During the anxious moments that followed my mother-in-law’s heart attack, she was fortunate to receive immediate medical care. Later, her doctor told me that treatment within fifteen minutes of a heart attack results in a survival rate of 33 percent for critical patients. But just 5 percent survive if treated beyond that time frame.
On the way to heal Jairus’s desperately ill daughter (someone definitely needing immediate medical care), Jesus did the unthinkable: He paused (Mark 5:30). He stopped to identify who touched Him, and then spoke gently with the woman. You can imagine what Jairus was thinking: There’s no time for this, my daughter is dying! And then, his worst fears came true—Jesus appeared to have delayed too long and his daughter passed away (v. 35).
But Jesus turned to Jairus and offered a word of encouragement: “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (v. 36). Then, calmly ignoring the mockery of onlookers, Christ spoke to Jairus’s daughter and she came back to life! He revealed that He can never be too late. Time can’t limit what He’s able to do and when He chooses to do it.
How often do we feel like Jairus, thinking that God was simply too late to accomplish what we had hoped for. But with God, there’s no such thing. He’s never too late in fulfilling His good and merciful work in our lives.
How have you recently experienced the reality of God’s timing? Why is it vital for you to rest in God’s sovereignty—acknowledging that His plans are the best?
Mark uses the story of Jesus bringing the daughter of Jairus to life as an illustration of faith. Unlike the disciples’ recent lack of faith (Mark 4:40), in Mark 5 a woman is healed because of her faith (v. 34). Immediately following this healing, Jairus is informed of his daughter’s death (v. 35). In response, Jesus encourages Jairus to “believe” (v. 36).
In the original Greek, the word believe is in the present tense and can be read, “Keep on believing.” While from our perspective Jairus had no reason to hope for his daughter’s healing, Jesus invited him to hope anyway. In this way, Mark illustrates the kind of faith that continues to hope even when there seems no reason for it. Although not all tragedies will be healed in this lifetime, Christ’s resurrection means there’s always a reason for believers to keep on believing (see 2 Corinthians 4:13–14).