Fathering Faithfully


Mark 5: 21-25; 35-42

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’ So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed round him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering…..

….While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ 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. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.


Father’s Day is a special and significant day. However for some it can be a difficult day as it brings memories of a father who has passed away, or perhaps we didn’t know our father, he was absent or even abusive. There will be some who always wanted to be a dad, but for various reasons, that hasn’t happened yet.

Not every man gets the chance to be a dad but every man is called to be a father.

Some of us get the privilege and pleasure of raising children, but what the world needs right now so desperately is a generation of men who are willing to pay the price to father people into the hope that Jesus has promised for nations, for cities, for families, for schools and for businesses.

In the Bible passage we see a synagogue ruler who comes to Jesus in desperation. His daughter is dying. At this point there was already hostility between Jesus and the Jewish authorities, yet this religious leader is willing to come before Jesus and beg because when your child is sick you put aside all dignity and risk your reputation.

We need to be willing to set aside our reputation and step up to father our culture through a time of transition and a society which is crying out for leaders and not finding them in politics or other arenas. We have a role to play in fathering our city into hope and life.

The good news is that, no matter what your earthly father was like, we have a perfect Father in God.

As Jairus and Jesus are going to see the little girl they are interrupted by a woman with a bleeding condition. She gets healed, but the delay in going with Jairus has terrible consequences. He is told that his daughter has died.

One of the hardest things about fathering well is when it feels like everything you hold dear is on the edge of being lost. We will think it’s over. At that time we will have to listen to Jesus who says: ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’

We will have people speak hopelessness over us, but when Jesus enters the situation, he crashes in with hope and justice and restoration and resurrection. He brings with him miraculous, supernatural power.

We want to see God do a miracle in our midst. It only happens when we lay aside our reputation, keep trusting and step up, admitting that what we have isn’t enough, but our Father God always supplies whatever we need to write a story of hope over our city.