In reading the story of the healing of Jairus’ daughter (with the account of the woman suffering from a hemorrhage enclosed) I was once again impressed with Jesus’ reactions to the various emergencies he encountered. Join me as we walk reflectively through the narrative (all quotations are from Jesus, In His Own Words.)
Jesus was ministering to an enthusiastic crowd along the western shore of the Lake when the official of the local synagogue by the name of Jairus came and asked him to come and save his young daughter who was dying. The text reads, “So I rose and left with my disciples for the house of Jairus.” En route a woman who had suffered for years with constant bleeding slipped up behind Jesus and touched one of the tassels on his cloak. Once again Jesus stopped, turned to the crowd and asked, “Who touched me?” The disciples thought that would not be possible because of the crowd was so close around him. But Jesus “kept trying to locate the person” because he had felt “healing power go out.” The woman fell at his feet and was sent away healed.
Arriving at the house of Jairus he was met by professional mourners and others who made fun of him when he told them the girl was merely sleeping. Of course, they knew she had died. Jesus and the girl’s parents went to where the girl was lying and Jesus “took the girl by the hand” and she stood to her feet and began to walk around. Then Jesus “instructed the parents to give her something to eat.”
I have emphasized those statements that reveal what Jesus did at a number of stages along the way. So let’s review them. When Jairus appeared asking for help we read, “So I rose and left.” No hesitation. Whenever a need arose Jesus took action. It was the thing to do. When the woman with the flow of blood simply touched his cloak he stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” When he “felt healing power go out” he stopped to encourage that person and commend her for her faith. He was not deterred by the snide comments and laughter of the mourners but went to the little girl’s side and said, “Tabitha cumi,” which is Aramaic for, “Little girl, I say to you arise.” Then, lest in their joy they might forget their daughter’s immediate need for food he reminded the parents.
What emerges from this double narrative is the picture of a loving care-giver who responded without hesitation to the needs of others whatever they might be. Distance did not deter him, nor did the failure of his disciples to grasp the significance of the touch of a single needy person, nor did the amusement of the funeral professionals. He carried through with his responsibility to restore to health a little girl.
And how are we to live like this? Frankly I’m not sure but one way to begin is to ask our mentor, Jesus, to make us more aware of specific needs and give us the determination to live as he did. That will certainly head us in the right direction