Daily D – Luke 8:4-42
Luke 8:40-42 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. (NIV)
Howdy! These morning messages are originating from the Pacific Northwest for several days. This means they arrive later than normal. We will return to Texas Time on Friday.
Some moments feel like lifetimes. Some lifetimes feel like moments. Then there are moments when eternity steps into time and makes it stand still.
In this story which runs from verse 40 through verse 56, we have an expectant crowd, a prominent man falling at Jesus’ feet, and a twelve-year-old girl who dies.
Joy and grief stand so close together sometimes, don’t they?
Everyone wanted something from Jesus at the same time. There were those who were eager for words of truth and life. There were those who desired healing. There were those who simply wanted to see Jesus.
There was a father with a dying girl.
Of all the precious gifts in this world, few equal a child. Loving fathers and mothers deeply desire the greatest good for their children. They will do anything for them when life-threatening problems arise. This is how the man named Jairus came to Jesus “and fell at his feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying,” (verse 42).
Desperate dads discard all pretense and bravado when their baby girls require the healing, life-giving touch of Jesus.
Jesus went with Jairus, but not quickly. He was almost crushed by the crowd (verse 42). In that crowd was a woman as desperate as that dad. For twelve years, she had suffered from unstoppable bleeding.
Twelve years was much too short of a lifetime for Jairus’ baby girl.
Twelve years was a lifetime of dealing with a disease forcing this woman to the margins of society.
When Jesus speaks to this woman, he does so with the most tender of addresses. He calls her, “Daughter.” He tells her, “your faith has healed you. Go in peace,” (verse 48).
Her desperation was resolved with finality, with majesty, with glory.
Her moment of awe and wonder was a crushing blow to a dad who desperately did not want Jesus delayed. The affectionate use of the name, “daughter,” broke Jairus’ heart a little more. His errand was more urgent than ever.
Until it wasn’t.
Someone arrived from Jairus’ home with news, bad news, the worst possible news. “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher anymore,” (verse 49).
“Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” Not, “Don’t bother the healer anymore.” Not, “Don’t bother the savior anymore.” Not, “Don’t bother Emmanuel, God with Us anymore.”
“Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
Jesus had something to say about that. But this was no television show. He did not respond to the news bearer. He spoke to the heartbroken father. He said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
Do not be afraid.
She will be healed.
The death rituals were in full swing when Jesus and Jairus arrived. Jesus removed everyone and told them to “Stop wailing. She is not dead but asleep,” (verse 52). They laughed at him. They knew death. No heartbeat plus no breath equals death.
John 11 and Luke 8 stand close together. Jesus took the little girl by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” (verse 54).
Dr. Luke reports it this way: “Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.”
Twelve years are far too short a time to live for a loving father’s baby girl.
Twelve years are far too long for a woman to suffer from sickness, doctors, and estrangement.
Jesus shows us his patience, kindness, gentleness, and unhurriedness in this story. We overhear words of hope, truth, and life. We see the least of these and the most precious of these each receiving his tender, life-giving touch.
This is a good day to live fearlessly and faithfully. This is a good day to believe there is nothing too hard for Jesus. This is a good day to follow his example by taking notice of individuals in crowds, speaking words of truth and life, and demonstrating patience, kindness, and gentleness. This is a good day to extend his grace and love.
I will give attention to those who seek it and to those who need it.
Our Father, empower me to see people as you see them. Place your words of truth and life in my mind and in my mouth. Use me in whatever manner you see fit to bring healing and hope. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.