And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:39 (NKJV)
My name is Jairus and I want to tell you what Jesus did for me, my wife Deborah, and our daughter--who we affectionately call Princess.
Princess brightens our home with her laughter, singing, and frequent smiles. Her zest for living is contagious. That's why for us, the sun ceased to shine when she became deathly sick.
Her forehead burned with fever. She complained of severe stomach cramps. Nothing she ate or drank would stay down. In fact, she came to the point of vomiting bile and blood.
Deborah and I were frantic! Nothing we did seemed to make any difference and I ached to see her so sick. We called the doctor. The news he gave us was devastating.
I was overwhelmed with grief! I went to Princess and sat beside her bed. I bathed her brow and stroked her flaming cheeks. I asked her if there was anything I could bring her and her answer startled me. "Yes," she said, "Jesus."
Oh how I struggled with that request. I loved my daughter but I couldn't ask Him for help. He was in opposition to much of what I did and taught as synagogue ruler. Furthermore, I was haunted by the thought that even if He could do something, He wouldn't do it for a doubter like me. He wouldn't come to my house.
Her condition worsened. I pleaded with God for her life. My neighbor came over to ask if there was something he could do. Bitterly I told him he could arrange for hired mourners because we had no hope for her recovery.
I sat by her bed feeling desperate and helpless. I held her hand tightly, as if my grasp could keep her from slipping away. Her breathing began to rattle in her chest and suddenly my desperation pushed me past my pride. I bolted for the door and ran down the cobblestone street.
Tears blurred my vision as I stumbled recklessly toward the outskirts of Capernaum. My breath came rapidly, my throat burned, my muscles screamed but I couldn't stop. Then I saw Him and fell at His feet. I clutched at the hem of His garment and gasped, "Please ... please! My daughter is dying! I beg you, come and touch her, that she may be healed!"
"Let's go," He said, and we headed for home.
Then my worst fears came true. I saw friends and neighbors coming towards us. "She died," they said, "No use bringing Jesus, it's too late now."
I wished I could die! I had let her down. She had asked me to get Jesus, but I left too late. Then He took my arm and I heard Him say, "Don't be afraid. She's going to be all right!"
Before we got home, we could hear the mourners. Looking in their direction, Jesus held up a hand. "Why do you make so much commotion?" He said, "this little girl is only sleeping."
For a moment, there was silence, then one of the mourners spat at Jesus feet. "Who are you to come here at a time like this with your jokes. When someone stops breathing it is not because they fell asleep! We've seen her ourselves and she is DEAD!"
Jesus looked from one face to another. He spoke deliberately, calmly and quietly, "Please leave!" He said. Motioning for three of His disciples to follow, He took my arm, and moved me through the open door of my home.
Like a man in a dream, I led the way to my daughter's room. Deborah was kneeling beside the bed cradling Princess' head against her cheek. She was sobbing uncontrollably. Seeing them there loosed the fountain of my own tears. Regardless of what Jesus called it, my daughter was dead!
Then I looked at Jesus and realized that He was the one who was most saddened! His own eyes brimmed over as He gently helped Deborah to her feet. I reached for her and we clung to one another. Jesus moved towards the bed and time stood still. He stood looking down on our daughter's ashen face. Stooping slightly, He reached out with His right hand and gently stroked her cheek.
A silence came over all of us as we watched and wondered. I could feel my heartbeat in my neck and temples. Deborah's grip on my hand tightened. The room grew suddenly brighter.
Then Jesus took her hand and spoke. "Princess," He said, "Princess. I say to you arise." As if it were possible! And it was! A tremor passed through her unconscious form. Her lips unclosed with a smile and her eyes opened widely as if from sleep. She sat up and gave Jesus a hug, as our hearts overflowed with joy!
For a while, we were so overcome with happiness, that no one spoke. Then Jesus said, "Why don't you give her something to eat?"
Clinging to Princess, I turned toward Jesus and said, "Master, it is impossible for me to ever thank You enough!"
I will always wonder about His reply. "Please don't tell anyone what has happened here today," He said.
I would like to be able to honor His request, but let me ask you, could you
keep quiet about what He has done?
Lesson 6 - Conclusion