Today’s text from Mark 5:21-43 presents us with two miracle stories wedged into one. The first is the healing of the woman with hemorrhage for 12 years, and the second is the restoration of the dead daughter of Jairus, back to life. Both accounts reveal to us all the need for faith in our relationship with Jesus.
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this,and told them to give her something to eat. Mark 5:21-43 New International Version (NIV)
Let’s take a closer look at the text. The synagogue official requests that Jesus comes to touch her dead daughter. In Judaism touching a dead person renders one unclean (Nm 19: 11-13). With the woman with hemorrhage, she intended to touch the cloak of Jesus. This also meant that Jesus will be unclean until evening according to the Jewish law (Lev. 15: 19-30). But you know, Jesus was never unclean though he defied all these Jewish laws of touch.
The touch of Jesus can only make us clean from our ‘uncleanliness’. Our uncleanliness varies; our sins, weaknesses, and bad habits. All we need is the miracle touch of Jesus.
Perhaps you are struggling with an uncleanliness for years and feel it is so much of a burden, don’t despair but wait for the touch of Jesus that makes all that is unclean clean. Today, Jesus’ miracle touch is abundant in every hopeless and desperate situations. Allow yourself to experience the touch of Jesus in your life. May He, who has brought us to the beginning of a new month, cleanse us from all our uncleanliness.
Peace and Joy
Written by Rev. Fr. Courage Dogbey
Lord Jesus, Holy Trinity; You have brought us to the beginning of another month. May Your grace and mercy continue to lead us into righteousness as we continue to build and strengthen our faith in You. Amen