[Intermission – sound of Jairus’ heart beating louder]
On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for Him. Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with Him to come home with him. His only daughter, who was about twelve yea rs old, was dying. As Jesus went with him, He was surrounded by the crowds.Luke 8:40-42
While He was still speaking to her, a messenger arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. He told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
But when Jesus heard what had happened, He said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.” When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with Him except Peter, John, James, and the little girl’s father and mother. The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but He said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” But the crowd laughed at Him because they all knew she had died. Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, “My child, get up!” And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up! Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were overwhelmed, but Jesus insisted that they not tell anyone what had happened.Luke 8:49-56
Again there is so much to comment on it’s best if I don’t laboriously comment on everything. But there are some significant things to note, so I will start and see how far I get before it is time to close this Gem, ensuring it is not too long.
Isn’t it remarkable that the crowd hadn’t dispersed but instead waited for Jesus. It’s almost like they knew He was coming back. I don’t know for sure because Luke doesn’t tell us, but I suspect all this took place during one day. If it had been overnight then the large crowd would have had to find somewhere to stay the night and dispersed. Lake Galilee (I know it is referred to as a “sea” but it is technically a lake) is 24 km long by 12 km wide at its widest part. So the journey would have taken a good hour or more to row it. Let’s say 2 hours so that results in a 4 hour round trip. There is plenty of time to row across, accomplish the deliverance of the demoniac and row back again, if different people rowed back. There is nothing that tells us Jesus intended to return to the Capernaum side but the crowd waited anyway. Interesting to say the least.
Jairus pushes his way through the crowd and throws his dignity and inhibitions to the wind and bows down at Jesus’ feet. This means that his forehead would have touched the ground in front of Jesus feet. This is a supreme act of subservience and / or homage. As Luke records the story, Jairus doesn’t even tell Jesus why he wants Him to come home. Mark says that he asked Jesus to lay hands on his sick daughter. Luke doesn’t add that bit. Because Jesus used Capernaum as His base of operations for a while and because Jairus was a well known public official, it is perfectly possible Jesus knew of the situation of his daughter anyway. Maybe they had talked before. Besides, this is Jesus we are talking about, one who moves naturally in words of knowledge. (see Bible Gems 430 and 431). Luke adds the comment about the daughter being close to death here, but as an aside for his readers, not as a direct statement to Jesus in the context of the story. Luke uses the word [apethnesken] meaning “she was dying”; Mark has [eschatos echei] “she is at the point of death”. Whereas Matthew uses the construction [arti eteleutesen] meaning “she has just now died”. But that is not a problem because both Mark and Luke record the arrival of the father and of the messenger. Whereas Matthew doesn’t record either arrival but rather combines the two into one so it makes sense for him to do that in the way he is telling the story. She is imminently dying, at the point of death. Therefore there is a sense of urgency. Come quick Jesus, you may still be in time. The overall sense is there is not a moment to lose. Luke alone records the fact that this girl is 12, she is at the age when she can be betrothed to be married and her bath mitzvah is approaching no doubt. She has her whole life before her. Please come and heal her before she dies and it’s all over.
Not wise to tell Jesus that kind of thing. Remember the events surrounding Lazarus’ death and Jesus waiting extra days before He went. (See Gem 75). Besides the crowd is in the way and suddenly out of the crowd appears a woman in need. Hey this was a crowd of people all hanging on the possibility of being healed or having a family member healed. Many more potentially could have come. What a nightmare for Jairus.
I don’t know exactly how long Jesus took with the woman, but it couldn’t have been too long. No more than 12 minutes, let’s say. Many commentators depict Jairus as being impatient at the delay. But there is not a hint of any impatience across any of the three gospels. That in itself is amazing. I know what I would have been like. What about you? I don’t think I would have had much grace for the woman. Oh how Jairus’ heart must have sunk when he realized Jesus was going to minister to this woman but apparently he kept it all within himself. There is no hint of a reaction like:
- “Go away, just go away and leave Him.”
- “You’ve had your problem for 12 years. My daughter is dying now.”
- “JUST WAIT, I WAS FIRST.”
- “I am one of the leaders in the synagogue. Who are you? Why should you jump the queue?”
No, I haven’t found the secret Gospel of Ian. I don’t have a source you don’t know about. I am just letting my right brain imagine. Deeper Biblers will know what I mean.
I wonder too is there anything significant about the fact that we have a TWELVE year old and a woman with a problem for TWELVE years. But just another little thing I have noticed. Still raw fish and not processed – (A comment for Deeper Biblers). I need time to ponder the significance some more. Only Luke records the link of “12”. Mark doesn’t tell us the woman has been sick for 12 years. His gospel is the first one and the prime source. Both Matthew and Luke tell us that the woman was sick for 12 years. She had sought medical help it seems for 12 long years and no success. Luke’s heart as a physician goes out to her. Maybe he was being sympathetic to his fellow physicians and not saying much to put them down. But Luke is the only gospel writer to tell us the girl was twelve years old. Wow hang on minute. In the grand scheme of things this girl was just born when the woman first experiences her bleeding problem. These two life events run side by side, in the same town, for twelve years and now, just now, there is a crisis of choosing between the two, dependent on a precious 12 minutes? 12 seconds? Does it really come down to this over 12 years?
Of course you know I am right braining again. I have no original document or another source that gives me further information on the time it took to heal the woman that tells me it was 12 minutes. I am just putting things together. Luke is putting things together. He is the one who links 12 with 12. I am letting the creative juices flow and allowing my mind to ponder these things (like Mary pondered things in her heart).
Time for you to ponder things in your heart before we move on. Ponder away and I will see you beside the big pond tomorrow. Something tells me it’s time to stop.
The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.Martin Luther King
Life is all about being in the right place at the right time to say the right thing to the right person even just ONCE!Alarius
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.Mahatma Gandhi
The genius of life is to carry the spirit of childhood into old age.Aldous Huxley
Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone: kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.Adam Lindsay Gordon
When I was a boy of 12, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in 9 years.Anon