40 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.
Two very different women are helped by Jesus. The contrast between the two shows us Jesus’ loving care for both, but also his preference for the most vulnerable in society. It also reveals to us (as it did to the disciples and peoples who were with him at the time) that Jesus is God and powerful and able to accomplish miracles of incredible healing and resurrection.
The first woman had been sick with bleeding for 12 years. In the culture of her day and age she would have been outcast due to her sickness. People who were bleeding were unclean and unable to enter the temple, the place around which community revolved. You get the idea that she was alone and desperately poor – out alone seeking help, no family member has come to seek out help for her! She has heard of Jesus and the miracles he has been performing and she determinedly pushes in to touch him. Jesus heals her, it would seem, without even consciously intending too. It appears to tell us that Jesus heals her from his very being. It is simply his nature to heal those around him who are hurting and vulnerable, and who have sought help from him wholeheartedly (have faith in him). This is so beautiful! It is a keen reminder that Jesus is the embodiment of love and goodness.
Jesus is being hurried to an important household to attend to a Roman soldier’s daughter. But social status is not what concerns him. He stops when he feels the power go from him to heal the lady. He seeks her out and makes an example of her. His seeking out of the lady and making her an example of faith to others reveals the upside-down nature of the Kingdom of God that Jesus has come to pronounce. Jesus’ preference for this hurting lady does not lessen his ability to care for Jarius’ daughter. Luke records this miracle with such tenderness and kindness – Jesus simply calls her back to life and instructs them to feed her
Jesus, we thank you that you are loving and powerful! We thank you that you announced your upside-down kingdom here on earth. Help us your people to live with your priorities and preference the care of the vulnerable around us. Empower us to reveal your love and goodness today. Amen
Written by Ps. Zoe Stewart