Jesus returned from the country of the Gerasenes, and received a warm welcome from the crowd – very different from the send-off he just got. Then a man named Jairus came to Jesus. The text says that he was a ruler of the synagogue, which probably means that he was in charge of keeping it maintained and arranging services. At any rate, falling at Jesus’ feet, as he did in verse 41, was way out of character for a man in his position. But his 12 year old daughter was dying. And of course, a father would do anything to save his child. And she was his only child.
As Jesus set out for his house, the crowds were thick and “pressed around Him.” There was a woman among them who had a “discharge of blood.” We do not know much about it, except that she had been afflicted with this for 12 years, and had spent all of her money on physicians to try and cure it. But according to Mark 5:22-34, it had become worse instead of better. She had it in her mind that if he could just touch Jesus’ garment, she would be healed. And so she pressed in through the throng, and did so. Jesus called out to find out who had touched Him, but He obviously knew very well who had done so. He wanted her to hear what He had to say; and He wanted the others to hear it as well. He told her that her faith had made her well.
Jesus and Jairus were met on the way by people from Jairus’ house, who told him that his daughter was already dead. But Jesus told him to just believe. Mark tells us that Peter, James, and John accompanied him inside when he arrived. Jesus told the weeping relatives that the girl was not dead, but only sleeping. But it was obvious to all present that she had in fact died.
Commentators have offered many explanations for why Jesus said that, when He had to have known that she had really died. But the answer is not nearly so complicated as many of them try to make it. There was no deception being attempted. There simply was no finality in her condition. To His way of thinking, the little girl was in fact only sleeping. Paul used this way of thinking to make the point about those who had died when he wrote his letter to the brethren at Thessolonica in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15. In it, he speaks of them as those who had “fallen asleep.” Paul knew exactly what he was saying, just as Jesus did.
It seems clear that one of the messages of this account (which occurs in all three synoptic gospels) is about the hope that is ours because the Lord not only has power over disease and demons, but even over death – over which His victory will become complete and very personal before the end of Luke’s gospel.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.