Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-56 both record Jesus healing the daughter of Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue, with each narrative interrupted by another great and memorable healing, the woman with the twelve-year disease who touched Jesus’ garment.
Following the deliverance of the possessed man in the country of the Gadarenes, Jesus returned to the other side of Galilee, and a multitude of people were waiting for Him. Jairus approached him, and desperately begged Him to come and heal his daughter. “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” Jesus went with him, and many people followed Him.
While on the way, someone came from Jairus’ house and said to him, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” Jesus also heard these words and immediately said to Jairus, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” At this point, Jesus broke away from the crowd of people and took Peter, James and John with Him into the house, along with Jairus and his wife. There were many people there weeping and wailing, a bleak and depressing scenario that must have been especially unnerving. Jesus then spoke words that were too unbelievable for the people in the house. “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” The people ridiculed Him and laughed in His face. He removed all the unbelief from the house by asking all the people to leave. (Some years later, Peter followed this example when he raised Tabitha from the dead in Acts 9:40.) Jesus took Jairus and his wife, and Peter, James and John into the room where the girl was lying. He took her hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Immediately she opened her eyes, got up and walked, and her parents were overwhelmed with amazement. Jesus told them to give her something to eat and commanded them firmly that no one should know it.
Jesus walked perfectly, and didn’t simply decide to follow Jairus because He had nothing else to do. Jesus heard the love and faith in Jairus’ words, “Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” Jesus knew that Jairus believed in God’s power and ability. When the messengers came to tell Jairus that his daughter had died, Jesus instantly calmed Jairus with the words, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” Jairus did believe, but Jesus knew that the sobbing and moaning were like an assault on Jairus and his wife, a devilish attempt to squelch their shaken confidence. Jesus cleared the room, and took His top men into the room with Jairus and his wife. This was the faith “dream team” at that moment, and Jesus only had to speak the words of life, and the little girl awoke and got up. Common sense dictated that she needed some nourishment, and divine wisdom concluded that the healing miracle was solely for them. Jesus was training His men, and blessing God’s people, not for vain glory but to glorify His Father.