It had been a long day. Jesus and his disciples crossed the lake back into Capernaum only to arrive greeted by a huge crowd. “Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him” (Luke 8:40, NIV.)
Word had obviously spread about Jesus and His kingdom message. Jairus, a local synagogue ruler, pushed his way through the crowd and fell at the feet of Jesus. His daughter was sick and dying, and Jairus was at the end of his rope. There was nothing left to do but beg for Jesus’ healing intervention.
Jairus was out of options. No doubt he tried everything in his power. He was a man of much prestige. His job alone set him apart from the rest. As the synagogue ruler, he was a well-known person of importance in the community. He practiced strict religious rituals with the best of the best.
Some of his responsibilities included the upkeep of the synagogue, the weekly worship schedule, running the school of discipleship and securing rabbis’ to teach on the Sabbath. To be found at the feet of Jesus would have been a disgrace amongst his religious crowd. He couldn’t be privy to such lackadaisical teachings.
Jairus was at the end of himself. As a religious leader, he was independent and self-sufficient, but as a father, he was desperate and frantic. As his daughter lays back home in her room dying, Jairus fought his way through the crowd to find Jesus.
Luke 8:40-42, “Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.”
In moments like these, our hearts show such truth. I may claim to believe with my mouth, but do my feet follow through with what my lips profess? The Apostle James built the case for faith and deeds when he argued,
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder”(James 2:14-19).
When push came to shove, Jairus might have talked a big, religious talk, but at the end of himself, he found comfort in the care and provision of Jesus. When my husband was let go because of staffing changes at the mega church my family called home, I didn’t know what to do.
You could say we saw it coming, and we should have been prepared, but I wonder how we are ever prepared to suffer loss?
Seeing it coming and actually taking the blow are two entirely different things. With the wind gone from my lungs and reality setting in I collapsed on the couch of a dear friend.
“What do you want the Father to do for you?” she asked as I quickly tried to catch the tears streaming down my cheeks. Everything inside of me wanted to rebel against these people who appeared to be the object of my hurt, but at His feet, I knew He had me.
This wasn’t about their rejection; it was about His protection.“I need Him to empower my family to end well this weekend and walk out in faith and assurance.” It was an honest request. Everything inside of me wanted to scream about the injustice my family was experiencing.
I wanted to write letters and issue a revolt because my kids didn’t deserve to be hurt this way, but Jesus didn’t seem frantic or worried. Sitting at His feet felt hopeful and optimistic. Sitting at His feet things looked different and from this place, I could go forward and do what I knew I didn’t possess the strength to do.
Being at His feet makes all the difference in the world. On my own I react, I reject, and I regret. At His feet I respond, I renew, and I rebuild. He is the difference maker.
Let’s be real for a minute when hard times hit, where do you find yourself?
Are you at the feet of your Savior?
Are you willing to drop everything, even the fear of people noticing your desperation, push your way through the crowd, not stopping till you find his feet under the cheeks of your tear stained face?
Will you find Him no matter the cost?
Is He your answer to adversity?
The answer to our dependence is revealed in our actions. What we do (or don’t do) in those moments shows proof of so much more. Jairus might have been a religious leader with a lot of responsibility, but in the end, he was just a broken father at the feet of his Savior. He came broken before Jesus, desperate to know Him and His message of hope, desperate to experience Him and His healing power.
In the time it took Jairus to get to Jesus and Jesus to get to Jairus’ house, his sweet daughter died. Time is a real thing, and it is essential for us to be close to our answer. Thankfully, we serve an omnipresent God, who isn’t worried about time because Jesus walked right into the house, past the mourners and told Jairus’ daughter to “wake up,” (Luke 8:54, emphasis added.) Jairus’ daughter sat up with a new spirit and another shot at life and Jairus rejoiced.
Jesus makes good use of our time lost as we run to Him, but we need make good use of our time by simply already being near Him.
I learn this lesson from Jairus: don’t wait until adversity hits to find the feet of Jesus. Get there now. Get Jesus right beside you and then when you are at the end of your rope, you won’t have to run very far to be at the beginning of Him. What are you doing to get to and keep yourself at His feet?