Now when Jesus returned by boat to Galilee, he was met by a sea of expectant faces. A crowd had gathered and were fanatical in their welcome of him. Suddenly a man knelt before Jesus, impeding his progress through the crowd. His name was Jairus. He was a leader at the synagogue, the local place of worship, and a shining example of respectability. Clearly he was in great distress and began to plead for the life of his only child, a girl of about twelve. She was not expected to live out the day.
As Jesus made his way forward through the mass of people, the crowd surged uncontrollably, making it difficult to breathe. Suddenly Jesus asked those around him, ‘Who grabbed me?’ This prompted a series of denials, then Peter spoke up, ‘Teacher, can you not see the crowd all pressing against you?’ Peter was wondering how Jesus could single out this one touch. The crowd then became still enough to hear Jesus reply, ‘All I know is someone held onto me; a deep need has been met here–strength never to ebb away again.’
It became clear that Jesus would not let this one touch be overlooked. Realising she could no longer hide, a woman emerged, visibly shaken. She knelt, face down before Jesus. Before too long her extraordinary story also emerged. With some coaxing she revealed firstly her debilitating affliction. This woman had suffered incessant menstrual bleeding for over a decade. The flow of blood could not be stopped by any doctor, midwife, or endless tide of miracle-cure salesmen.She had been at her wit’s end; drained of strength and robbed of dignity–this was no kind of life. Then she began telling everyone what happened; how she had fought her way up behind Jesus and held onto his cloak and that her bleeding had stopped immediately. At this Jesus simply said, ‘Daughter, now you have health and vitality to go with your faith. Go and live your life.’
As Jesus spoke these words someone from the household of Jairus, the synagogue leader, interrupted. The friend said to Jairus, ‘Your daughter is dead. There’s no need to delay this man of God any longer’.
Upon hearing this Jesus turned to Jairus and said ‘Settle your fears; cast your faith in with mine and she will be healed.’
As he came to the door of Jairus’s house he chose only Peter, John and James to go in with him, as well as the child’s father and mother. Upon entering the house, Jesus addressed all the people who had begun to grieve aloud for the girl. ‘Stop the funeral plans; consider her merely asleep, not dead.’
They scoffed at him for her body lay lifeless in front of them. But he took her by the hand and said, ‘My child, up you come!’ Her eyes filled with life, as did her lungs, and there she stood unaided before everyone–most assuredly alive! Then Jesus instructed them to give her something to eat. The girl’s parents were completely amazed, but he had them keep the whole account to themselves.