Two Daughters of Israel

They lived in the same town, but were at opposite ends of the social spectrum. One had been hidden from the normal activities of social life because of a medical condition. The other had grown with the popularity of a young girl whose father was a ruler in the synagogue. One had spent the last twelve years desperately looking for a cure for her illness. The other was only twelve years old, and near death. Because of her illness one had been separated from friends. The other had many friends who were now gathering at her home in silent grief as she lay dying on her bed. Both were daughters of Israel, and both, within moments of each other, would experience the rewards of faith in the Messiah.

Yeshua of Nazareth had returned to the town following a brief visit on the other side of Lake Kinneret. News of His arrival in town brought crowds, as many anticipated His return.

"So it was, when Yeshua (Jesus) returned, that the multitude welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And behold, there came a certain man named, Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Yeshua's feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying." (Luke 8:40-42)

Jairus was desperate. His only daughter was dying! She was twelve years of age and his heart ached for her healing. There was not enough time for a physician's treatment, as death was rapidly approaching. He had heard reports of Yeshua's power over demons; how he had healed the sick and lame, and how He had made the blind to see. Indeed, reports of miracles that Yeshua had performed in the lives of many in the region were well known. Some spoke of Yeshua as the Promised One, the Messiah. If anyone could heal Jairus' daughter, then surely Yeshua could. As soon as Jairus had heard of Yeshua's return, he quickly went to Him, fell down at His feet and pleaded with Him to come home with him. Yeshua agreed and began walking with Jairus to his home.

However, progress was slow as the multitude pressed in around them. One wonders what Jairus might have been thinking, knowing that his daughter's life was slipping away with every passing moment. One can sympathize with thoughts of anger toward the crowd in view of the need to get home as quickly as possible. One could even sympathize with despondent thoughts against Yeshua's popularity. Why couldn't the crowd simply disperse, or make way so as not to impede their progress! It was important for his daughter's survival – it was a matter of life and death!

Then a woman came pressing through the crowd. Jairus didn't see her. If he had he would have noticed the determination in her eyes – she was focused on Yeshua's every movement. The crowd did not notice her, her pale face covered, as one who had become accustomed to hiding years of shame.

Indeed, she had been afflicted by a continual flow of blood for the past twelve years. She had spent her livelihood on physicians and medicines without success. She was desperate – this could be her last chance, her only chance. She had heard reports of others who had been healed by Yeshua. She had been to many professed healers only to be afflicted with more pain and humiliation. But Yeshua was different, she was told, or so she hoped. Could He be the Messiah – her heart pounded, she longed with every ounce of her being – yes, let it be so!

Using the cover of the crowd she moved closer to Yeshua. Not wanting to see His face lest she be exposed and ashamed, she came out of the crowd, behind Yeshua, and stretched out her hand to touch Him.

She would not touch His head, for He was a man of God. She would not touch His shoulder, lest she become a burden. She would not touch His foot lest she impede Him from His mission. She would not even touch His garment. But if she could just touch the hem of His garment. And she " . . . came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped." (Luke 8:44)

Twelve years of emotional and physical pain and suffering – gone – healed in a moment! Twelve long, heart searching and grief stricken years. She was healed. Praise God!

"And Yeshua said, 'Who touched me?' When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, "Master, the multitudes throng you and press you, and you say, 'Who touched me?' But Yeshua said, 'Somebody touched me, for I perceived power going out from me.'" (Luke 8:45-46)

One can appreciate the amazement and wonder the woman would have felt as she began to realize she was healed. Immediately she felt the twelve year blood flow stop. It wasn't a gradual process over an extended period of time. All glory to God – could it be true! Yes, yes, it was true! She was healed! For twelve years she had hidden in society, living as an outcast because of her illness. Twelve years of shame and anxiety, ridicule and rejection had hounded her into an existence of secrecy and timidity.

"Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared to him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched him and how she was healed immediately." (Luke 8:47)

No longer would she live in shame because of her illness. No longer would she be ostracized because of her uncleanness. Now she was a complete woman! From now on she would live as one who had come back from the dead. The power of God had brought her back into the living. Yeshua was the only one who could heal her. All other attempts by every other physician and healer had failed, and now after twelve long years, she was a new woman, able to live a new life – a life to the full.

"And he said to her, 'Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.'" (Luke 8:48)

In spite of her illness and the years of suffering, she had faith – faith in God, the God of Israel. He had promised through the Prophets and the Fathers that He would send His Messiah, the Hope of Israel. He would save His people, Israel. Her faith had kept her going – looking for answers, searching for healing until she placed her faith in Yeshua. Thus her faith in the God of Israel was vindicated and her experience of deliverance realized. As gold in the furnace, her faith endured the years of suffering and ridicule, and eventually proved its worth. Rather than allow her circumstances to sow bitterness and unbelief, her faith blossomed with good fruit.

In the meantime, Jairus was watching and waiting – his twelve year old daughter was dying! Then " . . . someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, 'Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.'" (Luke 8:49)

His worst fears were realized. Had they not been impeded by the crowd. Perhaps, Yeshua would have arrived at his house in time to heal his daughter. Had this woman not touched Yeshua then, perhaps, they would have arrived in time. But now the news of his daughter's death overwhelmed his heart. Bitterness and unbelief tormented his thoughts, like those who attack the weak and vulnerable.

"But when Yeshua heard it, he answered him, saying, 'Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well." (v:50)

Jairus must believe. Faith is the driving force in life. Yeshua had spoken of the woman's faith, which had undoubtedly proven itself, in spite of the years of adversity. Likewise, Jairus' faith was being tested, was it a living faith.

Jairus and Yeshua continued to the house where a crowd of mourners had begun to gather and weep loudly. This was a tragic scene. A young girl, not yet thirteen, dead for no reason other than her life stopped. Then Yeshua turned to the mourners and said, "Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping. But they laughed at him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. But he put them all out, took her by the hand and called, saying, 'Little girl, arise.' Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And he commanded that she be given something to eat." (Luke 8:52-55)

Faith searched among the mourners and those who gathered looking for open hearts to believe and found Jairus and his wife. Instead of mourning and having the mantle of heaviness, there was a willingness to believe in Yeshua. Faith in Him brought their daughter back, and she was raised to life. Faith in Yeshua brought these well-respected Jewish parents, joy and gladness, laughter and praise. Their faith in the God of Israel, and the Messiah, was alive and was not diminished because of their circumstances. They could have seen the lifeless body of their daughter and joined those who mocked Yeshua, instead they believed in Him. Their faith in Yeshua proved to be more precious than gold.

Two daughters of Israel were healed on the same day. The God of Israel was glorified, and faith in His Messiah was vindicated. Belief in the God of Israel and that He would send His Anointed One is good, but it must be living – it must respond. They saw and they believed that Yeshua was the One whom the Eternal sent. The Eternal did not let them down. Their faith in Yeshua was vindicated.

"All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal him." (Matthew 11:27)

Though the two daughters of Israel were at opposite ends of the social spectrum, Yeshua healed them both because He came to heal the sick and to preach great news of hope to those who longed for the Kingdom. He came searching for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And He continues to search today.