Belief in the face of disbelief

Crowd of PeopleHer hacking cough woke him. He had fallen asleep at his daughter’s bedside. His cheeks were streaked from the rivers of tears he had shed. He was unsure how much longer his little girl would live. He was impotent to doing anything for her except comfort her and pour out his heart to God. When his strength wained, the vicious thoughts would flood in. “The judgment for my sins is being poured out on my daughter.” He would try his best to move those thoughts out of his mind. Her breathing became more shallow and her entire body trembled from fever. “Lord, please, I cannot bear the thought of losing my daughter. I remember the day she was born. And to lose her so soon. No, Lord, do not let this happen.”

A noise came to Jairus’s ear that pulled him out of his meditation. It was a combination of cries and cheers. It continued to increase in volume. His daughter had slipped into unconsciousness so he moved to the doorway. People were moving through the streets toward the shoreline. He called out to his neighbor as he walked by, “What is going on?” “Have you not heard, the Prophet has just arrived in town by boat. Everyone is going to see him. It is said that he can heal the sick and that demons flee from him.” Jairus was at a dead sprint before his mind processed what was occurring. The Prophet, he was the answer. He could heal his daughter.

As he reached the seashore, he could hardly believe his eyes. It seemed as if the entire village was huddled together and moving as one. He heard people calling the Prophet by name. “Jesus, have mercy on me.” “Son of David, heal my son.” He must get to the center of this crowd and talk to Jesus. He began to press his way through the crowd. He felt his heart began to race. This was the answer to his prayer. Everything would be fine. He just had to get to Jesus. Finally he saw the man that everyone was trying to reach. Without thought, he fell to his knees and cried out to Jesus, “My daughter is near death, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” He felt a hand on his shoulder and heard the Prophet speak, “Take me to your daughter.” Jairus got up and led the way. “Thank you Lord, Jesus will touch her and she will be healed.”

The words of Jesus pulled him out of his thoughts, “Who touched my robes?” Jairus turned and saw the mass had stopped moving. “How could he stop now? The crowd is so large and everyone is clamoring to touch him.” Then the crowd began to part around Jesus. A young woman was kneeling before Jesus, so she must be the offender. She had been sick for many years but now she was healed. Then the words of Jesus confused him but encouraged him at the same time. “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free from your affliction.” Yes, this Jesus was the answer to his countless prayers.

“Jairus,” he heard a voice call him. The voice belonged to his brother. He turned and scanned the crowd to find him. He located him and his heart sank upon seeing the dread etched on his brother’s face. Jairus heard the word “daughter” again but his mind was not comprehending the news. He heard the phrase again, and then it sank in. “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?” No, this was not happening. The Lord had sent Jesus to heal his daughter. God would not be so sadistic as to extend hope to just as quickly tear it away. Then an unexplained peace began to sweep over him. It was then that he realized the Prophet was speaking again. “Do not be afraid. Only believe.” Yes he would believe. This man had just shown his power to heal. He believed.

As they drew closer to the house, Jairus began to hear the sounds of death. He heard the cries of his family. Chills ran up his spine as the unholy wail of his wife split the air. “Only believe.” He wanted to believe but things around him pointed to the worst. They entered the house and his heart sank. Grief and agony distorted the faces of his family. “Do not be afraid.” “Lord, I do not understand. I have seen Jesus heal but death is hanging in the air. How can he heal someone who is dead?” Then Jesus spoke again. “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”

“Only believe.” “What, I have spent the last three days by my daughter’s side? She was not sleeping. She was dying.” Laughter, that did not make sense right now. Where was it coming from. His family was laughing at the Prophet’s statement. But as they laughed, he began pushing them outside. Once the door was shut, Jairus found himself holding his wife, and staring at Jesus and a couple of his students. Jesus moved toward the room where the body of Jairus’s daughter was laid. Upon seeing his daughter, lifeless, he felt the blood rush from his head.

Jesus moved toward the girl and reached out and took her by the hand. “Little girl, get up!” The words reverberated off the walls of the room. The declaration pulled Jairus from his mourning. “Only believe.” Movement pulled Jairus’s focus from the Prophet to the body of his daughter. She was moving! She got up and ran to her parents. They embraced and the words came to his mind again. “Do not be afraid. Only believe.” He did believe, but this was beyond belief. He had power over even death. This Jesus was not any ordinary man.