Summary: This sermon was preached as a father’s day sermon. Jairus risk his all for his daughter’s wholeness.
"A Living Testimony"
Jairus a first century man whose name means "whom God enlightens."
There are many fatherly examples contained within the pages of our Bibles. Men like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Philip. Some of their examples of fatherliness teach us what not to do in relation to our families and at other times we are given great examples to follow and emulate. Quite often both examples can be seen in the same person, for none of us can claim to do the right thing at the right time, every time. However, hopefully we will do the right thing enough of the time.
This story about Jairus and his family is recorded in each of the synoptic gospels. It is recorded in the same order in each of them. In the beginning verses of Mark chapter 5 we have the story of the demoniac who lived among the tombs. Jesus restores this man to a sound mind by the casting out of the demons into a herd of pigs.
After rescuing this man, his neighbors asked Jesus to leave because they feared his power, or they were angry at the economic trouble that his being there would cause their village. Whatever the reason was, the man was restored and Jesus was exiled. Sailing back across the Sea of Galilee he landed somewhere around Capernium I would suppose.
There can be something special between a father and a daughter. I imagine that Jairus and his daughter had something very special between them, so special that her father set out to find Jesus. We are not told for how long that this young lady was ill, but I suspect that it was quite some time. If you have ever sat up with your children when they had a high fever or when they were very ill, then you have some frame of reference with which to enter this story, some empathy that you can share with Jairus.
Jairus was an elite, being ruler of the synagogue. He kept watch over the building and saw to it that worship was done in an orderly fashion, he was responsible for the services and participants, such as who would be the reader of the Scripture. He held a high position of honor and authority and in that society honor was everything. The elites had little dealings with those who existed beneath their own level. Jesus as the son of a carpenter, and as such he was a peasant and the honor that Jesus hand been ascribed was that of a peasant. However, Jesus did not follow in the steps of his earthly father, he became an itinerant preacher and healer of sorts. His reputation was spreading around the region as possibly being a candidate for the Messiah.
Jairus watched his daughter continue to grow toward death. An event that many first century parents had to do. The mortality rate among children was very high in first century Israel. Jairus decided to do something dramatic. I am sure that he had tried everything that he knew to do and everything that the doctors knew to do. Jairus set out to find Jesus, it was his only chance to save his daughter’s life, if he wasn’t to late already.
We don’t know where Jairus lived, but it was probably in or around the city of Capernium. He set out toward the Sea of Galilee, he had heard reports that Jesus had fishermen among his band of disciples. Up ahead Jairus could see and hear a great crowd. He went closer and began to elbow his way through. He was an elite among the peasants, and when he finally reached the front of the crowd there was Jesus. Jairus fell at his feet. In falling at Jesus’ feet he recognized Jesus to be worthy of his homage. While kneeling at Jesus’ feet Jairus would do one or more of the following, kiss Jesus’ feet, kiss the tassels or the hem of his robe, or kiss the ground in front of him.
Jairus then asked Jesus to do something that is impossible for a human being to do, to touch his little girl, and by his touch make her live. "Come with me to my home and please heal my little girl." Jairus cried. Jairus abandoned his honor, his pride, his station in life, his friends, his associates, everything that he held dear, he sacrificed them all at the feet of Jesus for his daughter. "Please come."
Jesus did not verbally respond to Jairus, he simply began to walk with him toward his home. The crowd continued to press in on Jesus and we read of an unclean woman making her way to Jesus. She said over and over to herself, "If I just touch the hem of his garment I will be healed." She pressed in until she was able to touch Jesus’ robe and just as she believed she became well. Twelve years of loneliness would soon be coming to an end. She would be unclean no more, Healed, Restored, Saved.