There was a ruler named Jairus. Falling at Jesus’ feet he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about 12 years of age, and she was dying.
And there was a woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years…who came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his garment.
The story of the sick bleeding woman; And the story of the rich ruler Jairus.
In Luke, they are interestingly juxtaposed together. Both are are people who need Jesus. Both, at the end of their own stories, get the healing they’ve sought. And interestingly enough, both are so different from each other.
The woman is on the lower end of society. She “spent all her living on physicians but could not be healed by anyone”. She has no privilege being 1) a woman 2) poor and 3) probably a widow.
The ruler is on the upper end of society. He is a ruler after all–enough to have servants who serve as his messengers (8:49). He experiences power and privilege the woman probably does not.
Yet both experience healing from Jesus. And both trascend the classes in which they belong in to receive from Jesus.
In the case of the woman, Luke says that many people touched Jesus but only her touch enabled her to recieve his healing power. In the case of the ruler, he had friends who shared a comparable level of privilege and power, but only he fell at Jesus’ feet.
This draws a clear lesson from this text in Luke: hunger and faith transcend class.
This is a profound statement because Luke, of the gospels, is pretty heavily biased against the rich. His recording of the beatitudes are shaped economically as he curses the rich and comforts the poor. His is the only gospel that records the parable of rich person being sent to hell (Luke 16).
Yet here he demonstrates that, yes, while rich people generally have a harder time getting into the kingdom of God, it really isn’t about riches ultimately, but the condition of our hearts.
A person can be poor yet still be full of greed, selfishness, and deception in their hearts. A person may have riches in his house but, in his heart, can be full of geneoristy, and like Jarius, humility enough to fall at Jesus’ feet.
God sees past the dollar in our accounts and is looking for hunger in our hearts. Hunger and faith will always trascend social and economic class.
For us who are poor, let us ensure our poverty does not rob us from the riches of his provision and power. And for us who are rich, let us ensure our material blessings do not blind our great need for God.
For it is not the prosperity or poverty of our assets that God will ultimately look at, but the propserity or poverty of our hearts.