A Faith that Saves: Part 2
Title: A Faith That Saves: Part 2
While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?” When Jesus overheard what was said, he told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” He did not let anyone accompany him except Peter, James, and John, James’s brother. They came to the leader’s house, and he saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, but he put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with him, and entered the place where the child was. Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up”). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was twelve years old.) At this they were utterly astounded. Then he gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and told them to give her something to eat.
Parallel Passages: Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56
Thesis: Saving faith continues to hope when hope should not exist.
Intro: We are ending this “story sandwich
Recap last week - “sothee” or “sozo”
If Jesus had been motivated by politics or a desire to advance His social position, He would have put off the bleeding woman, at least temporarily, and hurried to the synagogue ruler’s home. But He made time for the outcast; her worth to Jesus was neither less nor more than that of Jairus’s little girl.
Jairus would not have known that Jesus didn’t have to choose between that woman and his daughter. Because Jesus isn’t restricted by time, space, or any other circumstance. He’s God.
And God will always accomplish His purposes according to His timetable, not ours.
And Jairus had to get to a point - as we saw last week - a point where he was humble, desperate, and brave enough to go to Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t rebuke Jairus for not coming sooner, Jairus had to get to the place where he was willing to let go of all his pride and run to the only One who could save his daughter.
Today, in part two of this sermon, we will see Saving Faith is a consistent thing, that it endures criticism, and amazes all who see it’s results.
Saving Faith is Consistent
Saving Faith is Consistent
While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?”
While he was still speaking to the woman with the issue of blood, this group of people now arrive on the scene.
They’ve come from Jairus’ house, not his workplace, not the synagogue, but if you notice, Jairus’ name isn’t given. Why Mark does this isn’t clear.
It could be he wanted to keep Jairus out of the story as much as he could. It could be, he’s hinting that Jairus, having been humbled before Jesus, is being humbled further by the circumstances.
We don’t know, we aren’t told. But this group comes from his home and informs him that his daughter has died.
She’s not in a coma, she’s not taking a nap, she’s dead.
Why should they waste any more of Jesus’s time? Why annoy him any further? (That’s actually what the Greek word means for bother “skull-eis” σκύλλεις)
What’s interesting is the attitude in which this crowd approaches. In Mark, they come forward and say “Why trouble the teacher”, but in Luke they lose their bedside manner.
While he was still speaking, someone came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
Talk about people with no personality, no heart!
“So, Jairus, good news/bad news. Good news is we don’t need Jesus anymore, bad news is your kid is dead.” That’s basically what they’ve done in Luke.
At least in Mark it’s a little more soft, “Hey, Jairus, why don’t you come on home and be with your family, Jesus doesn’t need to go along...”
You might be thinking, “Well, what’s the big difference?” Believe me, if it were your kid, your son or daughter, it would matter.
Remember, Jairus came to Jesus back in verse 23, saying
Mark 5:23 (CSB)
“My little daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her so that she can get well and live.”
He referred to her as his “little daughter”, the Greek is thugatrion (θυγάτριόν), and it’s a tender expression. “My little girl is dying”…
When Jesus healed the woman with the issue of blood, he referred to her as “Daughter”, or “thugateer”, and the difference in the tense means something.
It’s a simple term of endearment to a younger woman.
Jesus, calling her this, let’s Jairus know, “We’re on our way to heal your daughter, but this is one of mine.” At the same time, she’s not his “little girl”, she’s a grown woman.
Jairus’ daughter was his little girl, and he’s waiting as patiently as he can, and this crowd comes up, they tell him she’s dead - and they use the same word Jesus just used - thugateer.
Jairus’ heart must have been going nuts, because she’s not just his daughter, she’s his little girl. She’s his only daughter, if you recall Luke’s account. (Luke 8:42)
Jairus’ face must have fell. He had to have hurt in that moment.
When Jesus overheard what was said, he told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”
Notice Jesus doesn’t rebuke the messengers. Instead, he speaks to Jairus.
This man has exhibited incredible, humble faith. Yet Jesus reminds him, don’t give up. Don’t be afraid. Just believe.
Jairus was no doubt familiar with other times God used wording similar to this.
Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
And here, God is with Jairus. Jairus knows the kind of power He has to heal, remember Jairus knew the power of the touch of Jesus’ hands.
“Come and lay your hands on her so that she can get well”, he’d asked Jesus.
Jesus reminds him of the faith he had. In fact, when Jesus says “Only believe”, it’s in the present tense. In other words, Jesus literally says to Jairus, “Don’t give up, KEEP BELIEVING.”
Stay consistent. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose faith. Keep believing.
Jesus is encouraging Jairus, giving him hope when hope seems lost, the girl is dead, what’s the point?
The point is, Jesus reminds us, is to not fear, only believe. Luke, who shows us the curtness of the group that arrived on the scene, adds a few more words that offer hope.
Luke 8:50 (CSB)
When Jesus heard it, he answered him, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe, and she will be saved.”
And so they go on, toward Jairus’ house.
He did not let anyone accompany him except Peter, James, and John, James’s brother.
Now, this is the first time Mark gives these three disciples any special status and we’re almost 1/3 of the way into his Gospel account.
Scripture never tells us why Jesus chose these three, why they’re part of his “inner group” of friends even among the 12.
Possibly, Jesus doesn’t want word to spread when He ultimately heals this girl, so He takes the smaller group with him to confirm the healing, to make sure it gets told later.
We see later in verse 43, and we’ll get to it, that He doesn’t want everyone to know about the healing.
But these 3 men will go further, deeper with Jesus in His ministry than the rest of the 12, they will be responsible for much of what happens going forward after Christ’s ascension.
So He chose these 3 men with purpose and wisdom, and they’re now heading to Jairus’ house while the rest of the crowd is told to stay back.
And before we move on, we have to look closer at what Jesus’ message here has been so far.
Don’t give in to fear, keep believing. Our faith must be consistent. It doesn’t change with good news or bad news. It remains in Christ, who never changes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
If He remains consistent, our faith in Him must also remain consistent.
Some of you may have watched the Super Bowl, some of you may have skipped it, but I liked what Cooper Kupp, the WR of the Rams said after winning the MVP of the game award.
He said God gave him a vision of winning after they’d experienced loss, and said he believed God gave him a vision of winning the game and even winning MVP of the game, which happened, but he said when he believed God told him this, he could only tell his wife.
Now you may believe that, you may not, but this is what he said that struck me, “It was written already. I got to play from victory, not for victory. I was able to play not because of anything that happened on the field, but because of my worth in God, my Father.”
Again, you may not care about the NFL, but that man used a platform to talk for a moment about a consistent faith, a belief he had in a promise he believed God gave him.
It reminded me of Joshua 14 - when Caleb goes to Joshua after having experienced all bad things in the wilderness, Caleb is able to go to Joshua and say,
Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me on that day, because you heard then that the Anakim are there, as well as large fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I will drive them out as the Lord promised.”
40 years later, Caleb’s faith was consistent. Jairus needed a reminder, but there’s nothing that indicates he lost faith in Jesus, despite the circumstances.
That’s Saving Faith.
Even when hope seems lost. Saving Faith Hopes when Hope is Gone.
Saving Faith Endures Criticism
Saving Faith Endures Criticism
They came to the leader’s house, and he saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly.
So Peter, James, John, and, of course Jesus, all arrive at Jairus’ house along with Jairus, himself.
And Jesus sees all this uproar happening, a lot of weeping, waiting. People just visibly upset, hurting.
Matthew points out something interesting:
When Jesus came to the leader’s house, he saw the flute players and a crowd lamenting loudly.
The flute players are there… so what is all this stuff going on?
Well, those who are weeping, and wailing, they’re likely professional mourners. People who were paid to cry at funerals.
If a family was wealthy enough, they’d hire professionals to come and cry at the funerals of their deceased. It was a thing they did in their culture, and some of the thought process behind it is interesting.
These people were paid to help the family grieve - look, clearly that dead loved one mattered, we want to cry with you. We want to make sure you don’t feel alone in your pain.
The Bible mentions these people in the Old Testament, we see them specifically called out in Amos 5:16
Therefore the Lord, the God of Armies, the Lord, says: There will be wailing in all the public squares; they will cry out in anguish in all the streets. The farmer will be called on to mourn, and professional mourners to wail.
And most of them were typically women - in fact, in some cultures it was a source of pride for a woman to be a good, professional mourner. That she could earn a living doing this would give her some respect.
Jeremiah refers to this in
This is what the Lord of Armies says: Consider, and summon the women who mourn; send for the skillful women. Let them come quickly to raise a lament over us so that our eyes may overflow with tears, our eyelids be soaked with weeping.
So Jesus hears these people weeping, crying, making a scene, and He is going to have a conflict of interest with them.
He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, but he put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with him, and entered the place where the child was.
There’s a lot to unpack here.
First of all, these people have a vested interest in this girl being dead, right? They get paid if they cry a lot at her funeral. And the funeral preparations have begun.
In this culture, you typically begin the burial process soon after death - that’s why the flute players are there, they’re playing the funeral dirge.
And these people knew death, they were likely around it often enough in their work to know a dead body when they see one. They’d know to check for a pulse, for breath, for any signs of life.
They’d found none.
Then this man, this Jesus, comes along having not even seen the body, and He has the audacity to tell them that she’s still sleeping, like they don’t know what they’re talking about.
But Jesus is saying something here they don’t really understand. In a sense, He is invoking an apocalyptic phrasing that will become common amongst His followers - referring to death as sleep.
This has origins in the book of Daniel, which says,
Many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to disgrace and eternal contempt.
of course, this will tie into the final Judgment we see take place at the end of Revelation, among other eschatological verses.
Jesus does this elsewhere, in the death of Lazarus.
He said this, and then he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m on my way to wake him up.” Then the disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will get well.” Jesus, however, was speaking about his death, but they thought he was speaking about natural sleep. So Jesus then told them plainly, “Lazarus has died.
Funny story, at my grandmother’s funeral last month, I preached on Lazarus’ death and resurrection, with an emphasis on “Jesus Wept”, (John 11:35).
If you know the story, you know there were professional mourners there, weeping with Mary and Martha, but when Jesus weeps it’s not because of the death of His friend, it’s because - within the context - death and loss and pain and suffering are all a result of the sin that contaminates the world.
The same sin that will put Him on the cross.
And, as I preached that message to my dad’s side of the family, I thought it went pretty well. But on my way to the graveside service, my uncle Lloyd took me aside and said, “You know Jeffrey, that was pretty good. I didn’t know where you were going with that, and for a second I thought you were gonna try and raise her for us, but it was an interesting direction to go...”
But there are similarities to Lazarus’ story and this girl’s story - several in fact. Some of which I’ve already pointed out.
And Jesus refers to death as sleep.
The apostle Paul does this, too, later in 1 Corinthians 15:20
But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
He is referring to the promised resurrection - the hope we all have that those who are dead in Christ will one day rise again.
Paul says it more clearly, perhaps, in 1 Thessalonians 4:13
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
and goes on to talk about the rapture of the saints and resurrection of the dead.
But Jesus says this, and what do those professional mourners do? THEY LAUGH AT HIM.
The laughter isn’t because they find it humorous, either. It’s specifically a laughter that is to mock. One translator said it was “laughter to scorn” or “laughing in His face.”
This shows us two things:
It shows us they were convinced she was dead, they weren’t really just trying to protect their paycheck, though, again, they’d probably rather the girl stay dead so they could get paid. After all, they had no real interest in her living.
It shows us they did not know enough about this Jesus to take Him seriously.
To be fair, Jesus has not seen this girl, they have. He hasn’t ran any kind of medical check on her, they likely did.
BUT JESUS DOES NOT NEED TO.
He does not need to do anything to know what has happened, because He is divine. Not only is He divine, He is the ultimate authority over life and death!
So what does He do?
He put them outside! He kicks them all out of the house!
He says, “Mom, dad, Peter, James, John, you’re all with me. Everyone else, get out.”
Now, in the language used, it’s a forceful expelling of them, Jesus all but throws them out. But they’ve expelled themselves.
Their lack of faith cost them the chance to see the miracle take place.
Now, if I’m Jairus, their laughter isn’t just at Jesus, but at me, too. Hey, I’m the one who brought Him, how crazy does this make me look?
Right? If they think so little of Jesus, what do they think of me?
This is where Saving Faith must endure the Criticism.
Like the woman who had spent everything she had on doctors, only to get worse, Jairus understands it doesn’t matter what these people think, He has the only One in the universe who can reverse the curse of death now standing in his house.
And for us, it doesn’t matter what the crowd says, it doesn’t matter how the media portrays Christians, it doesn’t matter how people view you, the question quickly becomes, “Is Christ still welcomed in your house?”
Will we endure the criticism and still welcome Him? Endure the taunting, endure the shame, and stand beside the King, or will we laugh in His face?
Because it’s easy to hope when everyone cheers you on, but when the crowd turns on you, it gets harder to cling on to our hope.
And Saving faith hopes, even when hope seems gone.
Saving Faith Amazes Others
Saving Faith Amazes Others
Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up”).
PoopBugsTaking the child by the hand, much in the same way Jesus raised up Peter’s own mother-in-law back in chapter 1
So he went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them.
Only here, Jesus says something to her in Aramaic. “Talitha koum”.
Now, this isn’t some “magic word” or some sort of spell. No, this is an indication to us, that Mark is writing to those who wouldn’t know the language Jesus spoke.
He likely spoke in Aramaic, which was the Galilean language. Now, we know Jesus during His earthly ministry, He would have also known Hebrew and Greek.
Hebrew because He would have read the scrolls in the Synagogues, and conversed with the religious leaders.
He also spoke Greek because that would have been the common language of the era, allowing Him to speak with gentiles such as the Gerasenes and the Samaritan woman at the well.
But what does “Talitha Koum” really mean? Talitha is often translated “little girl”, or in some cases, “Little Lamb”. Which is interesting, considering Jesus refers to Himself as the “Good Shepherd” in John 10:11.
Now remember, she’s not really that little, but this may have been the way her own father would have referred to her. She was his thugatrion, his “little daughter.”
And Jesus uses the word “koum”, which in its most literal sense, is a command to stand up.
He’s not being blunt, or stern, here he tenderly is speaking to the girl - not her corpse, not her body, but her very being - “little girl, rise up.”
Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was twelve years old.) At this they were utterly astounded. Then he gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and told them to give her something to eat.
Luke, always the physician that he was, makes it clear she was in fact, dead. He says...
Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he gave orders that she be given something to eat.
But Mark says “immediately the girl got up”! Immediately, no time passed, Jesus didn’t have to plead, or do anything else. He spoke, and life returned.
And the people are “astounded”. It’s the Greek word “ekstasei” (ἐκστάσει). It’s where we get our English words, “ecstacy” and “ecstatic”. But in the Greek it’s more colorful.
Figuratively, it would have meant “to go out of one’s mind” or “to lose one’s wits”. It literally meant “to remove oneself”.
In the same way, when your faith is humble, and desperate, and brave, and consistent, and it withstands the critics, it will amaze others - especially when God honors your faith.
That’s what we see here.
The results of Jairus’ faith amazed those around him. They’re beside themselves, they’re shocked, they’re ecstatic, but Jairus’ daughter was healed, and that’s all he cared about.
Now, notice what else happens. Jesus tells them strictly, don’t tell anyone about this. Why?
He’s having a hard enough time moving about with the crowds as it is, for one. He told the leper not to tell anyone
Yet he went out and began to proclaim it widely and to spread the news, with the result that Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. But he was out in deserted places, and they came to him from everywhere.
When he was in the Decapolis, the Gerasenes, everyone found out and they begged Him to leave. But on the Jewish side of the Sea, everyone wants to follow Him when He does miracles.
In fact, it was becoming harder and harder for Jesus to perform the core function of His ministry the larger the crowds got.
As one writer said, “Broadcasting the news about Jesus reviving the girl may have drawn a crowd, but it would not have advanced His mission.” (Chuck Swindoll)
Jesus wants to keep His identity a secret until the appropriate time. Now, by the time we get to Mark 8, Jesus will begin to reveal who He is to His disciples and the crowds.
In fact, in Mark 8:31 He begins to teach them about His purpose.
Then he began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days.
If He begins to reveal who He is too soon, He could be prosecuted and executed at the wrong time, or the crowds may do the one thing the Pharisees fear, and become a mob that’ll try and make Him their earthly King.
At this point in His ministry, it’s too soon to do the first thing, and He didn’t come to be the second thing.
Now, obviously people - especially those professional mourners - are going to realize there’s no funeral needed.
But Jesus wants to keep this as quiet as possible. It may be another reason He initially said she was sleeping - the crowd may look back and say, “Wow, how’d we miss that?”
We can’t forget that Jesus also does not want to be known as a miracle worker, but to be known as a teacher.
He didn’t come at that time to bring resurrection to every dead physical body, He came to bring resurrection to every starving soul.
After Jesus makes it clear they aren’t to tell anyone, He gives them one last order: Give this girl something to eat.
Having been sick prior to her death, this girl likely hadn’t eaten much. And here, Jesus shows his concern for even our ordinary needs, as much as our greater problems.
In Matthew 7, Jesus makes this clear.
Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him.
And that’s really what we have seen happen in this chapter.
The demoniac would have wanted Jesus to leave, instead Jesus releases the man from the control of the demons. (Mark 5:13)
The Gerasenes wanted Jesus to leave, and while He goes, He leaves behind the first missionary. (Mark 5:20)
Jairus wanted his daughter healed, but not before Jesus healed one of His daughters (metaphorically speaking, of course, in Mark 5:29).
And Jairus and his wife would likely have not wanted their daughter to taste death, yet here an even greater miracle has happened, and they can’t even tell anyone about it.
God’s gifts, God’s fulfillment of His promises are always greater than what we have in mind. We may pray for a healing of a body, and God brings true healing to a soul.
We may pray for a financial miracle, and God provides financial freedom in teaching us how to budget.
We may pray for a new house, but God gives us the ability to make a home wherever we find ourselves.
The list goes on.
There are so many people who always get what they want, but they never want what they got. Saving faith doesn’t deliver that.
Faith rooted in humility, desperate for Christ, brave enough to pursue Him, consistently moving forward, withstanding criticism, will always amaze everyone who sees that story play out.
Yes, there may be pain. There may be struggle and trial.
But saving faith hopes even when all hope seems gone.
Conclusion: I’m going to move to close in a moment...
But our faith, if it is true faith in Christ, covered in His grace must be humble for it to be a shield against criticism.
It must be desperate in order to be bold. It must be consistent, if it is to last long enough for others to see it.
There’s a reason, within the armor of God, Paul says,
In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Your faith is dangerous to the enemy of your soul. It’s why he attacks it so often. It’s why you often feel it is so small. It’s why we hear of so many losing it.
But all it takes, for faith to be a shield, for faith to make a difference, is for it to be as small as a mustard seed.
And we can move mountains.
Will you stand with me as we close in prayer?
PRAY - move mountains, bring to life, heal