Happy Fathers day. This is the day when we honor our dads by giving they ties, gift cards to Menards, and cooking them brats or steak on the grill. We are thankful for our dads. Dad’s have a huge influence over the lives of their kids. This year more than ever the reality of becoming a father is hitting home. With my wife approaching 5-months of pregnancy, I am thinking seriously about being a dad.
The name of the father in the story we are going to look at today is Jairus. He had quite the rap-sheet: he was a spiritual man being the “ruler of the synagogue.” He was a big cheese among the Jewish community. He possibly heard Jesus speak in the synagogue at Capernaum. But more importantly for this story he was a Dad.
We do not know the name of his daughter, but we do know that she was an only child (“only” cf.Jn.3:16), about 12 years old and was suffering a deadly illness. What do you suppose she saw in her dad? I wonder if she thought of him as being old-fashioned and out-of-touch like many today’s pre-teen daughters? I want to assume that she thought of her dad as a faithful man. What are the marks of a Faithful Father (Follower)?
Faithful fathers [followers] are not ashamed to worship Jesus [Luke 8:40-41]
“There came a man…and falling at Jesus feet.” Jairus approached Jesus during the day while many people were out and about [cf. this is opposite of Nicodemus who comes to Jesus in the middle of the night]. Jairus comes to Jesus because his daughter is sick. It is a hard thing for a father to see their children suffer. He approached Jesus without reservation and fell down at His feet [not out of exhaustion, but begging]. Matthew 9:18 “there came a certain ruler, and worshiped him” Notice: Jairus went himself. He did not send his wife, he didn’t send a servant, rather he went to Jesus Himself.
Oh, that dads would seek Jesus without shame. That they would take their priestly responsibility in the home. That they would seek Him without reservation. That they would seek Him boldly. A faithful father knows he has a faithful God.
Faithful fathers [followers] are not ashamed to invite Jesus to the house [Luke 8:41b-48]
“begged Him to come to his house.” Notice that the event that followed was “as He went,” the entire crowd followed on their way to Jairus’ house. Can you imagine that phone call? “Honey, everyone is coming over to the house.”
Oh, that God would give us Dads who would bring Jesus into the house. Men who would stand with Joshua and declare to the world, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Men who would lead their families in prayer, speaking the truth of God’s Word, worshiping and living out their faith.
On the way to heal Jairus’ daughter, Jesus is touched by a woman suffering from a long-lived physical ailment that caused her to be ostracized by her community. According to Leviticus 15, she would have been labeled “unclean” and anyone who would touch her would also be unclean. In the crowd she rushed to Jesus, and believed that if she simply touched Jesus she would be healed. In that moment, Jesus stopped. He draws attention to the woman. She confesses. And Jesus comforts her by saying, “daughter,” (only time Jesus ever uses these words) “it was your faith alone that saved you.”
This parenthesis miracle was a tremendous lesson on faith for both the crowds and Jairus. Not only did Jesus’ healing of this woman stall the situation to heal Jairus’ daughter, but paved the way for His words. Jesus miracle now shifts from public to private. While Jesus was still speaking to the woman a messenger can to Jairus to let him know that his daughter died and not to bother coming home.
Faithful fathers [followers] are not ashamed to put the welfare of their child in the care of Jesus [Luke 8:49-56]
“Do not fear, only believe…” When Jairus received the news that his daughter was dead, he didn’t dismiss the Lord, rather he gave her into Jesus’ care. This reminiscent of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac on the altar. Jesus’ response to the father, “Do not be afraid. Only believe.” [Note: aorist imperative tense, literally, act in belief, “trust me,” “hey you, have real faith!”] Jairus completely put his daughter in the hands of God’s care.
Faithful followers of Christ are not afraid. They completely entrust their children to God. Ungodly fears are directly linked to things we are thinking [Proverbs 4:23; Philippians 4:8). Oh that God would give us Dad’s who would commit their children into the hands of Christ.
As I think about being a father, I want to be a worshiper modeling a love for God to my children. I do not want to be ashamed to invite Jesus into our house. He is our special guest, always welcomed and honored. I also want to sacrificially give my children over to the care of their God who is ultimately their Creator and Sustainer.