Mark 5:21-43 (Wednesday Evening Bible Study)

Mark 5:21-43

  • Mark 5:21-24
  • 21 When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the sea. 22 One of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and begged him earnestly, “My little daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her so that she can get well and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against him.
    • We don’t see the girls age stated here at the first of the story, but it is a significant factor
      • The story tells us that the ruler’s daughter was twelve years of age. According to the Jewish custom, a girl became a women at twelve years and one day. This girl was just not eh threshold of womanhood, and when death comes at such a time it is doubly tragic.
      • The story tells us something about this man who was the ruler of the synagogue.
        • He would have been someone of considerable importance
        • He was the administrative head of the synagogue. 
        • Think Chairman of the Board
        • He was responsible for making sure everything was ready so that services could be held.
        • H was one of the most important and most respected men in the community.
      • But something happened to him when his daughter fell ill and he thought of Jesus
        • His prejudices were forgotten
          • He was willing to take a chance on the outsider that wouldn’t conform, for the sake of his daughter
        • His dignity was forgotten
          • He fell at Jesus’ feet
        • His pride was forgotten
        • Some speculation here, but it seems that we can say that his friends were forgotten
          • Someone of this importance would have had someone else come to Jesus for him, especially with his daughter on the verge of death. He would have wanted to stay by her side. But it appears they did not agree with going to Jesus, and therefore, Jairus came to Jesus to make his own plea.
          • It is often the case that we are wisest when our worldly-wise friends think we are acting like fools.
        • Here was a man who forgot everything except that he wanted the help of Jesus; and because of that forgetfulness he would remember forever that Jesus is a Savior.
  • Mark 5:25-29
  • 25 Now a woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years 26 had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. 27 Having heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothing. 28 For she said, “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be made well.” 29 Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
    • This was a very common ailment, but also one that was very hard to deal with.
    • The Talmud itself gives no fewer than eleven cures for such trouble.
      • Some of theme are tonics and such, but some of theme are sheer superstitions
        • Carrying the ashes of an ostrich egg in a linen rag in summer and a cotton rag in winter, etc. 
    • The trouble was that not only did this affect a woman’s health, it also rendered her continuously unclean and shut her off from the worship of God and the fellowship of her friends (Leviticus 15:25-27)
    • The physicians had had no success with the treatment of this woman’s case, and she had heard of Jesus. But her trouble was an embarrassing thing.
    • Here was a woman who came to Jesus as a last resort having tried every other cure that the world had to offer.
      • How many times do we do the same thing though.
  • Mark 5:30-34
  • 30 Immediately Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But he was looking around to see who had done this. 33 The woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction.”
    • This passage tells us something about three people
      • It tells us about Jesus and the cost of healing
        • Every time Jesus healed anyone, it took something out of Him
      • It tells us something about the disciples
        • It shows us very vividly the limitations of what is called common sense.
        • The disciples took the common sense point of view. How could Jesus avoid being touched in a crowd like that? That was the sensible way to look at things. There emerges the strange and poignant fact that they had never realized that it cost Jesus anything at all to heal others.
        • We often fail to realize what others are going through.
          • Because we have no experience of something, we never think what that something is costing someone else.
          • Because something may be easy for us, we never realize what a costly effort it may be for someone else. 
      • It tells us something about the woman.
        • It tells us of the relief of confession
          • It was all so difficult; it was all so humiliating. But once she had told the whole truth to Jesus, the terror and the trembling were gone and a wave of relief flooded her heart. And when she had made her pitiful confession she found him very kind.
  • Mark 5:35-39
  • 35 While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36 When Jesus overheard what was said, he told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” 37 He did not let anyone accompany him except Peter, James, and John, James’s brother. 38 They came to the leader’s house, and he saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”
    • Jewish mourning customs were vivid and detailed, and practically all of them were designed to stress the desolation and the final separation of death.
      • Immediate wailing after death
      • Tearing of clothing
      • Flute players were essential (No matter how poor, had to provide at least two flute players)
      • Forbidden to work, anoint themselves, or wear shoes (Even the poorest again, had to cease from work for three days)
      • No traveling with goods
      • Prohibition from work extended to servants
      • He must not shave or do anything for his comfort
      • Couldn’t read the law or the prophets, for to read these books is joy.
      • Was permitted to read Job, Jeremiah, and Lamentations
      • Must eat only in his own house and must abstain altogether from meat and wine
      • Can’t leave the town or village for 30 days
      • Had to eat sitting on the floor and using a chair for the table
      • Custom that is still in place was to eat eggs dipped in ashes and salt
  • Mark 5:40-43
  • 40 They laughed at him, but he put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with him, and entered the place where the child was. 41 Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up”). 42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was twelve years old.) At this they were utterly astounded. 43 Then he gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and told them to give her something to eat.
    • This passage is a story of contrasts
      • There is the contrast between the despair of the mourners and the hope of Jesus. “Don’t bother the Teacher”; “There’s nothing anyone can do now.” “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”
        • In the one place it is the voice of despair that speaks, in the other the voice of hope.
      • There is the contrast between the unrestrained distress of the mourners and the call serenity of Jesus.
        • They were wailing and weeping and tears their hair and clothes in an act of distress; He was calm and quiet and serene and in control
      • Why the difference?
        • It was due to Jesus’ perfect confidence and trust in God.
          • The worst human disaster can be met with courage when we meet it with God.
          • They laughed at Him because they thought his hope was groundless and his calm mistaken.
          • But the great fact of the Christian life is that what looks completely impossible to us is possible with God.
            • What on merely human grounds is far too good to be true becomes blessedly true when God is there.
          • They laughed at Him…
            • But their laughter must have turned to amazement when they realized what God can do.
            • There is nothing beyond facing, and there is nothing beyond conquest—not even death—when it is faced and conquered in the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

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