Strangers: Jairus’ daughter and the woman with hemorrhage
These strangers we study about are people who were outcasts and sinners, but they came to meet Jesus and became strangers no more.
Jairus’ daughter was the daughter of the head of the synagogue. And Jesus was asked by the people who were sent from the synagogue to come and lay his hand upon Jairus’ daughter, that she may live. On the way, however, a woman stops him and Jesus spends time with her, and Jairus’ daughter dies.
Hemorrhage and 12 years
This woman had hemorrhage for 12 years. For most of us, when we think about this story, who is the main character? We are inclined to think of this woman as the main character, rather than Jairus’ daughter. But what was her condition? The consequence of hemorrhage is that she cannot become pregnant. She cannot give life. Those with hemorrhage could not continue the genealogy, and so they would be considered cursed and unclean, and people would avoid them. This woman had hemorrhage for twelve years, and Jairus’ daughter was also twelve years old. Jairus’ daughter was born at the same time this woman began to have hemorrhage. The number twelve represents the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. In addition, the number twelve also represents the children of God, the chosen people of God.
Some think that Jairus’ daughter was a seed born in a center of worship, the synagogue. Those who are born in that center of worship represents Israel, the chosen people of God. On the flipside, the woman with hemorrhage may represent the Gentiles. And so if we extend the analogy, then Jesus came from heaven to heal and prevent the death of those who was spiritually sick in the center of worship. But Jesus unexpectedly stops to pay attention to this woman. Jesus came for the chosen people of Israel, but it was the Gentiles who came to him and received healing. Since Jairus’ daughter was only healed after the woman was healed, some think that this symbolizes the Jews receiving salvation only after the Gentiles.
Some of us have been searching all our lives for an answer to the problems in our lives. We may have been searching in different religions, different churches, and so on. This woman sought healing from doctors who were not good (Mk. 5:26). Job rebuked his friends for declaring a false teaching, calling them worthless physicians (Job 13:4). Without the Word of God, the signs are empty. The reason why we’re seeking for the truth is because life is difficult and doesn’t seem to have all the answers. Life sometimes feels lonely, unstable, and that makes us feel afraid. We often seek for comfort from sources which are unable to permanently heal our condition. The only permanent solution is the Word of God. We need to meet God, Jesus, and the Word of God. We have a tendency, however, to seek for the end-product while ignoring the process of being with God. Jesus stopped to be with the woman. Jesus gave her a chance to open her heart, and she told him the whole truth. Being with God exposes all other spiritual physicians as ‘miserable comforters’ (Job 16:2). We need a doctor who tells us the truth of our condition, rather than someone who only tells us things to make us feel good. Ultimately, true comfort comes from the Word of God. We shouldn’t depend so much on people. Like the woman with hemorrhage, we need to come to Jesus. Jesus came to the earth, but we need to come to him. We must come to the Word of God.
Faith to touch Jesus’ cloak
How did the woman know to touch Jesus’ cloak? The key point is that she had heard of Jesus, yet she was afraid to meet him, and so she only wanted to touch him cloak. She only wanted the healing, the end-product, without needing to be in an actual relationship with Jesus. The apostle John commends us to receive the Word of God and have fellowship with the Father and the Son (1 Jn. 1:1-3). This woman had faith to believe that the cloak of Jesus had power.
Jesus’ outer garment was divided into four, but the soldiers cast lots for his inner garment (Jn. 19:23-24). What was so important about Jesus’ garments, that the Apostle John devoted time to record it? When Adam and Eve sinned, God made garments for them by the skin of an animal. Jesus, on the cross, gave up his garments so that our shame could be covered. Jesus clothed us with his spiritual garment, that is the Word of God. As Jesus’ garments were one and four, the core of the Word is one, and the four gospels went throughout the land. Likewise, the river in Eden was one, but it separated into four rivers which flowed from it to the rest of the world. May we receive the core of the Gospel and receive life. There are people who say they love God, but they aren’t interested in God’s Word. We need to receive God’s Word to have a stable faith (Rom. 10:17). Eternal life is knowing the Father and the Son through the Word. All of our experiences, signs, and testimonies should derive from the Word of God as its foundation, rather than the opposite. May the power of God’s Word start working in our lives, and may our faith in God’s Word heal us.
Conclusion: Peace and salvation
Jesus said to the woman ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction’ (Mk. 5:34). This woman heard about Jesus, came to Him, and received His Word. Do you believe that Jesus’ Word has power? There was a centurion who told Jesus that he did not need to come to heal his daughter, but to only speak the Word. The centurion acknowledged that as a human, his word had power to accomplish things, and so Jesus’ Word would have an even greater degree of power. He believed in the power of God’s Word (Heb. 1:1-3). Only after Jesus heals the woman with hemorrhage, does he heal Jairus’ daughter. Jesus does not and will not miss any person. If Jairus’ daughter represents Israel, and the woman with hemorrhage represents the Gentiles, then Jesus makes sure to heal both. Finally, our hemorrhage, the problem of not being able to give life, can only be healed by the Word of Jesus. Let us find life in Jesus Christ.