Introduction: Have you ever thought that life is like a hill? As you
gain more experience in what you do, as your reputation and circle of
friends widen, things get better? What happens when you get to the
top of the hill and start looking down? For some people, life is a
series of hills and they have experience in repeatedly looking down.
Let’s explore what the Bible has to say about handling the trip down!

  1. Jairus

    1. Read Mark 5:21-22. What can you tell me about Jairus?

      1. Is he a man on the top of the hill? Or, at least
        headed towards the top?

      2. Is Jairus acting like he is at the top of the hill?
        (No. He falls at the feet of Jesus.)

    2. Read Mark 5:23. Is there a worse loss in life than having
      your child die? (Jairus is absolutely looking down the

    3. Read Mark 5:24. Has Jesus agreed to heal Jairus’ daughter?
      Will all be well now?

    4. Read Mark 5:25-26. Where is this woman with regard to the
      “hill?” Is she at the top or bottom? (The bottom – for
      many reasons. First, she was ceremonially unclean,
      according to Leviticus 15:19 & 25. Anyone who touched her
      would be unclean. Even those who touched something she
      touched would be unclean. Leviticus 15:22. Second, this
      had been going on for twelve years. She had spent all of
      her money on doctors, and the problem was just getting

    5. Read Mark 5:27-29. Where is this woman now with regard to
      the “hill?” (She is definitely heading up.)

      1. What is the lesson for us with regard to loss?

    6. Read Mark 5:30-32. Have you ever been in a hurry, and
      someone ahead of you in traffic is doing something stupid?
      How do you feel when you are delayed for no reason?

      1. How do you think Jairus is feeling right now? His
        daughter is on the brink of death. Time matters and
        Jesus has stopped for what are ridiculous sounding
        reasons – even His disciples question this!)

    7. Read Mark 5:33-35. If you were Jairus, would you now be
      uncontrollably angry and sad?

      1. Does Jesus have no sense of priorities? Why not make
        Jairus’ daughter His priority? This woman had been
        sick for twelve years, what difference would another
        day make?

    8. Let’s focus on Mark 5:34. What healed the woman? (Faith.)

      1. What now comes over her? (Peace.)

      2. Why is it that she has peace and Jairus has the worst
        day of his life?

    9. Read Mark 5:35-36. Compare Mark 5:33. Notice that the
      woman’s fear has been replaced by Jairus’ fear. Why?

    10. Read Mark 5:37-42. Think back to the anger and frustration
      that Jairus felt when Jesus was “fooling around” with the
      woman who was not an emergency case. Does Jesus’ delay
      matter now?

      1. Think back to times when Jesus did not answer your

      2. Read John 11:21 and John 11:32. What are Martha and
        Mary really saying to Jesus?

      3. What would prevent feelings of despair, frustration
        and anger? (Re-read Mark 5:36. Friend, this is the

    11. Let’s discuss how this story applies to loss or potential
      losses in our life. How important is time?

      1. After Jesus brought Jairus’ daughter to life, did the
        prior delay make any difference?

      2. What about you? If Jesus waits until His Second
        Coming to heal those you love, will the delay make
        any difference?

      3. Can we explain why Jesus chose to heal the woman with
        the issue of blood immediately, but delay the miracle
        for Jarius’ daughter?

        1. Is Jesus’ judgment in the matter something that
          we should question?

  2. Lazarus

    1. Read John 11:1-3. What did Mary and Martha expect of

      1. Why did they expect it? (Jesus loved Lazarus.)

    2. Read John 11:4-6. This time Jesus delays and it is not
      because He is helping some other sick person. Why does the
      Bible say He delayed? (The glory of God. Note that the
      text confirms that Jesus loves Lazarus and his sisters.)

      1. Let’s discuss this. The deterioration of Lazarus’
        health brings glory to God. Is that a possibility in
        your life and the life of your family members – God
        lets things get worse for His glory?

    3. Read John 11:7 and John 11:17-20. Why do you think Mary
      did not go out to meet Jesus? (I think she was unhappy
      with Jesus. He had let her down.)

    4. Read John 11:21-24. Is Martha unhappy with Jesus? (Yes, we
      looked at this text earlier.)

      1. Did Martha want to wait until the resurrection to see
        Lazarus again?

    5. Read John 11:25-27. Why is Jesus stressing that He is the
      Messiah who will give eternal life? (It is events like
      this that test our faith. Martha was certain that Jesus
      would heal His friend Lazarus. He had healed many
      strangers! See John 11:37. When Jesus failed to do this,
      it was a great test of her faith.)

    6. Read John 11:38-44. You now know the entire story. Tell me
      if you agree with the decision Jesus made to delay?

      1. If you agree, do you think the same is true for every
        story in your life where Jesus did not seem to help
        you? If more time passes, will God’s will become
        clear to you?

    7. Skip down and read John 11:53. The resurrection of Lazarus
      causes the Jewish leaders to decide that they must kill
      Jesus. Do you think that Jesus understood what would
      happen as a result of such a high profile resurrection?

      1. If you said, “yes,” then re-read John 11:4. Is part
        of the “glory” of Lazarus’ resurrection, the death
        and resurrection of Jesus?

      2. If you agree, what does that teach us about Jesus’
        love for us? What does that teach us about trusting
        Jesus? (Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. They
        suffered and they were disappointed, but Jesus turned
        that into joy. More importantly, Jesus did not spare
        Himself from suffering, so that we could all be
        resurrected in the last day!)

    8. Friend, if you are looking down the “hill” in life, if you
      face problems that you know God could fix, I hope you see
      that God is trustworthy. He loves you! Will you agree to
      simply trust God no matter what happens?

  3. Next week: Little Times of Trouble.