The story is actually included in three of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke). In both Mark and Luke, Jesus has just calmed the storm on the sea and cured a demoniac at Gadara. Jairus, who was a religious leader (one of the rulers of the Jewish synagogue), decided to go find Jesus. Religious leaders like Jairus were very unlikely to go see someone like Jesus. But Jairus was desperate--his daughter was very sick. If my child were this ill, I too would be exploring every possible option to make him or her better! Jairus went because he found Jesus to be his only hope. Jairus found Jesus and convinced Him to come to his house.
On the way to Jairus' house, someone told them that his daughter had died. Someone said, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore." Jesus overheard and replied, "Don't be afraid; just believe." The story continues in verses 37-42.
He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!”(which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
As a cancer patient, I find this story to be so lovely! The message from Mark 5 and Luke 8 is that Jesus has power over the natural world and the supernatural world and now we see He has power over disease and death. Did you know that people are told "Don't be afraid" more than 80 times in the Bible? Fear is a very common human emotion. And for most people, there is no greater fear than death. Hebrews 2:15 says that Jesus came to "free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Cancer can be a scary reality for most folks. The survival statistics (as in my case) often look grim. But, statistics don't matter to God. Jesus performed all sorts of miracles, including healing Jairus' daughter, who was already pronounced dead when He arrived. We have to believe that He is healing me. Since this post is about our favorite quotes, I will end this post by sharing one more of my new favorite quotes (I just saw this this week) that is relevant here.