by Robert M. Solomon

Day 16

Read Mark 5:21-43

The previous two passages show Jesus as Lord in control over both nature and demons. This passage shows His Lordship over disease and death.

rituals were no barriers to Jesus and His power to heal

Two people fell at Jesus' feet: Jairus the synagogue ruler (v. 22) and a woman troubled by a chronic and debilitating illness (v. 33).

When Jairus told Jesus about his dying 12-year-old daughter, Jesus compassionately accompanied him back home (vv. 23-24). A large crowd followed. In that crowd was a miserable woman who had suffered from a bleeding illness for 12 years. She had seen many doctors, only to suffer ″a great deal″, using up all her money and yet getting even worse (v. 26). She secretly touched Jesus' cloak and was healed immediately (vv. 27-29). Women in her condition were ceremonially unclean and not to be touched (Leviticus 15:19-31), but rituals were no barriers to Jesus and His power to heal. He felt power going out from Him (v. 30) and stopped to ask who in the crowd had touched Him. Caught ″red-handed″, the woman fell at His feet and told Him everything. Despite the surging crowd, she managed to actually touch Him. As Augustine writes, ″Flesh presses, faith touches″. Jesus commended her faith and publicly declared her healed (vv. 33-34).3 She was the only woman in the Gospels that Jesus addressed as ″Daughter″ (v. 34). In His compassion and divine kindness, He brought her new dignity.

News then arrived that the little girl had died. Unperturbed, Jesus continued on to the house, reassuring Jairus and encouraging him to believe (v. 36). At the house, mourners were wailing loudly. Jesus told them that the child was only ″asleep″, to which they responded with laughter (vv. 38-40). Accompanied by the parents and three of His disciples, Jesus went to where the dead child was lying. He took the girl by the hand and said, ″Little girl, . . . get up!″ (v. 41), and she got up immediately (v. 42). Those present were ″completely astonished″ (v. 42).

Jesus gave strict orders to keep this miracle a secret-as His time for crucifixion had not arrived, He did not want His fame to spread prematurely. Jesus then asked the parents to ″give her something to eat″ (v. 43). Besides proving to everyone that the girl's health had been fully restored, this was also a lovely gesture of care and concern from the Lord of compassion. He is not a superstar magician, but the Lord of life who cares for every aspect of our lives.

3John Augustus William Haas, Annotations on the Gospel According to St. Mark, Vol. 3 (London: Forgotten Books, 2013), 97.

Think through:

Reflect on the power of the Lord over disease and death. Talk to Him about your own fears of illness and dying.

Jesus was touched by the sick woman and He touched the dead girl. Why is His touch important? What does it convey? What lessons can we learn when ministering to sick and dying people?




About Author

Robert Solomon served as Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore from 2002-2012. He has an active itinerant preaching and teaching ministry in Singapore and abroad. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The Race, The Conscience, The Sermon of Jesus, and Faithful to the End.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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