1. What gives life on this globe we call earth value? (First and foremost life has value because God gave it to us when He created the universe. He is the only One who can give life. On a recent television program a doctor made the following statement when talking about his role in helping a couple conceive: “I created that life, not God, it was me!” I realize it was a TV program but I cringed at the danger that man was placing himself under God’s judgment.)
2. Why is healing important to us? (God created us with a desire to continue living in this physical life and keep our family and friends here with us as long as possible. As long as we are somewhat healthy, we desire to live here on earth.)
3. Why is healing important to God? (Healing is ultimately an expression of God’s power. It truly is godly to enjoy our lives while on earth.)
As we think about our Scripture text today we find a parent desiring that his daughter be healed. Wrapped inside the overall text is a woman who had suffered 12 long years doing all she knows to do to be healed. In this passage, Jesus demonstrated His authority and encouraged those He touched not to fear, but believe. It is one thing to believe one can be healed, but quite another to believe someone can be brought back to life.
In the greater context of Mark 4:35-5:43 Jesus exercised His power over nature by calming a storm on the Sea of Galilee; His power to drive out evil spirits from a man in the region of the Gerasenes; and His power over death by bringing a dead girl back to life. As Jesus demonstrated throughout His ministry, He had ultimate power over all creation!
Jesus is now among a Jewish population.
Willing! Read 5:21-24
1. What do we learn about Jairus from this passage?
(Jairus was one of the synagogue leaders; had a very sick daughter; willing to humble himself at Jesus’ feet; expressed faith in Jesus; as a leader he would have been a respected and influential member of the town’s society. Does Mark’s mention of Jairus by name suggest that he was later known to the apostles as a follower of Jesus?)
2. How would you describe Jairus’s level of confidence in bringing his need to Jesus?
3. What might hold a person back from confidently approaching Jesus?
4. Is it possible that Jairus’s attitude toward Jesus changed when his daughter became deathly ill?
5. What words in these verses illustrate Jairus’s desperate call for help? (“Urged Him insistently.” This indicated his sincerity as well as his grave need.)
6. Do you believe Jesus is still willing to help all those who approach Him in faith? (Yes, but perhaps not in the way we expect.)
Now it seems that Jesus gets distracted and Jairus, I’m sure, became frustrated. But Jairus had no one else to turn to for help.
Read Mark 5:25-34
Undeterred! Read Mark 5:35-40
1. Do you think Jairus’s heart sank as he heard the news of his daughter’s death?
2. What instructions did Jesus give to Jairus after hearing the girl had died?
3. What experiences had Jairus had with death that would cause him to lose faith? (Healing the sick is one thing, restoring life, another!)
4. In what situations today might Jesus challenge a person to continue to believe?
5. What roadblocks might a person face that could cause them to doubt or give up?
6. Why do you suppose this became a private healing? (People were weeping and wailing. Some laughed at Jesus, not amused but scornful. But Jesus is not deterred nor bound by unbelief.)
7. How does Jesus’ walking with us through a dark time impact our relationship with Him? (I can watch you go through a difficult time but to experience it myself builds my faith and strengthens our relationship.)
Able! Read Mark 5:41-43
Jesus touched the young girl even though He would’ve been considered ceremonially unclean, and immediately she got up and walked. As was the case with the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus makes the unclean clean!
1. How does Jesus bring life to His creation? (Speaking! He is the Living Word of God!)
2. What can be pointed to as proof that Jesus gives life today?
3. Why was it important for Jesus to command the people to provide a meal? (Jesus’ healing is both effective and practical. The girl needed nutrition after being ill for a period of time.)
4. Why did Jesus give strict orders to the family not to tell what had happened? (Jesus knew many people wanted to force Him into a Messianic role that fit their own interpretation, not God’s plan. He sought to avoid that kind of attention so He could focus on what really mattered.)
God’s timing doesn’t always coincide with our schedule. In fact, most Christians would confess that God, more often than not, acts unexpectedly. He may move quickly and suddenly to bring about a resolution to our circumstances or an answer to our prayers, or He may delay to test our faith or deepen our willingness to persevere. Whatever the reason, it’s always true that God acts according to His purpose, and His timing is always a perfect match for whatever He is working to accomplish.
In Lamentations 3:25-26, we learn,
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
To the person who seeks hm.
It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.
Although we prefer God’s more immediate answers, we need to enjoy His delays. When God waits to act, it tests our trust in Him and stretches our ability to rely on Him alone for what we need. When we fail to wait on Him, the inevitable result is that we search for answers or solutions elsewhere, and in so doing, we sometimes forfeit God’s blessing.
The dilemma is that we want God to work in the way we think best benefits us, but we desire this without knowing the full picture of what God is trying to accomplish. In John 11, for example, Mary and Martha called upon Jesus to come to the village of Bethany and heal their brother, Lazarus. Rather than leaving immediately for Bethany, Jesus tarried for two more days in the place where He was staying. Before He departed, Lazarus died. When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Mary and Martha were greatly saddened because their brother was dead. They spoke to Jesus and told him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died” (v.21). Clearly, they were upset because their request had not been answered in the way they desired. However, Jesus had a greater purpose for growing their faith through this crisis. He allowed Lazarus to die so that He could exercise His power over death and raise Lazarus to life again, knowing that His display of power would solidify their belief in Him as the Messiah.
Like Mary and Martha, we often want God to work things out on our time lines. But sometimes He has a greater purpose in our circumstances. Let us not trade our own desires, however good they may be, for God’s best. His timing is always perfect.
Quicksource, page 26 “Dig Deeper”
Father, may we not settle for good when we can have Your best!