At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned round in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ (Matthew 5:30 NIVUK)
The daughter of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, was at the point of death, and Jesus was heading to heal her. On the way, a woman who had suffered some kind of menstrual problem for twelve years reaches out to him. This woman would have been considered far less important than Jairus’ daughter and her situation far less urgent and yet Jesus stopped for her. This woman didn’t just need healing, she needed words of comfort, acceptance, and restoration – all of which would take time. So, Jesus stops and gives her his full attention.
Tragically, while conversing with this ‘unclean’ woman, news comes through that Jairus’ daughter has died. Nevertheless, Jesus carries on and in his own good time does exactly what is needed for Jairus’ family too.
This incident tells me a great deal about Jesus and time. First, he is prepared to spend time with those who we may consider to be lower down the pecking order and deal with seemingly non-urgent matters. Then, Jesus will not be rushed or march to our timetable to fit in with our agenda. He has all the time in the world to deal with Jairus’ request and even when it appeared he had left it too late he came through for the family.
Jesus is less concerned about the passing of time than we are and his timing for both the woman with a twelve-year illness
(Matthew 5:25) and the twelve-year-old child (Matthew 5:42) was perfect. The double use of twelve years is surely significant – Jesus is in control of time, even when things have been going on for a long time, or where we feel he may have left it too late.
In reflecting on this episode in Jesus’ ministry it makes me think about how I view my time. Do I take time out of my busy schedule to spend with those who I may think are less important and less needy and provide them with words of comfort, acceptance and reassurance? Do I trust in the perfect timing of Jesus for my life or do I want him to operate according to my timetable?
Thankfully, Jesus has time for me – now I need to have time for him and those he brings me into contact with.
Father, you are the creator and Lord of time. May I trust in your perfect timing and may I make use of the time you have given me to bring Jesus’ love and compassion to others.
Have a good time this week.