Woman Healed, Jairus’s Daughter Raised

Return to Galilee, healing of a woman who touched Jesus’ garment and raising of Jairus’s daughter:

Matthew: Matthew 9:18-26

Mark: Mark 5:21-43

Luke: 8:40-46

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

One Reply to “Woman Healed, Jairus’s Daughter Raised”

  1. As I was put these posts together, I try to separate each different story to ensure I’m only looking at concise sections of scripture. In this case, the two stories are told by Synoptics in one section as if they are intertwined, so it seems appropriate to comment on these together.

    Jesus’ arrival is expected, his fame is growing quickly. Perhaps the story of the herd of pigs is getting more press than the people he healed. In any case, the crowd welcomed him.

    One of the synagogue leaders, Jarius, kneels before Jesus and asks him to heal his daughter. Jarius is not a Pharisee, and according the the NIV Study Bible notes, the synagogue has lay leaders to manage the facility, perhaps to do the tasks that were beneath the Pharisees. Jesus hears the sincerity in Jarius’ voice and knows his heart so they leave immediately to tend to his daughter. It’s interesting to note that for some Jesus sent them on there way with the assurance that the healing would take place, but for others his presence is offered. I say offered because it is never really required, but Jesus’ actions tell us that there is more to the story than his healing touch. The interaction with people matters. The story would not be the same if he just blinked every time someone asked. Jesus wants to be with people, he wants to take the time, feel the dust in the streets, look into the eyes of those who follow him.

    They make their way through the crowd, some believers, some seekers, some just want to know what the fuss is all about or perhaps which herd of animals will be driven into another lake or off a cliff. Jesus knows the hearts of all who are present, one of which was a woman at her with a physical malady that made her unclean (by definition) all the time, constantly bleeding.

    When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a  time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. Any bed she lies on…anything she sits on…anyone who touches them will be unclean. Leviticus 16:25-27

    For 12 long years this unnamed woman was outcast from the Jews, kept at a distance to avoid making others unclean. Jesus walks through the crowd and the woman touches the edge of his cloak with complete faith that was all that was required for her healing–complete faith. I’ve seen this scene portrayed in movies before, but I don’t recall the details of the actors. In my mind’s eye I see a woman who has disguised herself in order to get close enough. Surely the people knew her as the unclean one and would not have let her anywhere near the others if they recognized her.  I can only imagine she was rarely around crowds of people. This was a brave moment of truth for her.  Surrounded by those who would be quick to send her away, she had to act quickly and quietly.

    Jesus didn’t need to go to Jarius’ daughter to heal her and he didn’t have to stop when the woman touched him, but he did both things to make a point, for all to observe. The God of the universe is walking among the people because he cares (present tense intentional). His words are concise, but powerful:

    “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.”

    Daughter. Jesus said, “daughter.” Wow! The world must have stopped for a moment when their eyes met. I’m still trying to get my mind around the moment. In one respect, I’m amazed at what Jesus did selfishly wishing he would do the same for me while at the same time knowing the difference is simply this: the woman had complete faith in Jesus. Why don’t I have this much faith? I know so much more about Jesus than she ever knew. This is a convicting moment, one worth pondering a bit.

    Jesus continues as the crowds must be scratching their heads. They enter Jarius’ house, complete with mourners and the band playing dirges loudly for the girl is dead as far as all are concerned. Jesus dismisses the band and the crowd while they laugh at him. Interesting to note that all three narratives make a point of saying, “they laughed at him.” I don’t know how many children Jarius had, but daughters in those days did not increase the lineage of the family. It’s significant that Jesus chose a woman to be healed and a daughter to be raised. 

    With a few disciples and the parents, they walk into the room. Jesus takes no time to ask questions about their faith or beliefs, he simply acts. Taking the girl’s hand he tells her to get up. Her spirit returns to her and Jesus tells mom and dad to feed their daughter.

    The overwhelming sense I get from this passage is God’s desire to be among his people. The sacrificial system put in place by Moses was designed to get people to honor God first and is set the stage for the sacrifice that Christ would perform for us all. Without the first system of sacrifice, the people would not have had any appreciation for what Christ did, at least not at the level required to turn people to repentance. Everything Jesus did and does is for a reason. In this case he walks through the crowd to allow the outcast woman to touch him while others observe to teach a lesson. He takes parents into a room where their 12 year old daughter lies dead and raises her back in their presence.

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