Jesus is in the business of restoration. It’s who He is. He is the CEO of restoration. He has restored. He is restoring now. And he will continue to restore for as long as it takes until His global restoration plan is complete! All things will be new again.
Today I wanted to share one of my favorite stories of Jesus restoring two different women in two very different ways, yet both resulting in finding their place in the family of God.
Read Luke 8:40-56.
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. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
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. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
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.”
Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
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. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
This story is packed with counter cultural acts made my Jesus. Here we see a synagogue leader, Jairus, with a family emergency. Culturally, at the time this story was unfolding, synagogue leaders were held in high esteem, much like our Church Pastors and leaders are to us today. We respect them and care deeply for them and their families.
Jairus was correct in asking Jesus to go to his sick and dying daughter. He had great faith and he believed Jesus could heal and restore his daughter's health.
As Jesus sets out towards Jairus’ house, something unexpected happened, causing Jesus to stop on His way to an emergency. He felt healing power go from Him and He asked an intriguing question to a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of people surrounding Him. It’s intriguing because with a crowd pressing in on Jesus, it would not be surprising if a number of people touched Him along the way. So why does He stop for this one?
And when we learn who He stops for, it’s even more counter-cultural. He stops for a woman who had been subjected to 12 years of bleeding. Culturally, during this day, women were second class citizens behind men, especially elite men such as synagogue leaders. Why would Jesus stop helping a prominent leader in the community for a woman, a bleeding woman at that. Also during that day, if a woman bled, it meant she was unclean and therefore was required to stay outside the walls of the city until the bleeding stopped. She was an outcast of society.
This woman had a condition that caused her to bleed for 12 years! She was isolated and poor because she had spent all she had in search for a cure.
She too had incredible faith to believe her cure was found in the touch of Jesus. And she too was right. The moment she touched even the hem of the Jesus` clothing, her body was healed and the bleeding ceased.
But we know Jesus isn’t only in the business of healing us physically. He cares about all of us and is in active pursuit of those desiring a holistic healing of the mind and heart and soul. He died for all of us.
By this time Jairus must have been sweating bullets. He must have known time with his daughter was fading fast. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long Jesus spent listening to bleeding woman’s story. All we know is He took the time to stop, turn, listen and the result of that relational encounter not only healed her physical ailments, in that moment Jesus restored Her into her God-given place as His Daughter in His family. She was no longer an outcast; she was now a daughter in the Kingdom of God.
And, as the crowd likely suspected by this unusual behavior of Jesus, while He took the time to see the culturally shunned woman and heal her, restoring her, Jairus gets word his daughter has died. In that moment he must have been devastated.
As if Jesus had accomplished enough crazy on this day, He says to Jairus, “she will be healed.”
He finally makes His way to Jairus’ home and commands his daughter to get up. Her life restored, she stood up again, living and breathing.