything
"And He went off with him; and a great multitude was following Him and pressing in on Him..." (Mark 5:24). Certainly, Jairus' heart was lifted by Jesus' presence and willingness to help him. We must never doubt that the presence of Jesus in our lives today will do the same thing. In the midst of trial and adversity, there is strength in knowing that Jesus goes with us to face whatever must be faced. Nothing can give us the calm assurance and confidence that Jesus gives. Paul said, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). There is no reason to face any of life's bleaker aspects without hope in Christ. We will face them together, with Christ as our guide and redeemer.
The Trial of Faith Deepens
"While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, 'Your daughter has died. Why trouble the Teacher anymore?" (Mark 5:35). How often has it happened that just when you are thinking that things cannot get any worse that they do? For poor Jairus, the dark crises he faced suddenly grew darker. How hard this bit of unwelcomed news must have hit him!
Something we learn here is that we should never give up, even if those around us are saying it is time to do so. We must allow nothing to shake our faith. There must never be a point at which we say, "It is too much!" and renounce our faith. Jesus did not sell us short when He faced the horror of the cross; let us not sell Him short when we must experience the worst of life (Matthew 10:38,39).
"But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, 'Do not be afraid any longer, only believe." (Mark 5:36). In all of life's situations, regardless of the outcome, the correct thing to do is to put our trust in Christ, for it is our faith that overcomes the world (I John 5:4). Those who live by faith will endure to see the glory of God and experience everlasting life. Not even man's final enemy, death, can rob the faithful and loyal of their reward.
Our belief, or faith, ought to be unconditional, that is, our faith is not based upon the circumstances we face in this life, whether sickness or health, or prosperity or adversity, but rather on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and His promises concerning our eternity (II Timothy 1:12).
The Reality of Jesus Versus The Pretensions of the World
"And they came to the house of the synagogue official; and He beheld a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing." (Mark 5:38). The paid mourners were earning their wages. We might think this custom strange, but it was the way things were done in that culture. The world has always been good at pretending. Today, we look at the ruin being brought on every level of our society by the loosening of its morals as well as its war on righteousness. Even as we reel at the rise of all sorts of evil, crime and suffering, our jaded experts tell us that such is good for us. It's good to be able to freely express ourselves in the most blasphemous sorts of ways, and to mock God and His people. We are beginning to reap what we have sown, and man is never so foolish as when he rejects God (Romans 1:18-23; 28-32).
"And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, 'Talitha kum!' (which translated means, 'Little girl, I say unto you, arise!'). And immediately the girl rose and began to walk; for she was about twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded." (Mark 5:41,42). Despite the calloused mocking the people cast upon Jesus, they could not do what He did. Those who ridicule faith today have no viable substitute to offer; only pain and emptiness which gives way to numbness.
Just as certainly that Jesus called upon the girl to "awaken!" He calls upon us to do the same. Many are dead in their sins, and it is time for them to wake up. Nominal disciples whose lives are filled with things other than His are diseased spiritually, and it is time for them to receive Jesus' healing hand. This world has no answer. It cannot offer anything eternal but death. In Jesus, there is life. It is time to wake up. "And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed." (Romans 13:11).
Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 22.4; April 2015