Too Late

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But 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. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:35-43)

Jesus was the creator of universe. He breathed life into lifeless dirt. Restoring life to little girl was not so hard. The ruler or president of a synagogue was a lay person who had the responsibility for conducting worship and instruction. So not all the religious leaders in Israel opposed Jesus.

But when his daughter died, Jairus and those around him thought it was too late for Jesus to help them. Jesus, however, told Jairus not to worry. Not an easy thing to do when your child is dead. From all appearances, all they could do now was pick out a coffin. It was too late for Jesus to do anything. That seemed obvious.

Jesus only allowed Jairus and his wife, along with three of his closest disciples, to witness the raising of the little girl back to life. Her name is never given and in fact, when Jesus brought her back to life, he didn’t even use her name to call her back to the land of the living. He just called her “little girl.” That was enough. Jesus’ spoke in Aramaic; in fact, all the conversations and words spoken by Jesus and the disciples were in Aramaic, but only a few were left in that language. The New Testament was written in Greek for the sake of the Jews and Gentiles who did not live in Israel.

Then Jesus told the family not to tell what he had done. Jesus didn’t help people for the publicity. He helped because he loved them. And He helped them, even after it was “too late.”

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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