Title: Jesus has power of disease and death
Scriptures to Read: Mark 5:21-43; Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56
Now for the disciples the events in this section would be a lesson of Messiah’s power. For the woman and Jairus it would be a lesson of faith.
Jesus responds to personal needs of faith
Jesus is now back on the Jewish side of the Sea and a synagogue official fell at His feet and implored 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” (Mark 5:21-23). This shows us two things: his personal need, and his belief in Jesus. Before His rejection the miracles Jesus performed were signs to authenticate His message that He is the Messiah. Now we are going to see that from the time He was rejected Jesus will respond to personal needs on the basis of faith. Luke, the physician, points out that she is 12 years old at this time, and she was very close to death.
Jesus was in the midst of a large crowd
Both Mark and Luke point out here that “the crowds were pressing against Him.” The Greek word used by Luke, sumpnígō, means: To choke or throttle and thus to suffocate. Figuratively it means to crowd, or press upon. In view of what we are about to read, it is important to note this because it means that a lot of people were touching him at this stage.
A woman with a haemorrhage
Along the way He encounters a “woman who had a haemorrhage for twelve years.” She had had some kind of blood infirmity for the same amount of time that Jairus’ daughter lived. She is twelve years old and the woman had twelve years of a blood disorder. Which, by the way according to the Law in Leviticus 15:19-32, made her permanently and ceremonially unclean. Now it is interesting to note that Luke the physician simply says “she could not be healed by anyone.” In some manuscripts, such as the one used for the ASV, Luke adds that she “had spent all her living upon physicians.” Mark points out two things: firstly, she had suffered much at the hands of many physicians, and secondly she had spent all that she had but was not healed (Mark 5:26). Now in verse 28 of Mark she was saying to herself: “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” And when she does so she is healed instantaneously. Luke, in verse 44, points out that “she touched the fringe of his cloak.” The word fringe refers to tassel. These were the tassels that were commanded by the Mosaic Law. And because Jesus kept the Mosaic Law perfectly he had these tassels on the borders of his garments. And she could not hold him because of her uncleanness, but she could hold a tassel and she feels that by holding the tassel she will be healed and she assumes that it is the holding of the tassel that will heal her. Now again in Mark verse 29: “Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.” She recognises that she was instantaneously headed.
Jesus gets His disciples attention
Mark points out that He was aware “that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth.” So He asks, “who touched My garments?” Why do you think He asked this question? For the disciples this was a frustrating question. And they say to him in verse 31: “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” There were many people who touched Him in the midst of the crowd. But now He has their attention. And that was His purpose: to catch the attention of the disciples. Notice verse 32: “And He looked around to see the woman who had done this.” The ordinary Greek verb meaning to see is blepo. But here Mark chooses to use the word eidon. It shows Jesus knew who it was. He knew exactly who did the touching, but the purpose of the question is to catch the apostolic attention so they learn the lesson of faith – faith is now required.
Her faith makes her well
We read in verse 28 of Mark that she was saying to herself: “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Notice what He says to her in Luke verse 48: “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” He corrects her theology. It was not her touch of His garments that healed her. It was her faith that healed her. Her touching His garment was merely the outworking of her faith. And the power to heal did not issue from his clothing, it issued from Him.
Jairus’ daughter dies
Now this incident causes a delay as they travel to the house of Jairus. A message comes to the party that the daughter has died. Therefore don’t trouble the master any further. But he says to them at the end of verse 36: “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe, and she will be made well.”
The policy of privacy
Read Mark, verses 37-40 and notice how he emphasises that the miracle was done in private. Jesus no longer performs miracles for the sake of the public, and so he has everybody else removed from the house. The only ones he brings in are three of his apostles and the parents. His purpose is to teach the disciples, and here they learn about His power over death. His policy now is to perform miracles privately, in response to personal need, and on the basis of faith.
Jairus’ daughter is raised from the dead
He says to her, “Talitha kum!” Talitha is an Aramaic female name. That was her name, “Talitha kum”, meaning rise up. And as a result she is resurrected from the dead.
Policy of silence
And now notice His new policy in verse 43: “And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this.” And Luke also records that “He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.” Nevertheless, as Matthew points out in verse 26, his fame continues to spread.