Summary: A sermon about God's way of doing things versus human fumbling.
“On the Way to a Healing…”
We have two really awesome stories this morning!
This sermon really could have been named, “Jesus the Multi-tasker.”
We have a story inside a story, so to speak.
The outer story is about Jairus, a leader in the synagogue and his 12-year-old daughter, the inner story is about a much older woman, who for the same 12 years has suffered from severe bleeding.
Both stories are about fear and faith, desperation and wholeness, the marginalized and the powerful, and the
fact that Jesus doesn’t play the crazy kinds of games and jump through the hoops we often do.
Our passage picks up with Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee after having healed the demon possessed man in the region of the Geresenes…
…in Gentile territory.
Now Jesus is back in Jewish territory.
But since Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum He couldn’t have been an easy Person to have living in one’s village.
Experts in Jewish Law were upset about some of the things He was doing, and rumors suggested that if Herod got wind of this “new kingdom movement” there would be big trouble!!!
Jairus, who was an official of the synagogue; a person of authority in Jewish society, probably didn’t feel too good about the possibility of a spotlight being shown on his town for all the wrong reasons.
At best, he probably would have wanted to keep a safe distance between himself and Jesus.
And this worked until disaster strikes!!!
Jairus’ 12-year-old-dauthter was very, very sick, and apparently about to die.
We can see pretty clearly into his agonized household…
…the traumatized father…
…filled with fear…
…hope is slipping away like sand through an hour-glass.
Jairus is desperate, so he pockets his pride and forgets his political agendas, and rushes off to Jesus…
…throwing himself down at Jesus’ feet.
Imagine the scene; how undignified!!!
Jarius was a very highly respected man in the town, and well-to-do.
What would the people be whispering about him come the next Sabbath?
But desperate times lead to desperate measures.
When it comes right down to it; nothing else matters when death comes knocking at the door!!!
“So Jesus went with [Jarius],” along with the eager crowd.
But something happened on the way to Jarius’ house.
Within the crowd is a woman with chronic bleeding; one of the main causes of impurity in that day.
She would have been forbidden to attend the Temple or any public events for that matter.
She should not even be out in public at all…
…let alone touching other people, especially a man!!!
But amazingly, this nameless cast-away is the one who shows the greatest understanding of Who Jesus really is and what it means to have faith in Him!!!
Jesus stopped in His tracks, even though He had been called to take care of an emergency at the home of one of the most prestigious and elite folks in town, in order to heal a sick woman that the world cared nothing about!
She is the opposite of Jairius.
Her continuous hemorrhaging means she was ritually unclean; her poverty made her powerless and indicates her vulnerability within society.
How often, in our society, does a wealthy person in need of help have to wait for the healing of a destitute person?
We are told that the woman “came up behind [Jesus] in the crowd and touched his clothes.”
“Who touched my clothes?” Jesus asked.
“Then the woman…came and fell at his feet and trembling with fear,and told him the whole truth.”
And Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Can you imagine the reaction from the crowd?
They know who Jarius is and they know who this woman is.
She is barred by law from the hope of regaining her health, her safety, or her place in the community.
Also, the very fact that the woman touched Jesus would have made Jesus ritually impure according to Leviticus 15:19-33.
But Jesus makes it clear throughout the Gospels that He is unconcerned about the purity laws of Leviticus or Numbers.
In Numbers 19:11 we are told that “Anyone who touches the dead body of anyone will be unclean for seven days…”
And, “if he fails to purify himself,” after doing so, “That person must be cut off from Israel.”
Of course, Jesus touched many dead bodies, not to mention that of Jairus’s twelve year old daughter.
As the Son of God, Jesus reaches through the purity boundaries based not on the authority of the law but based on mercy, compassion, love and faith.
So, after Jesus stopped to heal the woman, and while He was still speaking, “some men came from the house of Jairus.”
They told Him that Jairus’ daughter was now dead, and then they basically told Jesus not to bother coming after all.