Jesus takes us as we are
I’ve been reading the story of Jairus, the man who pleads with Jesus to come and heal his daughter. We’re not told if the little girl has been sick for a long time, or if her illness is a sudden thing, but I can imagine Jairus’ desperation at seeing her close to death.
A parent will do anything, try anything, spend anything and go anywhere to save their child. Jairus would have seen Jesus as his last hope. “If I can just get him to come, he might be able to save her,” I can imagine him thinking.
Jairus did not come to Jesus because he was interested in his teaching, or because he wanted to see what all the fuss was about, or because he’d heard of how he answered the Pharisees. He didn’t come because of the theology. He came because he thought Jesus could do something for him and he was absolutely desperate for the result.
In the middle of this, we meet another desperate person – a woman this time, who is suffering from a chronic illness with not only physical effects, but also emotional and spiritual and social effects. The bleeding makes her an outcast from society and from practising her religion because she is continually ritually unclean.
She has spent everything she has on doctors and cures, and has ‘suffered much’ because of them. She’s a woman with no future, and she’s desperate for a change.
She doesn’t even ask Jesus to help her. She sneaks around the back and takes what she can.
What is Jesus’ reaction to both of these desperate people? He does what they need and are desperate for. He treats both of them with respect. He takes them as they are.
What he doesn’t do is also notable. He doesn’t require them to know or understand anything more of him. The faith that they have is enough – at least for now.
Desperate people come to Jesus today for a whole lot of reasons. He takes us as we are.