ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΑ ΚΑΤΩΤΕΡΟΥ ΚΑΤΗΧΗΤΙΚΟΥ
Ἀπό τήν σειρά "Μαθαίνω γιά τόν Θεό", τόμ. Β΄
Ὁ Θεός στήν Καινή Διαθήκη
(Ἐκδόσεις "Χριστιανική Ἐλπίς" Ὀρθόδοξη Ἀδελφότητα)
The Resurrection of the Daughter of Jairus
(Mt 9:18-26; Mk 5:21-43; Lk 8:40-56)
Today, we are going to visit one of the houses in Capernaum. This house hides a lot of pain. It's been a long time since laughter and joy were heard here. The only child in the family, a twelve-year-old girl, is seriously ill; she’s dying. The smile faded from her parents' lips and sadness tightens their hearts.
On the shore of Capernaum, many people were eagerly waiting for Jesus, once again. The suffering father was among the crowd. He had heard of Jesus. He had been informed that Jesus had cured many patients with serious illnesses. A hope was awakened in him. Could He cure his own child? If only he could reach Jesus…
And there he was! The father whose heart was full of pain, ran towards him. He forgot his high social status. He was actually the leader of a synagogue, responsible for maintaining order in one of the local synagogues, where Jews gathered to study the word of God, the Old Testament. In other words, he was a respected person in Capernaum. Jairus, that was his name.
The pain he was feeling, however, made him fall on his knees. He begged Jesus to come to his house. “My daughter”, he said, “is dying. I beg You, come and put Your hand on her so that she may be healed and live”.
Jesus, sympathized with the desperate father, reassured him and followed him. On the way to Jairus’s house the crowds almost crushed Him.
Thus, an unwell woman found an opportunity to approach and touch the edge of Christ’s clothes. She thought that she could go unnoticed. She had been losing blood for twelve years. She felt terribly exhausted. She had also spent all her money to pay for doctors to help her but they couldn’t do anything for her. In addition, she has been isolated from everyone for so long because of her illness. But this time she dared to approach Jesus.
As she approached Him, she said to herself: "If only I touched his clothes, I would be healed". Her faith in Christ was strong. And our Lord, who knows everything, rewarded her strong faith. Indeed, as soon as the sick woman touched Jesus' clothes, the bleeding stopped! What so many doctors could not do for years now, our Christ gave her in an instant.
Who touched me? Jesus asked because he wanted to show everyone the faith of the bleeding woman. “Teacher, the people are crowding and pressing against you and you ask who has touched you?"! Peter responded spontaneously. But Jesus insisted. The bleeding woman fell to her knees before Jesus and confessed to everyone what had happened. “Have courage my daughter!” Christ said. “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace!”
While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from Jairus’s house. He brought the bad news: “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the Teacher anymore. There is no reason for him to come to your house”.
The father’s heart broke. Hope faded. He believed that Christ could heal his dying child. But now? She is dead now. But what did the Lord say to him? "Do not be afraid Jairus, just believe in me and she will be healed". "Keep relying on me and your child will be saved". What did Christ mean by these words?
They arrived at Jairus's house. Everyone was crying, they were mourning for the death of the young girl. But Jesus said to them: “Stop wailing! She is not dead, but asleep!" How strange were the words of this Teacher! Everyone was convinced of the child's death. Some sneered and mocked Him.
Jesus Christ entered the house, the room where the dead girl was. He asked everyone to go out. He only kept with Him the girl's parents and three of His disciples: Peter, James and John. Everyone looked at him with wonder. What was he going to do?
Our Lord took the hand of the dead girl. Then, as if trying to wake her up from her usual sleep, he said sweetly: "Wake up, my girl!". And then - how miraculous! - immediately the child got up and started walking! The Lord raised her up!
Who can describe the surprise, the great happiness and the gratitude that the parents felt! Jesus urged them to give the child something to eat. They no longer doubted that their child was completely well.
Christ overcame death.
Our visit to this house in Capernaum, is an awe-inspiring event. If we go to the house of a dead person and tell his relatives: "Your man is not dead but he is sleeping", they will think that we are making fun of them. Christ however, to those who were crying without hope, said: "Do not cry, she is not dead but asleep!"
Christ calls death “sleep”. And the Church calls the dead “people who have been asleep”. Thus, a great truth is revealed to us: As the man who is tired falls asleep and he will wake up, so the dead are not lost, but asleep and they will wake up. Life does not stop at the grave. At the same time that people close their eyes to this life, they open the eyes of their soul to the other life and face our Savior Christ. That is why the early Christians were not afraid when their persecutors threatened them with death. Even small children waited fearlessly for death, because it would bring them closer to Christ!
Our life has lots of joys. But it would be a lie to tell you that it has only joys. If we look around, we will see many people suffering, others suffering from a serious illness, others in pain because they have lost their loved one.
Have you ever thought that we, ourselves, could be in their place? And if such a thing happens - it may has already happened to some of us - what will we do? Will we despair? No. We are certainly in pain, we are sorry for the separation from our loved ones, because we want to have them with us, to see them. But when we know that our dead are not lost, but live in the presence of God, we are in peace. We do not despair. Instead, we strive to be children of God, in order to be granted with the paradise where we will meet Him and those we love.
Today we witness our Lord resurrecting the twelve-year-old girl. He, who created the universe with one word of His, He also commanded the dead girl to be resurrected and she so did. But, is it possible for dead bodies to have ears and hear His word? Of course not. And yet, they hear our Christ’s voice and obey it, because He is the creator of life and the one who has defeated death!
And as he resurrected the daughter of Jairus, so he will resurrect us and everyone else, in His Second Coming. We confess this faith every time we say the Creed of our faith. Do you remember how it ends? "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the future age to come." That means: "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the future eternal life!"