How was your weekend? Ours went by much too quickly. I am anxious however to begin this set of Scriptures this morning. It is one of my favorite records of Jesus' healing ministry. The desperation of the people it affected is tangible in these verses. The story is told in more depth in the Gospels of Mark and Luke so we will be supplementing Matthew's account with their words as well. The Scripture quotes will be from Mark chapter 5, and Luke chapter 8. It is interesting how the Bible presents the story of the woman with the issue of blood parenthetically interjected within the story of the raising of the ruler's daughter. This shows us how busy Jesus actually was while He was walking the earth. The need was, and is great for our Savior. While Matthew gives us the bare facts of these stories, Mark and Luke add the human perspective of the all who witness these events.
Matthew 9:18 "While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live."
"These things" that Jesus spoke was the mini parable of the wineskins or bottles from our study Friday. With such a multitude constantly following Him, things moved quickly from one matter to the next. Mark and Luke tell us that the "certain ruler" who came to Jesus was named Jairus (I will refer to him as such from this point forward). He was said to be a "ruler of the synagogue" in Mark and Luke. All three accounts agree that this man paid Jesus homage when he came to Him. There are several instances in the Scripture where men have fallen to their faces before angels and prophets. In those cases a rebuke followed their actions, with the admonishment to worship only God. No rebuke comes from Jesus at this show of reverence to Him because He IS God in the flesh!
It is amazing to see how quickly we can abandon our long held beliefs when desperate times beset us. Since Jairus was a ruler in the synagogue, we know him to be of the Jewish faith, yet he obviously knew within himself that the Jewish religion could not heal nor save his own daughter.
When we compare the centurion's plea to heal his servant with this plea from Jairus, we can see that the centurion had a better understanding of the healing power of Christ Jesus. He knew the just a Word spoken by Christ would be sufficient to heal his servant; Jairus asks Jesus to come and "lay thy hand upon her." But, Jairus knew as the centurion did; the only hope for their loved ones was within the person of Jesus.
19 "And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples."
No questions, no hesitation, only compassion toward all motivated Him to action. His disciples follow Jesus to be a witness to all who will later follow them.
Matthew9:20 "And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole."
David and I once heard a sermon concerning these verses at a revival we attended. The preacher tied these stories of Jairus' daughter and the woman with the issue of blood together in a convincing message. Matthew mentions here that this woman had this "issue of blood" for "twelve years". Mark and Luke tell us that the daughter of Jairus was 12 years old. The preacher at the revival said that he believed this was all one family. He suggested that the woman had something go wrong during the delivery of her daughter that caused her flow of blood to continue for 12 long years. A menstruating woman was considered ceremonially unclean for so many days even after her monthly cycle was complete. This woman continued to bleed for 12 years. Luke tells us that she had "spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any." This would have made her an outcast for all of society as well as her own family. If this were Jairus' wife, he would have had to put her out from his home or he would have been considered defiled and therefore unable to continue to be a ruler in the synagogue. For her to be in the middle of such a multitude of people would have been strictly forbidden. Furthermore, for her to even touch the "hem of the garment" of a Jewish man would have been a crime punishable with a sentence of being stoned to death outside of the city gates. She was desperate to be healed or to die trying. Was this also a desperate mother who knew her own daughter lay upon her deathbed and longed to be a part of the family again. Perhaps she had lived her life observing her family from a distance, and now she sees Jairus placing his faith in Jesus to save their daughter so in a last ditch attempt she too comes to Jesus. Again, we are not told these things, but it makes for a good story line!
Matthew 9:22 "But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour."
In faith she reached out to the Great Physician. Her hand went forth as diseased, but the healing power of Jesus rushed back into her body and she "was made whole from that hour." I absolutely love Luke's account of this moment! Let's get the picture as Jesus is being thronged by a multitude of people who were all trying to touch Him and get His attention: Luke 8:45 "And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?"
I can just imagine the look on Peter's face when Jesus asked "Who touched me?" It was obvious to Peter that EVERYONE in the crowd had touched Him with the pushing and "press" of the people. Yet there was something different that only our Lord had experienced: 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me." Wow, oh wow!! Jesus felt within Himself that someone had been healed by their faith alone! She was able to not say a word to Him and still receive her healing! Imagine now her terror at being found out! She was in deep trouble, but she never shied away or denied that it was her that touched Him. She knew the penalty, but she knew Who it was that addressed her now too! His response melted all of her fear away. "Daughter, be of good comfort!"
Matthew 9:23 "And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn."
Mark tells us that when Jesus, Peter, James, John, and Jairus came back to his house, they are meet with the announcement, "Thy daughter is dead:". Luke adds that Jesus said to Jairus: Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
The minstrels" or those who played instruments and were professional mourners were "making a noise" or great lamentations for the daughter of Jairus. Jesus tells them to be quite or "Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth." This is the same expression of sleep instead of death is used when Lazarus was raised from the dead in John chapter 11. In their unbelief, "they laugh Him to scorn." They did not know Whom it was standing before them. The did not believe that anyone could raise the dead. What man does not understand he belittles and tries to destroy.
Matthew 9:25 "But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land."
After the mourners were removed from the house Jesus "took her by the hand" and she awoke. Mark records the Words spoken by Jesus at this moment: Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. With all the authority and power of Heaven Jesus restores the young girl to life! She is not resurrected into a glorified body as Jesus was; she was resuscitated back to the life she had before.
Was the entire family healed this day and the house of Jairus made whole again? Unfortunately we are not told. All I know for sure is that Jesus is the resurrection and the life; there is none other but Him! Do you need a healing in your body that the doctors are helpless to cure? Have you reached out in faith to touch Him? We should take note that Jesus did not respond to the crowd that pressed against Him as a whole; only to the woman who had great faith did His healing virtue flow. Push forward through all that tries to stand in your way: Come to Jesus today!