April 27, 2015

The Jairus Life

Gary Thomas — 

The Jairus Life Final

Family makes pain personal.  Very personal.

The pain might be erupting from your marriage; it might be related to the welfare (spiritual or physical) of a child.

If it’s family the pain you feel focuses on you like a doctor using a laser beam during eye surgery. You want it gone.

But, that pain can lead to one very good thing.

Jairus (Mark 5) wasn’t just a member of the synagogue, he was a leader of the synagogue. Virtually all of his friends and work colleagues hated the thought of Jesus. They either feared, despised, envied, or were disgusted by Jesus’ words and ministry. That’s why it was so shocking for Jairus to do something none of his acquaintances would ever dream of doing: he fell at Jesus’ feet (a sign of total submission) and begged Him for help.

Jairus’s little girl was very sick, near death, and Jesus was the only One who could help. Suddenly, Jairus was willing to give Jesus another look.

Jairus seeking out Jesus would be similar to Michael Moore kneeling in front of George W. Bush, telling him how wrong he has been to criticize him, and would he please consider his request for a favor?

You may hate a situation in your marriage or family. It may be an ongoing illness. It could be a destructive behavioral pattern. Perhaps it’s an addiction. But you hate it. You hate it so much that if you ever got one wish, you wouldn’t have to even think about what the wish would be.

You’d ask for the hated element to be abolished.

When something we hate in family life makes us seek out Jesus, fall to our knees, and then become dependent beggars, it’s doing a good thing. The thing itself is not good, and I’m not even remotely suggesting God is allowing the hated thing to make us dependent beggars. I’m just saying (nothing less, nothing more) that when something we hate in family life makes us seek out Jesus more earnestly and become a dependent beggar before him, that new posture is a good and holy thing.

I wish I could promise you deliverance, change, or even resolution. Some of you would even accept, “Just tell me how long I have to keep dealing with this.” God promises none of that. But when an unanswered question or an unresolved problem makes us seek His face with a new earnestness; when it turns us from arrogant independents to humble penitents, glory happens.

If you know the story, you know that Jairus’s daughter dies before Jesus gets to her. She goes from sick to dead, and so what do his synagogue friends say? They send someone to Jairus to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” (v. 35) In other words, you have no need for Him, so just get away from Him. If your problem is gone, your need for Him is gone. Come back to us. This is embarrassing. Come back to a life in which Jesus isn’t relevant.

Jesus looked at this synagogue ruler in the first grip of the most intense pain a father can ever know (the death of a child) and says, “Do not fear only believe.”

Believe, Jairus. In Me. (In the original language it’s more accurately represented as, “keep on believing.”)

Jairus had a choice: keep up his independence from Jesus now that hope seemed foolish, or hang on for one more season of belief. Suspend doubt. You started to believe, now keep on believing. Trust Jesus instead of rejecting or neglecting Him.

Jairus chose trust. Jairus chose humiliation: he led Jesus to his house. No hiding his trust now! His friends laughed at what Jesus had to say to them. They laughed! But still, Jairus, leader of the synagogue that saw Jesus as their worst enemy, led Jesus into the interior of his house.

And his little girl lived.

That’s the Jairus life: keep on believing. Keep on seeking. Keep on asking. Keep bowing. Keep begging.

If you’re facing a “Jairus moment,” I pray God will use this post to keep you on your knees before Him, to keep believing, at least in Him, even if you can’t fully believe in resolution. Let a bad thing lead to a very good thing, no matter how long it takes.

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8 responses to The Jairus Life

  1. Thanks so much for your request. At the meonmt, we are in the process of developing a printable prayer guide for the Beyond 5 campaign. We will be sure to let you know once that’s available for you to download and print.In the meantime, please feel free to print this page out so you can continue to use these prayer points.Blessings,The Beyond 5 Campaign Team

  2. carolyn Sue Rennie April 30, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I really like this Blog Gary…Thanks for sharing with us…Praying for you and your family! May God Bless,Direct,and Protect you as you head forward.. serving HIM !! 🙂

  3. I emailed this to two of my close girlfriends so they can join me on my knees, before Jesus with a Jairus heart!

    “But when an unanswered question or an unresolved problem makes us seek His face with a new earnestness; when it turns us from arrogant independents to humble penitents, glory happens.”

    I am printing out this line and using it as a bookmark! I love it….glory happens, INDEED!

  4. Can I say it again? I’m learning that God sometimes chooses to bless us in ways we don’t enjoy. That’s not an indictment of His character, but of ours.

  5. I really like this post but it also is leaving me confused as to what i should do. My wife (of almost 6 years plus 2 years dating) left me 9 months ago and although we agreed on all marital assets and had no children or disagreements on any paperwork (other than the mispelling of my name interstingly enough) the judge, lawyers and life kept delaying our divorce till last week. I was standing believing in faith that my wife’s eyes would open to see the truth and run by to Christ and myself. But now that is was final last week i felt like I should move on and continuing picking up the pieces of my heart and start working on a new life. My marriage completly died just like Jarius’ daughter. I’m praying for direction and now i read this post. Please pray for clarity as I’m not sure how to hold on to my marriage and move on and repair my heart at the same time….advise???? Thoughts? prayer for direction appreciated

    • Praying for you, Jonathan! Life can be confusing, for sure, but the Word of the LORD is a lamp to your feet and a light for your path. (Psalm 119:105). You can continue to be in prayer for your ex-wife, praying for the LORD to draw her near and to renew her love for Him. For both you and her, His will is that you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. (Matt 6:33) You never know what miracles God has in store for you! Trust in Him with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Prov 3:5-6
      I pray He will order your steps and lead you on level ground. Rest in Him. He will heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds. (Pslam 147:3)

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I am going through a Jairus moment I would say. My emotions keep changing from UPS to lows but I am finding rest at Jesus’ feet. Lets keep praying, keep trusting, keep hoping. For He is faithful. I am so expectant about the testimony God is building in me.
    Thank you Garry.

  7. Thanks, Gary, for this wonderful reminder that our greatest battles are fought on our knees!