The Return of the Coming King

Mark 5:21-24

Jesus is coming!


            The  disciples have  just witnessed the most amazing scenes of  Jesus’ power over the natural world (“The Storm Story”) and over the powers of darkness (“The  Strong Man of Gadara“).  What must have been in their minds as they climbed back into  the boat with Jesus and crossed over the wide Sea of Tiberias[1]?

           Reaching home shores in the province of  Galilee, a crowd gathered by the sea to see their returning “miracle man”, this carpenter-turned rabbi.  

           Pushing through the crowd comes an important man, one of the rulers  of the synagogue named Jairus.  Seeing Jesus, the object of his impassioned search, Jairus falls at Jesus’ feet.  He has an urgent request and this Teacher is his only hope.

            “My little daughter is at the point of death.  Come and lay your hands on her  so that she may be made well and live,” the man cries earnestly, face to the ground (v23).  

            How long has he waited for Jesus to return from his trip across the sea?  All the time Jesus was on the sea during the storm and ensuing miraculous calm, all the time Jesus was with the Strong Man from Gadara healing and restoring him from his utter ruin and despair,  all the time Jesus was being rejected by the town people and booted off their shores, there is a learned man desperately waiting for the life of his precious daughter, desperately waiting for the only hope he knew, desperately willing to go  against the flow of his own fellow academics and religious society in order that his daughter might live.  Now that Jesus is finally back on the shore, Jesus has barely felt the sand on his feet before this man is prostrate before him on that sand pleading with all the faith he can muster.  

            Such faith that throws down all obstacles and pursues with “all their heart” gains  the attention of our Lord. Jesus’ response is immediate:  

            “And He went with him” (v24).


            There are many thoughts that occur to me from this story, of which this post is only the first. And the story doesn’t end here; it continues through v43. But there are at least a few that stand out to me right now.  

            Faith despite opposing currents.  Jairus had waited for his  sick daughter to get well.  When she didn’t, his mind searched its interior limits to discover what, as head of his family, he could and should do to get help.  He bears within himself the responsibility as leader to protect and guide, both physically, practically, and spiritually.  

            He has a society of academic peers  who have been talking about this Man who goes about healing. They have their own opinions which they share among themselves. The questions about him center upon just who does He think He is?  This man Jairus knows that Jesus claims to be sent by God, a prophet at the very least. Fearing God, he braves the questioning and possible enmity of his peers by seeking out Jesus as the last recourse for his daughter.  As a loving father, he will lay down his very life for his family.  

            Searching for Jesus. Then Jairus has to actually find Jesus. It is one thing to realize Jesus is there to be reckoned with; it is quite another to enter into the reckoning body and soul. Jairus gets close to the shores only to see a crowd gathered.  

            “Jesus is not here! He has gone away” the gathered crowds cry out to him.  

            I imagine his despair as he is caught between a mortal emergency at home and this seemingly end of hope near the wide, open Sea.  What to do?  Jairus can’t go home without hope to offer, but can he afford to stay, knowing that his young daughter may die before he returns?  

            Imagine the waiting through the night there close to the shore, the storm thundering across the Sea in the dimming moonlight.  Imagine the miraculous clearing of the skies overhead, suddenly and without natural warrant.  Could this be a sign from God to not give up hope?  That maybe my own storm will find its peace?  

            Jairus decides to wait; he is paralyzed to do otherwise, for something is happening in the heavens.  

            Finding Jesus. Jesus!  Finally!  He hears the news that a boat is approaching and Jesus is in the boat with his disciples!  

            What does a synagogue ruler do to prepare for such an event? 

            How will the people take it that a powerful academic such as himself is preparing to fall at the feet of this man who is the disputed talk of the town?

            How will he submit himself as dependent upon this Rabbi, revealing his own utter humility of ignorance and brokenness.  

            How crushingly intimate will this be?

            He pushes through the crowd, falls down at Jesus’ feet, and explains his utter need in an embarrassingly broken voice and an unwanted moisture in his eyes.

            And Jesus responds! There IS hope! 

            Praise God, I am returning home with the only hope there is available!  I am bringing hope home with me!  


            O Lord Jesus, I am convicted in soul at the faith this man displayed against all earthly obstacles and against all the spiritual powers that war against the humble in spirit. I am too often bound by what others think, bound by my fears of loss and grief, bound by my own inability to solve the problems of my world and within my own heart and behavior. I come to You, like Jairus, in recognition that I am small and You are Great. You are my center, Lord. Be with me, see my need, and help me in my distress. Champion the cause of my loved ones, Lord, and bring them healing in body and soul. We need Your healing touch of salvation and Your counsel and comfort to withstand the powers that rage against us in this earthly life. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! In the Name of our Coming King, Jesus our only Lord and Savior, Amen.


[1] as the Sea of Galilee was then called


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