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Capernaum – Following Jesus When You Doubt

Capernaum – Following Jesus When You Doubt

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.” — Mark 5:35-36

Welcome | read on your own

How often have you wondered if Jesus can? Is He capable of doing what you ask? How powerful is He? You need a miracle, but you’ve never witnessed one.

Perhaps you know He can, but you wonder if He will. He told you He would. At one time in your life, you trusted Him deeply. But things have changed. Will Jesus still show up for you today?

And how often have you wondered if Jesus cares? Why ask when you don’t even know if He will listen? And why should He? You’re you. Nothing special. So many others in the world need more than you do.

No matter where you come from, whether you are known and respected in your community or marginalized and alone, Jesus’ miracles in Capernaum that you’ll learn about in this session can teach you this:

  • He cares about you. He can bring you the healing you need. And He will come to you.

No one is too lowly for Him to heal, and no one is too well off.

The stories you’ll study in this session confirm this. They tell us that He will, even if the timing is different from what we were expecting. And they tell us that Jesus cares. You don’t have to earn His attention or affection. As His child, it is already yours.

In the Footsteps of the Savior OBS for Easter

Sign up today for the In the Footsteps of the Savior OBS

Connect | 15 minutes

If you or any of your group members don’t know each other, take a few minutes to introduce yourselves. Then, to get things started, discuss one of the following questions:

  • Why did you decide to join this study? What do you hope to learn?

— or —

  • Have you ever witnessed or experienced a miracle? If so, what was it?

Watch | 20 minutes

Now it’s time to watch the video for this session. As you watch, use the following outline to record any thoughts or concepts that stand out to you.

I.Jairus pleads with Jesus to heal his daughter

A.Do you think He can? Do you think He cares? Do you think He’ll come? Jairus shrugs his shoulders in desperation. He says, “I do not know what He will do, but I do not know what else to do.”

B.When Jairus sees Christ, he falls to his knees and begs, “ ‘My dear daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live.” (Mark 5:23 msg)

C.Jesus’ instant willingness moistens the eyes of Jairus. A sun ray of hope falls upon his shadowed heart. He dares to think, Jesus can help. Jesus does care. Jesus will come.

II.Jesus stops when the bleeding woman touches His cloak

A.In the woman’s mind is the thought: If I can just touch the hem of Him. For twelve years, she has been untouchable, going from doctor to doctor. She’s dead broke and has no hope.

B.The divinity of Christ is ahead of the humanity of Christ. He feels a rush go out, and she feels a rush go in. Jesus says, “Something just happened.” Such a fascinating moment.

C.The woman said not a word aloud, and yet the healing came. She inches her way toward Christ. “Jesus waited as “she told him the whole story” (Mark 5:33 CEV).

D.Jairus doesn’t know whether to interrupt what’s happening or to give up on Christ. But then a servant arrives and says, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” (Mark 5:35 NKJV)

III. Jesus tells Jairus to not be afraid but just believe

A.Jairus has an answer to his questions — I wonder if He can; I wonder if He cares; I wonder if He’ll come. And he doesn’t like the answers.

B.Jesus cleared out the mourners. He wanted the presence of faith. Then He turned His attention to the body of the girl. And the questions surface again. Does He care?

C.Jesus was listening to the story of the woman who had been healed. He was surrounded by His disciples. He was surrounded by all the people. But He had not forgotten Jairus.

D.“He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ Immediately the girl arose and walked” (Mark 5:41–42 NKJV).


The town of Capernaum was likely established during the second century BC, when a number of other small fishing villages began to spring up around the Sea of Galilee. The original name of the town was Kfar Nahum, which means ”village of comfort” in Hebrew. In Jesus’ day, it was one of the main trading centers in the region, with travelers, caravans, and traders passing through it as they journeyed along the Via Maris, the main Roman road in the region.

Archaeological excavations in Capernaum, dating back to 1838, have revealed the ruins of a synagogue and first-century houses. The synagogue was likely constructed in the fourth to fifth century AD, but beneath its foundation lies another one made of basalt, which many believe to be the original foundation of the synagogue mentioned in the Gospels.

The group of houses, located between the synagogue and the Sea of Galilee, appear to have been occupied until the fourth century AD. One of the houses appears to have been modified during the latter half of the first century to serve as a large communal gathering place. Some have concluded that this reveals the home was venerated from early times as the home of Simon Peter and that the early Christians met there for some time.

Capernaum Significant Events chart 

IV.What Jesus is saying to us through this story

A.Jesus wanted to do more than just raise the dead. He wanted to show us that He cares and that He can. But He also wanted us to know that He comes. He comes in the form of encouragement. He comes in the form of help. He comes in the form of kindness.

B.What is Jesus saying to us through this story? Don’t be afraid. Just believe.

C.We all wonder if the affection of God will get turned off. But to those concerns, the Scripture says,

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. — Psalm 103:11–13 NKJV

Discuss | 35 minutes

Take some time to discuss what you just watched by answering the following questions. There are some suggested questions below to help you begin your discussion, but feel free to pick any of the additional questions as well as time allows.

Suggested Questions

  1. Ask someone in the group to read the story of Jairus and his daughter and the bleeding woman in Mark 5:21–43. How did Jairus and the bleeding woman approach Jesus differently? Why do you think they approached Him the way they did?
  2. Why do you think Jesus spent so much time with the bleeding woman, listening to her story when she had broken several social laws to touch Him? What does this tell you about how Jesus feels about those who exist in “the margins”?
  3. The Bible reveals that the woman who reached out and touched Jesus’ cloak then told Christ “her whole story” (Mark 5:33 CEV). What do you think she included in her story? How would it feel for you to sit with Jesus and tell Him your whole story?
  4. Jairus had to wait for Jesus to heal his daughter. Have you ever had to wait on Jesus’ healing? What meaning or purpose have you found in that time of waiting?

Additional Questions

  1. Take a moment to review Mark 5:35–42 again. Why did the people in Jairus’ household laugh at Jesus? How do you think you would have reacted in this situation?
  2. What did Jesus do with the people who laughed? Why do you think He did this? When it comes to faith and belief, how are you affected by those around you?
  3. Where do you need healing in your life today? (This could be physical healing, emotional, or relational — whatever feels sick or broken.)
  4. What do you have trouble believing the most: that Jesus cares, that He will come, or that He can? Explain your response.

Respond | 10 minutes

Review the outline for the video teaching and any notes you took. Write down your most significant takeaway from this session.

* * *

Your Turn

Come share your thoughts on In the Footsteps of the Savior, session one.