I wish I could convey to you, dear reader, just what an excellent time I have had at this year’s Fresh Streams Conference. If you are not familiar with Fresh Streams, may I suggest you take a look at them (www.freshstreams.net)
One of the highlights, for me, was the teaching given by Rev Dr. Kate Coleman. Kate has this incredible skill of taking a passage and helping you see it through different eyes. She did that with the story of Jairus daughter (Mark 5 vs. 21 – 43, Matthew 9 vs. 18-25, Luke 8 vs. 41 – 56).
In a nutshell, Jairus is an important official and his daughter is ill and dying. He risks his reputation and status by coming publically to Jesus and asking for help. Jesus agrees and, whilst on his way, Jesus is interrupted by a woman who touches the hem of His garment. The result is that by the time they reach Jairus house, his daughter is dead. Jesus puts out the professional mourners, enters the house with a few close disciples and raises the girl back to life again. Talitha Koum (“little girl arise”)
Kate brought a few things out of this passage for me and so, I want to share with you some of her thoughts and jumble in with it some of my reflections and responses (Kate, if you read this I apologise)
It’s interesting that neither the girl nor the sick women are named. Our names are important, when people know who we are we feel valued. I used to work at a company where the MD did not know my name; every time he saw me he would call me “um err”. The next MD knew my name, my wife’s name, even the names of my children. When he used our names I felt valued, I felt that I mattered.
Even though we don’t know either women’s names, God does. Even when nobody knows our name, God does. God works in our lives because we matter.
The one in the story who is named is Jairus. I like Jairus! In a society that didn’t value women or children very much, you can almost imagine those “well meaning” friends assuring him that it doesn’t matter if his daughter died maybe, next time, God would bless him with a son.
Jairus loves his daughter, he risks reputation, status, and position within the community to get to Jesus and kneel before Him. He doesn’t care what others think or how others react, his daughter needs help and Jesus is the only one who can do it. His daughter is not in a position to do it herself (she is dying) and so he is going to do it for her.
As Kate observed, there are times when we all need our Jairus. There are times when the struggles we face, the battles we are fighting, the exhaustion we feel just mean we cannot do this alone. We need a Jairus.
Jairus is somebody who will lift us in prayer. Somebody who doesn’t care what others think, or say, or do. They will stand with us when nobody else will. They will stand with us when the “professional mourners” are saying “that’s it, you are dead and buried”. Jairus doesn’t give up but keeps on until Jesus turns up.
I have been blessed in my life with the occasional Jairus. What does it take to be a Jairus?
Patience :- Jairus doesn’t grumble when Jesus is interrupted, He waits for Jesus timing
Humility :- he kneels before Jesus. A sign of laying down his status and acknowledgment of Jesus position
Perseverance :- even when the mourners say the cause is hopeless, He still trusts that Jesus can and will do something
If my Jairus are reading this then, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
But, what did occur to me, was that perhaps I should be a Jairus for others. Perhaps you can be a Jairus for others. So my encouragement to you is be a Jairus, who knows you may even see a few resurrections along the way!