“Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
These words from our passage from Jesus to Jairus, are comforting indeed. Keep in mind however, that they are spoken to him after hearing the report that his daughter has died. This story begins with Jairus pleading with Jesus to come and heal his daughter. Jesus agrees to go with him, and they are delayed along the way by a woman who’s had a persistent bleeding issue. Jesus stops and speaks to the woman because she had the faith to be healed, and was. It was during this delay that Jairus receives the news that his daughter is dead.
Fear and Despair Vanish at His Word
Jesus overheard what the members of Jairus’ household has just told him. Imagine the flood of emotions that must have swept over Jairus hearing his daughter has died. He is also advised not to trouble Jesus any longer. They obviously felt that there is now nothing Jesus could do for Jairus.
What happens next is a game changer for Jairus. Our passage reads “Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him.” Most manuscripts use the word “parakousas” here, which carries the idea “to ignore” or “to refuse to listen.” Jesus, by whom the entire universe is being held together (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3), has no reason to entertain such thoughts. He simply says to Jairus “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Jesus responded immediately by encouraging Jairus to believe and not abandon hope that his daughter can still live. The faith that comes to us from the Presence of God is never double minded, confused, fearful, or even affected by negative developments in the least. Jesus tells him not to be afraid, using the word “phobou,” from which we get our word phobia, meaning to be in fear or be terrified. Jesus did not want Jairus’ thoughts to take him into a mindset of despair. If we will only think on what Jesus tells us, we too will find that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
Only Believe the Master
Jesus continues on to Jairus’ house as he promised. When he arrives the funeral is already underway – mourners included. They laughed when Jesus questioned their mourning and stated that the girl is not dead, but only asleep. Death has nothing on Jesus the Lord of life. He speaks the words of life “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished (Mark 5:41-42).
Jesus kept his word to Jairus and did exactly what he promised. Jairus had nothing to fear or be troubled about while in the Presence of Jesus, hearing his word. Not even death can trouble faith once the Master has spoken. The mourners and the doubters were all astonished. They had no idea that God was in the house.
You and I have nothing to fear when we are with Jesus the risen Christ, who holds the keys of hell and of death. Doubts do not trouble him, death does not impress him, and darkness does not cast a shadow on him. In fact the devil could’t lay a glove on him! You and I can learn from Jairus’ experience, that once we hear from Jesus for ourselves; no delays, negative reports (regardless of how devastating they may be), or even death itself can stop what Jesus has promised us, if we would not be afraid and only believe.
So, go to Jesus with your request. Do not be affected by apparent delays, or by the negative reports of others. Stand your ground and remain with with the Master, even if he appears to be making a detour or stops along the way for a time. Be steadfast, do not fear, Just believe, and Be Encouraged! -JSP