“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.” Luke 8.49-55
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like my plans to be interrupted. I set a schedule, put it on my calendar, and then proceed about my day. When I run late in a meeting or have unexpected work that comes up, it throws me off. I felt this week like I was always working from behind. But what if we trusted God with our schedules? Like this example from Scripture of the “miracle on the way to the miracle.”
Jesus was on his way, at least initially, to heal the twelve year old girl who was the daughter of the synagogue leader. But as you know, a lady who had been bleeding and sick for twelve years, seeks healing power from Jesus by simply touching his robe. This faith was so impressive to Jesus that he delays his visit to heal the girl in order to converse with the woman.
When Jesus resumes his initial errand word comes that the girl has already died. This also sounds similar to the story of Lazarus and Mary and Martha. Jesus goes anyway telling the father, “Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed.” Can you imagine how these words would be received in the midst of grief if your child had died? Such overwhelming loss mixed with hope. You want to believe Jesus but people don’t just rise up from deathbeds.
Jesus however reaches the house, tells the people to “stop wailing” for “she is not dead but asleep.” And then we read what is perhaps the most surprising line in this passage — “They laughed at him, knowing she was dead.” Could this be our typical response to God’s miraculous work around us? We doubt, we deny, we laugh? And we wonder why we don’t see more miracles!
Yet Jesus takes the hand of the girl and says, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned and she became well again and stood up. They gave her something to eat, her parents were “astonished” and Jesus told them not to tell anyone what happened. (Yeah, right Jesus, like that was every going to happen!)
The truth is, Jesus gives new life. He can do the impossible and the improbable. He moves mountains, heals the sick, raises the dead. Jesus is God and he can act in amazing and astounding ways. The lack of faith of people do not prevent God from moving — he can and does move regardless. In the instance of the woman who was bleeding, her faith stirred the power of God to come upon her and make her whole. But in the case of the little girl, Jesus revealed the power of God and perhaps her father when Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” (I wonder how many people witnessed the miracle of the woman and how then this effected the faith required to heal the girl.)
My point is this — Jesus heals, brings new life and gives us faith to seek God in every circumstance. Won’t you allow him to work a miracle in you? Why not turn to him, shun fear, and place your hope in the faith of the one who raises people from the dead? By his grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for saving me. I praise you Lord for your love and for the deliverance of those we read about in the Gospels. But your works of grace are not finished. You live among us. You sit on your throne in heaven but your Holy Spirit are alive and well. Come now, Spirit of the Living God, help me have faith to see you work miracles today. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen.