Monday, July 23, 2018

The Touch of the Master

"But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” (Luke 8:54).

As Jesus was speaking to the woman who had been healed, messengers came from Jairus’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher any more” (v. 49). Surely this message changed the spirit of the crowd. Just as they began to rejoice over the woman’s healing, this horrible news arrived. Now it was too late. Jesus, however, told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed” (v. 50).

When they arrived at Jairus’s house, Jesus did not let the crowd go in. The people who were already in the house were wailing and mourning. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep” (v. 52). We are not to understand from this that somehow Jesus noticed that the girl was not really dead but only asleep. Nor should we pour into this text the theological idea that believers don’t really die but only “fall asleep in the Lord.” Rather, she really was dead, but Jesus was going to resuscitate her.

The mourners laughed at Him, knowing that she was dead. This was scornful laughter. They could not stand to hear what Jesus was saying, because it sounded like a sick joke. Jesus, however, took her by the hand. By touching her, Jesus went against the letter of the law, which stated that contact with a corpse caused ceremonial uncleanness (Numbers 19). Jesus reached out and touched her anyway. We read that instantly “her spirit returned, and at once she stood up” (v. 55). Like the woman with the issue of blood, she was raised instantaneously.

Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. It is always a good sign when a person who has been sick begins to be hungry. It is a sign that recovery is under way. Once again, this child was instantly healed. Her appetite did not return gradually—it came back immediately. She was restored to the fullness of life by the touch of the Master.

According to Leviticus 15 and Numbers 19, symbolic death spread from person to person under the old covenant. Do you think that such “uncleanness” spread to Jesus when He touched the woman with an issue and Jairus’ daughter? What does Luke 8:46 say? Compare this with John 7:38.