The Leap Of Faith
49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher any more.” 50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” NIV
Have you noticed how every once in a while God stretches our faith? We need it to grow, to break new ground, to keep our relationship with God fresh and vital. And we need it to be reminded that with God all things are possible.
A man called Jairus had his faith stretched one day. He was an important man, a ruler (or leader) of the synagogue no less. And he was desperate. His only daughter lay dying. He came and fell at Jesus’ feet and begged for help. Desperate people don’t worry too much about status or position.
Jesus immediately feels for this desperate and anxious dad and agrees to go with him to pray for his sick daughter. It turns out to be an agonizingly slow journey.
A huge crowd is around Jesus. Other desperate people are trying to grab His attention too. Many are reaching out to touch Him. Just as He is about to break free of the crowd, He suddenly stops and turns around… “Who touched me?” He asks. A woman literally crawls forward… the crowd parts a little to give her space and all eyes are upon her… she’s weeping… but wait… it looks like tears of joy… she says she’s been healed from an illness that has plagued her for most of her life… something about a blood condition that all the doctors in town could not cure… Jesus is smiling at her now and He says, “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” It’s amazing, incredible… but… precious minutes are going by… doesn’t Jesus know his daughter’s life is ebbing away?
Jairus is about to hurry Jesus on when a messenger comes from his home… his heart sinks… his daughter has succumbed to her illness…. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore,” the messenger adds. It’s over… his precious little girl is gone. Death is, after all, so final.
I am thinking of Jairus and wondering what is going through his mind – the grief, the doubt, the questions… so many others had come to Jesus and received their miracle… why did Jesus not intervene in his daughter’s situation more decisively? Why couldn’t He just “say the word” and heal the girl? He did it for that Roman officer. Why did He have to move so slowly when He knew that time was of the essence?
Jesus undoubtedly reads it all, sees the tears, the great sorrow, the overwhelming despair written all over Jairus’ face. He turns to him, perhaps He puts His hand upon the man’s sagging shoulders and simply says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
You have to understand what’s going on here: Jesus is asking Jairus to take a leap of faith, to believe the impossible, to set aside everything he understood about life and death and put his trust in Jesus.
Jairus did and the rest is history, as they say. We don’t hear about Jairus anymore after that but his leap of faith moment will serve as a reminder to countless other desperate people in hopeless and impossible situations.
Be sure that God will challenge you to take a leap of faith too. There will be times when He will ask you to suspend your understanding of reality because He wants to give you the impossible. You will look around at the circumstances you find yourself in, and perhaps hopelessness and despair will scream back at you. God will ask you not to process the situation or the circumstances with your natural mind but rather to see through the eyes of faith. And in the midst of your desperation, He will say to your soul, “Don’t be afraid; just believe….”
Take that leap of faith and believe that with the God of the impossible all things are possible. And someday, when you meet up with Jairus, you’ll have your own leap of faith moment to share with him!