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Mark 5:23

ESV and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.”
NIV 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.'
NASB and *pleaded with Him earnestly, saying, 'My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.'
CSB and begged him earnestly, "My little daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her so that she can get well and live."
NLT pleading fervently with him. 'My little daughter is dying,' he said. 'Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.'
KJV And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

What does Mark 5:23 mean?

In Matthew's parallel passage, the synagogue leader tells Jesus that the girl is dead (Matthew 9:18). It isn't clear why there is a discrepancy. It may be that Matthew heard only the updated information Jairus is given in Mark 5:35. Or it could be that Peter—who is generally thought to have provided Mark's information for his gospel—is taking Jesus' lead. When arriving at the house and raising the girl, Jesus downplays the girl's condition to try to manage the sensationalism (Mark 5:36–43). Peter will be directly with Jesus at that time, Matthew will not, so Peter may alter the words slightly to align with Jesus' intent in the situation.

The word for "implore" is the Greek root word parakaleo. It means to beg or entreat with emotion. In comparison, the demons Legion "adjured" Jesus by solemnly trying to get Him to take an oath not to banish them. Both parties are sincere and have great need, but the demons are defensive, knowing that Jesus is more likely to punish them, while Jairus humbly asks for a blessing.

This gives us insight into why God identifies His word-givers with miracles, particularly healing miracles. God is holy beyond measure. His messengers, who reflect His holiness, are regularly met with fear (Ezekiel 1:28; Daniel 10:7–8; Luke 2:10–11). And God wants us to know His holiness and respond with appropriate fear (Deuteronomy 10:12, 20–21). But He also wants us to understand that He is our loving Father (1 John 3:1) who sees to our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Unlike the demons, who will never know God's mercy, or the synagogue leader, who does not yet understand that Jesus is God, we are called to hold both fear and childlike affection when we think of God. He is holy. He demands obedience. And He loves us so much He provides a covering for our disobedience so that we can spend eternity with Him.

We come to Jesus for mercy, which the demons tried to trap Jesus into giving, but we also come for blessing. In both, we are in voluntary submission, acknowledging that He is superior, and also worshiping Him.

We need to trust Him. Sometimes we get hung up on whether it is God's will for something to happen. We must assuredly understand that His will is preeminent, but we should also approach Him with our needs like this father—with humble faith that He can give us what we need. If we have faith that He can meet our needs and trust that He will do what is best (even if what is best is not what our limited knowledge would think), we can rest in His power and provision.
What is the Gospel?
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