“There came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house” (Luke 8:41).

It is rare that a sitting U.S. president or vice president has lost a child to death. When Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden, passed away after a battle with brain cancer on May 30, 2015, it had been fifty years since another president or vice president experienced the grief of such a loss while in office.

The previous death of a child happened when John F. Kennedy’s son, Patrick Kennedy, died two days after his premature birth in August 1963. While Jackie was treated at a Cape Cod hospital, the president slept at the Children’s Hospital in Boston in order to be with Patrick. Just a few months later, Kennedy was assassinated in Texas.

In 1862, President Lincoln’s eleven-year-old son Willie died from typhoid fever. He probably contracted the disease from contaminated water at the White House. In 1924, President Coolidge’s son, Calvin Jr., died from blood poisoning after the teenager got a blister on his toe while playing lawn tennis on the White House South Grounds.

Jairus, who was a ruler at the time of Jesus, would have understood such a loss. When his twelve-year-old daughter was near death, he came to Christ, fell at His feet, and begged the Healer to come and save his only child. As Jesus made His way through crowds of people, stopping occasionally to minister to the sick, a messenger broke through and said to the distraught father, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher” (Luke 8:49).

At that moment, Jesus tenderly turned to the broken man and said, “Only believe, and she will be made well” (verse 50). The compassionate Lord still looks into the eyes of hurting parents who have children who are struggling physically and spiritually, and says, “Only believe.” Will you put your trust in the Master?

Dear Jesus, there are precious children I know who need Your healing touch. Please reach out to them at this moment.

For Further Study: Luke 8:40–56; Matthew 9:18–26; Mark 5:21–43

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