For all you Bible-readers out there, the name Jairus probably pushes you straight to the book of Luke (conversely, for all those non-Bible-readers out there, no, I did not misspell “Jesus”). Let me just say something as a short preface, though: the book of Luke is a gift to pastors everywhere. Sure, I’m obligated to advocate for the entire Bible based on my faith and ministerial credentials; but let’s be honest, Luke is a pretty great book. At the church I pastored, we did a series on Luke for literally 9 months. Its was so long, people started to request other series. Let that sink in…people loved it so much they needed a break. Wow!
In Luke 8:40-56, we find one of the most used passages.
(Ok, another aside, I heard a preacher preach this passage like a boss at a revival once. Did the guy stretch the passage beyond repair? Sure. But, it was crazy good)
Luke gives us some important descriptors for Jairus: “Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying.”
Based on this description, we know that Jairus is the leader of the synagogue and he happens to have a daughter. In other words, Jairus is identified with his job and only later does his role as a father come along.
This is the narrative of our day: your work defines you and your family is also there somewhere.
One of my TAs during my master’s confided in me saying that she often resents her family for holding her back academically. Her colleagues get to go to conferences and advance, all the while she’s restricted to her family’s schedule.
“You are what you do” — signed, ‘merica.
There is one major voice absent from the Luke 8 story: the mother. The unnamed mother — the one caring for the dying daughter, the one who gives all that she has at every moment throughout every day — only comes up in verse 56, saying, “Her parents were astounded.”
“Everyday living” is so mundane. Everyday parenting. Everyday laundry. Everyday spousery (how is that not a word?!). Everyday neighboring. Everyday cooking. Everyday cleaning. Everyday listening. Everyday engaging. Everyday giving. Everyday praying. Everyday loving. Everyday…everyday…everyday.
Not “every day” — no, the adjective “everyday.” Not, “Every day I go to work.” No, “I’m an everyday mother/father/friend.” It’s everyday mundane.
It is no surprise that we long for meaning. In fact, it’s by design — our cultural narrative tells us that we are everyday lacking.
Ok, now before I’m accused of suggesting that the Bible is part of the problem, perhaps we should look at the story that sits in the middle of the one I’ve been telling. While Jesus is heading to Jairus’ house, something happens: a random crowd-woman touches Jesus. Consequently, Jesus stops.
This “stopping” is important. Consider the scene a minute. Jesus is a young public figure — still building his base, still gaining credibility — when all of a sudden he’s given a gift: a synagogue leader asks for his help! Yay!
Jesus was essentially just hired for a very important job — Jesus was a teacher/healer/leader after all! And what a great career opportunity!
Then a nobody touches him. An everyday person, if you will. You know, an unextraordinary type; perhaps on par with children, co-workers, neighbors, etc.
And Jesus stops.
Jesus stops because the everyday is every-thing. Our everyday stops represent our everyday faith because they represent our everyday Christ…every day.
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