When is it too late for Jesus to intervene? Does there come a point where we give up as hopeless? What happens when He brings the dead to life? In today’s episode of All God’s Women we look at Jairus’ daughter, a young woman whose life was cut short, but Jesus restored her to life.
Today’s story of Jairus’ daughter is directly tied to last week’s story of the Bleeding Woman. Together, they provide a wonderful compare and contrast study. They both happened in the same town, but the older woman was an outcast, whereas the younger girl was privileged. One was in the prime of her life. The other long past her prime. One was alone and seeking. The other had family fighting on her behalf. Each was transformed by the power of touch.
Like the Bleeding Woman, Jairus’ daughter’s story is told by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We learn in Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8 that Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, approached Jesus, fell at His feet, and begged for healing for his young daughter who was at the point of death. He said that He knew that if Jesus would just lay His hands on her, she would be healed and live. So Jesus went with him, and a multitude of people followed them as they went towards Jairus’ home. The Bleeding Woman was part of that crowd.
So while Jesus was on His way to heal a dying girl, He was “distracted”, if you will, by the bleeding woman. But Jesus was in no hurry. He had time for both women.
While Jesus was speaking words of hope to the bleeding woman, a messenger came telling Jairus his daughter was already dead, so there was no need to bother Jesus anymore.
Imagine how Jairus’ heart must have melted at those words, but Jesus didn’t flinch. Immediately, He responded, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
Jesus dismissed the crowd, and they continued on their way to the house. They arrived to find a chaotic atmosphere of professional flute players and wailing mourners. Jesus addressed the mourners, asking why they needed to make such a commotion when the child was not dead, only sleeping.
Rather than find comfort in His words, they mocked Him, so He sent them outside.
Jesus allowed only the girls parents, Peter, James, and John to accompany Him to the girl’s bed. Then He took the girl by the hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Immediately, the girl arose and walked. Her parents were overcome with amazement and gratitude, but Jesus instructed them to get her some food, showing that He was sensitive to her physical needs. Then He told them not to share what had happened, but word spread quickly over all the land.
The Rest of the Story
So much meaning and message packed into such a short story!
First, let’s look at her age. Besides the interesting footnote that she was twelve-years-old and the other woman had been bleeding for twelve years, how old was twelve?
From the way her father watched over her and Jesus called her “little girl”, you’d assume she was a child. But at that time, girls in their early teens were given into marriage. So though she was young, she was almost marrying age. It wouldn’t be long that she’d be leaving home, but her parents wanted to hold onto her as long as they could. She was their only daughter. They couldn’t bear to lose her.
These were loving parents. This caring father went out seeking help when his daughter was helpless. Though some might consider her an adult, she was forever his baby girl, and he would do whatever he could to restore her to health.
It’s interesting to note that Jairus was a religious leader, highly respected, and an influential member of the community. Though many of the religious leaders mocked and rejected Jesus, this story shows that there were some like him who recognized Jesus as Savior.
But even though Jairus was a godly man, it didn’t exempt him from suffering. His position in the church, his wealth or prestige couldn’t save his dying daughter. Fortunately, he knew who could.
One thing that stands out to me in this story is the crowds. As soon as Jesus and His disciples got out of the boat, a crowd formed. Jarius made his way through the crowd to appeal to Jesus, and the crowd followed them to Jairus’ house. Then when word reached them that the daughter had died, Jesus dismissed the crowd and wouldn’t let them continue with them. But once the arrived at the house, they found another crowd, this time family and friends as well as the professional flute players, all preparing for this young girl’s funeral. Again, Jesus dismissed the crowd, telling them their services weren’t needed since the girl wasn’t dead, but only sleeping. He allowed only the girl’s parents and His closest disciples to witness the miracle.
Finally, after performing the miracle, Jesus told the parents not to tell anyone what had happened. That’s hard for us to understand. In our day of social media, marketing, and promotion, we tend to assume that we need the biggest audience to maximize everything we do. But Jesus wasn’t seeking fame or following. Though they came, that wasn’t His branding. Jesus was all about connecting on a more personal level. He didn’t heal this girl to help build His following. He did it because a hurting father recognized who Jesus was and came to Him seeking help.
This may not be the easiest Bible woman for us to connect with since she was merely a passive participant in the story. And yet, there’s a message to be learned. It may be that you’re hovering around the point of death, whether it’s physically or spiritually. Those around you may have given up on you. You may be surrounded by those whose livelihood is swarming around the dead and dying and creating chaos and confusion around you.
It may seem like the entire world has gone ahead and written you off. But here’s the good news. You still have hope. While the world is mourning your death, Jesus is right outside telling everyone, “She’s not dead. She’s merely sleeping.”
It may seem like it’s taking forever for Him to get to you, and you may worry that He’ll never make it in time, but He will, I promise you. It’s never too late for Him to step in and do His thing.
Just as His touch raised the young girl back to life, so can His touch in your life. Perhaps you’ve got family members or friends who are intervening on your behalf. If so, you are blessed! If not, that’s ok, too. Right now, where you are, even if it’s lying on the brink of death, it’s not too late to call out for Him and ask for His healing power, His forgiving mercy, and His never-ending grace. He can restore you and give you a future beyond anything you could have never imagined.
Lord God, thank You for this reminder of how you are Lord over life and death. Thank You for restoring life, even when the world has given up hope. Thank You for the way You tenderly care for each one of us, no matter who we are or what the rest of the world thinks of us. Be with the woman today who is suffering. Chase away those who are dismissing her and dragging her down. Restore to her a calm and a peace. Reach out to her with Your tender care and show her how very much You love her. Redeem her and give her a new life. We love You. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
That concludes this week’s episode of All God’s Women. Tune in next week when we look at Herodias, wife of Herod.
Her Story: Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8
Bible Study Review
- Who was Jairus?
- What did Jairus ask Jesus to do?
- Who did Jesus allow to go with him into the house?
Thoughts to Ponder
- Why didn’t Jesus rush when He knew the girl was close to death?
- What was His reaction to the mourners and flute players?
- Why did Jesus tell her parents to give her food?
- Do you get impatient with God when He takes His time responding to your requests?
- Do you ever surround yourself with people who amplify your weakness rather than celebrating your strength?
- Do you tell others of what God has done for you?
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