Twelve years can seem like an eternity to some people, and yet feel like just months to others. When you are twelve years old, that number is literally a lifetime. But when your baby turns twelve, you shake your head and wonder, “Where has the time gone? How did this happen so fast?”
In Luke 8 there are two people involved in the same span of time—twelve years—but their circumstances could not have been more different. There is an important man named Jairus, a leader among Jews in his synagogue. He made his way to Jesus to implore Him for a healing because, “he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying (v.42).”
His little girl. The one who hugged him as he tucked her into bed at night. The one who melted his heart when she called him Daddy. His only little girl. Now she is sick, and as the Greek text reads, was “at her last breath.” Indeed, she would die within a few minutes of her father finding Jesus.
His twelve years with his daughter had surely flown by, and now he was in danger of saying that was not enough time. But he was not the only one involved in a twelve-year ordeal. “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone (v.43).”
She could not be healed. She went to doctors, drank their potions, and even did what the Talmud says was prescribed—carrying around the ashes of an ostrich egg. But with each month, even each day, she grew weaker with the blood loss. She was unclean, an outcast, and not welcome in the very synagogue where Jairus served.
In the text Jesus heals this suffering woman when she reaches out and clutches the tassel on His robe. And then He heads to Jairus’ house and raises his daughter from the dead.
For twelve years Jairus loved his daughter and watched her grow, and during that same twelve years, this sick woman declined in health. On a day in which their worlds intersected, Jesus gave new life to both. Maybe you have gone through a difficult season, spending your own twelve years in frustration, in heartbreak, in hopelessness, exhausting your resources but getting nowhere.
For Jairus 12 years had been a flash
–Gone in the blink of an eye.
His little girl was grown up now;
Her life had flown right by.
For the woman 12 years had been a drag
–Each day would never end.
She’d done everything to find relief;
But there was nothing left to spend.
For Jairus 12 years was not enough
–He couldn’t watch her die.
For the woman 12 years was way too long;
She no longer felt alive.
They both met Jesus on the same afternoon
–Both in a desperate place.
Because the Great Physician can raise the dead;
Both found amazing grace.