Two people, completely unrelated and unknown to each other, had more in common than they knew. Both were in need of a touch – and even though their methods differed, they found what they longed for in the Christ. And were rewarded for their faith.
News spread of His healings as He traveled by boat and on foot between the cities and villages surrounding the Sea of Galilee.
The twelve-year-old daughter of Jairus lay in bed dying. His only daughter? His youngest? We’re not told. Nor do we know her name. We’re only told about a father’s love that drove him to the coast to find a cure.
Jairus was a ruler of the local synagogue – a man with authority, wise and just, and one who had earned the respect of those who knew him. Yet there he came, unashamed, tearful, humble, needy… falling at His feet. Not as a ruler, but as a beggar.
My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.
He not only believed Jesus could heal, he knew He could heal. And would heal. With just a touch. We’re not told the events leading up to his hearing and believing – we’re only given the record of his faith displayed. Jairus had no doubt, if he could only find the Healer and bring Him home, one touch from this Man would make his daughter well.
Jesus leaned over and spoke. Yes. I’ll come.
Relief washed over as Jairus looked up and stood, releasing His ankles to grab His hands.
Please, this way…
The two men turned to walk in the direction Jairus had just come from, back toward home.
Others sought to be with Jesus, too. Jairus had pushed his way through the crowd to reach the Man, and then had to push his way through the same assembled mass of sweaty bodies to make his way home. Before it was too late, and before his daughter breathed no more.
He glanced over, again and again, to make sure the Christ was still there, beside him, or at least close behind.
Irritated at the crowd’s pushing, and more than slightly annoyed at their shallowness, Jairus reminded himself of his own humanity. And rebuked himself for not being more sympathetic. He saw it in the court of the synagogue, saw in their eyes the quiet desperation of those who came to present their cases. With so many needs, so many injustices, inquiries, misunderstandings – he knew not all were guilty. But he also recognized the limits of his power.
Even though too many in the crowd sought only to be entertained, he understood some came just as he did, in search of answers unavailable elsewhere, with the expectation of finding real help.
But his daughter was dying. And contrary emotions swirled. He struggled not to let his impatience show as he pressed forward through the people pressing against him, threatening to separate him from the One with all power.
But then, a disturbance interrupted the mass of humanity, and as Jairus continued forward, he felt those around him shift directions.
Another glance behind, and he realized Jesus had stopped, along with the crowd.
Who touched me? Jesus asked, looking at those around him.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Twelve years without the touch of another human. No holding hands or rubbing shoulders, massaging a back, no arms linked while walking to the village well, no whispering secrets into a sibling’s ear, no hugs or kisses or skin on skin…
The woman suffered from continual bleeding – probably a female condition that stretched from months to years.
Over a decade had passed while she lived in solitary confinement in her own home, weak, sick, weary, physically and emotionally depleted.
If blood were gold…
(Light bulb moment: Bible commentators past and present, being male and unacquainted with the female menstrual cycle, guess her problem was caused by a bleeding tumor, internal hemorrhage or some unknown illness. But years ago I had a similar condition, and jokingly called it the flood of the red sea. I bled for days and days, never knowing how much or for how long… Later when reading of this woman’s issue of blood, although Scripture doesn’t give specifics, I realized her bleeding was probably a female condition known as menorrhagia.)
Again, details are not provided. We don’t know her age. We don’t know if she was married and had children or grandchildren… or if she was single, dependent on her parents, still dreaming of having a family of her own…
We do know she had visited every doctor in the area, and spent – wasted – all her money on useless medical advice. While her condition grew worse.
But when she heard the Healer was coming to her village, she made up her mind. She would find Him, and she would touch something, anything that belonged to Him.
If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be unclean; also everything that she sits on shall be unclean.
Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. And whoever touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. If anything is on her bed or on anything on which she sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.
If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean.
Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. Whoever touches those things shall be unclean; he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. – Leviticus 15:19-27
To be continued…