When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him and a large crowd followed him. There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat. (Mark 5:21-43)
Today’s scripture is deep in its implications of how we truly come to know God in our lives.
The Book of Wisdom tells us: “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. … For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to [the devil’s] company experience it.” Jesus came to give us a triumph over the devil.
Both instances in today’s scripture dramatically underscore the healing power of Jesus and his triumph over evil.
People in desperate or helpless circumstances were not disappointed when they sought Jesus out. What drew them to Jesus? Was it hope for a miracle or a word of comfort in their affliction? What did the elderly woman who had suffered miserably for twelve years expect Jesus to do for her? And what did a grieving father expect Jesus to do for his beloved daughter who was at the point of death?
Jesus gave hope where there seemed to be no human cause for it because his hope was directed to God. He spoke words of hope to the woman (Take heart, daughter!) to ignite the spark of faith in her (your faith has made you well!).
Jesus also gave supernatural hope to a father who had just lost a beloved child. It took considerable courage and risk for the ruler of a synagogue to openly go to Jesus and to invite the scorn of his neighbors and kin. Even the hired mourners laughed scornfully at Jesus. Their grief was devoid of any hope. Nonetheless, Jesus took the girl by the hand and delivered her from the grasp of death.
In both instances we see Jesus’ personal concern for the needs of others and his readiness to heal and restore life. In Jesus we see the infinite love of God extending to each and every individual as he gives freely and wholly of himself to each person he meets.
The question for you and me is whether in our lives we humbly reach out to touch Jesus with the faith of Jairus and the woman with the twelve -year hemorrhage — or do we just “bump into him,” like all those following in the crowd, who, even though they were coming into physical contact with him, were receiving none of his healing and transformative power.
Here is the key that so many miss: In a mystical way, our healing is connected to our internal disposition; we must want Jesus to heal us.
We must WANT Jesus to heal us. Want him enough that we are willing to set aside the vanities of the world and proclaim him the Lord of our lives. Then we go out and LIVE that proclamation.
Today could be that time in our lives when we beg him for the grace to “arise!” to be raised up to the fullness of life with him, and be so filled with a contagious amazement that others seeing our awe, might hunger to follow us to where Jesus wants to touch and change them, too.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you love each of us individually with a unique and personal love. Touch my life with your saving power, heal and restore me to fullness of life. Help me to give wholly of myself in loving service to others.”
The miracle of raising this little girl from death to life was meant to show what Jesus wants to do for all of us, in this world and forever. When Jesus approached the little girl, he lifted her up, raising her from the sleep of death and restoring her life, even more powerfully than in the case of the woman. Both are returned to health, life, and community. Our conversion to Christ makes us part of God’s family. Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter and called her “little girl’: “Talitha koum.” The woman who was healed became a “daughter” of God, a “little girl” again. Both have new life in and through Christ. Do you truly desire and believe that you can be healed? Do you want to be God’s beloved child?