8:41-42 And now a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell down at Jesus’ feet, begging him to come home with him. His only child was dying, a little girl twelve years old. As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds.NLT
A synagogue leader was highly visible and respected. The synagogue was the local center of worship…responsible for supervising worship services, caring for the scrolls, running the daily school, keeping the congregation faithful to the law, distributing alms, administering the care of the building, and finding rabbis to teach on the Sabbath.
Jairus was desperate because his only child was dying…as a loving father overshadowed his position as a leader. He put aside any concern for himself.
8:43-44 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.NIV
Luke wrote that the woman had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. Many doctors had tried, but with no success (Mark 5:26). This was a type of painful hemorrhage. The bleeding caused the woman to be in a constant condition of ceremonial uncleanness (see Leviticus 15:25-33). She could not worship in the synagogue, and she could not have normal social relationships, for under Jewish law, anyone who touched her also would become unclean.
That she was in the crowd at all was a courageous move on her part. If all those people bumping against her in the crowd had known her condition, she would have been in for some rough treatment.
She also desperately needed Jesus….she believed even the clothes of a holy man imparted spiritual and healing power.
She may also have feared that Jesus would not touch her if he knew her condition because she would make him unclean. So she hoped to touch Jesus and then get away as unobtrusively as possible.
The moment that she touched Jesus, her bleeding stopped. The text in Luke says that she was healed immediately—her pain was gone and she knew that she was healed. After twelve years of suffering, the bleeding vanished completely in an instant.
8:45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.“NLT The woman had touched Jesus and probably had turned to go, hoping to disappear into the crowd. But Jesus knew about the healing the moment it happened. Peter pointed out the obvious, basically telling Jesus it was a strange question to ask in the middle of a crowd.
Why did it matter? Couldn’t Jesus have let this woman go on her way? It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t know who had touched him. He wanted her to step forward and identify herself. Jesus wanted to teach her that his cloak did not contain magical properties but that her faith in him had healed her. He may also have wanted to teach the crowds a lesson.
In Jesus’ mind, this suffering woman was not to be overlooked. As God’s creation, she deserved attention and respect.
8:46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”NIV Jesus persisted. He stopped the entire crowd…Jesus was talking about a purposeful touch of someone who wanted to be healed. Jesus knew it because power had gone out from him. Jesus also knew that for this woman to be able to return to normal social relations and worship, her cure would need to be known publicly.
8:47 When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.NRSV
She would have to explain how she—unclean and filled with a dreadful disease—had come in among the crowd, had reached out and touched a man (a rabbi) in her unclean state, and had hoped to slip away.
8:48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”NIV She came for healing and received it, but she also received a relationship and peace with God himself because of her faith. Jesus explained that it was not his clothing that had healed her; rather, her faith in reaching out to the one Person who could heal her had allowed that healing to take place.
The words “go in peace” are more literally “go into peace.” With this healing, Jesus gave this woman her life. Her cure was permanent. Jesus wished her peace of both body and soul—renewed health for her body and eternal salvation for her soul.
8:49 While he was still speaking to her, a messenger arrived from Jairus’s home with the message, “Your little girl is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.“NLT What Jairus feared most had happened. His dear little girl had died. It was too late for the Teacher to heal her, so there was no longer any reason to bring Jesus to his home.
8:50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”NIV Jairus had tried, but he had failed. Jesus, however, would not be put off. In the presence of Jairus, the woman had been commended for her faith. Here in the presence of the woman, Jairus was told to have faith. The woman became a model of faith for Jairus.
In many ways, the woman and Jairus are similar. Both came to Jesus in desperate need, kneeling at his feet (8:41, 47); both had public problems (8:47, 51); both needed faith, which was the crucial step in their solution (8:48, 50).
Faith had healed the desperate woman; faith could also heal Jairus’s child.
8:51 When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with him except Peter, James, John, and the little girl’s father and mother.NLT Raising a dead child would be obvious enough, so in this miracle, Jesus wanted privacy for the child and her parents. He did not need the miracle-hungry throng filling the room.
8:52-53 The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she is only asleep.” But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died.NLT The house full of people probably included relatives and neighbors, as well as professional mourners who may have already arrived. Lack of weeping and wailing was the ultimate disgrace and disrespect. Jairus, the leader of the synagogue, was an important person in the town. Thus, at the death of his only daughter, the townspeople demonstrated their great love and respect for Jairus and his family by their intense grief.
Jesus used the image of sleep to indicate that the girl’s condition was temporary and that she would be restored. For Jesus, death is nothing more than sleep, for he has power and authority over death.
8:54-55 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.NIV Jesus went against all ceremonial law and took the dead girl by the hand. Touching a dead body would make a person unclean, but Jesus often would go past such laws in order to show compassion on those in need.
8:56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.NKJV Reversal of death is never expected—and only a few have ever received a dead loved one back to life.
Jesus told the parents not to talk about their daughter’s healing because he knew that the facts would speak for themselves. Jesus was not attempting to keep this a secret, for the crowd outside was waiting and would see what had happened. Jesus charged them to tell no one because he was concerned for his ministry.
He wanted people to listen to his words that would heal their broken spiritual lives. Jesus’ mission was to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. If crowds descended on him to see dead people raised, they would not be coming with the attitude needed to hear and respond to the gospel.
In fearful situations we must overcome hindrances to faith and put our trust in Jesus.
Sooner or later, we all face these fearful situations where we don’t know what to do. The bottom suddenly drops out from under us and we are overwhelmed. Such situations are never fun, but Jairus’ story shows us that …
There are benefits for us in fearful situations.
A. Fearful situations help us clarify our priorities.
It’s easy to drift off course in life and to spend our time in things that aren’t in line with our priorities, if we were to stop and think about it. But we don’t stop and think about it until a crisis like this brings us up short.
Worldly success doesn’t insulate anyone from tragedy and death. It may afford a person access to the best medical treatment available. But doctors can only do so much. Every person must be ready to face death for himself and his loved ones. When it stares us in the face, we’re reminded that love for God and for others is the only thing worth living for.
B. Fearful situations strip away our pride and let the Lord prove Himself mighty on our behalf.
If we protect our pride and come to Jesus and say, “Lord, I’ve almost got the situation under control, but I could use a little advice from You,” He is robbed of His glory. But when we come and cast ourselves at Jesus’ feet and say, “Lord, You must do it or there is no hope,” He is glorified and others are drawn to put their trust in Him.
C. Fearful situations remind us of our mortality and drive us to trust in Christ.
Necessity is not only the mother of invention; it’s also the mother of faith. We don’t trust God as we should until we are forced to trust Him. But our fear can be God’s opportunity if we trust in Him.
Someone has said that we hang the heaviest weights by the thinnest wires. We put our hopes on this life, which is so tentative. We live and plan our lives as if death is a far-distant thing, something we need not think about until we’re in our 70s and 80s.
But that which matters most to us can be taken quickly and without warning. When we stare death in the face, be it our own or the death of a loved one, we are suddenly reminded that life is a vapor and that we must be right with God.
Some of you face fearful situations today—a difficult marriage, a rebellious child, a personal health problem, the loss of a job or a financial setback. Whatever your fearful situation, it can be of great benefit if you let it clarify your priorities, strip away your pride, and drive you to trust in Jesus so that He can be glorified through it. But trusting Him isn’t easy:
2. In fearful situations we must overcome hindrances to faith.
When we face fearful situations, believing in Jesus is not easy. We will face hindrances and setbacks which can shake our confidence in Him. The world will often laugh at us and say, “What a fool to trust in Jesus! We have the facts on our side.” But we must overcome these hindrances and cling to our Savior. Just as He called Jairus to faith in the face of fear, so He calls us.
In fearful situations we must put our trust in Jesus.
A. Jesus’ willingness to accept us where we are encourages us to trust Him.
Jairus believed in Jesus, but it wasn’t an especially strong faith. Jairus didn’t go and plead, “Speak the word and my daughter will get well.” He asked Jesus to come and lay His hands on her. It was a weak faith in comparison to the others, but Jesus accepted it and worked with Jairus from that point.
B. Jesus’ power in working with others encourages us to trust Him.
Jesus started to go with Jairus, but then got interrupted by this woman with the hemorrhage. This was a hindrance to Jairus’ faith, in that while Jesus was dealing with her, word came that Jairus’ daughter had died. But it also served to strengthen his faith, as he saw Jesus’ power heal this needy woman. She had been 12 years in her affliction, the same number of years that Jairus’ daughter had lived.
C. Jesus’ tenderness encourages us to trust Him. Like a father helping his youngster learn to ride a bike, Jesus comes alongside and cheers, “Attaway! Keep going! You’re doing great!” If we fall and skin our knee, He tenderly cleans and bandages it and helps us get up and start over again.
D. Jesus’ mighty power over death encourages us to trust Him. For Jesus, raising the dead was as easy as raising a sleeping child would be for us. Because Jesus is powerful over death, we can trust Him! No matter how fearful the situation, Jesus wants us to trust Him. He may or may not deliver our loved ones or us from death. But even if He does not, we can trust His mighty power and know that one day He will speak the word and all we who have trusted in Him will be gathered with Him, triumphant over sin and death.