Jesus and Privilege
Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
- Luke 8:10-42
Last week we looked at this passage through the lens of the bleeding woman who was an outcast to society and how Jesus healed her. This week we look at the connected story about the synagogue ruler, Jairus.
Jairus is very different than the woman. Jairus had privilege, where she had none. While the woman had to sneak around the back to get to Jesus, Jairus walked right up to Jesus. In fact, the crowd probably parted for Jairus since he was a man with authority.
But as soon as the woman showed up, Jesus made gave her priority over Jairus. Jesus stopped the whole crowd, had a conversation with the bleeding woman, and then invited her to tell "the whole story" of her illness and healing. Who knows how long that could have taken! So what that means is that Jesus made Jairus wait. As Jesus would put it on several other occasions, with him the first would be last, and the last first. The woman got promoted to the front of the line, and Jairus got stuck at the back. Privilege didn't get Jairus the immediate attention he wanted.
So are you a person of privilege? Name some of the ways you are privileged and talk with Jesus about how that privilege so easily leads you to feel entitled. Talk with Jesus about how your privilege leads you to not want to wait for Jesus to take care of your needs. Surface the fears that lie beneath your struggle with anger when someone else gets cared for in front of you. And then close out your time by listening carefully to Jesus's words to Jairus in Luke 8:50, "Don't be afraid. Only believe."