“Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.’ And he went with him” (Mark 5:22-24 ESV).
I’m certain that there were a few Jewish leaders who didn’t toe the party line. And while there must have been one or two who believed that Jesus was Messiah, we have no indication one way or the other that Jairus was one such leader.
While the vast majority of Pharisees and Sadducees, priests or otherwise, looked at Jesus as a sinner and blasphemer rather than God, none could deny the miracles that He performed. There was no doubt that Jairus was well acquainted with both Jesus’ miracles and the high priest’s perception of Him.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Sometimes our need warrants doing things that we would otherwise never do. Seeking help from someone who has wronged you. Bankruptcy. Relocating to escape triggers of temptation. Etc., and in Jairus’ case, risking excommunication and humiliation by bowing down at the feet of Jesus. But the times were indeed desperate for Jairus. His little girl was dying.
We have no record of whether he sought help from physicians first. The practice of medicine in those days was far from an exact science. Regardless of how he arrived at his decision, Jesus was apparently his only hope.
And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well'” (Mark 5:25-28 ESV).
The “woman with the issue of blood” is a clear example of the ineffectiveness of medical practice in those days. And she also exemplified desperation. She had tried everything else, I’m sure with an hopeful heart. But each treatment only led to more disappointment.
When she heard about the works of Jesus I imagine that hope sparked within her again. And she wasn’t disappointed! She couldn’t bring herself to interrupt His mission to Jairus’ daughter, so she merely touched His clothes, in faith, and power went out from Jesus and healed the woman (vv. 29-30).
I think that all too often we exhaust all other options before coming to Jesus. We live in a world where we are expected to be self-sufficient, independent, and in control. So when difficulties of any kind arise our first instinct is to try to fix it. We allow things to get to the point of desperation before falling down at the feet of Jesus, before choosing faith in His ability to make things better.
Scripture calls us children of God (Galatians 3:26). Jesus told us that “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Luke 18:17 ESV). Little children are utterly dependent on their parents. They rely on them for everything. There is no need or care so small that God doesn’t want you to bring to Him.
Yes, God will be there for us in times of desperation. But how much better would life be if we brought our cares to Him before we reached the point of desperation?