Jairus’ daughter: “Only believe”


‘Do not fear, only believe’” (NRSV, Mark 5:36)

In his account of the raising of Jairus’ daughter, St Mark records that immediately after the incident in which the woman was healed by surreptitiously touching Jesus’ garments, friends from Jairus’ house came and told him, “Your daughter is dead.  Why trouble the teacher any further?”  But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not fear, only believe” (NRSV, Mark 5:35,36).  So they went on.

By the time they reached the house the professional wailing women were already in full voice, accompanied by the lament of the mourning flutes, known as “the flutes for the dead”, proclaiming that Jairus’ house was indeed a house of death.  “Why do you make a commotion and weep?” said Jesus.  “The child is not dead but sleeping” (NRSV, Mark 5:39).  And they laughed at him, but he put them all outside, and going to where the dead child was he took her by the hand and said, “Talitha cum” – “Little girl, get up!” – and immediately the girl got up and walked (NRSV, Mark 5:41).

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