Mark 5:21-43

by Pastor John

Mark Throughout his Gospel, Mark has been trying to show us that Jesus has power. The realm of darkness cannot resist the authority of Jesus. But now Jesus will come face to face with death.

Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, approaches Jesus and asks him to heal his daughter, who is near death. Jesus agrees.

On his way, a woman who has been bleeding for years and years sees him, follows him, and touches him. This is a problem on many levels.

Because of the woman’s bleeding, she would be categorized as ceremonially unclean. She could not enter the temple because of her unclean status. And she may not have been into the temple for years because of this. She also should not be in public without letting others know she is ceremonially unclean, for an unclean person can make another ceremonially unclean. So when she touches Jesus, she is infecting him with her uncleanness.

Except Jesus isn’t infected at all. Rather, Jesus’ power “infects” her. His power heals and cleanses her.

Jesus senses the power has left him and turns around to question the crowd. The woman comes forward trembling and fearful. Maybe she is trembling because she knows she has made others in the crowd unclean. Maybe she is trembling because Jesu’ power has in fact healed her.

Whatever the reason, Jesus senses her sincerity, applauds her faith, and sends her off in peace. Before this interaction is even over, a messenger arrives saying that Jairus’ daughter has died.

Jesus says, “Do not fear, only believe.”  Upon arrival at the house, Jesus seems stunned that people are grieving the girl.

“Why are you so loud and crying? She’s just sleeping.”This comment is insensitive and mean.

Unless Jesus actually has the power to heal her.

And again he comes into contact with someone who is unclean: a dead body. Yet rather than being infected by death, Jesus infects the girl with life.

What can we learn from these stories?

We see Jesus’ deep compassion and His immense power. The one you follow has authority over all things, and he immensely cares.