Jairus’ Heart

12 Feb

from Google Images

One may understand from the reading of the Parable of the Sower, that the people who have a heart for Jesus (their hearts = “the good ground” – Luke 8:8, 15) are people who are also strong in their faith. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case when one considers the meaning in the light of what occurs later in chapter eight of Luke. Who would consider a recently healed demoniac as someone having strong faith? Moreover, consider the woman with an issue of blood for twelve years. It seems her understanding bordered on the occult rather than the Scriptures, and once she was healed, Jesus had to cause her to come forward and admit what had happened to her. Only when she did this was she able to receive a better understanding of what had occurred to her. These are not incidents of great faith, but weak faith. Nevertheless, they do represents the hearts that Jesus calls good ground in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:8, 15).

What, then, can be said of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue? Did his high office and respect among the Jews of his day afford him stronger faith than the other two? Was he any different from the recently healed demoniac or the woman healed of her uncleanness, while he was with Jesus and looking on? The Scriptures don’t reveal that a man, who had the respect of the Jewish community, or who held the office of ruler of the synagogue, was any stronger in the faith than a demoniac or a superstitious woman. All needed Jesus and were helpless without him. None of them were able to change their condition one iota without Jesus.

Knowing this, Jairus probably didn’t really believe Jesus could raise his daughter from the dead (cf. Luke 8:49-50). Rather, he hoped against everything he knew was possible. No doubt he wanted to believe, but the defining point is he trusted Jesus enough to obey him or to allow Jesus to complete the work he intended to do (cf. Luke 8:50). He didn’t allow the deriding laughter of Jesus’ enemies to remove Jesus’ word of hope from his heart (Luke 8:53; cf. Luke 8:5, 12). The reason it is doubtful that Jairus believed Jesus could raise the dead is that he and his wife were astonished, when Jesus actually did raise their daughter (Luke 8:56). Astonishment, according to the Scriptures, expresses one’s prior unbelief (cf. Mark 6:51-52).

Once it was understood by those outside the room that the young girl was alive, nothing the parents could say or do would have kept that information from spreading throughout the land of the Jews. So, why did Jesus tell Jairus and his wife not to say anything about what they had seen (Luke 8:56)? I believe it had to do with the weakness of their faith. Remember, all this was recorded in the context of the Parable of the Sower. Consider their hearts and the fact that the Pharisees, some of whom were, no doubt, among the mourners who derided Jesus (Luke 8:53), are depicted in the parable as the birds or the ones who take away the seed (Jesus) out of the hearts of the people (cf. Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22).

They would have been the ones who persecuted those who received the word but had a hard heart (cf. Luke 8:6, 13; Mark 4:16-17). Jairus and his wife needed to quietly contemplate what the Lord had done for them, without risking losing their trust in Jesus by exposing their hearts to those whose only desire was to destroy Jesus (cf. Luke 6:11). Jairus and his wife had faith, but it was weak. It needed to be strengthened by privately praising God for what he had done for them.

The healed demoniac was given a mission to tell others what God had done for him, and in doing so he kept what God had done for him always before his eyes. The woman with the twelve year menstrual problem was told that her faith, not her touching a piece of cloth, was what healed her. In other words, it was the power of God, not magic, to which she owed her reintroduction into Jewish society. This is what she would have told others—God, not the cloth, healed her. Finally, Jairus and his wife would have privately kept praising God for his wonderful gift in returning their daughter to them. Without allowing this understanding to be challenged by the enemies of Christ (cf. Luke 8:5, 12, 49, 53), their faith would be allowed to grow in strength day by day.

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Posted by on February 12, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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