We Live to Eat (Mark 5:21-43)

We Live to Eat (Mark 5:21-43)


Mark 5:21-43

This morning we have made it to the second half of the account within this text. Talk about a portion of Scripture demonstrating that God is not a respecter of persons.[1] This means He does not favor certain people over others based on stations in life.

Salvation in Christ is not only extended to the: Rich, esteemed and clean. It reaches to the: Poor, disparaged and unclean.

This is the playing out of Galatians 3:28, declaring:

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Regardless of your class, eternal salvation is found exclusively in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.


Today we are reading of a desperate man whose name means “whom God enlightens”.[2] Now Christ is certainly going to succeed at this with Jairus but may the same be said for us. The truths in this portion of Scripture are going to present two clear points of application today. This first point will pertain to the non-believer that maybe gathered among us; though we in Christ ought to remind ourselves daily of this truth. The second point will pertain to us as believers made alive in Christ by God Himself.

To God be the glory as He enlightens us through His Word alone drawing our hearts and minds into conformity to Him.

Q.) What is the result of believing hearts and minds conformed to the living Word of God?

A.) Lives lived for Him!

That is to be the result every time we look to the Word of the Living God!


Now this text has two desperate situations taking place within it. It opens with the introduction of Jairus’ need and ends with Jesus meeting it. We are; however, aware of another need arising amid this account, which interruptingly hinders Jesus and results in Jairus receiving tragic news. Yes, his daughter was dead.

Understand Jesus is not caught off guard by any of the events taking place here. He knows what He is doing!

Let’s look at the text and consider the stage:

& Mark 5:21-23

21 And when Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered about Him; and He stayed by the seashore.22 And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and upon seeing Him, fell at His feet,23 and entreated Him earnestly saying, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, that she may get well and live.’24

I would like to remind us that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Christ was being put out of the synagogue.[3]

Q.) What do we see here?

A.) A synagogue official literally throwing himself at the feet of Christ and confessing He has the power to save her.

Mark and Luke use the word Pipto, which conveys going from an erect position to a prostrate one.[4] Matthew uses Proskuneo, which expresses complete prostration as an expression of profound reverence, or to beg for something earnestly.[5] The context indicates Jairus is prostrate in supplication because he “entreated Him earnestly”. He just wants Jesus to touch his dying daughter in order to save her. He believes Jesus has the ability to do this. Jairus’ faith in Christ is manifested in his request.


This brings up the important topic of belief, because it is what Jesus is going to remind Jairus of. Understand belief in Christ is not blind! Believing in the name of Jesus is not, “Well, I believe it is spelled J-e-s-u-s.” It also is not merely acknowledging existence. For instance, believing in Jesus does not mean you only strive to get people to acknowledge His reality. Satan, demons and the apostate Pharisees believe Jesus is a real Person, yet are unsaved.

When someone asks about our faith we must always be able to make a defense and give an account of the hope that is in us.[6] To make a defense and give an account is not blind at all, but rather very logical and reasonable. To give someone blind faith is to give someone no faith, because they will have absolutely nothing to place their confidence in.

“Believe” is translated from the Greek word Pisteuo meaning to be persuaded of and to place confidence in the thing believed.[7] Biblical belief is looking at the Christ of Scripture, Who actually lived and walked on this earth. As you look at the Christ of Scripture, you scrutinize every claim He makes. As you look at the Christ of Scripture, you closely examine every miraculous work He performed in order to validate the claims. When this is genuinely done there is only one reasonable and logical conclusion pertaining to the Person of Jesus Christ: He is the Eternal Son of God.

That is the purpose of the gospel accounts:

John 20:21

21that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”[8]

To not believe in the person and work of Christ means you will not have eternal life, but death. You will be thrust into the lake of fire carrying the full weight of God’s wrath towards you eternally.

By the way, to deny the historicity of Christ is both arrogant and foolish. It is an irrefutable fact that Jesus Christ lived on this earth, died under the reign of Pontius Pilate, was buried and raised back to life on the third day.[9] He was seen by more than five hundred people at one time, and ascended to the right hand of the Father in front of eyewitnesses.[10]

This synagogue official is persuaded by the claims and works of Jesus, and confident He is able to save his daughter. He believes in Jesus. This is all evidenced in his request.

Let’s not fail to notice the willingness of Christ in helping him by saving her:

Mark 5:24a

24 And He went off with Him…”

Jesus is worthy to be trusted!


Now there is another individual introduced who is persuaded by the claims and works of Christ and confident in His saving ability; an unclean woman. She completely hinders Jesus from getting to the house with the dying girl.

Mark 5:25-34

25 …a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse,27 after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind Him, and touched His cloak.28 For she thought, ‘If I just touch His garments, I shall get well.’29 And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.30 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’31 And His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched me?’32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this.33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth.34 And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’”

Keep in mind, Jesus knows if He stops for this woman excluded from synagogue fellowship, the synagogue official’s daughter will die. Some may wonder why He would stop knowing the death of the girl would take place. Given the rest of the text I would say one of the clearest answers is that Jesus desires to demonstrate His authority over death.

Now we certainly see a lot more than just Christ’s life giving ability in this text; we see:

  1. His willingness to meet needs when capable.
  2. His compassion for lost sinners.
  3. His desire to comfort those suffering: physically, mentally and emotionally.

We could consider these to be peripheral truths. They are not the main focus of the text, but they are definitely undeniable. These are all qualities we ought to be replicating throughout our weeks with Christ as our example.


As we come back to the focal point we know Jairus is going to receive devastating news.

Mark 5:35

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?’”

The disruption proves to be fatal! Notice there is no confidence whatsoever placed in Jesus’ ability to raise the dead. When this person says “Trouble” he uses the verb Skullo, meaning to flay, skin, mangle or rend.[11] In essence, “She is dead Jairus, so why pull Him away from His work?”

The text immediately reads:

Mark 5:36

36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.’”

I love Luke’s rendering:

Luke 8:50

50 …Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she shall be made well (saved).”

Q.) What is the whole reason Jairus came to Jesus?

A.) He was confident in Jesus’ ability to save his dying twelve-year-old daughter.

Q.) Prior to this individual interjecting with devastating news what did Jairus witness?

A.) Jesus healing a woman plagued with a twelve year hemorrhage.

Q.) What did Jairus hear?

A.) Daughter, your faith has saved you!

Faith being the Greek word Pistis which speaks of unwavering conviction in the truth of Christ.[12] Jesus implores Him to continue to believe using the Greek word that finds its roots in this faith.

He essentially says, “Jairus if I can save this woman who for twelve years was as good as dead, I can save your twelve-year-old daughter who is dead.”

Jairus was already confident in Christ to save her when she was at the point of death. Jesus encourages him to understand He is still worthy to be believed in no matter how helpless the situation maybe. He not only has the authority to restore the body, but the authority to revive the dead as well.


The text then reads:

Mark 5:37-39

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 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.’

There are at least four reasons we must understand the girl is in fact dead:

  • Whoever informed Jairus knew she died.
  • Matthew makes it very clear she was dead.[13]
  • Luke, the Physician, records she had died.[14]
  • The events described in this portion are that of a funeral procession.

John MacArthur describes three distinct factors accompanying a Jewish funeral:

“First, those who attended expressed their grief by tearing their clothes. Jewish tradition included thirty-nine regulations on how one’s clothes should be torn…Second professional mourners were hired to vocalize and broadcast feelings of sadness. Agony was magnified, not shrouded in silence; these professionals had mastered the art of howling and groaning…Third, the funeral included the hiring of musicians, most commonly flute players.”[15]

Listen to Matthew’s account:

Matthew 9:23

23 Jesus…saw the flute players, and the crowd in noisy disorder.”

Mark reveals this noisy disorder to be “people loudly weeping and wailing”. Luke records Jesus walking in and bluntly telling them all to “Stop weeping”. There was probably an awkward silence before they began to laugh at Him.

Q.) Why then does Jesus say she was asleep?

The short answer is since Jesus has the capability to bring her back to life and He knows He is going to do it He has the authority to declare her napping. Jesus does the same thing with Lazarus:

John 11:1-6,11-15

1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. 11 Then after this He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” 12 The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. 14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead15 and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”

Q.) What are they going to believe?

A.) Jesus is the Resurrection and the life.

Mark 5:40-42

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.

He brought her back to life! The text reads they were astounded, which could literally be rendered beside themselves.

Mark 5:43

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.”


I want to first remind us of the spiritual theme running through this text; mankind is dead in sin. There is nothing we can do to make us alive. Only Jesus can do that!

If you are not believing in the finished work of Christ you are spiritually dead, for in Adam all die.[16] To be dead in sin means you are:

  • Separated from God.[17]
  • Considered an enemy of God.[18]
  • Under the wrath of God.[19]
  • Destined for eternal destruction.[20]

Only Christ can make you alive, and He will graciously do it through faith alone in His life.

He who knew no sin became sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Christ took our sins upon Himself and mercifully bore the penalty we all deserve. In return He graciously clothed us in Himself, making us alive in Him.

To be alive in Jesus means you are:[21]

  • Reconciled back to God.
  • At peace with God.
  • Saved from the wrath of God.
  • Destined for eternal life.

Repent and believe the good news!


We who are alive in Christ, remember we were dead, but God made us alive in Jesus His Son.[22] Just as this dead girl was made alive and told to eat, we too need to eat! Man cannot live on bread alone, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.[23] We live to consume the very breath of God! All Scripture is God breathed.[24]

Before Christ gave Himself as our sin offering, He prayed to the Father for all of us who trust in Him:

John 17:13-20

13 I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. 20 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.”

We need to be set apart in His word, because our former understanding was darkened, and we walked in the futility of our minds.[25] God’s Word teaches us how to rightly think, so that we may rightly walk to glorify Him.

Q.) How often are we eating His truth?

Peter tells us we ought to desire it like a baby yearns for its mother’s milk.[26] We ought to desire it, because it is through the study of the Word we will grow in Christ.

The author of Hebrews levels a rebuke against those who do not regularly feast on the Word:

Hebrews 5:11-14

11 you have become dull of hearing12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

We live to eat!


[1] Acts 10:34

[2] http://biblewebapp.com/study/ : Jairus, NT Number: 2383

[3] John:9:22; 12:42

[4] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 4098

[5] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 4352

[6] 1 Peter 3:15

[7] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 4100

[8] John 20:21

[9] Matthew; Mark; Luke; John; Acts

[10] Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:6

[11] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 4660

[12] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 4102

[13] Matthew 8:18-26

[14] Luke 8:53

[15] The Macarthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 1-8, John Macarthur; Page 263

[16] 1 Corinthians 15:22

[17] Romans 5:12

[18] Romans 5:10

[19] John 3:36; Romans 5:9

[20] John 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:9

[21] Romans 5:1-11

[22] Ephesians 2:1-5

[23] Matthew 4:4

[24] 2 Timothy 3:16-17

[25] Ephesians 4:17

[26] 1 Peter 2:2

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