Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman

This is written by Bella Whiteway. She is currently studying at SOAS.

Mark 5:21-43

Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman
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.' 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned round 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.

Reflection

Faith is what leads to healing in this passage. Having this kind of faith can be hard because it's very easy to feel unworthy. Having faith in Jesus' love for us when we know everything we've done is tricky. It can make us feel too ashamed or incapable of praying and being close to God. Being confident in Jesus' power and love is also hard when we live in a world where we're taught we need to see something immediately to believe it. Faith involves patience and practice, things we're not very good at today.

Faith affects every part of our life: our identity, our prayers, our behaviour. Having faith in Jesus' love and power means that we can be confident that we are who Jesus says we are: children of God. When we know this we are able to love others around us in a different way and be examples of God's love to those who don't know it. Living in faith changes the way we behave, we become faithFUL and we want to live in a way that makes our Father happy. With faith we pray differently, we pray with power and we want to pray more; we see more of our prayers answered. In this way our faith can overflow and affect the lives of everyone around us, just like Jairus' faith and love for his daughter created the conditions for Jesus to raise her from the dead.

Let's notice when we see the fruits of our faith and be thankful that God always keeps his promises, even if we're not always aware of it at the time. This awareness will feed your faith when you experience fears, insecurities or doubt. Faith can move mountains.

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