Continuing from Mark 5, I’d like you to put yourself in Jairus’ shoes – what is your reaction when you hear that your daughter is dying? Have you had this type of experience before?
This daughter of this important synagogue ruler is dying. When you hear those words — my little girl is dying — nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter how famous you are, what school you went to, how much money you make. All of that goes out the window in the face of that statement — someone close to you who is dying. This should give us a clue about what really matters in life.
When Jeremiah was less than 2 years old, back in Sept 2007, he was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. It’s a rare disease that if untreated within the first 10 days, it can cause permanent heart damage. And it’s not that easy to detect because it looks like a bunch of other common sicknesses that result in a rash and redness in the eyes. Kids at that age get sick so often because they are constantly putting things in their mouth. This sickness could have been easily missed, but God protected our family and we started treatment in time.
And I remember Jeremiah having to be hooked up to IV overnight and Jeremiah was not comfortable and we had to hold him 16 hours straight. And in those moments when your loved ones are sick, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter that I was a poor seminary student with 2 young kids and finances were tight. Your job, your future, how important or successful you are, in the moment when your child is sick, everything fades into the background. All that remains are the people you love, and our prayers that they would get well. It’s a rare moment of crystal clarity — the important things come into sharp focus and everything else goes away.
Jesus hears this news of a dying young girl and he has compassion so he agrees to go with Jairus to see his daughter. But that’s not the only thing going on here.
24So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31″You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.
There’s a big crowd around Jesus and they are all moving in the same direction. Toward Jairus’ house. It’s an important procession with Jesus and Jairus leading the way. And it’s an emergency so if I were Jairus, I would be like, hey, get out of my way, and I’d be pulling Jesus by the arm so that he would walk faster because every second counts.
But all of a sudden Jesus stops. And he says, who touched me? It’s a crowd. How would anyone know who touched Jesus? But from the story, we know that it was the anonymous touch of a nameless face in the crowd.
The nameless person who touched Jesus did not want to come forward so Jesus kept looking around to see who had touched him. Does Jesus not know who touched him? Of course, he knew who touched him. But Jesus was intentionally creating a scene because he was waiting for that anonymous person to come forward. v33 – the person does come forward. It’s a woman. Women were already nobodies in that society. On top of that, she was a bleeding woman, which meant she was shunned even among the women because coming into contact with blood made you ceremonially unclean.
And I can imagine what Jairus must be thinking during this delay. Even 1 minute of delay in a time of crisis can feel like an eternity. He’s a synagogue ruler and he knows about the importance of being pure and staying away from things that make one impure. How dare this dirty, filthy nobody stop Jesus from going to my house to save my dear daughter. Every second is precious and I can’t believe this is happening. He must be so angry, he’s probably cursing under his breath. Women should know better than to get in the way of men. Does she know who I am? She shouldn’t be anywhere near people, and certainly not in the midst of a crowd of people heading to a synagogue ruler’s house.
It’s the touch of a nobody, but Jesus stopped and he waited for this woman to come forward and it says, she fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.
Jairus was a somebody and his daughter was the person everyone in this crowd wanted Jesus to heal. She was the daughter of an important synagogue ruler so surely Jesus would take time out of his busy preaching schedule to drop by and heal her. That’s how somebodies think. I am worth your time, Jesus. But Jesus demonstrates that he doesn’t view people the way the world does.
We notice the celebrities and athletes and important movers and shakers in the business world. The charismatic leaders who are eloquent and possess influence over others. People with money and fame and success. Jesus is not blind. He notices these kinds of people, too, because wherever they go, there is such a buzz and paparazzi and flashes going off and autographs being signed, people recognizing and respecting them.
Then, there are the crowds, and to us, they are just a sea of nameless faces. Like LA traffic, everyone is just an obstacle in my way as I drive to work and they are making me late. Like the bleeding woman. Just an obstacle who is delaying the important visit of Jesus for my dying daughter.
And we walk down the street and pass by countless, nameless people, the sick, the homeless, the forgotten, because they are all part of a nameless crowd, just an obstacle to pass by because we have important things to do and important people to meet.
And we go through life with our blinders on, if you are from a different race, or you are from a different socio-economic class or you are from a different culture, I don’t see you because you are not part of my inner circle. And if you are not part of my inner circle, then you are a nobody to me. I have nothing to do with you.
And the amazing thing is that while no one else sees this anonymous woman in the crowd, Jesus sees her and stops the procession and calls out to this bleeding outcast, “Daughter.”
34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
This must have been so shocking to all who heard it. To everyone in this story, she is an obstacle, not even a nobody, but someone who needs to be actively avoided due to her condition. Not simply ignored, but shunned and despised. And because she is used to being away from the gaze of others, the last thing she wants is to be singled out from the crowd. She didn’t want to be the sole reason for this procession stopping. So her hope is, if I just hide out in this crowd and reach out and touch the edge of Jesus’ cloak, maybe I can be healed and there will be no fuss, no stopping of the procession and I can return home quietly.
But I think Jesus wanted to create a big scene because he wanted every single person there to know, this bleeding woman may be a nobody in your eyes, but when I see her, I see my daughter. There is no such thing as a nobody in the eyes of God. We are all his precious children, every single one of us.
This is one of my testimony. I was a college freshman at UC Berkeley and I was literally a nameless face in a sea of 30,000 students. I came from the East Coast so I didn’t know a single person. I was just a number and to this day, I remember my student ID number — 11379782.
And the first day when I got to Berkeley, I remember taking that lonely 25 min walk from my dorm to the campus and I didn’t know what to do or where to go. And I stumbled upon this pizza place called Blondies and I sat there, looking outside wondering what the next 4 years would be like.
And out of that crowd of 30,000, where I was just a nameless face in the crowd, a nobody, Jesus came and found me and called me his son about a year later.
There is no such thing as a nobody in the eyes of God.