“Why all this weeping and commotion?” (Mark 5:39)
Sometimes we just don’t see it coming!
The 12-year-old daughter of Jairus, a beloved synagogue official, has died. Jairus had rushed to reach Jesus in time, but failed. And while he tried to hustle Jesus to his home, word came from the house: “She’s dead.”
The custom of the day involved professional mourners who would rally quickly to the home and start very public grieving on behalf of the family. The noise and commotion drew attention from the entire community. It told everyone that death had visited that home and family.
When Jesus arrived, the weeping and wailing was in full swing. Then Jesus asked the odd question: “Why all this weeping and commotion?”
Wasn’t it obvious? There’s only one reason why people do this. Jesus then stuns the crowd with this follow-up statement: “The child has not died, but is asleep.” Are we to think that the professionals had missed something? Were they so unfamiliar with death that they could make this kind of mistake? Hardly.
But Jesus dismisses the scoffing crowd, quietly enters the room where the girl’s body rested, took her hand…and raised her to life.
I read this story and put myself in the shoes of Jairus. I can feel the desperation to find help for his daughter. Any parent knows that urgency. I can feel the deep grief at word that his daughter had died; that stunned moment when time stands still and the world seems to stop. I can feel the confusion as Jesus shuts down the wake. What’s He doing?? And then I can feel the utter elation as his daughter is restored to life. Tears of sorrow turn to tears of indescribable joy.
What a day! Who could have imagined for a moment that the fear of the morning and the tragedy of the afternoon would turn to such joy in the evening?
“Why all this weeping and commotion?”
Well, I have good reasons for making my own commotion! Fear, hurt, disappointment, or simple irritation are plenty reason enough for a little carry-on on my part. And my commotion always feels entirely justified in the moment.
But Jesus sees more than I do. He has a different perspective. What I sense is an end, He recognizes as merely a new beginning. While I want to draw everyone’s attention to my plight, He gently shuts down the wake, quietly enters the situation and invites me into a resurrection experience. A miracle takes shape. But it usually starts at the same place that it started with Jairus.
“And Jairus came to Jesus, and seeing Him, fell at His feet, and entreated Him earnestly…” (Mark 5:22-23).
He came. He saw. He humbled himself. He asked…. And he received.