Mark 5:39-40 – He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. NIV
Jesus and His disciples are leaving the woman who was healed when she touched Jesus’ robe and moving on to Jairus the synagogue ruler’s house when some men come and tell Jairus that his daughter has already died and suggest that he not bother Jesus any further. Jesus ignored the reports and told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
From there Jesus takes only Peter, James, and John and proceeds to Jairus’ house where he finds the customary crowd of mourners lamenting the girl’s death. It is then that He asks the question and makes an astounding statement that turned their mourning into laughter because they didn’t believe the words He was speaking.
Jesus asked the doubters to leave, and then He took the parents and the three disciples into the room where the young girl lay. He spoke to her and told her “to get up.” To everyone’s astonishment the 12 year old girl stood up and walked around. This miracle proved that Jesus had power over physical death.
When Jesus asks, “Why all this commotion and wailing?,” I can apply this question to a couple areas of my life. Sometimes I get myself all worked up over a situation. I complain, whine, and carry on, and Jesus asks me this question. He reminds me that He has given me the Holy Spirit to walk beside me in this world and access to the same power that raised him from the dead (Eph. 1:17-21). He is reminding me that there is nothing that He can’t handle and that I should trust Him.
The obvious time that I can apply this question is with physical death of a loved one or even my own. Grief is a natural reaction to separation, and Jesus is not telling us not to grieve; but our grief doesn’t have to last forever. He’s got it handled for those who have decided to trust and follow Him. This is one of the reasons evangelical followers of Jesus like to ask people if they have put their faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is important because we believe that Jesus defeated death for Himself and those that follow Him. We don’t want people to miss this opportunity. It’s not that we are better; but we’ve found something eternal that we need to share so that others can find the hope that we have in Jesus.
Paul talked about death which he even called “sleep” and our grief and hope in this way: Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 – NIV)