"Jesus as Dad"
There’s a story about Jesus where two different lives intersect together in a profound moment of fatherly love. One day a man named Jairus came to Him on behalf of his twelve-year-old daughter who was dying. Every moment counted, and Jairus made a huge gamble to leave his daughter’s side to see if he could get Jesus’ help. Amazingly, Jesus agreed, and they set off together to Jairus’s home.
An adult woman approached Jesus while they were on their way. She had been bleeding for twelve years and no one could heal her. (The twelve years is significant because it’s the same age as Jairus’s daughter.) As Jesus walked through the crowd, she touched his cloak in hopes it would heal her, and shockingly, it did! But then Jesus stopped and asked the crowd who touched Him.
Jesus looked at her and said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” The most profound part of His reply is easiest to miss. He called this woman “daughter.” We might not realize how significant that detail is until we consider that this is the only woman in Scripture He ever called daughter. It wasn’t a title He normally used. So why use it now? Because Jairus was watching. Jairus stood there in agony as he waited for Jesus to attend to his own daughter. In an incredible display of love, Jesus put Himself into Jairus’s shoes. While the story ends well for the adult woman, the story takes a heartbreaking turn for Jairus. It’s at this point someone came to him with the news that his daughter had died. He made the wrong decision and would likely spend the rest of his life regretting it. But Jesus simply told him to believe and before long he revives Jairus’s daughter with a similar fatherly tone as He says, “My child, get up!”
In great biblical understatement, we read that “her parents were astonished.” That’s the pleasure of parenting done right. In both of these examples, people asked Jesus for healing, and He gave that plus compassion. That’s where parenting starts, with meeting needs. But pleasure in parenting doesn’t end there.