Mark 5:35-43 (ESV)
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
While Jesus was talking to the woman with the bleeding problem he just healed, some from the synagogue ruler’s household interrupted them and told the Ruler not to bother with Jesus anymore. The man’s daughter had died, and there was no point in dragging Jesus to the house. It was too late for the little girl. Remember, Jesus was initially traveling with his disciples to the home of the synagogue ruler. The ruler had expressed to Jesus that his daughter was dying, and he trusted that Jesus could heal her. If Jesus hadn’t “wasted time” with the bleeding woman, maybe he would have made it there before the little girl passed away. But Jesus basically ignored the report and spoke directly to the ruler. Jesus encouraged him, “Do not fear, only believe” (v. 36). That must have been tough. He had just learned his twelve-year old daughter had died, and Jesus commanded him to not be afraid. Jesus also told him to continue believing. He trusted that Jesus could keep her alive before death. Now his faith was tested even further. Could Jesus do anything after she was dead? Professional mourners were already at the home, making a scene, as was the custom when someone passed away. Jesus told them to stop because she wasn’t dead but asleep. They all laughed like Jesus was out of his mind. Jesus went into her room with her parents, bringing Peter, James, and John, and he spoke to her. He said, “Little girl, I say to you, arise,” and she did. Those in the room were absolutely astonished.
Wow! What a challenge this process must have been for the ruler of the synagogue. He was probably stressing, out wondering when Jesus was going to move away from the bleeding woman and to his own daughter. He must have thought, “Come on, Jesus! Hurry up!” The professional mourners mocked Jesus when he said the girl wasn’t dead. They were experts in death. It was their job. They knew she wasn’t “sleeping.” Jesus wanted the ruler to trust in him, even though the circumstances radically challenged his faith. In what situation is Jesus asking you to trust and not fear today? Choose to put your focus on him and believe that he can do whatever he wants. If it is for your best and his glory, he will make it happen.