Jairus was a leader of the synagogue. He had to tow the line – his job was to prevent people like Jesus from throwing off the balance, teaching a new thing, or provoking the crowds. But then his daughter fell ill. And it happened. His allegiance to his faith clashed in direct conflict with his love for his daughter. He had to choose – the old ways or the new ways Jesus taught – the doctrines and traditions of his faith or the life of his daughter. He chose his daughter, of course, despite all he had been taught and believed ‘til now.
This happens to all of us at some time in our lives. Our ideology clashes with our love. Maybe a long-held belief that being gay or lesbian is wrong, clashes with a loved one who comes forward as LGBTQ. Maybe distrust or hatred of the Muslim community clashes when a son or daughter falls in love and wants to marry a Muslim who is, frankly, delightful. Maybe our desire to grow our churches clashes with the reality that growing the church means changing the church, since we do not get to dictate that the people joining are exactly like us. Everyone goes through it. What we do with our choices can forever shape who we are as people of God.
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying. As he went, the crowds pressed in on him.