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What Can Jairus Teach Us about Going to God in Desperate Moments?

Melissa Henderson

Jairus. A synagogue ruler. A man of position. A father. Jairus. Scripture doesn’t share his full name, details about his appearance, or what his daily routine included. Yet, Jairus was an important part of history. His faith and dedication to Jesus were strong. The devotion to his daughter can teach everyone the importance of going to God at all times.

Who Was Jairus in the Bible?

Learning about Jairus can help us understand the depth of faith and devotion to God and family. Jairus was a ruler in the synagogue. His family included a young daughter who was about 12 years old. We don’t have specifics about other members of his family. His daughter was the one who would play a significant role in helping others know about the power of Jesus. The faith that Jairus had would show others the importance of believing in Jesus.

The daughter of Jairus was ill. She was so sick that Jairus knew the only way she would be healed was if Jesus could visit her and provide healing.

Jairus went to find Jesus and ask him to come and lay hands on his daughter. Jesus had been traveling from town to town. He had healed many people of illnesses and unclean spirits. Jairus had heard about the healings and knew Jesus would be the only one to heal his daughter.

Jesus was in Galilee and went out in the morning to a deserted place to pray.

Jesus had already performed many healings and had given instructions to the people not to tell anyone. One example was when Jesus cleansed a leper and told him not to let anyone know about the healing (Luke 5: 14 NIV). But the leper told everyone and because of the people learning about that healing and others, the crowds became larger. Jesus could not go out in public at times. He stayed in the country and people came to Him.

Imagine the sights and sounds of the time. Donkeys, camels, dust from the dirt roads filling the air. Voices loud and quiet. People of all ages trying to get a glimpse of Jesus. Some believers and some skeptics. Would there be some unbelievers who changed once they saw Jesus? Would some people need tangible proof? Or would others believe in the miracles of Jesus because of their strong faith?

Jairus found Jesus and asked him to come and lay hands on his daughter so she would live. Jesus had been answering questions about fasting. Jairus approached Jesus. In the gospel of Matthew, we read that the girl has just died (Matthew 9: 18 NIV). Yet, in the gospel of Mark, we read that Jairus tells Jesus that his daughter is dying (Mark 5:23 NIV) Either way, this heartbroken father seeks out Jesus because he knows that is the only way his daughter will be healed.

Jesus answered by leaving to accompany Jairus to go to the daughter. The disciples of Jesus went along, too.

The faith of Jairus was strong.

What Happened to Jairus’ Daughter?

Scripture doesn’t give details about the illness of the daughter of Jairus or even her name. We don’t know if she had been sick for a long period of time or if this was a quick illness. That detail didn’t stop Jesus from going to see the girl. Jairus asked, and Jesus answered (Luke 8:40-42 NIV). Perhaps we aren’t given the specifics about her illness because that would take away from the importance of the healing. Jesus can heal any illness if that is the will of the Father. From major illnesses to minor scrapes and bruises, to emotional turmoil to sad moments, Jesus can heal.

Imagine Jairus leaving the bedside of his daughter to go and find Jesus. When our loved ones are sick, we often want to be nearby to help in any way we can. Jairus trusted that by leaving his daughter and searching for Jesus, all would be well in the end.

Could Jairus have sent a servant or someone else to find Jesus? Yes. But Jairus chose to search for Jesus himself and make the request for Jesus to visit the daughter. Powerful love of a father for a child. Think about how our Heavenly Father searches for us and He is always ready to hear our prayers.

What Is the Miracle Jesus Performs?

As Jesus, the disciples, and Jairus travel back to the home of Jairus, the crowds follow. Along the way, something interesting happens. Jesus feels someone touch the hem of his cloak (or garment). Immediately Jesus stopped and asked who had touched him (Luke 8:45 NIV). There was a woman who had dealt with a bleeding condition for 12 years. Notice the number. The daughter of Jairus was 12 years old. This woman had bled for 12 years. The woman explained that no one could heal her, yet she knew Jesus could. Her faith was strong. When the woman heard Jesus ask who had touched him, she went and fell at his feet. She explained why she had touched him and how she had been healed instantly. The crowd listened.

Jesus told her to go in peace because her faith had healed her. Another similarity to Jairus. This woman had faith so strong that she believed simply touching the hem of the garment of Jesus would heal her. She didn’t ask to speak to him or for him to perform a miracle. Her faith made her know that a touch of his garment would provide healing.

The faith of Jairus was strong and he believed that Jesus would heal his daughter by laying hands on her.

In the book of Luke, we learn that someone from the house of Jairus approaches to let Jairus know his daughter had died. That person tells Jairus not to bother Jesus anymore. There is nothing to be done now because the daughter is dead. Disappointment may have filled the heart of Jairus at that moment. Yet Jesus speaks and tells him not to be afraid and that his daughter will be healed.

They continue the journey to the house. When arriving, the sounds of wailing and mourning fill the air. Jesus speaks and tells the people to stop wailing. Jesus tells them that the girl is not dead. She is asleep.

Once again, there were unbelievers. Those people laughed.

Jesus would perform a miracle. Jesus took the girl by the hand and told her to get up. He called her “My child.” 

At once, the daughter of Jairus stood. She was healed by Jesus.

Jesus asks her parents to give her something to eat. The girl was filled with spiritual nourishment from Jesus. Now, she needed physical nourishment.

What Can We Learn from Jairus?

Reading the story about the healing of the daughter of Jairus can teach us valuable lessons. Jairus had strong faith, strong enough to trust that leaving his ill daughter to find Jesus would be the right thing to do. Even as news that his daughter had died, Jairus listened to Jesus and continued on the journey back home.

Jairus trusted and had faith in the power of Jesus. The prayers of Jairus were answered.

We can always trust in the Lord. His answers may or may not be the ones we desire, yet we can always find comfort in going to the Father.

Have you ever experienced a situation where your faith was tested? Did your faith in God bring peace and comfort? Were your prayers answered in the way you wanted?

Do you need specific details to believe in answered prayers? Or do you pray and trust God to answer in His timing and in His way?

These are important questions in the life of believers and for those who are yearning to develop a relationship with God. Our words and actions can have an impact on others. In every moment, we have the opportunity to draw closer to God and to help others draw closer to Him. Remember the faith of Jairus and the healing of his daughter.

Blessings,

Melissa Henderson

Photo credit: GettyImages/fizkes

Melissa hendersonAward-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers. 

Melissa is the author of Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator. Her passions are helping in the community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon, and Stephen Minister. 

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com


This article is part of our People from the Bible Series featuring the most well-known historical names and figures from Scripture. We have compiled these articles to help you study those whom God chose to set before us as examples in His Word. May their lives and walks with God strengthen your faith and encourage your soul.

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