What Kind of Daddy Do You Have?
By Leslie Vernick
The Bible tells us a story about a woman who had an issue of blood for 12 years. You know her; she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, hoping to be healed. But let’s look more closely at her story to understand how deeper healing takes place. (Read Mark 5 and Luke 8 for the story.)
This woman was an outcast. She was labeled unclean. She was socially unacceptable, undesirable, and dirty. Jewish law mandated that if someone touched an unclean person, they would need to go through the Jewish purification ritual in order to regain their rights to enter the temple. She was an untouchable and people kept their distance.
This poor woman spent all her resources to find help, but her problem only got worse. She heard Jesus coming and thought to herself, “if only I can touch his cloak, I will be healed.” ─ and to her surprise ─ she was.
She sensed the shift in her body. Immediately she tried to escape the crowd unnoticed. Remember, she touched Jesus and according to Jewish law, that made him unclean. How embarrassed and scared she must have felt when Jesus turned and asked, “Who touched me?” If she admitted what she’d done, then everyone would know what she had done.
Let’s look at the larger story. When this woman touched Jesus, Jesus was already on a mission. He was heading to Jairus’ house because his young daughter lay dying. Jairus was a Jewish leader, a ruler of the synagogue. Yet Jairus was a daddy before he was a religious leader and so in spite of his skepticism about Jesus’s claims, he fell at Jesus’ feet begging him to heal his daughter.
It was on the way to Jairus’ home with the crowd pressing in that Jesus stopped and asked who touched him? I wonder in that moment what Jairus thought and felt? Did he feel impatient, anxious for Jesus to hurry up and get to his house? His daddy’s heart wanted his daughter healed. I wonder if he also felt a bit angry at this woman for distracting Jesus and taking valuable time away from a more pressing need. I suspect he might have even felt angry at Jesus for not prioritizing his daughter’s life threatening illness over this woman’s chronic bleeding problem.
Jairus was a person of influence and importance. He was a leader: he spoke and people listened. He risked everything to beg for Jesus’ help and now Jesus was wasting time asking around who touched him while his daughter lay dying.
Have you ever felt like Jairus? Maybe you told yourself that God wasn’t moving fast enough for your emergency? Feeling angry and impatient that other people’s prayers are getting answered while you are still waiting?
Jairus was a daddy and he wanted to see his daughter healed. But one of the lessons of this story is that this unnamed woman had a daddy too. And her daddy knew she had no one who begged for her healing.
Jesus stopped and called her forth not to shame her but because he wanted her to know something very important. Listen to his words he spoke. He said, “Daughter, Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Jesus wanted her to know that her daddy (the Heavenly Father) saw her suffering and told Jesus to help her too.
Jesus wanted her to know that she mattered. Her culture rejected her, but God did not. She was judged to be unclean, but Jesus declared her whole. He wanted her to know that she was a person of value and worth. Even in a pressured moment, Jesus took the time to have a conversation with a nameless women who felt unclean, unloved and unimportant. He wanted her to know who she was. She was a daughter of a daddy who cared.
How about you? Maybe your mother abused you. Your husband rejects you. People don’t understand you. You feel like an unclean women, damaged goods. I have good news for you. Jesus tells you, Daughter, go in peace and be freed from your suffering. God wants to help you. He wants you to know that you matter. You are important to him. He sees you and knows you and he is never too busy with more important people to meet your very personal need. You are not nameless, or worthless, or hopeless. You have a Daddy, he’s called Abba (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).
Believing that is the beginning of your healing.
As for Jairus, Jesus didn’t forget about his concern although Jarius probably felt that way when he got word that his daughter died. But Jesus turned to him and said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
What did it take for Jairus to walk those last miles home, heavy with sorrow still clinging to faith? Perhaps that’s where you are right now. You feel hopeless or angry or disappointed. But Jairus trusted what Jesus said to him and because he did, he saw a miracle. Jesus took Jairus’ precious daughter’s hand and said, “Honey, wake up.”
What is Jesus saying to you right now, even if the midst of sorrow, heartache, broken dreams and shattered promises? Can you trust what he is saying and continue to walk in faith? That is healing. He says to you right now, “Honey, wake up”. Your Daddy in Heaven is there for you.