Luke 8:40 41 Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying. As he went, the crowds pressed in on him… someone came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.” 50 When Jesus heard this, he replied, “Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.” 51 When he came to the house, he did not allow anyone to enter with him, except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 They were all weeping and wailing for her; but he said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he directed them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astounded; but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened.
What catches my eye is the way Jairus approaches Jesus. We’re told that Jairus is a “leader of the synagogue”. He throws himself at Jesus’ feet – not something a person of stature in the community would generally do. There is no dignity here, only desperation and need. One would expect he’s done everything he can to help his daughter but nothing has worked. He’s out of options. But he’s heard about Jesus’ healing ministry and figures it’s worth a shot. Fortunately Jairus’ faith is well-placed and his daughter is restored.
Nothing brings about faith more than desperation.
At least that’s been my observation over the years. It’s also what I see in the scriptures. When things are going well, faith can be seen as unnecessary. Why bother? I’ve got this. But when life spins out of control and we’re out of moves, we tend to be far more open to things of God. Like Jairus. Like me (back in the day). Maybe like you at one time.
Here’s something to think and pray about. I firmly believe the Lord brings desperate people into our relational orbit who are marginally connected to the Lord or perhaps not connected at all. And when this happens we have a great opportunity to do four things:
- Ask what’s troubling them – and LISTEN deeply
- Ask if you can pray for them.
- Pray for them on the spot. If you’re not sure what to pray, the Lord’s Prayer will do just fine.
- Continue to pray that the Lord will open their hearts and draw them into a life of faith.
Lord, let it be so. Amen.