Thursday 24 June 2021


Mark 5 v.21/43

The Gospel passage for Sunday is from the 5th Chapter of Mark, beginning at verse 21, where Jesus is crossing to the side of the lake where he had become popular.  A great crowd had gathered when one of the Jewish rulers approached Jesus.

Jairus was a ruler of the Synagogue, and as such he was a powerful man in the community, so he was both respected and feared; he had authority to allow or bar any Jew from worship , and it would be a terrible feeling for not being allowed into the Synagogue.  But Jairus cherished his twelve years old daughter, and she became ill causing him to fear for her life.

This was a man who could have afforded the best medical attention then possible, but he sought Jesus.  This man would have regarded Jesus as  a dangerous heretic to whom the Synagogue was closed, but he put aside his prejudices and dignity, and threw himself at the feet of Jesus, which was a token of respect. It was a conscious effort to seek help.  He could have sent his servant out, but didn’t he went personally, and he got what he sought.

As Jesus began to go with Jairus he stopped to ask who had touched him.  You can imagine the tension Jairus must have felt, he was on his way with Jesus when this woman stopped them.

The woman had suffered a hemorrhage she discharged for a long time, she had tried all known remedies and spent all her money seeking help. She had a problem which was embarrassing, but went openly to Jesus in front of the crowd, but was reluctant to speak, so she touched the garment of Jesus.  He would be wearing a robe with four tassels, one in each corner.  This is what any devout Jew would wear to identify with God’s chosen people. Many people came to Jesus as a last resort, still do, but forget they can meet him any time in the pages of the Bible, and especially at a place of worship on Sunday.

The woman, because of her condition was ceremonially unclean and as such was not permitted to enter the women’s part of the Temple, nor should she be seen in public. By touching Jesus she technically   made him unclean, but Jesus is above and greater than any purity law, and he makes the woman clean by his power instead of becoming unclean himself.

Jesus sensed in himself some physical sensation in his body, that power had gone out of him, not by just being touched by someone, but being touched by someone who had faith in him that he could heal them.

It is a rule of life we will not produce anything great, without putting much of ourselves into what we are doing.  No great musician gets by with casual practice, they spend hours practicing.  No congregation will benefit unless the preacher, has spent time in preparation.  I have found and known a Minister spend five to ten minutes on a sermon, without ever mentioning Jesus or even referring to the Bible.

The disciples were not able to understand how Jesus could avoid being touched in such a crowd, so why worry trying to identify the person. They failed to recognize and realise how much it cost Jesus to heal someone.  It is a fact that we never fully appreciate the effects of something, until we have personal experience.

We see the relief of the woman when healed. It seemed so humiliating for her, yet when she told Jesus the truth, her fear and trembling were gone and relief flooded her heart. Having been on the fringe of the crowd, she finds herself welcomed into the family of God,  Jesus told her your faith has made you well, go in peace and be healed.

Our story moves on to the home of Jairus where people tell him it is too late, his daughter has died.  Jesus ignored them and told Jairus not to be afraid, just believe, his daughter was not dead. People mocked and scorned Jesus.  Again Jesus defines faith as an antidote to fear.   Faith comes into being, never allow what people say upset you. Jairus knew he faced a severe challenge in the face of death.

Jesus went into the house, and took only his inner circle of Peter and James.  The weeping and wailing reflected deep grief. The mourners were present and Jewish custom were vivid and detailed to stress the sense of desolation, and final parting to death.  It was customary to have professional wailers who could be hired for funerals.  The people were made to stay outside the house as they were a distraction, but allowed the girl’s parents to stay.

Touching a  dead person makes someone unclean, but again  Jesus overcomes uncleanness and the girl lives.  The amazement of the crowd did not however mean faith in Jesus, some refused to believe she had died.  Nothing surprising in that, people still will not believe no matter how hard you try.

We all have fears for the future, how our children will fare in life; worries about health, marriage or employment.  There is often a desire to seek the future, but the Bible is totally against that. We are afraid  of what we can’t see or know.  We can look back at the past and think ‘if only’, but the future is a blind spot. Only God knows our future and we have to leave all in his hands. The world is full of pain and trouble with the weak more numerous than the strong.

The two stories are of miraculous haling, and it is the purpose of God we should have spiritual health and spiritual life.  We see people claiming to be Christians who are living far from what God and Jesus intended.

We have just read of a woman at pain for twelve years, despite doing everything she could and tried to do, yet things only got worse.  God did not create us to suffer, but sin has brought much pain often to the most innocent who suffer most.

But we have also seen how different things are when Jesus is brought into the situation.  How many follow Jesus with the faith and determination of this woman. There are plenty, who see God and Jesus as useful to call upon when in trouble, but have no desire to call on him on a Sunday morning.

Many people may go to places of worship and call themselves Christians, but how many really are close to Christ?  Tradition, custom, habit, need of help, how many go home and live in faith and peace?

The moral of this story we are meant to understand, is that there is relief the gospel confers on souls. The experience of the woman in the story has been the same experience of many who approached Jesus with a humble heart and committed themselves in faith to his mercy, and the burden has eased, worry turned to joy and anxiety to peace.

We see how much it becomes Christians to make known the benefit they receive from Christ.  Each week in our Churches there are intercessions pleading for help and cure, but how many whom God answers remember to give thanks to Him.

There is a lesson here which all true Christians should remember. Never be ashamed to let it be known you are a proper Christian as opposed to a make believe one.  I have over the years, been amazed to find how many people do not want it known they attend Church, especially among men.  I have been pleaded with not to visit men in hospital, unless I go not disclosing by word or dress that I was a Minister, yet women have welcomed the ‘Vicar’ visiting.  If we find peace or help through Him, we should  let it be known.  If we are afraid to acknowledge Jesus now, we cannot expect Him to acknowledge us before God one day.

In conclusion, mark how precious a grace is faith.  Remember the words of Jesus, ‘woman thy faith has made thee well’.  Of all the graces mentioned in the Bible, faith is the one highly commended, for it brings glory to Christ.  Faith brings an empty hand and receives a full hand. By faith we live and overcome and have peace..  A question for all is, is my faith true and real; do I really believe?  The Christ who healed the sick woman and raised the dead daughter is the same Christ ready to save now.  Just one thing needful if we want salvation-faith

The Bible assures us that one day our Lord will return and call his faithful people from their graves, and give them new bodies, gathering all from North to South, east to West, we will meet our loved ones who fell  asleep in Jesus.  There is a glorious resurrection morning to come.

May God Bless you.

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