Mark 5:21-24, 35-36… Upon crossing to the other side of the sea, a large crowd gathered around Jesus there. 22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came and when he saw him he fell at his feet. 23 He asked him urgently, “My little daughter is near death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may be healed and live.” 24 Jesus went with him, and a large crowd followed and pressed around him… 35 people came from the synagogue ruler’s house saying, “Your daughter has died. Why trouble the teacher any longer?” 36 But Jesus, paying no attention to what was said, told the synagogue ruler, “Do not be afraid; just believe.”
After being asked to leave in no uncertain terms in the region of the Gerasenes, Jesus and his disciples made their way back across the Sea of Galilee. Though Marks isn’t specific, Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus arrived in Capernaum where he had previously performed a handful of miracles and developed quite a following. Luke even says that a multitude welcomed him because they had been waiting for him. Possibly Jesus told them he would return there.
When he got back there was a ruler of the synagogue there named Jairus who was also waiting for him. This was the same synagogue where Jesus had dazzled the crowds with his authoritative teaching, and he had even cast out a demon there (cf. Mark 1:21-28). Jairus was a high ranking religious official in Capernaum, possibly the highest “ruler” of that synagogue there. He had obviously observed Jesus’ teaching, healings, and ability to cast out demons because he fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to heal his daughter who was near death. When he saw Jesus he “fell at his feet” – an act of worship and humility. His pleadings were continual, but his faith was solid. He was convinced that Jesus could heal his daughter, and all he asked was that Jesus come and lay his hands on her so that she would be healed and live. He knew Jesus could heal her, and he was banking on the possibility of Jesus actually coming to touch her.
So in v. 24 Jesus got off the boat and followed Jairus to his home in order to heal his daughter. He never said anything to Jairus; he just set out to do as he was asked. And as he made his way to Jairus’ home the large crowd followed, many hoping to see another good show and display of Jesus’ power. Jairus, however, was full of faith, expectation, and hope. His wearied soul was desperately hoping that his beloved young daughter would be healed. Verse 42 says that she was twelve years old – the age at which young Jewish girls celebrated their womanhood (boys celebrated manhood at age thirteen in the bar-Mitzvah). Verse 24 says that the scene was somewhat chaotic because people were pressing against Jesus as they went along.
As they made their way toward their destination a group of people from Jairus’ home came to him and Jesus as bearers of bad news. They announced that the young girl was dead and that there was no longer any reason to bother Jesus. But this is precisely what Jesus had planned, and having them where he wanted them, he said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” When all hope was seemingly gone, Jesus spoke and encouraged belief in the midst of pain and loss.
Food for Thought
No matter how busy Jesus was he was never too busy to go with those who asked him for help. He made himself accessible to the people and available to their needs. He went away when asked, yet he came near to those who pleaded with him. His timing was always perfect, even when it appeared that he was late in coming. He always puts those he loves in the most difficult of circumstances so that he can deliver them and display his love and power. What circumstance are you in today that has you up in arms? If you’re at the end of your rope and in need of peace, take the words of Jesus to heart: “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Everything is safe with Him.
Mark 5:25-34… Now a woman was there who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years. 26 She had endured a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all that 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 for she kept saying, “If only I touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 At once the bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Jesus knew at once 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, “You see the crowd pressing against you and you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But he looked around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Now as Jesus was traveling to Capernaum to heal Jairus’ daughter amidst a huge crowd that was pressing against him, a peasant woman made her way into the crowd to touch him. She wasn’t concerned with why the crowd was there, and there is no indication that she knew where Jesus was going. Her focus, however, was solely upon Jesus because she knew that he could heal her. She is said to have been bleeding for twelve years – a female condition that made her ceremonially unclean. In Jewish law if a person was ceremonially unclean then anything they touched also became unclean (Lev. 15:25-27). Therefore this woman was an outcast from society and considered no better than a leper. Furthermore, she had spent all of her money on the doctors of her day to heal her, but instead of getting better her condition only worsened.
When Jesus came into view this woman made her way to him, but she did so incognito. In v. 28 her mindset is revealed when it says, “she kept saying, ‘If only I touch his clothes I will be healed.’” The verb form means that she was saying this over and over as she approached Jesus. Amazingly, her plan worked, for when she touched Jesus, without even noticing her or addressing her faith, he felt his healing power go out from him. At the same time, the woman’s bleeding immediately stopped, and she felt her body receive the healing power. The whole event occurred in a moment, but once it happened Jesus stopped in his tracks and said, “Who touched my clothes?” This confused the disciples because there was a multitude of people pressing against him as they made their way to the home of Jairus. They said something along the lines of, “What are you talking about? Everyone is touching you!” But Jesus was undaunted by their misunderstanding of what he was talking about, and he looked around for the culprit who was cowering in fear over what she had done. It had caused the entire crowd to stop and take notice. Her fear was likely exacerbated by the fact that she probably thought Jesus was angry with her. After all, she was ceremonially unclean from her bleeding, and anyone she touched would also be. Her fear and trembling in v. 33 is no doubt a result of what she thought she had done to Jesus.
As the woman fell down before Jesus in great fear, she confessed her intentions. She told him “the whole truth” in v. 33 expecting to be reprimanded by the prophet. But to her astonishment Jesus called her “daughter” and told her that her faith had made her well. No doubt Jesus had a smile on his face as he watched her fear turn to joy, and he sent her away in peace.
Food for Thought
Jesus knows the difference between those who simply pay lip service to him and those who approach him by faith. Those who come to him by faith are saved; healed of their spiritual deadness. Faith alone doesn’t save us however; it’s the object of our faith that does: Jesus Christ.
Mark 5:37-43… Jesus did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the synagogue ruler where he saw noisy confusion and people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 When he entered he said to them, “Why are you distressed and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 And they began making fun of him. But he put them all outside and he took the child’s father and mother and his own companions and went into the room where the child was. 41 Then, gently taking the child by the hand, he said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” 42 The girl got up at once and began to walk about (she was twelve years old). They were completely astonished at this. 43 He strictly ordered that no one should know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Jesus’ brief journey from the Sea of Galilee to Jairus’ home in Capernaum was quite eventful. After curing a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, to the astonishment of the crowd, a group from Jairus’ home came to him and told him to let Jesus alone because the young girl had died. Undeterred, Jesus proceeded to Jairus’ home where the girl was taking only Peter, James, and John, his inner circle, and the four of them approached the home observing the confusion and weeping associated with the girl’s death in Mark 5:38.
In v. 39 when Jesus entered the home he asked a bold question to the mourners: “Why are you distressed and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” It was as if to say, “Hey, why are you crying. God is here, and your mourning shall turn to comfort.” In the western world of the modern day funerals are soft-spoken occasions with quiet and moving music. Not so in the ancient Middle East (then or now). Professional mourners and musicians were often hired by the bereaved. The intended result was “noisy confusion and people weeping and wailing loudly.”
When Jesus had the audacity to suggest that the girl was not dead but only asleep, the laughter they exhibited betrayed their true feelings. They weren’t full of sorrow for the dead girl; they were doing the job they were hired to do, namely, leading the mourning procession. They made fun of Jesus because they thought themselves superior to him. They thought she was dead, and they scorned Jesus for his bold ignorance. But Jesus “put them all outside” – the same Greek word used for Jesus casting out demons in other texts. In other words, Jesus drove them all out by force. He had no plan for these cynics to see the miracle he was about to perform. The only ones who would witness it would be Jairus, his wife, Peter, James, and John.
Upon entering the room, Jesus gently took the little girl by the hand and said in Aramaic, “Little girl, arise!” – and she was healed! The astonishment of those present isn’t surprising, for they had witnessed another miracle simply by the spoken word of Jesus. The fact that Jesus then told them to keep silent about the incident is interesting because once the girl came out of the room everyone would know. But the secret about her healing isn’t what Jesus forbade, rather, he wanted the means by which he healed to be kept from the cynics who scoffed at him.
Food for Thought
The Canadian scientist G.B. Hardy said upon looking at religion: “I have two questions. One, has anybody ever conquered death, and two, if they have, did they make a way for me to conquer death? I checked the tombs of Buddha, Confucius, and Mohammed, and they were all occupied. I came to the tomb of Jesus, and it was empty. And I said, ‘There is one who conquered death. And I asked the second question, ‘Did he make a way for me to do it?’ And I opened the Bible and discovered that He said, ‘Because I live you shall also live.’”
- Ghandi boasted of Hinduism being so wonderful. At the point of death he was in a “slew of despond.” His man-made religion couldn’t save him or grant him answers.
- Cemeteries are filled while humans deteriorate into death. B/c of the curse sickness and diseases, pain, and torment will always haunt us.
- We can all recount someone we know who has suffered/died.
- Even Jesus wept in the face of death b/c of the corruption for which it brought.
- But Jesus came to reverse the curse and grant healing and salvation. His miracles attest to his divine strength and might.
- Canadian scientist G.B. Hardy said, “I have two questions. One, has anybody ever conquered death, and two, if they have, did they make a way for me to conquer death? I checked the tombs of Buddha, Confucius, and Mohammed, and they were all occupied. I came to the tomb of Jesus, and it was empty. And I said, ‘There is one who conquered death. And I asked the second question, ‘Did he make a way for me to do it?’ And I opened the Bible and discovered that He said, ‘Because I live you shall also live.’”
- In Mark 5:21-43 we see two miracles, and we see Jesus’ response to people in need.
I) Jesus’ Accessibility (21-23)
II) Jesus’ Availability (24) – willingness to be interrupted to serve others
III) Jesus’ Impartiality (25-34)
IV) Jesus’ Authority (35-43)
V) About God…
A) Available, accessible, loving, & caring.
B) He cares about the rich & the poor with no favoritism.
C) Faith in Him is rewarded with attention from Him.
D) Death and sickness are not barriers to Him but means by which man can seek Him.
E) If He allows it, then He has a plan for it.
F) God goes and gets those who are His. He pursues them; and leaves those who reject.
VI) About Man…
A) He cannot conquer death and sickness but is in need of power higher than himself.
B) His true faith in Christ saves him from sickness and death.
C) He is not easily persuaded to believe even after witnessing the miracles of God.
D) He is a willing observer but not a willing believer.
VII) About man’s relationship to God
A) Jairus represents those who hate and reject God until some life-threatening situation turns them to Him. With the sickness of his daughter was willing to try anything.
B) The first step in all “seekers” is a felt need. Those with no perceived needs do not and will not seek Jesus. In evangelism we must tell them about their sin & its effects
C) We trust in Jesus for our help and salvation, and we find him accessible to us always.
D) Jesus Christ never conducted a funeral. He always brought the dead back to life. When he brings us to life spiritually we worship his name but not before. We must go to him in faith expecting his miraculous touch. He’s fully capable of caring for us.