Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mark: Jesus lets a girl die while healing an interrupting woman and then goes and heals the dead girl

Mark 5:21-6:4
In this passage, a synagogue ruler, Jairus, comes and asks Jesus to heal his deathly sick daughter.  In Mark, she is at the point of death.  In other synoptic gospels, she has already died.  Whatever the case, it was serious.  So Jesus responds to this Jewish religious leader who had been given genuine faith from God.

On his way to help Jairus, crowds are swamping out Jesus.  A woman, who has been hemorrhaging for 12 years, comes seeking healing.  She successfully sneaks up to Jesus, believes that if he touches his cloak, that she will be healed, and does so.  Immediately, she is healed.  This woman had a superstitious belief that touching a religious man's clothes might heal her.  That is not what healed her.  God's mercy healed her.  And Jesus, being the gracious lover that he is, takes the time to tell her that it was her faith that healed her.  Not touching Jesus's clothes or beating through a crowd, but faith.

It is also wonderful that he sweetly calls her "daughter."  Since she essentially had her period nonstop for 12 years, she was ritually unclean and had no relationships.  But God never stopped loving her and graciously showed her his amazing Son.

Then, Jairus comes and tells Jesus that his daughter has died and that he will no longer bother him.  All of Jairus's hopes and dreams are gone, but Jesus is not done.  He says, "Do not fear, only believe."  Jesus then goes to the house and tells the people that the girl is only asleep.  They laughed at him, and in no uncertain terms, Mark tells us that Jesus put them all out.  He took them by their shirts and belts and threw them out of the house, much like he will clean the temple later on.  Then he raises the girl.

Disciples like me can learn 1) 12-year long menstruation cycles and death are the most unclean situations to be in, but they are not too much for Jesus.  They don't ruin Jesus, and in fact, he makes them better.  He can heal them all.  So, if you are in a situation, you must not fear but believe.  He was willing to let a girl die to heal another woman.  He can heal you and then go and raise the dead.  And he will raise all the dead on the day he comes back to earth.  Just you wait.

2) All of faith is a gift.  Usually synagogue rulers were the ones most opposed to Jesus.  Not Jairus.  He believed with a faith not his own.  The unclean woman also had faith that was a gift.  She thought her faith was in touching clothes, but it was a gift from God that Jesus clarified the moment he healed her.  Our faith doesn't come by a good church position, any action we could take, or any decision we make.  It is all from God, and it is given in varying degrees to different people.  But the main thing is what Jesus said, "Don't be afraid.  Only believe."  When Jesus tells you that, then you must believe.  And he will help you grow from there.  Just trust in his Holy Spirit.

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