What does Mark 5:35 mean?Jairus, a synagogue leader, has asked Jesus to heal his deathly-ill daughter. On His way to Jairus' house, Jesus heals a woman with an issue of blood, stopping the crowd to identify her (Mark 5:21–34). It is while He is speaking to the woman that Jairus learns that his daughter has died.
"Ruler of the synagogue" is taken from the Greek root word archisunagogos. Synagogues did not function like traditional Christian churches. Instead of pastors preaching every week, chosen men stand and read from the Torah, then explain what the passage means. Jairus is one of the supervisors who choose the readers and teachers and make sure the interpretation is accurate and in accordance with tradition. He very well may have been the one who allowed Jesus to teach in Mark 1:21–28.
Jairus shows respect for Jesus. The person from his household calls Jesus "teacher" which comes from the Greek root word diadaskalos. The title can mean any teacher, but usually refers to an instructor of the Jewish religion. It infers the respect of the word "master" and equates to the Hebrew "rabbi."
There is some confusion regarding when Jairus knows his daughter was dead. In Matthew 9:18, he appears to tell Jesus his daughter had just died, before the woman with an issue of blood had touched Jesus. Here, Jairus doesn't appear to know until after that interaction. It is possible that Matthew wasn't close enough to hear when Jairus first approached Jesus, due to the crowd, and inferred what he said by the professional mourners he saw when they reached Jairus' house.
Another possibility has to do with the fact that biblical scholars suspect Peter gave Mark the information for his Gospel. Unlike Matthew, Peter follows Jesus into Jairus' house and on to the little girl's room. He hears Jesus downplay the girl's condition, treating her death as a temporary condition, and not acknowledging the beliefs of the members of Jairus' household who are convinced the girl is gone and Jesus is a fraud.
A third possibility is that Jairus first told Jesus his daughter is ill, and then his servant announced she is dead early on in Jesus' conversation with the woman. Matthew may have attributed the words of the servant to his master, which was common at that time.