Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
As we attempt to go about the business of our daily lives, moments will undoubtedly occur that draw us away from the plans that we have for this day or that week. How we choose to respond to these moments of interruption, ultimately say a great deal about the way that we respond to God’s desire for how we live our lives. Do we joyfully follow the detour sign that God has placed before us or do we chose to go along the path of our original intent?
As we think about the ways in which God has called us to be open to unexpected togetherness, we can look at these moments of divine interruption to see God leading us to embrace the people who He knows that we need in our lives rather than simply the people who we seek to know. Who is someone you have met when God has drawn you away from the path on which you had planned to follow? How have these relationships impacted your life?
This passage from Luke’s Gospel follows Jesus having performed an exorcism on a man who was possessed by many demons. After the demoniac had been freed of the influence of possession, Scripture says that he “went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” This man’s words called together the crowd that was welcoming Christ at the beginning of verse 40. While we do not know what Jesus’ plans were at the moment, we do know that Jairus approached him immediately to entreat his help.
Jesus followed Jairus towards his home to heal his daughter, without any hesitation. Matthew’s Gospel records this moment by saying “Jesus got up and went with [Jairus], and so did his disciples.” Jesus’ need to stand up to accompany Jairus shows a level of compassion that Jesus had for this distraught father that he sat with the man to offer him comfort even in the moment of being asked to come and heal his daughter.
Jesus’ quick response to Jairus comes from his ability to be available to people despite what is going on around him at any given moment. This trait of his can be seen throughout the Gospels as people approach him in ways that are not expected and often in ways that his disciples saw as disruptive.
Once Jesus has begun to go to Jairus’ house to heal the girl, he is again interrupted when a woman seeks healing from him in a different manner. This woman believes that simply by touching Christ’s cloak she would be able to be healed of a hemorrhage with which she has suffered for twelve years.
Once the woman and Jesus interact, he remains open and inviting with her even addressing the woman as thygate, which is usually translated to mean “daughter.” This word in Greek though has a connotation of a deep, familiar relationship that would have been used as a term of endearment more than an actual reference to an actual father-daughter relationship.
God of grace, you have placed us in the lives of people who are in need of deep and meaningful relationships, even as you place people in our lives to help us grow. We thank you that you are always present in our lives and always seeking us in the places where we are, rather than desiring that we have to approach you. Help us to be open and available to the people who you have placed within our lives and equip us with the knowledge of how to handle disruptions and busyness within our daily endeavors. In Christ’s name we pray; amen.