August 16


A Humble Leader

Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet.

Before I was born, a brother of mine passed away at the age of fourteen months. My parents had done all they could to find medical help and healing for him. Similarly, Jairus, a synagogue leader, feared losing his young daughter, and he also did all he could to gain healing for his child.

Jairus was responsible to help with the smooth running of the synagogue in town, which led worship and instruction for the local Jewish community. He likely had also heard that some other religious leaders, the Pharisees, didn’t like Jesus and had warned people to watch out for him. The Pharisees enjoyed their position of power as teachers of the law and rulers of the people, and they felt threatened by Jesus’ popularity and his amazing miracles. They had even begun plotting to find a way to kill Jesus (Mark 3:6). Despite all that, Jairus wanted healing for his daughter. So he went to see Jesus.

Jairus also left his pride and dignity behind. As a respected leader in the community, he was not expected to submit to a stranger in his town, and yet he fell at the feet of Jesus in great humility. Jairus did not care who saw him do this because he knew he needed Jesus’ help.

Followers of Jesus leave their preconceptions and pride behind when they come to Jesus. He is Lord and King of all. In him we find the power to heal—body and soul.

King Jesus, help me to realize who you are, and to be humble before you. Thank you for your love and care. Amen.

With God All Things Are Possible

Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

When Jairus’s daughter got up and started walking around, the people there were astonished. We do not need to wonder why. The young girl had died but was alive again! When Jesus had arrived at the house, the community mourners had already begun their customary crying and wailing. The people figured there was no reason to bother Jesus anymore, for the girl had died.

Their behavior contrasted with the calm and persistence of Jesus, however. And when he said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe,” the people laughed at him.

Ordering all those people out of the house, Jesus took the father and mother, along with three of his disciples, to where the child was. And I wonder if Jesus smiled a little himself. He knew Psalm 2:4-6: “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them . . . saying, ‘I have installed my king. . . .’” The confirmation of Jesus as King meant that weeping would be turned into joy, and Jesus knew that he would turn wailing into amazement.

Jesus calmly and gently ordered the girl to get up. No more death, just life and praise to God as a sign of his kingdom coming to earth.

In your dark times, watch for Jesus; he still comes with ­power, bringing hope.

Risen Lord, forgive us for seeing darkness instead of your light. Walk into our situations with us, reveal yourself, and strengthen our hope in you, Prince of peace. Amen.