Luke 8:40-42, 49-56 “Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, 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. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him . . .”

While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ he said. ‘Don’t bother the teacher any more.’ Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.’ When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. ‘Stop wailing,’ Jesus said. ‘She is not dead but asleep.’ They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, ‘My child, get up!’ Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.”

Jesus, having shown his power over creation and over the devil Jesus now manifests his authority over disease and death in the healing of the woman with the issue of blood and in the raising of Jairus’ daughter. They confirm the truthfulness of Luke’s claim that Jesus is the Son of God. These actions are not done to entertain, or to impress, or to intimidate. They are pastoral acts of helpful encouragement.


Immediately the Lord returns to Galilee he is welcomed; people were waiting in expectation. A large crowd had gathered once the small town heard that Jesus had arrived on the shore. Maybe a few hundred folk lived there, and so the synagogue ruler in that place wouldn’t be some elevated official. His importance would be limited to that large village, and yet he, like all the people of that area did know of the powers of Christ. Jairus would not have hurried to see Jesus if that were the case. Jairus would also have known of controversy that had broken out in a synagogue where Jesus had taught. So synagogue leaders wouldn’t have been overjoyed at seeing Jesus turn up in their assembles on a Sabbath. They knew that he would use the opportunity to speak to the people about the coming kingdom of God. Had Jairus thought of what he would do if into his synagogue the Lord Jesus came? Herod Antipas was rumoured to be none too pleased with this kingdom-of-God movement being promoted by a number of people. Had Jairus planned to take Christ aside if he saw him entering telling him that he didn’t want him to open his mouth in his synagogue? Probably he thought that the issue would never arise; Jesus would never visit a little place like his, and so Jairus could sit on the fence about the claims of Christ. “I’m not getting involved in this,” he thought.

Then two things happen and Jairus had to think and act. His darling only daughter, twelve years of age, was sick. None of the homespun remedies and nothing the local physicians did could prevent her getting worse. She was a pitiable sight, and the whole household, and neighbours in the street, and the synagogue congregation ached as hope slipped away. Jairus cant look at his wife as she wrung her hands in fear. That was the first event that meant Jairus had to think of Jesus again. The second was that the boat carrying our Lord grounded on the local beach and Jesus stepped ashore and the crowds gathered. The grapevine quickly spread the message that the Lord was there, and it was no longer a theoretical matter exactly what Jairus was going to do. His daughter was dying and Christ was there. No one could help her, and Christ was there. His heart was breaking and Christ was there. His wife was saying to him, “Can’t you do something, man of faith and religion?” and he couldn’t but Christ was there. Jairus came off the fence, and threw all his reservations aside. Who worries about religious and political controversy when your only daughter is dying? You have one thing on your mind. When death comes nearer and nearer to us it’s a race against time, and all of you are in that race.

Jairus “came and fell at Jesus’ feet” (v.41 ). The president of the synagogue was prostrating himself before the carpenter’s son from Nazareth. Here is a man who couldn’t care less what they were going to say about him in the synagogue next Sabbath, or how other men in the federation of synagogue rulers’ conference were going to judge him. Death was entering his house, no one could resist it, but Jesus was here! He must have Jesus’ help. How earnest was Jairus when his beloved girl was on the edge of eternity.

Are you touched by the way he humbled himself before the Lord? He fell at the feet of Jesus. He is lying in the dust surrounded by the people of the village. Some of you won’t become Christians because you are afraid of the reaction of your family, your friends, the men in the office. This man abased himself at the feet of Jesus. That is the beginning of redemption. Some people cam to Jesus and argued with him, standing right up to him and gazing into his eyes in confrontation to trap him. Such men left Jesus as they found him, disappointed and confused men, but others came and bowed in his presence. They acknowledged him and his greatness, and such people never failed to obtain a blessing. Let there be no mistake about this. If you approach our Lord in a mere spirit of curiosity he’ll never reveal himself to you. He only blesses those who come on their knees, those who, looking at him and conscious of their own sinfulness and helplessness, realise that this is the very Son of God come on earth to deliver us. Jairus the ruler prostrated himself before the King of kings.

Then I want you to notice something else, something you might easily miss. Jairus prescribes the manner in which Jesus was to save his daughter. He doesn’t say, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please help me.” Jairus explained to the Lord that there was a certain course of action he wanted Jesus to take, “Please come to my house,” and Mark tells us that he added, “and put your hands on her, so that she will be healed and live” (Mk. 5.23). There had to be touch, in Jairus’ eyes. There had to be physical contact – the bishop’s hands on your head, for the apostolic succession and so on. Jairus had hurried out of his home that day with certain ideas about Jesus – just like you all have a certain picture of Jesus. On the basis of those ideas he approached Christ and told him what he had to do.

How small and unworthy were Jairus’ ideas of Christ before he’d met him. It was only in submitting to Jesus, listening to him and trusting in him that Jairus began to discover some of the most astonishing and glorious things that can ever be known.

Now we are like Jairus aren’t we? We don’t just bring our need to Christ but we tell Jesus in what precise ways he is to meet that need, as Jairus did. Most of us here know that Jesus didn’t need to go to Jairus’ house and enter the room where his daughter lay and actually see her or touch her for the girl to live. There was once a Gentile army officer stationed in Israel who had greater faith than this Jewish synagogue ruler. That Roman centurion told Jesus of his sick servant lying dying at home, and he longed for his healing, but then he added that Jesus didn’t need to come to his home in order to heal him. “I am a man of authority,’ he told Christ. “I say to one man ‘Come’ and another man ‘Go’ and they jump and get on with it. Lord Jesus, you only have to will it – you don’t need to speak a word – and my servant will be healed.”

What faith! Jesus hadn’t found faith like that among synagogue presidents, let alone in their congregations, and immediately he willed that the servant should be restored. It only takes a flash of the will that can and the dead are raised. The centurion’s servant was healed that moment. Jairus didn’t have this faith. All he had was his need and impression of what Jesus might do.

Notice how Jesus encourages us by going with him. That is grace. There was no little lesson given by Jesus explaining to Jairus that you don’t tell God how he is to work, and that Christ didn’t have to be there to save his daughter. There is nothing like that. In other words you don’t have to get your petitions sinlessly and spotlessly correct in order for God to hear and answer. There can be an awful lot of muddle mixed with our praying and yet through the grace of Christ God will grant our heart’s desire. Jesus doesn’t teach us that we have to get our petitions all right before he will come walking into our heartbreaking messes.

There was a little girl who, when her mother went out to the shop, ran into the garden and picked a hot handful of plants and flowers and weeds and dead stalks and came back smiling. “What’s that for?” asked her father. “For Mummy!” she said. “Let me see them,” said her father, and he held them, and quietly removed the weeds and stalks and poison ivy and gave the bunch back to her just as her mother came back from the shop. She ran up to her mother and gave her the flowers. Even so when we pray to our heavenly Father we do so in the name of Jesus Christ. We go to the Father through the Son, and Jesus removes all our guilt and sin and presents our prayers to God, as a sweet smelling offering, acceptable to God. So I want you so see how Christ encourages us here in what he did, as he went with Jairus.

The Lord Jesus also encourages us by what he said. We are told that they walked to Jairus’ house the ruler of the synagogue walking as quickly as etiquette permitted. If he could have made Jesus run he would have, but on their way a sick women stretched out and touched the hem of Christ’s garment, and the Saviour stopped and dealt with her. Can you imagine Jairus on tip toe, dancing from one foot to another longing for Christ to keep coming with him to heal his daughter? Then, at that very moment, a man appeared walking towards them and he was known to Jairus. He was from his house; his trusty servant, and he looked grim. Jairus must have been more afraid than he had ever been in his entire life: “No. No. No. Please let it not be the worse news I can hear. Don’t tell me what I think you are going to say. May it not be so!” But it is that terrible news: “Your daughter is dead,” (v.49) he said. I hope he didn’t say it like that. I hope he wept, and hung his head, and whispered something like, “We are awfully sorry, but we have some terrible news to tell you . . .” But it doesn’t read like that, does it? Four horrible hope-destroying words. He even added, “Don’t bother the teacher any more.”

Jairus has just heard Jesus say to the woman, “Daughter, you faith has healed you. Go in peace” (v.48). She is a woman, and Jesus has healed her. He is a man who is ruler of the synagogue who has been serving God all his life. Why doesn’t the Lord give him what he asks for? Instead of this that awful news, and then, the extra barb, “Don’t bother pinning your hopes on Jesus. The girl is dead and so what can anyone do now? Death levels the playing field for everybody. Death always has the last word. No use your bringing the teacher a step further. He’s as helpless before the grave as anybody. No one can do anything now.” The man assumed – as many do today – that there are some situations which are beyond the scope of Jesus: “We simply have to face up to reality. You get inspiration from Christ’s teaching and encouragement from meeting with other nice religious people and you enjoy singing the great hymns. We are happy for you, but when it comes to death all men are helpless before it.” That is the assumption of unbelief. That is how people think whose image of Jesus is tiny. Have you found yourself thinking like that? There is a situation in your life that appears dead end, maybe. There seems to be no way out and you are thinking that even Jesus Christ can’t do anything. It is beyond the scope of even the world’s greatest teacher. That is the assumption that is working here; no one can cope with the grave. We go home and we mourn a grievous providence. What more is there to do?

Now listen to Christ, and hear the encouragement in what he says: “Don’t be afraid; just believe and she will be healed” (v.50). Jesus says to Jairus. “Just go on believing,” Jesus actually said. The verb is in the continuous sense. What does Jesus mean? Well, it is as if he were saying, “Jairus when you came to me your daughter was still alive, but in great danger. Still, you came to me. You brought your desperate need to me. You had some belief that I could do something to help. You didn’t scorn me as a fraud. You had that faith to fall before me and beseech me to help. Go on believing Jairus! Don’t stop! Please don’t stop trusting me now that things have got worse. Don’t let your fears win, those fears that say, “What’s the point? Death always has the last word . . . you will never see her again . . . Jesus Christ is helpless.” I say, keep the terrible fears away by going on trusting in him. So Jesus goes with him, and seeks to encourage him. Both in his actions and words he is a Lord of grace.

Then Jesus again does something. He ignores what the servants have said and Jesus was on his way” (v.42). He kept walking to Jairus’ house and the dead girl. What does it say to us? That though the servants believe that he could do nothing, and though Luke doesn’t tell us about Jairus’ thoughts we know that Jesus himself kept believing! He kept going. He was getting involved. He didn’t shake Jairus’ hand and express his sympathy and then go back to the shore and continue teaching. He didn’t tell Jairus to try to come to him earlier the next time, and he’d do whatever he could. That is not Jesus, is it? He keeps going in the face of men’s bafflement, and his word to Jairus is, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” That is, “trust my adequacy. Believe that I can handle this as well.” That’s what’s required of any believer as he goes into any crisis. Isn’t that the word we need to hear: “Don’t be afraid; just believe”? Go on believing, and walk through the darkness and mud if you have to.

G. Campbell Morgan, the former minister of Westminster Chapel in London, has a book entitled The Great Physician. He says these words, “I can hardly speak about this passage without becoming personal. I remember a time about forty years ago when my own first lassie lay at the point of death. I called for Jesus then, and he came. He surely said to our troubled hearts, ‘Fear not; believe only.’ He did not say, ‘She shall be made whole.’ She was not made whole on the earthly plane. She passed away to the life beyond. He did say to her, ‘My child get up’, but in her case he did not mean, ‘Stay on the earth level.’ He meant that he needed her and he took her to himself and she has been with him all those years as we measure time, and I have missed her every day. His word, ‘Just believe’ has been the strength of all the passing years.”

You see? It is as if Jesus says, “Go on believing Jairus that I am adequate for something you’ve never experienced before in your life. I have not finished with you yet. If I am adequate, Jairus, when there is still hope, then I’m also adequate when there seems to be no hope. Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” He could say the same to Campbell Morgan in his grief. “I am adequate to heal her when she is ill, and adequate for you if she dies.” The Lord Jesus encourages us to keep trusting in him.


We are told that Jesus “did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James” (v.51). In other words, he took a restricted audience with him as he entered Jairus’ house. These three were with the Lord on very special occasions. They were with him on the Mount of Transfiguration, and also in the Garden of Gethsemane. So this scene is up there with those situations; transfiguration, intercession and resurrection. Here is a crucially important event that occurred on this planet in space and time history. Everything Jesus says and does is a revelation of God, but this is one of those extra important, “Verily-verily-I-show-unto-you” occasions. The Lord wants these three friends with him because according to Deuteronomy 19:15 “A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” So here are men who can stand and testify that what Luke was to write in this record actually occurred. They were eye-witnesses. This mighty work of Christ needs to be captured in the minds and memories and preaching of these three notable and trustworthy men, Peter, John and James his brother.

The crowd itself was excluded. We’re told, “Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. ‘Stop wailing,’ Jesus said. ‘She is not dead but asleep. They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead” (vv. 52&53). Professional paid wailers would hang around the house of a sick person waiting for the death to be announced. Then they would enter and begin their loud crying and finally pick up their fee. They were made to think that if they really loved their dead relatives then they would show it by the number of mourners hired to wail for them. A rabbi who lived in Jerusalem in the second century after Christ made a pronouncement that even the poorest person should hire two flute-players and one wailing woman. Jairus had the status of a synagogue ruler and so he would have had more than that. We are told that “all the people were wailing and mourning for her” (v.52).

Jesus walked into that din, and commanded enough attention to be heard, and he showed his mighty authority in these words, “Stop wailing. She is not dead but asleep” (v.52), and they all fall apart! One minute the house was full of wailing and mourning, and the next the room was full of laughter. To them the words were ridiculous, and they mocked his folly. They knew when a person was dead. They knew that dead people are not sleeping people. What stupidity, and they scorned him.

In the room where the dead child lay there were just seven people, the parents, the three disciples, Christ and the little girl. The raising of this girl was to be witnessed by them only, and they were not to tell anyone about it. That is how the chapter ends: “He ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened” (v.56). How could they keep such an event silent? The mourners, the servant and all the crowd following Jesus knew that the girl had died, that he had got there too late, but that night after supper she was going to be out in the street playing with the other children. They were going to know that something happened. Does he want all of them to be mute? That is not Jesus’ intention here. What he wants is that they don’t say anything about the details of what happened in the girl’s bedroom. “If reporters come the next week you’re not allowed to speak. If Mrs. Jairus goes to the Jewish Ladies Weaving Guild you don’t say a thing about what occurred. If they say, “Tell us about it,” then you say, “I’m not allowed to say a word.” There were a couple of reasons for this. The first was that such knowledge of his power would at this early stage of his life bring him into much danger. If Herod knew that someone with this authority over death was on the loose, and at the head of a kingdom-of-God movement he wouldn’t want that to continue a day longer: “Throw him in jail with John.” If the leaders of the Temple and the Sanhedrin knew that someone was working in this way independently of getting their permission and bringing in the kingdom of God they would do their best to strangle the movement in its crib. Jesus is working according to a schedule. He has a few more years of teaching and training the twelve before he can allow all Israel to know that he is indeed the Messiah the Son of the living God. Then that knowledge will bring about his speedy murder, but in that death his victory and triumph will not be silent. His resurrection will be proclaimed over the whole world.

The other reason for the silence is that this particular group of mocking people must have this revelation of Jesus’ glory withheld from them. They have ridiculed him, and from that kind of unbelief Jesus veils his glory. He will sovereignly do that. He may do that to you. He will reveal his glory to those young babe-like believers, but he will hide his identity from superior and smart know-alls. They’re not going to know. Why does Jesus withhold the details of Jairus’ daughter’s restoration to life? Because he doesn’t want these cynical people to have the least taste of his glory. When men and women persistently bring this unbelieving attitude to Jesus he withdraws his light from them. When the people of Gesara asked Jesus to leave he left. He could do that to you. You protest, “But I’ll still have the Bible,” but you won’t see anything there but two columns of sentences, words and letters on a page. Without the light which Jesus alone can shine into your understanding and onto the book you won’t understand the gospel. If you come in a haughty spirit to Christ then he won’t begin to show himself to you. You’re in the dark without Christ. If we look upon Jesus and his saving work as so much barnyard manure then why should this Saviour show you his glory? He meets disdain by concealing of his glory.


We are told, that Jesus “took her by the hand and said ‘My child, get up!’” (v. 53). And we are told there was an immediate response in the dead girl; she stirred to life, “Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat” (v.55). She had been ill and was weak; she needed food. He got them back into the daily routine, but from now on even the commonplace was under his authority.

“My child, get up!” Whose child was she? She belonged to the Lord, like every child, even unborn children belong to the Lord. They are his by right of creation. They do not belong to their parents. They do not belong to the State. They do not belong to the congregation. They do not belong to themselves. They belong to God. He gave them life and knitted them together in their mother’s womb. We say of our children, “These are my children whom the Lord gave me.” And one day he is going to raise each one of them from the dead, that even the realm of death is subject to Jesus’ sway. That is the main truth.

This miracle is a glorious sign. It signifies what he will do for his people when he brings his kingdom in glory. He will raise them. This miracle is just the signpost of that certainty. Signposts are important, but they aren’t the destination. Why dont we have that sort of thing now? Why don’t we find in Wales every year two or three Christian children being raised from the dead and death certificates being torn up? Why don’t we have it? For the same reason that we don’t find it very often when Jesus was on earth. In the gospels you have the incident in the previous chapter of the raising of the son of the widow in Nain; and there is the raising of Lazarus in John 11, and then there is this incident. There might be references to others being raised but these are the only specific ones. Jesus himself in his own ministry didn’t bring many people back to life. Why not? It wasn’t time yet. That is for resurrection day. That is, at the second coming of Jesus Christ. What we have in the life of Christ is certain samples on the way to his own resurrection. Most people who died during Jesus’ ministry remained dead. He didn’t empty the cemeteries. He didn’t put funeral directors out of business. Gravediggers still made a living when Jesus was on earth. There were just these few episodes. Why did Christ raise and restore them? In order to show that the Son of God has power over the realm of death. He can plunder the captives of the grave at will to give you courage and shed his hope abroad in your hearts. The raising of Jairus’ daughter was just a sign and a foretaste and a preliminary sketch of what is to come on the day of resurrection when Jesus comes again.

Let me use that picture of a ‘foretaste.’ When I was a little boy I spent most of the time in the kitchen in the winter months with my mother because that was the only room in the house with a fire. My father would make that with paper, sticks and coal each morning, light the paper, put up a blower he had made and then he would wash and shave at the kitchen sink as my mother made eggs and bacon. Later in the day, when my mother made cake she would put all the ingredients together in a big bowl and mix them with a wooden spoon. When all of it was the right constituency she would put the mixture into two cake tins with grease-proof paper around the edges, and then she would give me the wooden spoon to lick. I would sit back, listen to the radio and lick the wooden spoon and the bottom of the handle. That was not the real treat. That would come in an hour when she had spread jam and cream between the two baked circles, and sprinkle the top with icing sugar. Then that would be cut into slices and eaten when it was still warm (after we had eaten bread and butter first) with a cup of tea. The wooden spoon was just a delicious foretaste of the real treat that was soon to come.

That is the way these miracles of Jesus function. They gave hope to the people of God. They gave it to James especially. We all know about Peter, and we all know about John. They lived long lives and were mightily used in their speaking and writing, but James is a more anonymous figure. He wrote nothing, and there is no record of his preaching, but he was with Christ here, and also on the Mount of Transfiguration, and again in the Garden of Gethsemane. Why don’t we know much about James? Because a year or two later he is killed by Herod’s orders for his faith. He was the first of the apostles to die for Jesus and the Saviour gives him a special foretaste of glory in Jairus’ home and on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Here is the mightiest miracle of the four that Luke records for us in these two chapters. Illness and demon-possession and calming the storm are one thing, but dying and entering the realm of the dead is something else! Yet the Lord Christ brings them back! That is his promise in John chapter 6 verse 40: “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” That is the promise, and if you say that that is too good to be true, and ask, “Whoever heard of anyone being raised from the dead?” I say to you that today you just did. You say that obviously Luke is prejudiced in Jesus’ favour, just as you might be prejudiced against Jesus. I say that the gospel writers, when they wrote of these extraordinary things that Christ did were writing in this first century when there were all sorts of people running around who knew the truth about whether Jesus had done this or that in Galilee, or what had been done in Jerusalem. If Luke were feeding us a lie here he would have been exposed as a con man and Christianity would have been exposed as an audacious ‘pious fraud’ back in the first century, and there wouldn’t have been any chapels in Wales today. Do I believe the record? Yes, there are good reasons to believe the record. It is supernatural but the world is supernaturally created and sustained. This is what happened when the Son of God begins to walk amongst men.

In Revelation 1:17&18 the risen Jesus says, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One. I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” You know what keys are, don’t you? Keys are a symbol of authority and control, and Jesus has the keys of death and Hades. I admire the style of writing of an American author called Joan Didion. I am not recommending her as having a Christian voice, but I have enjoyed her powers of observation, reporting of places and events over the years. She once wrote about California in the sixties, the hippie decade of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, flower power and drugs. She was working in Los Angeles in an apartment block with many people coming and going throughout the summer months, looking for meaning and love. She checked them in and gave them their keys and she picked up the keys before they departed. She said, “I had the keys . . . but I didn’t have the key.” She still hasn’t found it as her despairing book on the death of her husband, The Year of Magical Thinking, reveals. There are millions just like her, they have the key to their office, and to their bank-deposit box, and their summer cottage, and their sports car, and their mistress’ apartment – plenty of keys to the promise of magic pleasures, but they don’t have the key to life and death. Christ has that key. He is the one who controls the grave. He tells death when it may close its mouth on someone, and he can say, “Now open your mouth and release the prey,” and death will obey. It will give up the captive spirit and it will be restored to the body in the great day. That is why his people can rest in him.

We have an example of that here. Do you see the hopelessness of the mourners, and the pessimism of the messengers: “Your daughter is dead . . . Why bother the teacher any more?”? What utter despair! But Jesus gives life in the face of death. It is not hopeless. There is a Saviour who has conquered death, and Jairus’ little daughter is playing again with her friends. She tells you that not even death can put you beyond the grip of Jesus’ strong hand.

Our God is a God who performs miracles; that with him nothing shall be impossible. May this be a point to you in your prayers, and in your hard causes, that the Lord still says, “The cause that is too hard for you, bring it to me, and I will hear it.” It is not too hard for him. Now may you hear him speaking today. This same God, the God who raised Jairus’ daughter in the presence of witnesses, says today, “Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me? Anything? Any sin I cannot forgive? Any door I cannot open? Any problem I cannot solve? Any difficulty I cannot deal with? Is there anything – anything too hard for me?”

You have in our text such a kind and mighty Saviour. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want him to be your own Saviour. Looking on this passage I can’t see why you shouldn’t long to be hidden in this Saviour and have him as your own. Why anyone should want to turn away from him as he is revealed here I cannot understand, except that we love darkness rather than light. Andrew Bonar once talked to a Christian lady who told him that she had lost her fear of death by thinking about those words in Revelation 1, “I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Her reasoning was this, “If Jesus has the keys of death then the first face I shall see will be his.”

Now Jairus’ daughter wouldn’t be able to express her hope in that way, I guess. This little girl eventually died. She had been dead, and Jesus brought her back to life, but that wasn’t final resurrection life for her, and so she died again later. She probably lived many years and saw her father Jairus die and her mother also, and saw them both buried. Then later she died and her dust is somewhere in Galilean soil today. But on her dying bed did she assure her friends that she had lost her fear of death ever since she was twelve years old? She left that fear with Jesus long ago. She’d say, “The first hand I’m going to feel will be his, and the first voice I’m going to hear will say to me, ‘My child, get up!’”.

30th November 2008 GEOFF THOMAS