Monday, June 6, 2016

Jairus' daughter

We're actually studying almost the same passage this week as two weeks ago . . . I was intrigued by the familiar story of Jairus' plea and the raising of his daughter to life. My thoughts kept returning to the girl, and I'd like to study here again this week.
Let's refresh our memory of the story. It is included in the ninth chapter of Matthew, in the fifth chapter of Mark's gospel, and in the eighth chapter of Luke:

Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her.“Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened. (Luke 8:41-56)

Did it strike you when we studied the woman with an issue of blood, that her healing was actually an interruption? Jesus had already been approached by Jairus and had agreed to accompany him to his house, when the miracle happened. In our own lives, we often resent interruptions, and we may even get irritated or grumpy, but to Jesus, interruptions often became times of teaching and healing!

Jairus' daughter is the subject of our study -- we don't know her name, or the name of her mom -- she was the only daughter of the couple. How precious she must have been to them!
As a "ruler" of the synagogue, Jairus could be presumed to be a man of means; he was probably wealthy and quite well respected. We might expect him to have an attitude toward Jesus that was similar to many of the other religious leaders of the day, especially the Sanhedrin, whose members absolutely hated Him and were watching Him closely. They scrutinized His every move in order to be able to accuse and kill Him.
Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”  (John 10:20)
We can see the depth of Jairus' anxiety and suffering, when we look at the words used to describe how he approached Jesus. The Greek word used in Luke and Mark is "pipto," which means to fall down, to throw yourself to the ground; it's specifically used when it's a sign of devotion before a high ranking person when you have a petition. Matthew uses "proskuneo" (kinda looks like "prostrate," right?) which carries the meaning of fall down to worship, to prostrate oneself before someone.

Can you see Jairus in your minds eye? I sure can. I think his head was bowed as he fell at Jesus' feet. I expect he was trembling with pure emotion as he pleaded his case before the King of kings. And how ironic, that the well-dressed, important ruler of the synagogue was on his knees (or perhaps lying in the dust) before the poorly-dressed itinerant Teacher. He, Jesus, is Jairus' last hope. This precious, only daughter, only twelve years old, is lying at the point of death and Jairus is in agony.

Have we ever been where Jairus was?
Desperate for help?
Physically sick with worry?
The amazing and wonderful thing is that Jesus reached out (and still reaches out) to all people, rich and poor, lowly and great, with the love and mercy that only He can provide.

We'll continue with our study of Jairus' daughter next time.....I hope you will join us!


Katie Isabella said...

I count on it!!! Just as the woman and as Jairius did.

Belinda said...

I think that even today's unbelievers wind up at the feet of Jesus when all else fails and all hope is gone a lot of the time. And believers alike, sometimes go to Him as a last resort, trying to "fix" it before giving in and asking Him for help. Why do we wait? Why don't we go to Him first??? I am as guilty as anyone and It boggles the mind.