Today we are going to look at two miracles Jesus did right after coming back from Gerasenes. These two miracles were discussed in Matthew and we took time to look at them separately. We are going to leave them together when we look at Mark’s account. If you want to go back and revisit the “firsthand accounts” of these miracles, you can find them as Jesus Heals Jairus’ Daughter and Jesus Heals a Desperate Woman.
I want to look at the “day in the life” of one of Jesus’ disciples. I am going to pick John for our purposes. I chose John because he seems to always be right nest to Jesus. I know that he is not the main person in today’s story but I want to take this different view anyway.
This day started by disembarking once Jesus and his crew got out of the boat. Immediately a large crowd gathered. James is used to the crowds by now but he has to be aware of what is going on or Jesus may get trampled by the excited crowd. John also always tried to be closest to Jesus. He felt a special closeness to Jesus and would do whatever he could to protect Him.
In the distance John sees one of the rulers of the synagogue approaching VERY fast. John wonders what kind of trap this man is going to try on Jesus. Very few of the temple leaders have anything nice or positive to say to Jesus. “Here comes another one. I wonder what his beef is going to be. It’s too early for one of us to already have broken one of the laws or traditions.”
While Jesus is busy ministering to the people, John keeps watching the approaching man. John recognizes him as Jairus and he is pushing his way through the crowd; a man on a mission. As he is working his way towards Jesus he is calling out Jesus’ name. He is not the only one calling out to Jesus, but his voice reaches Jesus’ ear. Jesus turns and watches Jairus approach. John observes as Jairus addresses Jesus. Jairus is pleasing for Jesus to help him. Of course Jesus will help him. John never doubted that for a moment.
The whole group sets off for Jairus’ house. Many in the crowd are content to follow but many others are still trying to reach Jesus and get Him to attend to their needs. Others are simply being pushed and carried along with the throng of people. John and the other disciples are using their bodies as shields against the crowd. They are intent on maintaining Jesus’ safety against being crushed by the mob.
Jesus stops in mid stride and asks, “Who touched me?”
Seriously!? John looks at Jesus with shock on his face. “Jesus, with all these people pushing and shoving, You want to know who touched You? We are lucky we are not all trampled, let alone touched!”
Jesus calms John with a single look and assures him that He has a reason for asking this. “I felt power leave me. Someone touched me with a purpose.”
With that explanation John starts looking around the crowd too. Finally a woman steps forward and confirms that she was the one who touched Him. John is moved by her story. Twelve years of suffering! She had amazing courage to even come out in public. She could have been seriously punished for her actions. Then there is the matter of her faith. John has no doubt that if Jesus had touched her she would have been healed, but she believed if she even touched His clothes she would be cured. Amazing! John would have loved to talk with her about her faith. Sometimes he had trouble with his own faith, and he walked with Jesus every day. How was she so sure?
While Jesus is speaking with the woman John notices someone else pushing through the crowd. He isn’t calling out Jesus’ name but Jairus’ instead. When he finally emerges from the crowd he touches Jairus’ shoulder. John can see the sorrow in the man’s face even before he speaks a word. His eyes are full of unshed tears. His face shows tracts of others previously freely falling. He takes a second to pull himself together before speaking to Jairus.
“Your daughter is dead. There is no need to trouble Jesus any longer. Let’s go home.”
Jairus is speechless. His eyes too fill with tears. To be this close, and yet….
Jesus finishes speaking with the woman and turns His attention to the heartsick Jairus. Jesus heard the report made to Jairus. He also knows the pain Jairus is currently feeling. Jesus speaks to Jairus’ heart. “Take a lesson from the woman we have just met. Don’t be afraid, only believe.”
Jairus grabs onto Jesus’ words as if they are a lifeline. John grabs that same lifeline and wonders, “What is Jesus going to do? I’ve seen Him do some amazing miracles, but what is He planning now?”
Jesus tells His disciples and the crowd that He needs to go on from here alone. He has heard murmurs in the crowd that He knows would influence Jairus’ faith if He let them continue unchecked. Jesus says He wants Peter, James and John to accompany Him and Jairus on the rest of their journey. John feels honored to be allowed to stay with Jesus.
As the small group moves away from the crowd, John glances back at the crowd and the remaining disciples. The disciples have stepped into full crowd control mode. They are reassuring the people that Jesus will return and see to their needs too, but that for now His wishes must be obeyed. They actually have to physically prevent a couple people from following Him. Many in the crowd wait with Jesus’ disciples, knowing that He will return for His disciples if nothing else. Satisfied that the crowd won’t follow them, John turns his attention back to the task at hand.
When they reach Jairus’ home they encounter a large group of mourners. They could be heard LONG before they came into view. Jesus looks at the group and makes the most absurd statement. “Why are you weeping? She is not dead but simply sleeping.” John almost choked at Jesus’ words. John heard the servant who came. Surely he would not have brought news of her death if she was only sleeping. John KNEW Jesus had heard his words too. So why was Jesus saying she was asleep? Jesus’ words “Only believe” popped back into John’s mind and heart. “Yes Lord, I believe.”
The mourners think Jesus is crazy and they begin laughing at Him. Jesus seems unfazed by this. He simply ushers Jairus, Peter, James, and John all into the house. He even ordered the mourners who were in the house leave. When a couple of them started to balk at Jesus’ order, Jairus added his voice to Jesus’ and everyone finally exited quickly. John shuts the door on their retreating backs and a few faces trying to peer into the room.
John is again grateful to Jesus for giving him this front row seat to whatever He is going to do next, but also questions what his role is supposed to be. Jesus doesn’t seem to need him for anything, so why did he ask him to come along?
In stunned silence, Jairus’ wife had watched all Jesus was doing. She heard Jesus’ words, but they did not fully penetrate her grief. Jairus moved next to his wife and wrapped his arm around her shoulders protectively as the mourners were exiting.
Jesus says, “Come” to everyone left in the room and walks to the child’s room. John wonders how Jesus knows which room is hers. Has He been in this house before? John then chalks it up as another “Jesus thing.” Jesus sits on the edge of the bed where a VERY still girl is laying. John observes that her skin has no glow of life. If he were not here with Jesus, who clearly said she was “asleep”, he would pronounce her dead himself. But John knows Jesus well enough to recognize the beginnings of another miracle.
Jesus reaches out and takes the girl’s hand and speaks to her. He tells her to “get up”, and SHE DOES! John has to clamp his hand over his mouth to hold in the shout bursting from his heart. Jairus and his wife don’t hold theirs in. They rush from the other side of the room and fall on their daughter’s bed. They cover her with kisses and tears. Jesus stands up and moves out of the way so her parents can reach her more easily. Then he makes the most unusual statement of the day; “Get her something to eat.”
John almost laughs at Jesus’ last statement. Jesus made life return to normal in this household. Grief is pushed aside. Jesus also tells the parents not to tell anyone what happened here today. John takes a deep breath and realized that those instructions are for him as well. Another of Jesus’ miracles to hold in his heart. John longs to be allowed to share ALL of Jesus’ miracles with everyone! “If they only knew half of what He has done they would fall down at His feet! Someday maybe he will be given that chance.”
Thank You Jesus for bring even a few of Your disciples along. Through them we can have the “front row seats” too. I can just imagine the joy and pride bursting in Your disciples’ hearts as they witness all Your miracles. I can also imagine the “why did You choose me” questions circling there too. I have that one and I’m over 2000 years removed from the action. There is nothing special about me, yet You chose me as one of Your children. You placed in me an imagination that brings me right into the room with You through the stories You finally let be shared. You gave me to opportunity to share those stories in another way. I don’t know why You did, but thank You! Thank You for loving me first, even before I knew about You. Thank You for pursuing me and bringing me to You. Thank You for trusting me with the little things and growing me into the bigger ones. Thank You that You are not done with me yet. Like John, I can’t wait to see what You do next.