Why does God so often delay in answering our prayers? In Luke 8 Jesus is walking with the synagogue ruler, Jairus, on his way to heal his dying daughter. But on the way, a woman delays Jesus by touching his cloak for healing. The woman had been suffering twelve years from severe bleeding.
The bleeding woman was unclean, and under Levitical law she was forbidden to enter the temple or synagogue. For 12 years she was banned from God’s people, from worship, and from mercy. As ruler of the synagogue, it was Jairus’ responsibility to enforce this restriction.
Jesus stops and asks who touched him. A woman comes forward and receives more than her healing; she receives mercy. But Jairus receives a message that his daughter is dead. The stage is now set: 12 years of isolation and 12 years of tension between Jairus and the woman. And now she is the reason for his daughter’s death! She delayed the Master and prevented Him from reaching her in time. Jairus had restricted the woman for twelve years. Now she would restrict him from receiving the mercy and healing that he so desperately needed for his daughter.
Seeing that Jairus is devastated by the news of his daughter’s death, Jesus extends mercy to Jairus and raises her from the dead. She who was dead and unclean is now made clean and alive. Life at home is good, but now he has to go back to work. His first assignment? To welcome a restricted woman back who had been banned for 12 years. Can you picture this event? Jairus now has a new perspective on mercy and restoration.
Jesus’ double miracle healed a twelve-year-old girl and a woman who was sick for twelve years. He also healed the hearts of hardened men to see through the eyes of compassion. Delays may devastate, but God’s purpose is to deliver us.
(The above moment was a drama scene acted out during the Lamplighter Guild, directed by Cathy Sara from London. It was a moment we will never forget!)
Important Resources for Today:
Glaucia, the Greek Slave: This story masterfully depicts the intricacies of a momentous time in human history. Ancient Rome and Greece are the backdrop for this dramatic account of the early Christians, whose belief in the one true God stands in stark contrast to the polytheistic world in which they live. Great faith, perseverance, and unyielding courage are paramount as they live according to what they know to be right and true.