Fourth Sunday after Trinity Sunday 1.712 Mark 5.21-end

21 06 2012

Double Healing

This is wonderfully exciting and closely interwoven couple of stories. It is amazingly dense and richly repays attention to the human detail.  Notice how it  hides real sophistication under a very a surface of very ordinary and straightforward language.

Mark 5.21-end

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ 24So he went with him.

Page 52r: Healing of a bleeding women / Ressur...

Page 52r: Healing of a bleeding women / Ressurection of Jairus’ daughter, Mk 5:21-43 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ 29Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ 31And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ 32He looked all round to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ 36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ 40And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Reflections and Questions

‘begged him repeatedly’ v 23 This is powerful image.  There is real desperation here – coupled with determination.

When have you seen those two things blended together?  Have you ever felt both desperate and determined?

‘She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse.’ v 26. This verse tells a story. In fact it makes a story out of four separate points – each of which builds on the first and underlines the sadness of the situation.  

What scope is there to slow this story down in the pulpit? 

Some people who listen will have been through this sort of experience. How can you help them connect more deeply with the passage?

‘Immediately’ v29 and v 30  You get the picture. Suddenly time has speeded up.  Quick! Quick!  Extraordinary things are happening at an extraordinary pace.

Change of pace matters. Both slow to fast and fast to slow. Does your preaching reflect this important dynamic in human experience? Or do you just plod on and on and on…

‘The laughed at him’ v40 

I will be honest and say that I have never noticed this phrase in this passage before. We easily read over it. And yet when we are laughed at in real life it usually gets to us.

Did being laughed at ‘get to’ Jesus?

If our faith had a bigger impact on our lives, would we be laughed at less often – or more often?