They Laughed at Him

February 26, 2012

The situation was grave, and the request was urgent. Jairus’ daughter was dying, so he sought Jesus’ help. When he found Jesus, he fell at his feet and implored him to come to his house. Think about this for a moment. Have you ever felt so desperate that you fell at someone’s feet to make your plea?

Jairus’ only daughter was dying. Let the word “only” sink in. It is not that with several children you have one that can be expendable. The death of any child would be horrible. Yet, there is a special pain that accompanies the word only. To lose an only daughter is to have no other daughter left to comfort you. To lose an only daughter is to have no other daughter to give you grandchildren.

Do you think Jairus was urgent getting Jesus to move in the direction of his house? After all, the crowds pressed around him. It would be like seeing an ambulance with lights flashing and siren sounding stuck in a traffic jam. Then Jesus himself stopped to ask who touched him. And then a further delay as Jesus spoke with a woman who had been ill for twelve years but was now cured. No doubt a wonderful cause as you worry that the joy of the past twelve years of your life may be fading away.

While Jesus was speaking, the bad news from home arrived: “You daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” Yet, Jesus pressed on. He assured Jairus that she will be well. But when they arrived, they were confronted with the realities of death — weeping and wailing. Jesus responded, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” But the hearers knew death only too well, and they laughed.

This laugh of derision was changed to joy. Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter, but I suspect that the disciples of Jesus heard this kind of laugh again.

Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. Acts 17:32, ESV

And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” Acts 26:24, ESV

With this laugh, I am reminded that the disciple is not above his master, and what they do to the master, they will do the one who follows. They laughed at Jesus, and some may very well laugh at us, but I am persuaded of the power and reality of Jesus’ resurrection.