SYNAGOGUE OFFICIAL JAIRUS (Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ)

The Synoptic Gospels in the New Testament speak about the synagogue official Jairus and his daughter. Mark and Luke give the name of the synagogue official, Jairus and they also give a detailed account of Jesus giving life to Jairus daughter. Mathew in a shorter version mentions him only as a Jewish official.

A synagogue official occupies a very important position not only in the synagogue but also in the Jewish society. Like a pastor or a parish priest in a Church a synagogue official decides who does what in a synagogue. The Jewish people regularly assembled in synagogues prayer and worship.

We know that Jewish authorities and leaders like the synagogue officials were against Jesus and his message. They were trying not only to catch Jesus on the wrong food; but they also were trying to do away with him by hook or crook!

So, we can imagine that, as a Jewish official Jairus must have tried every other means to cure his mortally sick daughter and came to Jesus only as a last resort. He must have been a very humble person to come to Jesus with the request to cure his daughter.

Jesus does not see in Jairus as one of his Jewish detractors who hated him. But Jesus sees him as a person in great need and with great faith. So as soon as Jairus makes known his request Jesus goes with him to his house.

On the way Jesus must have been talking to someone when a messenger came to Jairus and told him, Your daughter has died. Why bother the Teacher any longer? (Mk 5, 35)

Hearing the messenger speaking to Jairus, Jesus told Jairus, Dont be afraid, only believe. (Mk 5, 36)

Then, Jesus turned to the crowd of people who were following him and told them not to accompany him any longer. Then, he asked his three disciples, Peter and James and Jesus brother John, to accompany him and they reached Jairus house.

There were people crying and wailing in Jairus house. Jesus told them, Why all this confusion? Why are you crying? The child is not dead she is only sleeping! (Mk 5, 39)

Though the people ridiculed Jesus, he put them all from the house and took with him only the childs father, mother and his three disciples. He went to the childs room, where she was lying: He took her by hand and said to her, Talitha, koum, which means, Little girl, I tell you to get up! (Mk 5:41)

The twelve-year-old daughter got up at once and started walking around. When this happened, they were completely amazed. But Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone, and he said, give her something to eat. (Mk 5:42-43)

The faith of Jairus was rewarded. Jesus restored his daughter to complete health. The child must have been either in a coma or really dead!

Mark being a disciple of Peter, he must have heard the story of Jairus daughter from Peter who was an eyewitness to the event. So Mark is able to give a picturesque description of the event.

We see Jesus as a person of complete possession of himself amidst the people crying and wailing and musicians playing funeral music! Jesus is peaceful and patient in the trying situation. On the one side Jesus has complete trust in God the Father and on the other side the synagogue official a came to Jesus humbly putting aside the prejudices and hatred of his fellow Jewish officials and leaders. Jairus did not consider his high position as synagogue official but he approached Jesus humbly and fell at his feet.

Portraying the character of Jairus the bible scholar William Barclay recalls the story of philosopher Dianesius. Once the pirates caught Dianesius and took him to a slave market. There were a number of people to buy slaves. Looking into the eyes of one man Dianesius told his captors to sell him to that particular man. Sell me to that man, he needs a master, Dianesius said. That man bought Dianesius and took him to his house and made him the master of his house and entrusted his children to his teaching. The man later said. That day was a good day for me when I bought Dianesius! William Barclay adds that to buy Dianesius that slave owner must have put a side his pride! Similarly the synagogue official Jairus has also came down from his high position and put aside his pride and fell at the feet of Jesus as a humble person. (Contact: यह ईमेल पता spambots से संरक्षित किया जा रहा है. आप जावास्क्रिप्ट यह देखने के सक्षम होना चाहिए. )

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