In the last three weeks, we have been looking at the way Jesus included women: in His teachings, in His parables, and in His healings. These male/female incidents were brought to my attention in a recent Bible study about “Jesus and Women” by Kristi McClelland.
In our western world, we think right or wrong. We weigh things on the scales of justice, a horizontal outlook, so to speak.
In the eastern world, they have a vertical outlook, shame vs. honor. In that context, Jesus practiced biblical justice which happened when the honorable reached down to the shameful and restored their honor—vertical thinking.
Let’s watch Him do this with both a man and a woman in Luke, chapter 8.
Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum, is in distress because his twelve-year-old daughter is deathly ill. Some of Jairus’s friends are not too keen on Jesus and His teachings. Were they among those who peered in on the dinner at the house of the new convert, Matthew? Perhaps one of them had ridiculed Jesus for eating with “sinners.”
Jairus is desperate for his ailing daughter. He has seen and heard about the healings of Jesus, and so this heart-sick father, this important community figure does the unthinkable. He falls at Jesus’ feet, pleading for help. How shameful.
Jesus prepares to go with Jairus when He is interrupted with another emergency (which we will cover next week.)
Just as Jesus is again ready to proceed with His trip to Jairus’s house, someone (maybe one of the disapproving leaders) comes from Jairus’s house to report,
“Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” Luke 8:49.
Ouch! How cold and calculating that feels. Sounds like they’re thinking Jairus’s pleading and bowing has put him to shame. Let’s shame him some more.
Jesus gives encouragement to Jairus.
“Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” Luke 8:50
When they arrive at the house, flute players are playing their nasally mournful tunes, neighbors are hovering about, and the hired mourners are wailing in loud shrills. As Jesus and Jairus make their way through the noise and confusion, Jesus commands them,
“Stop wailing. She is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. Luke 8:52
I find this astounding. These fake mourners go from wailing to laughter and ridicule within a moment.
Jesus proceeds into the house and heals this beloved daughter.
Let’s not miss the fact that while Jairus showed humility and belief, he had been laden with shame from his friends and neighbors. In justice and righteousness, Jesus reached down to lift Jairus from shame to honor.
Let’s take note that He can do the same for you and me. We can be weeping in our worlds of discontent, anxiety, indecision or whatever brings us to our knees. When we humble ourselves before Him, the Lord can lift us up out of the murky clay and bring us to a place of honor in his sight.
May it be so for you today.
~ Joyce ~