18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live." 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed."
22 Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.
23 When Jesus entered the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24 he said, "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.
In our verses for today we discover two incidents of the miraculous from the hand and even the hem of the Healer. Jairus, the synagogue ruler whose daughter had just died and the woman with the issue of blood both humbly approach the Master believingly hopeful in the God of all hope to heal. Those desirous of mercy from the Master must honor the Master in their love and humility. Both the conditions of these two supplicants were completely above the powers of nature to help yet well within the power of Christ to accomplish Who has life in Himself. It is interesting that the age of Jairus’ daughter and the woman’s duration of hemorrhaging had both been twelve years and in reading the other gospel accounts of this same passage one can see clearly the hopelessness of both situations. Those not possessing the hope of nature can possess the hope of Christ as we discover in our verses for today. I am reminded of Paul’s word in Romans to us as I read these accounts of suffering:
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)
The passage begins by Jairus approaching Jesus - kneeling before Him – humbly requesting Him to come heal his daughter who had recently died. This incident of the shattering of his family’s well being sent this ruler straight to the Shepherd who ever lovingly tends to His sheep. Then in the midst of this healing – introduced parenthetically – we discover the woman subject to bleeding approaching our Lord. All things in our life should drive us to the feet of the Savior. Scripture shows us that Jesus’ miracles were both sown thickly and interwoven. The Savior’s job description on His First Advent not only included preaching Truth but producing the good work of healing and binding up the brokenhearted as well. We discover in Isaiah:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor. Isaiah 61:1-2 (NIV)
“God's mercy is vast and beyond our comprehension. He will never reject anyone who turns to Him for mercy. Nor will He force Himself on anyone who chooses to live without Him”.
Acquiescing to the ruler’s request, Jesus begins His journey to Jairus’ home. Our Lord’s readiness to comply shows forth as He immediately rose and went with the supplicant – not only willing to grant the request but even complying to go to his home to fulfill it. Those who seek Christ never seek Him in vain. Enter the poor hemorrhaging woman on the scene having had spent all monies and efforts seeking healing yet to no avail. She was a heart-rending case indeed - deserving pity - having neither health nor money. Her condition was not only weakening and wasting but also rendered her ceremonially unclean – an outcast, excluded from the courts of the Lord’s house but not from approaching the Healer Who we discover, lovingly renders her the mercy she so desperately desired. This woman believed Christ to have such an overwhelming fullness of power that by merely touching His garment – without even a Word – she would be healed. Christ accepted the sincerity and power of her faith and heals this precious soul as well as encourages her heart with His Word – so like Jesus.
The scene quickly changes to the ruler’s home where the mourners had already gathered. Many had come together to grieve the loss and comfort the parents in their distress. The Lord rebukes the noisy crowd with His Word: "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." Jesusis unhindered by their mocking and leaving the crowds outside, He goes in and does what only He can do – immediately raises the child to life again with but a Word. She was dead to the world but alive to Christ Who knew within Himself what He would and could do. Amazing.
“God alone knows the depth and riches of His Godhead, and divine wisdom alone can declare His secrets.” Thomas Aquinas