Jairus-Believe or Grieve?

Tom Bartha

READ : Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

It has to be one of the shortest sermons on record, preached to a congregation of one: “Do not be afraid, just believe.” Jairus held a position of prominence as a ruler of the synagogue. He would have traded his high status in a heartbeat if only his daughter could be healed. When Jesus came, Jairus fell at his feet and cried out in desperation for his daughter’s healing.

On the way to Jairus’ home, after a delay, the two men were intercepted, and Jairus heard the most terrifying words, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher any more.” But our Lord does not retreat even in the darkest of hours. “Do not be afraid,” he told Jairus, “just believe.”

Just believe what? Jesus did not elaborate. He was presenting the options open to us in life’s situations. We can fear…or believe. We can despair…or trust. We can panic…or pray. Faith directs our thoughts from the circumstances, and we turn to Jesus. Jairus’ story reminds us of Jesus’ willingness to meet us in our most desolate circumstances.


Lord, Jairus had a firm faith in Jesus’ ability. May we remember Jesus’ word to him: “Do not fear, just believe.” We do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.