Week of Encouragement Day 2: He Knew She Was Hungry

In this week of encouragement, I turn today to the story of Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5:21-47. In this text, a desperate father came to Jesus on behalf of his 12-year-old daughter who was dying. He pleaded with Jesus to come touch his daughter so she could be healed, and Jesus agreed to go. Before he arrived there, however, Jesus encountered a woman with a blood disease and ministered to her. Word then arrived from the home of Jairus that the little girl had died. 

The story did not end there, though. Jesus challenged Jairus to keep believing, and He ultimately raised the girl from the dead. Jesus thus kept His word to Jairus, even though His method for doing so was surely not what Jairus expected. As the family must have been rejoicing, Jesus then gave them “strict orders that no one should know about this and told them to give her something to eat” (Mark 5:47). 

It’s the latter command that grabs my attention today. Why did Jesus tell them to feed her? First, He was validating the miracle by this command. In essence, He was saying, “This really is your daughter, in her physical body. This is not a ghost or a figment of your grieving imagination. She’s here—and you need to give her something to eat.”

At the same time, He must have known something else about her as well: she must have been hungry. What amazes me about this truth is that this Jesus is the Master over nature, the Master over demons, the Master over sickness, and the Master over death. He’s the One who made all things that have been made—and He knew this girl so intimately He knew when she was hungry. 

That’s how well He knows us, too. He’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but He knows you and me so deeply that He knows when our bellies rumble because of hunger. That’s a God we can trust. 

Be encouraged today. 

1 Comment

  • Robin G Jordan says:

    Telling the girl’s parents to give her something to eat also shows the depth of Jesus’ compassion toward the girl. Jesus performed his miracles out of concern for the well-being of those whom he healed, freed from demons, and raised from the dead. Jesus not only declared God’s mercy, he demonstrated it. He ultimately demonstrated God’s mercy by suffering and dying on the cross. God did not leave humanity in a state of alienation from himself. He opened a way for us to be reconciled with him–through faith in Jesus and his suffering and death. In dark times we struggle. The one whom we call Lord shares has shared our struggles. He persevered and pressed on, even though it meant his death. He suffered for our sake. We too often forget that Jesus is human as well as divine. He has known hunger and thirst. He has known want. He has slept in the rough. On the night of his arrest he sweated blood while he was praying. Jesus took his humanity with him when he ascended into heaven. He did not shed his humanity. He is the Son of Man as well as the Son of God. Jesus empathizes with us in our struggles. He understands our feelings.

    In the early 1980s Wendy Churchill wrote a celebration song, “Jesus Is King and I Will Extol Him.” It contains this verse:

    “We have a hope that is steadfast and certain
    Gone through the curtain and touching the throne
    We have a Priest who is there interceding
    Pouring His grace on our lives day by day.”

    It is a verse that reminds us that we are not forgotten. Jesus not only intercedes for us but pours his grace on us.

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