DEFENDER OF THE WEAK
Lord, thank You for including me in the family.
Read LUKE 8:40–56
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[a] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
a Luke 8:43 Many manuscripts years, and she had spent all she had on doctors
New International Version (NIV)
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“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
The poor woman in today’s reading has been suffering for twelve years probably from some kind of menstrual bleeding problem. Not only has this caused her physical issues like anemia and exhaustion, but it has terrible spiritual and social consequences for her too. Bleeding makes her unclean according to Levitical regulations (Lev. 15:19–27), and anyone who touches her or anything she has been in contact with is considered unclean also and must perform certain rites to cleanse themselves. Imagine the social stigma! To reach Christ, she has to break the rules and sneak through the crowd anonymously (John Nolland, Luke 1:1—9:20, 419).
Jairus faces no such problems. As leader of the synagogue he is well-respected. He can go up to Jesus and get a request heard by falling at his feet and begging him to heal his daughter. In contrast, this nameless woman can approach Jesus only furtively from behind and sneak a quick touch of the back of his clothes. Jairus’s daughter has a father to ﬁght in her corner; this poor woman is alone. How moving, then, are Christ’s words to her: he calls her “daughter.” An outcast in her community though she may be, Christ considers her as important as Jairus’s little girl: this woman is his daughter, and so he would heal her too.
Do you ever feel at a disadvantage? Does it seem as if others have more going for them: better education, wealthier backgrounds, better health, more conﬁdence, and more family and friends to support them? Are you letting such things hold you back or cause you to be jealous of others? What matters is not your status before man but your status before God. Do you need to see yourself afresh through God’s eyes as his much-loved child?
Who are the equivalents of the woman with a hemorrhage today? Who are the vulnerable and rejected in our society who have no one to stand up for them?
Lord, Your compassion truly amazes us. Deal with us today in the same compassion that You displayed when You walked the earth as a man.