Jesus then crossed to the other side of the lake, and while he was still on the shore, a large crowd gathered around him. Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came up and, seeing Jesus, threw himself at his feet, and begged him earnestly,
My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may get well and live.
Jesus went with him, and many people followed, pressing around him. Among the crowd was a woman, who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a lot at the hands of many doctors, and had spent everything she had, but instead of getting better, she was worse. Because she had heard about Jesus, this woman came up behind him and touched his cloak, thinking,
If I just touch his clothing, I shall get well.” Her flow of blood dried up at once, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her complaint.
But Jesus was conscious that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd, and asked,
Who touched my clothes?
His disciples answered,
You see how the people are crowding around you. Why do you ask who touched you?
But he kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, aware of what had happened, came forward trembling and afraid. She knelt before him, and told him the whole truth.
Then Jesus said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be free of this illness.”
While Jesus was still speaking, some people arrived from the official’s house to inform him,
Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Master any further?
But Jesus ignored what they said, and told the official,
Do not fear, just believe.
And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house, Jesus saw a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. Jesus entered, and said to them,
“Why all this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead, but asleep.”
They laughed at him. So Jesus sent them outside, and went with the child’s father and mother and his companions into the room, where the child lay. Taking her by the hand, he said to her,
Little girl, get up!
The girl got up at once and began to walk around. (She was twelve years old.) The parents were amazed, greatly amazed. Jesus strictly ordered them not to let anyone know about it; and he told them to give her something to eat.
Desperation is the emotional state where a person feels hopeless and left without satisfactory options over one’s situation. Actions made in desperation may be impulsive, inappropriate or irrational than those made in more normal situations. The two gospel stories of healing woven into a single story tell us of two desperate persons: a woman who had been afflicted with a chronic incurable disease and a father whose daughter was dying. We are presented with several contrasts in their desperate situations. These contrasts are between a poor, powerless woman and a rich, powerful man, both of whom approach Jesus in their need. The woman is healed without asking for it, while the powerful leader begs for the healing of his dying daughter. We see a twelve-year-old chronic illness in a grown woman and a twelve-year-old girl with a deathly condition. We also see an alive but sick woman who gets healed upon touching Jesus and a dead girl who is raised to life with Jesus’ touch. These two different stories carry the same core message: Jesus transforms death to life. He asks us to choose life and not death, inviting us to come to him in our moments of desperation.
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