Hope in the Face of Death

KEY VERSE: “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.” —Mark 5:35,36


JESUS HAD BEEN on or around the Sea of Galilee, which became a focal point of his ministry. On one side of the sea the population was predominantly Jewish, while on the other side it was mostly Gentile. Word of Jesus’ deeds had spread because many—both Jews and Gentiles—came to see and hear him when he disembarked from the ship.

It was at one of these times that the daughter of Jairus, a leader in the synagogue, was at the point of death, and Jairus sought Jesus to heal her. Jesus listened to Jairus’ plea and “went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.”—vs. 24

A messenger came from the ruler’s house and told Jairus, “Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?” (vs. 35) When Jesus heard this news he said to Jairus, “Be not afraid, only believe,” (vs. 36) and they continued on to the home of Jairus. Disease and death have always been enemies to mankind, and have continued so from the time of the disobedience of Adam, the first man.

But, by the grace of God in giving his only begotten Son Christ Jesus as a ransom price, both are to be conquered. Jairus, even though a ruler, had come to Jesus with great humility and reverence, falling at his feet. When the news came that his little daughter died, he still believed that if Christ would come and lay his hands upon her she would return even from the gates of the grave.

It is usual with most people not to concern themselves with Christ until they have tried in vain all other help, and only after finding these sources of no value. They turn as a last resort to Christ as the sure refuge and helper. Jesus encouraged the grieving father to hope that his appeal to him on behalf of his child should not be in vain, saying, ‘Be not afraid’ my visit to your daughter will be to no purpose, ‘only believe’ that I will make it right. Upon arrival, Jesus saw all the weeping and deep sorrow, and said, “The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.”—vs. 39

We should not despair concerning our loved ones who have died. Remember what was said to Rachel by the Lord, through the prophet. She represented the mothers of Israel when Herod had all young children two years old or younger in the Bethlehem vicinity slain. “Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.” The Lord said, “Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for … they shall come again from the land of the enemy “—Jer. 31:15-17

The damsel’s parents were witnesses of this miracle of the raising of their daughter from the dead, which Jesus wanted to conceal from others. He told them that “no man should know it.” (vs. 43) However, such a great miracle could not be kept secret for long, especially when there were other witnesses present.

The only remedy for a disquieting grief is strong faith that our dear ones will live again.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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