October 5 – Luke 8:40-56

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Luke 8:40-56 – Jairus’ Daughter and the Sick Woman

Jesus returns to the Galilean side of the lake to a warm reception. The crowd is waiting expectantly for him. A ruler of the synagogue, named Jairus, seeks him out, falls at his feet and pleads with Jesus to heal his dying daughter.

Luke emphasizes the greatness of Jesus in this account by pointing out that a ruler of the synagogue bows down before him. His only daughter, aged twelve, was dying.  One thing you should understand in this story is the fact that a twelve year old girl, in common understanding, has just become a woman. The age is pointed out for a reason. More than likely, a girl that age, has begun her menstrual cycle and that information leads us, though we might not be able to imagine why.

All of a sudden, Luke’s story turns from its original plot to another story. A woman who has been bleeding for those same twelve years touches him. She is unclean and by law is forbidden to have contact with anyone else. Continued bleeding is analogous to death. Her life force continually flows from her. According to Levitical Law, illness and impurity are both contagious and all must be protected from those things. A single touch by her should render Jesus unclean for a day as well.

That single touch healed her, but Jesus called her out anyway. He didn't see her act as one of uncleanliness, but of faith. That faith opened her to a return healing touch by the power of God.

Jairus is still walking with Jesus throughout the streets of the community and has witnessed this extraordinary miracle. When the encounter is finished, one of his friends came to tell him that his daughter had died. There was no longer any need for him to bother Jesus.  But, Jesus wasn’t finished.  He asks Jairus to believe … to trust him. He must have faith. The woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment had faith, so must Jairus.

In the midst of traditional mourning, Jesus approaches the house and only allows Jairus, his wife, Peter, James and John to enter with him.

The crowd is insistent in their noise and when he tells them to stop, they laugh at him. It didn't matter how many miracles they had seen him perform, his authority would still be questioned.

Jesus allowed a woman who was impure to touch him and he reached out to touch a child who was dead. This type of contact was forbidden by Law, but Jesus would always choose a person over the Law. They had faith in God, they trusted Jesus and God’s healing power touched both of these people.