Mark 5:21-42  Jesus heals two people

21 Jesus crossed the lake again, and on the other side a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, came forward. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded with him, “My daughter is about to die. Please, come and place your hands on her so that she can be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.

A swarm of people were following Jesus, crowding in on him. 25 A woman was there who had been bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a lot under the care of many doctors, and had spent everything she had without getting any better. In fact, she had gotten worse.27 Because she had heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes. 28 She was thinking, If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed. 29 Her bleeding stopped immediately, and she sensed in her body that her illness had been healed.

30 At that very moment, Jesus recognized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 His disciples said to him, “Don’t you see the crowd pressing against you? Yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But Jesus looked around carefully to see who had done it.

33 The woman, full of fear and trembling, came forward. Knowing what had happened to her, she fell down in front of Jesus and told him the whole truth. 34 He responded, “Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace, healed from your disease.”

35 While Jesus was still speaking with her, messengers came from the synagogue leader’s house, saying to Jairus, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the teacher any longer?”

36 But Jesus overheard their report and said to the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid; just keep trusting.” 37 He didn’t allow anyone to follow him except Peter, James, and John, James’ brother. 38 They came to the synagogue leader’s house, and he saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “What’s all this commotion and crying about? The child isn’t dead. She’s only sleeping.” 40 They laughed at him, but he threw them all out. Then, taking the child’s parents and his disciples with him, he went to the room where the child was. 41 Taking her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Young woman, get up.” 42 Suddenly the young woman got up and began to walk around. She was twelve years old. They were shocked!

This is the word of God for us, the people of God.

Healing Hands – Bring Life

I think this is one of my favorite stories about the ministry of Jesus, maybe because I am a daughter myself —- but mainly because it reveals the amazing power of Jesus to heal and to bring life where it seems there is only pain and death.  So what a perfect scripture to begin this series called Healing Hands.  We are going to be working our way through parts of the book of Mark and considering the healing nature of Jesus’ ministry.

This scripture has been called the miracle that happened on the way to a miracle!  As Jesus is going to see Jairus’ daughter, he is stopped by a bleeding woman – a woman who isn’t even named in Mark’s writing.  And these two stories have some striking similarities and some striking differences, but both have the same result.

Jesus is dealing with people of vastly different social standing in this miracle within a miracle.  Jairus is an influential leader of the synagogue – important, rich and part of the establishment who doesn’t necessarily like, believe in or trust Jesus.  But when your daughter is near death, you might take a risk to seek out healing.  And so he falls at the feet of Jesus begging for help for his daughter.

On the other hand, the bleeding woman has been impoverished spending her money on doctors who have failed to cure her.  She has so far placed all of her hope in solutions offered by the world.  She is a social outcast; because of her bleeding she is ceremonially unclean.  Under Jewish law, her bleeding has isolated her from most human contact.  Not only is she unclean, but her touch renders unclean anyone she touches.  She defiles even the bed upon which she lies and the chair upon which she sits, and these items then transmit her uncleanness to anyone who touches them.  She was not even allowed into the synagogue, so it feels like even God shuns her.  Her situation was much like that of a leper – an outsider – a person who does not count and a person who does not belong.

Jairus’ daughter also becomes ceremonially unclean in her death.  So both stories involve issues of ritual uncleanliness, they are stories not just of illness, but of shame and exclusion.

In both stories those with authority have proven there is no remedy.  The bleeding woman had spent all her money on doctors over the years and their remedies had all failed.  The young girl had died, and the crowd laughed at Jesus for saying she was only sleeping.

In both stories neither the woman nor the young girl were even identified by name.  The woman was afflicted with bleeding for 12 years.  The young girl was 12 years old.  Both had suffered greatly.

Both of those healed were women.  This makes a great statement about the love that Jesus has for all people since women were treated as second-class citizens in Jesus’s day.

Both of these situations were ones of desperation.  Jairus was so desperate that he fell at the feet of Jesus and pleaded with Jesus to save his daughter.  The bleeding woman was so desperate that she chanced being among a crowd of people – where no unclean person would dare go.  And she stretched out her arm, reached out her fingertip through the crowd and touched Jesus from behind.

Both Jairus and the woman demonstrated great faith in Jesus.  Jairus’ is convinced that Jesus’s touch will make his daughter well.  And the bleeding woman is convinced all she must do is touch the hem of his clothes for healing.

Somehow, somehow, they both knew that the touch of Jesus was saving – healing – and that it would bring life.  Jairus said, “Please come and place your hands on her so that she can be healed and live.”  The bleeding woman must have been thinking, “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed.”  And the way Jesus responds to both desperate situations reveals that faith is a part of both healings.  Listen to how Jesus responded to these two daughters.  Listen for the way faith plays into this healing.                          As soon as the bleeding woman touches Jesus, the bleeding stops, and she senses that she has been healed.  And after sensing that someone has touched his clothes, the bleeding woman falls at the feet of Jesus, just as Jairus did.  The woman tells Jesus the whole truth.  And Jesus said to the healed woman, “Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace, healed from your disease.”

And as soon as this woman is healed, Jesus gets word from messengers that he’s taken too long on the road, and that Jairus’s daughter has already died – he is too late to save this little one, and the messenger says don’t bother Jesus any further.  But despite how hopeless the situation seems —- Jesus says to them, “Don’t be afraid; just keep trusting.”  When Jesus reaches Jairus house, he ignores the mourners’ wailing and crying.  He sends away those who laugh when he says the young girl is not dead.  He takes the young girl’s hand, and he says to her, “Talitha koum.”  “Young woman, get up.”

Faith – belief – is key to both healings.  The faith of Jairus and the faith of the bleeding woman.  “Don’t be afraid; just keep trusting.”  Jesus doesn’t call us to a surface-level faith here – Jesus doesn’t want us to merely believe that God exists.  Jesus wants our faith to be more mature than that.  Jesus wants our faith to be real and life changing.  Jesus wants our faith to bring life to us and those around us on a daily basis!  Did you know the presence of God in your life is healing on a daily basis?

Jesus says == don’t be afraid and keep trusting.  I am big enough to handle all your problems – I can heal all of your heartaches and pains, I will bring life – but you must come to me-you must draw near to me, you must fall on your knees before me. You must stretch out your hand.  Know that you can…

Trust that God is beside us through our illnesses.

Trust that God is beside us through our grief.

Trust that God is beside us through our depression.

Trust that God is beside us when we are outcasts.

Trust that God is beside us through our unemployment.

Trust that God is beside us through divorce.

Trust that God is beside us in our joyful times and in our ordinary days.

Trust that God is beside us even in our deaths.

Trust that God is beside us!

Jesus says, “Get up and live!  You are healed from your disease.”  The healing hands of Jesus continue to bring life today – to you and me, to your family members, and to our whole broken world.

This scripture is not just about the healing power of Jesus. This scripture is also a call to deeper faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.  It is my prayer that we would respond simply – by falling on our knees before Christ, confessing our deep needs and trusting in a way that we have never trusted.  And so I want to give you some time of silence to do that.  Imagine yourself falling before Jesus – ask for healing ….for yourself, your family, this church and the world.

Place your hope in God, our source of Life.

For God is the Great Physician, whose steadfast love has the power to redeem.

Give thanks to the One who hears our prayers and makes us well.  In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.