by Tony Nester

Do Not Fear But Believe
Tony Nester
Luke 8:41-42, 49-56

I remember reading about Jairus' plea for Jesus to heal his twelve year old
daughter when our daughter, Charissa, was also twelve years old. That gave me
some inkling of what Jairus was feeling when he went in desperation to find
Jesus to save his little girl from death.

Luke identifies Jairus as one of the Jewish authorities, a leader of a
synagogue. Synagogue leaders, sometimes called rulers, were in charge of how a
synagogue managed and conducted its worship. That's important to know because
by this time in his ministry Jesus has said and done things which the Jewish
religious leaders have opposed.

Here's one example. In one synagogue Jesus healed a man whose hand was
paralyzed. Jesus did it even though it was the Sabbath. Healing was considered
a form of work which was prohibited on the Sabbath by the Ten Commandments.

Here is the reaction of the Jewish authorities according to Luke:

(Luke 6:11 NRSV) "But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another
what they might do to Jesus."

When Jairus went to Jesus for help it wasn't easy for him to do so because he
belonged to a group that objected to Jesus' ministry. And yet he was desperate
to do anything that might save his daughter. Luke tells us that Jairus puts his
theology aside, dispenses with decorum and throws himself down at the feet of
Jesus. He begs Jesus to go and see his little girl.

Then comes the terrible news. A messenger arrives from Jairus' home and
delivers the worst possible news: "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the
teacher any longer."

Whoever this messenger was he was telling Jairus that it no longer made any
sense to involve Jesus in the matter. Death had snatched his daughter away and
that was that.

Christians can make the mistake of glossing over other people's pain in ways
that are very unlike the compassion of Christ. ...

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