Friendship -- Jesus Style

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"… Be not afraid, only believe."  Mark 5:36

 Capernaum was Jesus' base of operations during the early part of His ministry.  He must have sat and taught in the local synagogue many times.  It is highly probable that it was there, in that synagogue, that Jesus healed the man with a withered hand – the incident that solidified the Pharisees' opposition to Him.

Where did Jairus come down on this controversy?  As a leader of the synagogue there had to have been significant interaction between the two of them.  Jesus probably had been a dinner guest at Jairus' house and his little girl was also likely well acquainted with Him – especially if you consider Jesus affinity for children.  Was Jairus still on the fence, trying to balance a budding faith in Jesus with the hostility of the powerful Pharisees?  Or had he, by the time of this event, come to true belief in who Jesus was?  One thing we do know is that when the time of crisis came and he was near to losing his beautiful little daughter, he knew where to turn.  He knew that Jesus would respond positively.

Jairus' faith must have been on a roller coaster ride.  Fear that it was too late pulling him down into despair, hope pulling him up as he remembered the healings Jesus had worked in his own synagogue.  God was aware of Jairus’ rough ride.  Just when he was most desperate for something to hang onto the woman with the issue of blood was healed.  How amazing – Jesus healed even when there was no conscious volition on His part!  This must have impacted Jairus and even though it delayed their mission, it must have encouraged him.  Then, too, when word came that his daughter was dead, Jesus was ready with encouragement – "Don't give up!  Believe!"

"Believe!"  Belief and relationship go hand in hand.  Jesus had relationship with Jairus.  Whether it was a full friendship or hadn't progressed to that point, we don't know, but Jesus knew the turmoil in Jairus' heart and loved him and spoke peace to him.  There may well have been animosity on Jairus' part prior to this event, but Jesus loved him – and loved his little girl – and so spoke encouragement to His friend.  His words precluded a final descent into despair by Jairus.

This is the part of the story that has impressed me the most this morning.  Jesus' friendship toward Jairus was not distant!  He did not hold himself away from close – and potentially hurtful – relationship.  Jesus grabbed Jairus' arm, got up close and in love encouraged him to faith.  He was a friend of the truest kind.

I Am A Friend of God by Phillips, Craig & Dean



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