Normally, the religious authorities in Jesus’ day were among those most hostile to His life and ministry. However, the person whom Jesus meets when He returns to Galilee does not fit this stereotype.
Returning from the country of the Gerasenes, Jesus and His disciples meet Jairus, who was the ruler of a synagogue. Jairus falls at Jesus’ feet, imploring Him to heal his twelve-year old daughter who was dying (Luke 8:40–42a). Jesus does not hesitate making His way to the man’s home.
A crowd, however, begins to surround Jesus, pressing all around Him (v. 42b). Before He arrives at the house, He encounters a woman in dire need (v. 43). For twelve years she has suffered from continual menstruation that rendered her unclean according to the Mosaic law (Lev. 15:19–30). Having futilely spent all of her money on physicians, she is desperate to be healed and ritually pure once again (Luke 8:43). Making her way through the crowd, she touches the fringe of Jesus’ robe and is healed immediately (v. 44).
Given the Messiah’s divinity, it is tempting to believe He exercised His power effortlessly. Yet, as Dr. R.C. Sproul says, Jesus is also human and “in the incarnation, the human nature of Christ is empowered by the Holy Spirit. When Christ exercises this power, there is a draining of it from His own humanity. We cannot think the ministry exercised by our Lord was done without great cost to Him. Jesus would spend time alone with God because He was being emptied constantly” (Matt. 14:22–23). That Jesus would become fatigued by the demands of His ministry is obvious, and His acknowledgment that He felt power leaving Him (Luke 8:46) may point to this fact.
After discovering who touched Him, Jesus praises the woman’s faith. But Jairus’ daughter has now died (vv. 47–49). Still, Jesus calls Jairus to trust in His power over death, for it would have been easy to think Jesus was a mere magician; instead, Jesus insists that Jairus show faith (v. 50). Despite the difficulty he had trusting God in the face of death, Jairus brings Jesus to his home, and the girl is raised to life (vv. 51–56). May we also trust in the Lord to touch us and make us new.
One of the more popular hymns from the past fifty years or so is “He Touched Me,” which celebrates the power of Christ to make us whole. No matter how desperate our situation, Jesus promises to raise all those with faith in Him to life in a new heavens and a new earth. Those who follow Him experience the firstfruits of this complete redemption through spiritual wholeness and physical blessings even now. Trust Jesus today to make all things new for you.