Miracles in Contrast

The healing of the woman with the issue of blood, and the raising of Jairus’ daughter, illustrate some of the contrasted ways in which the Lord Jesus dealt with needy souls when He was here on earth. In this study, the account in Luke 8. 41-56 is followed.

In this passage, two people approach the Lord; first Jairus, who fell down before Him to seek blessing for his daughter, and then the woman, who came behind Him to seek blessing for herself. In this way we are introduced to the two sufferers, a young girl who had lived for twelve years at the centre of a loving family circle, and the older person who had lived for twelve years in isolation and distress because of her defiling disease; see Lev. 15. 25. The needs of both were met in circumstances which differed in virtually every detail. Jairus brought the Lord to his house and received the blessing there, whilst the woman went out into the street and received the blessing there. Thus, in the first instance the Lord came to the sufferer, whereas in the second the sufferer came to the Lord. The Lord’s hand went out to bestow blessing, and the woman’s hand went out to receive blessing.

Pursuing the matter further, how striking it is to observe that the first miracle, which looked like being unobserved, was made public by the Lord; whilst the second miracle, which looked like being public, was made private by the Lord. Why did the Master act thus? The first miracle is often used by gospel preachers to illustrate how sinners must publicly confess their faith in the Lord Jesus, but however valid this may be it surely misses the real point. The woman’s sickness was of a particularly distressing and intimate nature, and if the Lord had allowed her to withdraw privately on being healed she may have had difficulty in convincing others that she was truly cleansed. Hence He wisely made her come forward so that He could publicly confirm that the miracle had indeed taken place, which would ensure her acceptance by the community afterwards. The second miracle, on the other hand, would be self-evident. Not only did the Lord exclude onlookers, therefore, but after raising the child he told her parents to tell no one what had occurred. He thus avoided creating a public sensation for the family at a time of much emotional stress, and He knew that in any event the new life would speak for itself as the child resumed her normal activities in the neighbourhood. The scoffers would be silenced then!

Another little detail merits notice. The Lord addressed the woman as “daughter”, and the child as “maid”. The woman was a lonely, unwanted soul, having to earn a livelihood as best she could, with no one to care for her; how sweetly, then, the word “daughter” must have fallen on her ears. The child, in contrast, was the object of her parents’ love and devotion, and was always “daughter” to them; hence the simpler word of address was fitting, for the Lord was never extravagant in His use of words.


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