Jairus had a lot at stake.
He was a man of some standing: A ruler in the synagogue, well-known and highly respected.
Jesus, on the other hand, was a controversial figure. He was wildly popular among the common people, but his impertinence with the Jewish leaders and his complete disregard for their sanction made him a target of their skepticism.
And their envy.
Jairus would go to the Teacher at great personal risk. His reputation was on the line. All that he had worked for all his life could be in jeopardy with this single act.
But desperation can drive a man to do what he might never even consider otherwise. And so Jairus threw caution to the wind and cast himself at the feet of Jesus in a very public way in a public place.
Because when your daughter is dying, desperation takes over.
But they weren’t even to Jairus’ house yet when a woman made her own desperate move. She had been ill for 12 years and no doctor and no amount of money had been able to bring an end to the hemorrhaging.
She was growing worse. Her money was gone and all other options spent. She had heard about this Jesus, but getting to him wouldn’t be easy, nor would it be acceptable. She was unclean, after all, and by Jewish law should not even be in public, let alone be shoving her way through a crowd in an attempt to touch a stranger with ritually unclean hands.
But desperation took over. If someone recognized her, someone who knew the details of her illness, what difference would it make? She had no hope beyond this. And her desperation drove her to wrestle her way through the throng in hopes of at least touching his robe.
You know the story, right? She made it to Jesus, touched only his clothes, and everything changed for her in an instant. And if she expected a stern eye or a rebuke, she didn’t receive it. Instead He praised her for faith and sent her off in full confidence of her healing.
And at Jairus’ house, where they had arrived too late, Jesus proved death was no obstacle to his power. He seamlessly intervened when others had decided it was over, and he left Jairus’ home with the man’s daughter not only alive and well, but ready for dinner.
Mark chapter 5 shows the power of desperation – the things that can be accomplished when people reach the end of themselves.
But what if they had never reached that point of desperation? Would they have sought Jesus out? Would they have gone to those extremes? Would they have allowed their comfort or their preconceived notions, their inhibitions and all that they had at stake, to talk them out of seeking Jesus?
The odds are good they would never have gone for the Master had they not grown desperate.
And so sometimes desperation is a good thing. Sometimes it is the only thing that can drive us to Jesus and force us to throw ourselves helplessly upon His love and His grace. Often it is through desperation that we find healing, direction, and purpose. It is desperation that removes all the distractions and narrows our sight upon the one and only hope of our lives – Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
So never despise those moments of desperation. While desperate times are not comfortable or painless or gratifying, they are often a blessing a disguise.
You never know the miracles desperation may have in store.