By Pat Russsell
Considering the sermon by Pastor Bruce on
August 9, 2020
Scripture Reading: Mark 5:21-43
Jairus' Daughter and the Woman Who Touched Jesus' Cloak
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.
The two stories within this one episode have much in common, as Pastor Bruce pointed out and I will augment:
- 12-years played a part in both the older and the younger women’s lives.
- Both females were healed by touch; one reached out and one received.
- Both were daughters cherished by God.
- Both Jairus and the older woman had to deal with their pride and their fear.
- Both Jairus and the older woman acted on what they believed with all their heart.
- Both the older and the younger women were socially ignored in life although the older woman probably suffered much more than the child of the synagogue leader.
- What would you add?
Do any of these parallels add meaning to your faith? How? Talk with God about that insight.
We don’t often think about the structure of the Gospel accounts --why Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote their accounts of Jesus in the way that they did. When we study this aspect of their writings, we can often “go deeper” in our faith because we see some truth or realize something about Jesus that may change our life.
Scholars have given us significant clues to these mysteries, and I urge you to do some prayerful commentary reading about the Gospel structure. You will be enriched. Yesterday Pastor Bruce revealed a very significant truth in why Mark and the other Gospel writers put together these two stories the way they did. Jesus lived out this truth with those around him and the writers wanted to make sure others who read their accounts understood this. The truth is, “The first shall be last and the last first.” This is a principle in the Kingdom of God, whether here on earth or in heaven. This is how God operates.
What does this truth mean in your life? When have you been first? When have you been last? What were your heart attitudes in each situation? How did you regard being first? How did you regard being last? How might you change your living pattern if you are going to live in this truth? Spend some time talking with the Trinity about your thoughts and then, find an earthly person with whom to share your thoughts.
I am including the benediction today.
As we go from this place, we bless you, O God.
You are the peace of all things calm
You are the place to hide from all harm
You are the light that shines in the dark
You are the heaven's eternal spark
You are the door that's open wide
You are the guest who waits inside
You are the stranger at the door
You are the calling of the poor
You are my Lord and with me still
You are my love, keep me from all ill
You are the light, the truth, the way
You are my Savior this very day.