2000 years ago, a man named Jesus walked this earth, dust in His sandals, the aches of the world on His sleeves. He passed by this town one day. The entire town was at His toes, reaching, begging, asking.
2000 years ago, when a man named Jesus walked this earth, there was this synagogue leader, too. His name was Jairus. He was a respected man. He made arrangements for the synagogue, made sure all the men could come and hear scripture.
Within the walls of his synagogue, words about the promised Messiah had been spoken. Probably a hundred, a thousand times. He will come to liberate the people of Israel. He will come to end their suffering.
But that was not his biggest concern, not at that moment. His daughter had been very ill. He watches his daughter by her bedside each night, fervently hoping she’ll wake up tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that, just long enough for him to find a cure.
In some parts of life, Jairus was a powerful man. But not here, at the bedside of his daughter. His bones are turning into water. His insides, sucked away by fear. He’d give everything to spare the life of his daughter;
He hears about this man, Jesus, who had dust in His sandals and the ache of the world on His sleeves. He has healed multitudes with just a touch, just a word. Jairus is filled with hope. He knows this man will heal his daughter. He believes He will.
He sees Jesus. Immediately falls at His feet. He says, “Come and lay your hands on her, so that she be made well.” Jesus already had this ache at His sleeves. He comes with Jairus.
Before they make it out the crowd, Jesus heals another woman. She was bleeding for 12 years. As she is rejoicing, one of Jairus’ men come and say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?”
Your daughter is dead. Four words no Father would ever want to hear. He was miles away, looking for a cure. Daddy’s little girl was not able to wait much longer. Your daughter is dead. The four words bounce around inside his head. Jesus turns to Him, says, “Do not be afraid. Just believe.”
Jesus comes to his house. Tells everyone that this girl is not dead; she’s just sleeping. The people thought He was crazy. Grief immediately turned to mockery.
Jesus walked past everybody. He went to the girl’s bedside, probably the same spot Jairus knelt by every night. Jesus took the little girl’s hand, told her, “Talitha Cumi”, which means, “Little girl, rise up”.
And just as Jairus had believed, in his frail but faithful heart, his daughter rose. Walked around. Probably looked for her daddy.
Hey, Jairus. I walk this earth 2000 years after you. I have been kneeling for somebody, too. I am praying that the Man you met, with dust in His sandals, the Man who’ll later get nail-wounds in His hands, will do the same for my loved one as He did for yours. What was it like to hear, “keep believing”, in His voice?
And, Lord Jesus, you know these aches, that keep me up at night. I know You kneel with me at the bedside. I believe, Lord, but please help my unbelief.