Friday, September 9, 2011


Luke 8:40-56 NASB

And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. And there came a man named Jairus and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus' feet, and  began  to implore Him to come to his house; for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him.

And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, "Who is the one who touched Me?" And while they were all denying it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You." But Jesus said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me." When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace."

While He was still speaking, someone *came from  the house of  the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore." But when Jesus heard  this,  He answered him, "Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well."

When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl's father and mother. Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, "Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep." And they  began  laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for  something  to be given her to eat. Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

My thoughts -

We've got two miracles for the price of one here. Jesus is greeted by a crowd upon returning from Gerasenes. Among their number are at least two people who know that they desperately need him. One is vocal about that need. The other silent.

Jairus sought Jesus out through the crowd and fell at his feet, begging for the healing of his daughter. This is a desperate man. As a father of a daughter about this girl's age I can relate. If she were dying I would be beside myself. Like Jairus I am not too proud to beg. He was desperate for Jesus. He fell at his feet and he begged for mercy.

The other person in the crowd did not give voice to her desperation. She was a woman who was bleeding and had been for many years. She was an outcast because of her gender and condition. She was always "unclean". Maybe she thought she wasn't worthy of going before Jesus. Maybe she just didn't want anyone to notice her. But she knew she needed Jesus. She was desperate just to get close to him. She figured if she could just get close enough to touch his robe she could be healed of her affliction. And she was.

Jesus felt what happened. He called the woman out, at which point she fell before him trembling. Did she expect to be punished? Did she expect to be humiliated? All of the years of living as an outcast, "unclean", and unsuitable to be around must have taken their toll. Jesus did not chastise her, though. With a comforting voice he called her "daughter" and praised her faith, which had healed her.

Of course while this woman's situation was improving Jairus daughter's got worse. While they were traveling to see her the girl passed away. This is communicated to Jairus with some of the coldest words I have ever read:

"Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore."

How do you respond to this? Do we trouble Jesus? Are we a bother to God? Is our desperate need inconvenient? I don't think so. Neither, it would seem, did Jesus. He responds to this callousness with comforting words:

"Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well."

My reaction to this would be a little different than Jairus's.

"Do not be afraid any longer"? The worst has already happened. The girl is dead. What is left to fear?

"She will be made well"? She has died. How can you be made well from that? This is the point that you give up all hope. There's nothing more that can be done. Dead is dead. There's no cure for dead.

"Only believe"? Believe in what? That we can overcome death? It's not possible.

Jairus believed. I don't know how. I don't know why. Remember, this is before Jesus's resurrection. There's no real reason I am aware of to believe that there could possibly be any hope for the girl. And yet, absent reason, Jairus believed.

He had a desperate faith. He knew he needed Jesus. He knew there was no other way. And he trusted, hoped, and believed in Jesus here without any reason.

They get to the house and Jesus says the girls isn't dead. This strikes the people who watched her die as amusing so they laugh at him. And then Jesus commands her to get up.

And she does.

My guess is they stopped laughing right about then.

Although amazed Jesus tells them not to tell anyone, in a return to form and in stark contrast to his command to the man formerly known a Legion.

Both Jairus and the woman who touched Jesus's robe were desperate for him. Both had faith that ran counter to reason. The woman believed she could be healed simply by getting close enough. Jairus believed that Jesus could heal his daughter even from death. This is faith that doesn't make sense born out of desperation. This is the sort of thing that makes people who don't know this desperation to pity those that do. It's crazy. It's unfortunate. It's lamentable.

It is also rewarded.

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