Scripture

Mark 5:21-43

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

 

21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Reflection

How do we move forward when life is a struggle and hope seems so far away? There are times when we just feel hopeless. Maybe we wonder if God is mad at us, or perhaps God has forgotten about us. First, let me assure that God loves you more than anything you do or say. God will never abandon you, forget you or leave you. However, this world will have troubles. Every prominent character in the Bible endured difficulty. Even Jesus, God incarnate, experienced a great amount of suffering and even death. So we should not think we will be without difficulty, but we should also not be without hope. The hard part is we don’t always know what to hope for. What will come of this disease, my suffering, this broken relationship, this hardship?

In this passage from the gospel of Mark, there are two people who had every reason to give up hope, but they did not. Perhaps we can learn from them.

Both the sick woman and Jarius, the synagogue leader, sought Jesus, wholeheartedly. They were somewhat relentless in their pursuit of Jesus, the woman even touching his cloak just to get near him. For us, seeking Jesus is not about physically going to a place to find him, but about getting on our knees to seek him. When we are desperate, it may come naturally to get on our knees, but if it doesn’t, get out of your comfort zone and give it a try. Something happens when we put ourselves in a position of complete submission to the one who loves us more than we love ourselves. Be relentless in your pursuit of Jesus. 

The woman and Jarius also continued to believe that God was at work. The faith of the woman was astounding. And, Jarius was surrounded by people saying, “It’s too late.” But both trusted God with everything. We must believe God is at work even when we can’t see what God is doing, and even when we feel as if God has moved on to other things. Don’t let others sway your belief or doubt what God can do.

Nothing gets in God’s way, not a crowd, a bad report; and not even a laughing cynic will stop God from working. God is bigger than anything we face, and nothing deters God from hearing your heart. God is good, all the time; even in hard times. Believe that. Pursue Jesus with everything you have. Believe God is more than able to do something with your mess. And remember that God loves you more than you love yourself. 

Prayer

Holy One, As I step into the future, I pray that you will continue to guide me. Give me your help and your protection. Aid me with your direction and support. You are my rock and my redeemer. Let all of my plans be yours, Lord. Open my soul to where and how you are at work in the world, and let me join you. Thank you for being with me regardless of success or failure. Use all of me and all of my life for your purposes, oh Creator God. I put my hope in you alone. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.