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Desperate faith, dramatic outcome.

Two very different people.

Two very different circumstances. Two desperate situations, both seemingly hopeless.

As we look today, we see through a lens of greater clarity--in view of the monumental sacrifice of Jesus Christ who suffered and died, miraculously coming back to life. Yes, with the Resurrection yet in the forefront of our minds, all of Jesus’ acts beforehand are now imbued with greater significance.

As we turn our attention to Mark’s gospel, chapter five, I will admit to a long love for the woman in the story. But there is a young girl and her loving father who also take the stage. As you read or perhaps listen to the accompanying podcast of Mark’s rendering, what do you notice about the girl and the woman? What do the girl’s father, Jairus, and the woman bear in common? What is the great catalyst in these interlaced stories? And as always when we read the words of Scripture, we ask ‘what is God saying to me?’

“When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and He stayed by the seashore. And one of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came, and upon seeing Him, fell at His feet and pleaded with Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him.

A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but instead had become worse— after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she had been saying to herself, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power from Him had gone out, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman, fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be cured of your disease.”

While He was still speaking, people came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why bother the Teacher further?” But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” And He allowed no one to accompany Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the synagogue official, and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And after entering, He said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child has not died, but is asleep.” And they began laughing at Him. But putting them all outside, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was in bed. And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha, kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). And immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astonished. Mark 5.21-42

What do you see in this retelling? First, I see the hand of the Master Weaver, connecting people in a timely manner. The Creator never stops creating! Twelve years before these people sought out Jesus, this story took root. A baby girl was born, a woman got sick; both remain nameless in the gospels.

Mark tells us that as Jesus steps from a boat and onto the shore of the Galilee, he is greeted by another large crowd. Jairus, a synagogue leader, finds Jesus and begs him to come to his home to heal his daughter, his only child. At the same time, a woman has run out of options, tries to get through the crowd to Jesus, and suddenly the stories collide. Unable to plead her case directly to Jesus, she lunges out and touches his garment and is instantly healed. My goodness! It is a remarkable, supernatural encounter as both Jesus and the woman know what has happened. Jesus could have let the moment go, let her blend back in with the crowd, but instead he commends her for her faith and tells her she is well.

In the meantime, word has come to Jairus that his ‘daughter’ has died. Jesus comforts him saying, “Do not be afraid, only believe,” and goes to Jairus’ home and raises the child from the dead. Wow.

Both Jairus and the sick woman believe that Jesus has the power to heal. In their desperation, both exhibit such humble courage and great faith. Humility is knowing our rightful position before God—on our knees. Courage is risking all to get to God.

Oh, and one more thing--the Lord claims our nameless woman and calls her ‘daughter’. How I love that! These two daughters serve as a great reminder that Jesus is the Master Healer, and he is moved to action when we go to him in courageous faith.

We have the same faith . . . the same God today. Listen to this song about the fact that we worship the same God who healed these two daughters:

With love,


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