Who deserves mercy? Who is worthy of a 2nd chance? It is difficult for me to read the account of Ja'irus who came to Y'shua begging for another chance for his daughter, and the hopeless, unnamed woman and not wonder, who has more value or is more worthy of life?
In America we are at times locked in a battle about quality of life. Medical miracles are expensive. Actually, simple medical care is expensive. The woman of Luke 8:40-56 has become impoverished in her pursuit of health. For 12 years she could not be cured by anyone (vs 43). Her community would consider her legally unclean for all of that time. Anyone that she touched, or who dared to touch her, would become unclean for some 24 hours. The times that she lived in had no feminine products to make her life a little cleaner. The blood simply continued to flow from her for all those years. Who would show such an outcast a kind face? Who did her shopping, how did she eat or earn any kind of living? The Scripture gives no hint. The only clue that Luke gives us about her, outside of her malady is that she is a woman of faith. It brings tears to my eyes. Somehow Elohim brought her to a place in life where she was not bitter in her isolation and weakness. Like Elijah alone at the brook, I am sure God provided for this daughter of Israel. But even the great Elijah enjoyed fellowship.
On the day Y'shua returned from his mission to the demonic across the lake, he was welcomed by the crowd. With in the group was Ja'irus, a father figure in the Synagogue, but more importantly, the father of an only child, another daughter of Israel. But this daughter was only 12 years old and dying. Her father was not ready to give her up to death. In humility, he comes to Messiah, begging for the help he has heard Y'shua is able to give.
All that the last 12 years of their lives have been leading up to come together, right on the street of that town in Y'shua. A father comes with humility, pleading for the life of his only child. A woman comes quietly from behind with hope that has led her by faith. If she touches Y'shua, He will then become unclean and unable to help the little girl. But if she does not take this chance it may not come to her again. Who is more worthy? The much loved child who could have her whole life ahead of her or a woman who has made no apparent contribution to the community? How many of us would choose the child? Would we turn on the woman of faith for the life of the child?
I am sorry to confess that I would probably choose the little girl. I tend to see irritation in Y'shua's words, "who touched me?" Even though I know how the story ends, with the voice of compassion and love, I still hear irritation. I honestly doubt there was even a hint of ire in his voice. He knew that the woman needed to complete her journey of faith.
Man believes with his heart and so is justified and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The Scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." Romans 10:10-11
This woman needed to know right from the loving words of her Messiah that she must not feel shame. He healed her body and her heart and made her whole in the presence of the community. Her seemingly fearful confession brought words of compassion from Messiah. I wonder how many times she had received words of scorn from the crowd before this day? "Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace."
Short Study on "the fringe of his garment" http://musicofrain.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/the-fringe-of-his-garment/
The high point of her life suddenly became the moment of agony for Ja'irus. His daughter died. Hope was gone. Tears would be his food for as far as he could see into the future. Before Ja'irus is able to respond to the news of his only child's death, the voice of Y'shua penetrates his ears and must shine bright in his thoughts, "Do not fear, only believe...."
Do not fear, only believe and she will be well. Could he understand what Y'shua said? Could he make sense of the words. Did he, like Martha in John 11, think that perhaps Y'shua meant she would be well in the afterlife? I imagine that this father who had just been touched by the sting of death was propelled toward his daughter by the Spirit of God to witness an event more amazing then even her birth. With his wife, he witnessed her resurrection.
"And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again on the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I AM the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives, and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"