Q. Re: The Sick Woman And The Dead Girl. I was taught that this is a type of God’s work with Israel and the Church. But I didn’t quite grasp it. Can you expound upon this?
A. Matt. 9:18-26, Mark 5:22-43 and Luke 8:41-56 all contain this story. It involves Jairus’ daughter, who lay sick to the point of death, and a gentile woman with an issue of blood.
Jairus was a Jewish official who had a very sick daughter. He had heard of Jesus and went to find him. When he did, Jesus agreed to follow him home to heal his daughter.
At the same time a gentile woman who had been sick with an issue of blood ever since this little girl was born determined in her mind that if she could just get close enough to touch the hem of the Lord’s robe, she would be healed. She heard He was in the area and caught up with Him as He was hurrying toward the little girl. Fighting her way through the crowd, she finally got close enough and reached out to touch the hem of his robe. (We know the woman was a gentile because it was against the law for an unclean Jewish woman to be in the proximity of other people. The issue of blood made her unclean and would defile anyone who touched her even by accident.)
Jesus felt this and stopped to find out who in the pressing crowd had touched Him. When she admitted doing it, He told her that her faith had healed her and continued on His way.
Before He got to the house, someone ran up to tell Jairus that his daughter had died. Jesus told him to have faith and not be afraid. Reaching the house, He drove the mourners away and went in to the little girl, raising her from the dead.
On the surface it’s pretty straight forward, but the symbolism is striking. Let Jairus’ daughter symbolize Israel. The woman is the the gentile Church.
The Messiah had come to heal Israel who was spiritually sick to the point of death. While on the way He is accosted by gentiles who have to force their way past Judaism into His presence. Gentiles have had a terminal disease of the blood for as long as Israel had been alive, because the same revealing of the Law at Mt. Sinai that created the nation Israel, also exposed the sin nature of the gentiles.
Reaching out to Him, the gentiles are saved (healed) by faith in His atoning sacrifice. But before He can “reach” Israel, the nation dies and is no more. Undeterred, the Messiah continues on His way and someday soon will arrive to raise her from her spiritual death.