After healing a demon-possessed man in the Gerasene region, Jesus traveled to the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. There a crowd waited for him, including a man named Jairus.
Luke described Jairus as a “ruler of the synagogue.” The term ruler likely means Jairus was a leading elder in his local synagogue and may have orchestrated all the worship services. But regardless of his exact position and responsibilities, he clearly held a high rank.
Jairus approached Jesus and fell at his feet, imploring him to come and heal his only daughter. As a high-ranking leader, Jairus was used to calling all the shots. But now he was down to his last straw. There was nothing left he could do to heal his dying daughter, except one—humbly petition Jesus, the miracle worker.
Jesus started walking toward Jairus’s house but was momentarily delayed when he performed another miracle. As Jesus extolled a woman for her faith, a delegate from Jairus’s home arrived with a message: “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more” (Luke 8:49).
In his darkest moment, Jairus was faced with a choice. He knew death to be invincible. Yet, he had just observed the healing of a woman who had been afflicted for twelve years—the same duration of time his daughter had been on earth—and Jesus commended her faith. Would he also continue in faith?
“Do not fear,” Jesus replied. “Only believe, and she will be well” (Luke 8:50).
Jairus heeded Jesus’ words and permitted Jesus to continue toward his house.