By Joshua Franks
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Bruceton
Focal Passage: Mark 5:22-24, 35-43
We live in a world full of heartbreak and tragedy. Every time we turn on the news it seems as if another calamity has befallen the world. School shootings have become normal. Mass murders have become routine. Terrorist attacks have become commonplace.
And because of the frequency of these events, the response has become just as predictable. People who are far from Jesus suddenly feel the need to cry out to Him in prayer. As soon as the catastrophic event is over, the candlelight vigils begin.
There is a noticeable pattern that exists in our lives. When everything is good, we drift away from the Lord. An event occurs that reveals our hopelessness. Then, we desperately run back to Him. Rinse and repeat.
This is nothing new. The book of Judges testifies to that fact and we see it again in our focal passage in Mark. Here we meet a man named Jarius (Mark 5:22). He was one of the rulers of the synagogue and, as such, he was part of the Jewish establishment that rejected Jesus.
However, Jarius had the one thing that drives most people to Jesus. He had a massive problem that was completely out of his control. His daughter was gravely ill (v. 23). And that is the first thing I want you to notice in the text. There is a moment that drives people to Jesus.
This moment is different for everyone. It could be heartbreak over the loss of a loved one. It could be agony brought about over the loss of a relationship. Or it could be the bitter anguish that comes about because of sin. But whatever the moment is, you can be sure that our lives will be full of problems that reveal our utter hopelessness.
When those moments happen, there is a message that Jesus has for you. It’s a message of hope that rises out of the ashes of misery and it never changes.
To all those who are weary and in pain Jesus says, “Do not fear, only believe” (v. 36). These are some of the most comforting words found on the pages of Scripture because they let us know that no matter what is going on in our lives, Jesus cares.
This stands in stark contrast to the message that was brought to Jarius from his servants. They brought a message of despair. They tell Jarius that it’s too late, that there’s nothing anyone could do to help him. They tell Jarius that his daughter has died and that he shouldn’t bother Jesus anymore (v. 35).
But despite the negative message that may come from the world, Jesus has a message of hope and there is always a miracle waiting for those who believe. In this story, Jesus raised Jarius’ daughter and in doing so we find the meaning in His message. Through this resurrection miracle, Jesus redefined death as a temporary condition (v. 39).
There are two miracles showcased in this passage that shouldn’t be missed: The miracle for Jarius’ daughter and the miracle for us. Regardless of the calamities and catastrophes and tragedies you may experience personally or that you may see on the news, don’t be afraid.
We serve a compassionate Lord who holds power over death and promises to raise those who love Him in the same way He raised Jarius’ daughter.