Mark 5:21-43

Today, our text takes us into a hopeless situation. This time, Jesus faces the greatest enemy known to man. Jesus faces death in these verses—and He walks away victorious!

As we watch our Lord conquer one hopeless situation after another, His example gives us hope when our own desperate times come.


A man named Jairus rushed into the crowd surrounding Jesus. His story serves as the focus of these verses. He was a man whose small faith was about to grow very large.

A. The direction of Jairus’ faith (verses 22, 23). This man was “a ruler of the synagogue.” This means that he was one of the officials who oversaw the business of the synagogue; he was responsible for making sure that everything was ready and in order. Jairus possessed power, privilege, prestige, position, and prominence.

Sickness and death had visited Jairus’ home, and none of the positive things in his life could drive them away! His power, his money, his position in the community, and even his religion were all powerless in the face of those two enemies. His daughter was dying, and he needed help! Jairus needed help that none of his resources could provide!

He had heard about Jesus, and he ran to Him and humbled himself at Jesus’ feet. Jairus didn’t understand everything there was to know about Jesus, but, he had come to believe that this Man could heal.

Let me remind you that tragedy doesn’t care who you are. The trials of life are not going to pass you by (Job 14:1; John 16:33). Tragedy doesn’t care that you go to church and pay your tithe. Sickness and death could care less about your achievements and assets.

When the trials of life come, you need a resource outside of yourself. When death, sickness, sorrow, marital trouble, financial trouble, and other trials come, you need more than religion or the things of this world. You need a faith that rests in Jesus and in His power alone.

B. The depth of his faith (verses 23b, 24). Perhaps Jairus had heard what Jesus could do just by touching someone who was diseased. Regardless of whether he had heard about or seen it with his own eyes, Jairus believed that Jesus could heal his daughter. He believed the Lord’s touch would bring healing to his child. Thus, this powerful man humbled himself at the feet of Jesus and cried out for the help he needed.

This is the kind of faith the Lord is looking for in your life and mine. He wants us to come to the end of our own abilities. He wants us to come to the place where we know that we can’t but believe that He can!


Someone has said, “A faith that can’t be tested is a faith that can’t be trusted.” Here we see Jairus’ fledgling faith put to the test. A hopeless situation grew worse with each passing moment, and a faith that was weak was brought to the breaking point.

A. Confused by hindering situations (verses 24-35). Jesus left to go with Jairus to heal his daughter. As He left, He was surrounded by the crowd, and a very sick woman touched His garments and was healed. Jesus stopped to confront and comfort this woman, and as He did, precious minutes ticked by.

I would imagine that Jairus was confused and upset by this delay. After all, his daughter was dying! She didn’t have much time, and Jesus was wasting His time on this woman.

On the surface, the Lord’s delay seems a little insensitive. He knew the seriousness of the situation. He knew the broken heart of this father. He knew the urgency of the need. But, Jesus paused to take care of the need at hand.

What seems to be hard and harsh on the surface has some important lessons to teach us: (1) Deity doesn’t run on our schedule. God is not bound by the constraints of time and space. (2) When God doesn’t move as quickly as you might like, trust Him anyway.

B. Confused by hopeless situations (verse 36). As Jesus finally finished with this woman, some people came from Jairus’ home with devastating news. His daughter had died. The news is blunt and final: “Thy daughter is dead: Why troublest thou the Master any further?” They are saying, “Don’t bother Jesus! Even He can’t fix this problem! Your daughter is dead, and that is just the way it is!” Surely this news rocked Jairus to his foundations! Surely this news attacked his faith and brought him to the very edge of despair!

God has a plan for your situation! Even when you can’t see what the Lord is doing, trust Him anyway, and your faith will sustain you! (Job 23:10; Ps. 37:23).


Jairus’ faith was weak. His faith waivered. But, in the end, his faith won out. His faith triumphed because it was rooted in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A. Confirmed by the Savior’s words (verses 36-39). Jesus overheard the words from those who brought the news of the girl’s death. Jesus also knew the fear that rested within Jairus’ heart. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”

So Jesus and Jairus continued on to Jairus’ house. When they arrived, the mourners were already there. The mourners were wailing and crying, and sad tunes were being played on flutes. Jesus approached this scene and made a strange statement. He told the mourners to stop their wailing because the little girl was not dead, only sleeping. They laughed at Him, but there was much truth in His words.

What a lesson for us! No situation that we can think of is beyond His ability! When you are faced with a hopeless situation, remember the words of the Lord, and let His words be all the support your faith needs! Let His words secure your faith.

B. Confirmed by the Savior’s works (verses 40-43). Jesus sent the mourners and the spectators away. With Jairus, the girl’s mother, and Peter, James, and John, He entered the room where the girl’s body was. He took her by the hand and said, “Talitha Cumi.” This phrase can literally be translated, “Arise, little lamb.” What a tender expression!


If Jesus can do this, nothing is impossible with Him! That lost spouse or family member can be saved! That impossible situation in your life can be handled! That incredible need that you think is so great can be met! Never forget that!

When the answers to your prayers are delayed, believe Jesus! When you are looking at a hopeless situation, believe Jesus!

You may have a problem today that you cannot handle. It is bigger than you are and out of your control. He can handle it! He can cut it down to size! Bring it to Jesus and trust Him to take care of it for His glory! Believe Jesus—He will not fail!