Chapter 20

Unfinished business
Mark 5:35-43 (NASB)


35 While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” 36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” 37 And He allowed no one to follow with Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 And they came to the house of the synagogue official; and He beheld a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” 40 And they began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. 41 And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”). 42 And immediately the girl rose and began to walk; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. 43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this; and He said that something should be given her to eat.


Mark 5:35
Too late?

Does Jairus despairingly think, ‘My darling little daughter is probably dead by now.’? If so, his worst fears are confirmed by messengers from his home: Your daughter has died. So why bother Jesus now? What a tragic disappointment! Does Jairus wonder if Jesus spoiled everything a by stopping to heal the woman with the haemorrhage?

Mark 5:36-40
Christ in control

But Jesus is never too late and never too early. His timing is always perfect. Remember that when things are going ‘pear shaped’. He overhears the words to Jairus. He tells Jairus to stop fearing, but believe in Him. Then He gathers His inner cabinet of Peter, James and John. He does not need them, but their faith will be strengthened in Him. He tells the wailing mourners not to make a commotion and weep. They ridicule Him when He says, The child has not died, but is asleep.

Death in the Bible, is the separation of body from soul. Eternal death, or Hell, is the separation of body and soul from God forever in punishment.[1] Jesus holds the keys of life and death, and eternity as the Sovereign Lord.[2] Yes, Jairus’ daughter is physically dead. But Jesus will reverse nature, which He controls, and turn death into sleep from which He will wake her safely in His own way!

Jesus excludes the mocking mourners. They seem to be paid professionals rather than genuine family friends concerned for the girl. Jesus takes the girl’s parents with Peter, James and John into her bedroom.

Mark 5:41-43
Alive and fed

The conclusion of this episode is majestically predictable! Jesus brings the little girl to life. He does this simply by His words Talitha kum! which mean Little girl, I say to you, get up!  Again we see the life-giving power of the word of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.[3] He then takes the child by the hand. She walks. Jesus excludes the curious sensation-seekers. No-one else joins the five chosen people. He demonstrates His practical concern for her by making sure she is fed! Jesus is loving, caring, powerful, and mightily in control—but He is also ‘down to earth’.

Those who trust the promises of the Bible (God’s written word) and put their trust the Lord Jesus (God’s living word) receive eternal life from Him. He deals with all of us—from the youngest to the oldest—with great personal care and love. What a marvellous Saviour we have!



[1]   .  Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6.
[2]   .  Jesus said that all power had been given to Him. See Matthew 28:18.
[3]   .  Hebrews 4:12.


Questions on Chapter 20
Mark 5:35-43 Unfinished business.

A. How does Jairus respond when he hears discouraging news? How should you respond to discouragement?   Mark 5:35   Mark 9:22-24    1 Samuel 30:6    Isaiah 40:31

B. Trace Jesus’ absolute control through His words and actions.   Mark 5:36, 39 & 41

C. What blend of divine power and practical caring does Jesus demonstrate in restoring Jairus’ daughter?  Mark 5:41   Luke 5:17

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