Friday, 23 March 2012

30. Jairus's daughter - 'To Life!'

There are numerous stages when parents rue the growing up of their 'little girl.' If you're not careful it happens too fast. 

Blink and they're top to toe in pink and borrowing your nail varnish. Then they want a phone and soon they're calling their boyfriend and going out in your heels.

Twelve is a funny age - not exactly child - not woman. Jesus was similarly suspended between childhood and adulthood when his parents 'lost' him in Jerusalem, only to find him having adult conversations with the religious scholars in the Temple.

Poor Jairus, the Synagogue leader is frantic about his 12 year old. She's gravely ill, at death's door, and Jesus has got caught up healing some woman who held onto his cloak. The dreadful words 'don't bother the Teacher' now come through. It's too late - your daughter is dead.

On the cusp of being grown up, the little girl once more a baby in her parents' heart. Our baby is dead.

But death is no barrier to God's healing and salvation (same word in Greek).

Jesus tells the mourners to be quiet, enters the house and reassures the parents 'the child is not dead, only asleep' (Mark 5: 39). 

How his call from death to life was experienced by the little girl we can only conjecture. Perhaps she felt the powerful warmth of his hand and heard his words 'Talitha koum', Aramaic for 'Little girl, arise.' She immediately stands up and walks around. Jesus notes she'll be hungry.

The call to life originates with Christ. It is addressed to our whole selves, body and soul. He makes the first move and we respond.

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