What are the similarities and differences between Jairus’ daughter and the bleeding woman?
Similarity: Both called daughter. We covered this already.
Similar time frame, but different life paths: One suffered as a nobody, quietly, anonymously for 12 years, then was healed. Another lived 12 years as a daughter of a somebody, she had a future full of opportunities and potential, but quite suddenly, she died.
Same 12 year period. 2 very different life paths.
Think back on your life. Was it smooth sailing like Jairus’ daughter for most of your life with a few bumps in the road? You had a bright future ahead of you. Or maybe you were more like the bleeding woman — you had a tough life, unfortunate circumstances, you suffered.
Whatever the case, you ended up here, at Caltech.
What do we learn from this account? No matter what you achieve in this life or fail to achieve, whether the world calls you a somebody or nobody knows your name, our lives are going to come to an end.
Like kids playing at the park during recess. Some play doctor, some play house, some play sports. We play our games, we live our lives. But the teacher blows the whistle and it’s all over.
The whistle will blow for our loved ones and it’s game over. It’s time to put all the pieces away, back in the box. And the whistle will blow in our lives and we’ll be face to face with God.
We’re all young so the closest experience we have to death is probably the death of a loved one. Have you lost anyone close to you? How did you feel?
Best advice the world can offer — you got to move on. Let time heal. And time does heal, to an extent. Time allows a scab to form over the wound so that it is not so fresh and raw.
But we know that although there a scab to cover the wound, the wound never really goes away. The pain is still there, hiding just below the surface, and without a moment’s notice, something triggers the memory, the scab is torn off and all the pain comes rushing back.
Testimony: Memorial Service 2 weeks ago.
It’s not often that we are faced with life and death and questions like if God is good, how could this tragedy happen? Times like this really test what you are made of. As a Christian, every believer should be able to walk into a situation like this and say, I have an answer, Jesus is the answer. He is the only answer. And we should be able to say it with confidence.
And I know in my mind, Jesus is the answer, but I had to ask myself, how confident am I to say this? Initially, I was not confident when I was first thrust into this situation. That was my prayer, Lord, I am not ready, what do I say? But as I prayed and as I was forced to look to Jesus, my confidence in him grew.
And the best way I can describe this transformation is that most days, my life feels like I am in a cafe in the middle of Tokyo. Tokyo has no notion of non-smoking. It’s like back in the day on flights (before your time), they used to have a smoking section at the back of the plane. That’s how the whole country is.
So you walk into a cafe and it’s hard to see because there is smoke everywhere. And esp. on rainy days, more people are indoors so the smoke is extra thick. But when the rain stops and you walk outside, the air is so clean, I can breathe, I can see clearly, I feel like I am living again.
By the end of my week up north, I felt like I had walked out of a smoky cafe into the fresh outdoors. I felt really alive, what I was going through felt really real. I had a sharp focus, I could see clearly. And in contrast, much of my life from day to day felt smoky, hazy, fuzzy. I knew Jesus was the only answer to all that we face in life, and how much more, when we are faced with our frailty and death.
When I got to northern Cal, I was caught off-guard, I wasn’t ready, I had to do my own soul searching to see if Jesus was the answer. I was still coming out of the haze myself. By the end of the week, I was breathing in the fresh air, things were crystal clear, Jesus was at the forefront, all of the other things in life faded to the background. There was a clarity of thought, a single-mindedness that I hadn’t felt in a while. And Jesus’ love for me which often feels abstract was almost tangible.
This transformation happened because Jesus came to me, he came to us. He came to a bunch of wrecked people. This is what Jesus does. He comes to people who have been wrecked. And nothing in life wrecks us more than the passing away of a loved one.
Jairus is wrecked. Others who are gathered in his house are wrecked. And Jesus arrives onto the scene and everyone is wailing and crying and he says, why all the commotion?
What do you mean, why all the commotion? That’s an insensitive thing to say. Jairus’ daughter, whom we love, just passed away if you haven’t noticed. What else can you expect?
In the face of death, there is only wailing, and crying, and unanswerable questions. How could this tragedy happen? How could a loving God allow Jairus’ daughter to pass away? She was so young. How could this young life be snuffed out before her time?
And I only have one answer to this barrage of questions. Jesus. He says a few words and the daughter rises from the dead.
The same thing happened to us when we become a Christian. Jesus says a few words and we rise from spiritual death to spiritual life when we confess him as our personal Savior and Lord.
But there is a deeper message here. Jesus only raised 3 people from the dead during his ministry. Jairus’ daughter, a widow’s son, and Lazarus. This little girl was raised physically, meaning she will die again maybe in a year, maybe in a decade, or in a few decades.
It was a demonstration of Jesus’ power over death and a foreshadowing of his own death and resurrection. And Jesus paved the way for all of us to one day experience our own resurrection. And when we are resurrected after we pass away from this earth, we will rise never to die again.
More to the point, Jairus’ daughter being raised from the dead serves as a reminder that death is not the way it was supposed to end. We were created by God to enjoy him and one another forever. So that is why when someone close to us passes away, it is such a jarring experience, it catches us off guard, we get angry, we are even offended that these kinds of things happen.
But these things do happen in a broken, fallen world. But the resurrection of Jesus proves that love was not meant to end in the grave. Love is forever. And when God noticed each of us from a crowd of people and he called us Daughter and Son, he began a relationship with us that would extend beyond this life for eternity.
Jesus is our answer. He is our answer during those moments when we experience our frailty and our mortality. We’re not a nobody to him, not just a number, he calls us each by name and he beckons us home to be with him forever.