Welcome back TTP family. Our quest to better understand faith and how to practice it is ongoing. In this second episode we would be taking a closer look at a new character. Before we jump in please make sure to read; Emunah in bleak times, if you have not yet had the pleasure. It provides a better background for understanding the lessons in this episode. Now let us meet our cast member.
He was a ruler of the synagogue. He was respected and admired by all. However his daughter, who was only twelve years old, had fallen ill and was dying. Even as he sought help, news came to him that it was in vain. His daughter was dead. There was no hope. His name is Jairus.
The story of Jairus is recorded in the gospels of Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9: 18-19 and Luke 8:40-56. All the accounts describe him as having a place of authority in the synagogue. Now the very first lesson on faith we can learn from Jairus occurs at the beginning of his narrative – he came to Jesus! If you have read the Gospels to any degree it will immediately be obvious that Jesus was not well liked by many Jewish leaders. He was unpopular.(In fact, a little before Jairus’ account we see people sending Jesus away because of a miracle he had performed (Luke 8:37)) Going to Jesus was not a readily offered solution. Yet Jairus did not allow that to deter him. It may be that in your circumstance or environment, going to Jesus is unpopular or even frowned upon. Nonetheless, take that very first step of faith… go/turn to Him!
At the time Jairus came to Jesus, the situation was dire. In fact in the course of their journey to Jairus’ house, messengers came to inform him that his daughter had died. Death is the point of no return. It was a reasonable place to give up and mourn. Perhaps you have reached such a point too. When all seems lost, and there is no reason to hope. But reason has little to no place in Emunah. There is room only for trust and reliance. In the words of Jesus in Mark 5: 36 ‘…do not fear, only believe’. Jairus chose to believe, and continued on home with Jesus. Thus he received the miracle he sought out in faith. His daughter was returned to him in good health.
We have learnt two lessons so far; to activate our faith by turning to Jesus even if it is unpopular and to continue to believe even when our situation is dire. Our third lesson on faith from Jairus’ story is much more subtle. It is, however , a very important lesson. While the story of Jairus unfolds another miracle occurs, which we discuss in our previous blog. The woman with the issue of blood mingles with the crowd, which was a taboo to her (Leviticus 15) , in order to receive her healing. While she had the courage to approach Jesus, she couldn’t bring herself to actually face Him. Instead she focuses her faith on just touching the hem of His garment in order to receive her healing. Jairus on the other hand was a respected leader in society and probably did not even think twice about going to Jesus personally and even inviting Him into his home. One could paint a picture of Jairus leading Christ to his home confidently, while the woman with the issue of blood furtively reaches for her miracle from behind Jesus. These two are coming from different places. The temple leader and the woman who could not enter the temple. Faith as their equalizer.
Although they came from different social circles and approached Christ in different ways, their faith made them equal before God. Because both of them had come seeking God, believing that He exists and that He would reward them for seeking Him (Hebrews 11:6) He gave them the healing that they sought. That is all that is required from us. To believe and act on that belief. God does not bring into consideration anything else; our past, our race, our social standing, our supposed righteousness… none of it matters.
Jesus does not ignore the woman with the issue of blood in favor of continuing His journey to Jairus’ house. Although she did not come confidently before Him, He takes the time to address her, to acknowledge her and her faith. Likewise when the naysayers were trying to convince Jairus that he was wasting Jesus’ time, Jesus ignored them and encouraged Jairus to believe. Every woman, man, child of every tribe, race, and country is precious to God. His willingness to reward our faith in Him is not impeded by our life stories or how people have defined us. It is not fueled by any social hierarchy. No matter who you are, the family you are from or the things you have done, just one thing is asked of you… only believe. Faith is your equalizer.