‘…when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him…’ (Mark 5:22-23)
‘When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak’ (Mark 5:27)
Two people with problems. In faith they take them to Jesus, believing he can help – how often unlike them we struggle on our own. Ask for the faith to see Jesus as the answer and resolve to take any problems you face today to him in prayer.
Three Course Meal
Reading: Mark 5:21-28
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round 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 round 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.’
Thought: Today’s passage tells the first half of two intertwined stories featuring Jairus, the synagogue leader, and a woman suffering with a chronic bleeding condition. This combining of stories is a signature of Mark’s writing, often called a Markan Sandwich, with one story being told in the middle of another. The idea is that the two stories inform and help us understand each other.
So what’s today’s set of stories about?
- Ritual uncleanliness – The Jews understood dead bodies to be ‘unclean’, and so to ask Jesus to come to see his daughter was to ask him to enter a potentially ‘unclean’ situation. The woman who was bleeding was also considered ‘unclean’, and so for her to come to Jesus was risky, she risked being shunned if found out by the crowd and by touching him, she was also making him ‘unclean’.
- Overcoming barriers – Jairus had to over come the barrier of knowing that his colleagues may look down on him because he went to this controversial, blasphemous even, rabbi for help. The woman had to overcome her barrier of fear of the crowd’s response and maybe even Jesus’ potential response, many religious figures would reject her because of her condition. To respond, Jesus will also have to overcome barriers, the risk of becoming unclean, and the risk of what others might think of him.
- Faith – both Jairus and the woman show faith in seeking out Jesus. They may see him as the answer to their needs or as a last desperate chance, but still they come to him.