‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we (Pharisees) know? John 6:41-51 Just the other day I said after introducing myself I said to someone that they probably wouldn’t remember my name. She responded, “I’ll remember, I have a best friend by that name.” Today’s reading caused me to realize we often make assumptions about one another based on what we see and what we perceive to know. Admittedly, I am the one who forgets names. Oddly enough, I won’t forget her name because of the same reason. I too have a best friend (since middle school) that has her name. A relationship with God transcends what we think we know of one another because only God fully knows each of us. It is much easier to accept what you perceive to know than to seek out what you don’t know. However, if we accept that nothing is fully known except by God then we should never stop seeking to know one another rather than simply accepting what we think we know or that other people will accept what we perceive to know.
The event of the unnamed woman is of course told in between the story of Jairus. Aside from the fact that he is a leader in the synagogue, the culture allows him as a man to boldly approach Christ and plead for the life of his daughter. However, many leaders are not convinced of Jesus’ authority to heal in the name of God, but having come to this point, Jairus does what any father who loves his child would do. I believe what is at risk for Jairus is much more than the death of his child. He is not totally free from misperceptions of generational sin and consequence. Perhaps in his mind is fear of his family and future generations of living with the consequence of a misplaced sin. In other words, living without forgiveness from God. Of course we know that today even after we’ve done all that we could do we don’t always win the battle over physical illness. But the culture of the day doesn’t allow Jairus the freedom to accept that his daughter’s death at the age of twelve has a greater purpose and fulfillment. Therefore, breaking through the culture for Jairus was inevitably necessary. However, Jesus, having been interrupted by a touch is delayed in reaching Jairus’ daughter and the child does in fact “die”.