Mark 5:21-43

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 14, 2004


Jesus and His disciples had taken a boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  There they encountered a man possessed by many demons.  When Jesus cast the demons out, the demons destroyed a herd of pigs.  Though the man had been delivered from the demons, the people sent Jesus away probably because of what He had done to their pigs.

Today we will read the story of two gals.  Two gals who need Jesus.  Their stories are intertwined.   There are going to be some words that tie the two stories together.  Look for the number twelve.  Look for the daughter.  Look for the touch of Jesus.

:21-25 Jairus’ Sick Daughter

:22 …one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name…

rulers of the synagoguearchisunagogos – It was his duty to select the readers or teachers in the synagogue, and to see that things were done properly at the synagogue.

Jairus may have been in the synagogue at Capernaum the day that Jesus healed the man with the withered hand (Mark 3).

He may have been part of the religious leaders who were trying to destroy Jesus because He didn’t keep their rituals.

But now things are different. Now he needs Jesus to come and touch his daughter.

JairusIaeiros – “whom God enlightens”

:23 My little daughter …come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed

little daughterthugatrion – a little daughter

Luke tells us that this little girl was Jairus’ only daughter (Luke 8:42).

she may be healedsozo – to save, to rescue from danger or destruction.  This is not the typical Greek word to describe healing.  There are other more “doctor-like” words Jairus could have used.  This word is translated “save” 93/110 times in the NT.

:24 …much people followed him, and thronged him.

throngedsunthlibo – to crowd someone almost to the point of suffocation.

This makes me think of some of the things we’ve seen this week at Mr. Arafat’s funeral, with the unruly crowd pressing in against the coffin, jostling the people in the middle of the crowd.

:25-34 The Hem of His Garment

:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

This woman’s constant hemorrhaging would have made her ceremonially “unclean” (Lev. 15:25-27).  This meant that she had to separate herself from people.  She would not have been allowed to participate in worship at the Temple.  Anything or anybody she touched would be considered “unclean” as well.  She would be an “outcast”.

twelve years – a long time to be “unclean”

:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians …

Doctors are a wonderful blessing to us.  Most doctors are very conscientious.  But even the best doctor isn’t able to cure every illness.  And sometimes a doctor can end up hurting a patient more than they help them.

For this woman, not only had she spent all her money on doctors, but she had ended up feeling worse after seeing all her doctors.

:27  …and touched his garment

touchedhaptomai – to fasten one’s self to, cling to

garmenthimation – the outer garment, the cloak

Matthew records:

(Mat 9:20 KJV)  …and touched the hem of his garment:

hemkraspedon – a little tassel made of twisted wool

God commanded the Jews to put blue “borders” or “tassels” on their garments to be a reminder that they were to remember God’s Laws and be holy (Num. 15:37-41)

There were four tassels on the typical robe, and they were to remind the people of the Law and of how they were to be holy. As they wrapped the robe around them, one of the corners was thrown over the shoulder and the tassel hung down the back, this is evidently the one that the woman grasped.

What does it mean to be “holy”?

It means being “different”.  God is not like us.  He is different from us.  He is pure, without sin.  He is light and in Him there is no darkness.  God wants us to be like Him.


Closeness and Cleansing

There’s a connection between God’s holiness and the being cleansed from uncleanness.

(Isa 6:1-8 KJV)  In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. {2} Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. {3} And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. {4} And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. {5} Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. {6} Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: {7} And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. {8} Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Isaiah had this incredible vision of God on His throne, and the vision focused on God’s holiness.  It made Isaiah realize just how “unholy” he was.  But as a result of this vision, Isaiah found himself cleansed by God and even being sent out on his ministry by God.

I find it interesting that the woman touches this symbol of “holiness” and like Isaiah, she is going to be cleansed.

We might feel like we need to clean ourselves up before we get close to God.  In reality we need to get close to God so He can clean us up.

:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

she said – literally, “she’d been saying over and over again …”

shall be wholesozo – to save. It’s the same strange word used to describe Jairus’ hope for his daughter’s healing.


Points of Contact

We might call the touching of the hem a “point of contact” for this woman’s faith. It’s something that helped her to release her faith, to cause her to trust Jesus to heal her.
To some, this sounds a little superstitious for the woman to think that she could be healed by simply touching the hem of Jesus’ garment.
Yet Jesus didn’t seem bothered that the woman thought this way.  Instead He honored her faith by healing her.
Jairus was also looking for one of those “points of contact”.  He wanted Jesus to put His hands on his daughter.
(Mark 5:23 KJV)  …come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

Just as the woman was saying to herself, “If I can only touch that garment …”, Jairus was saying to himself, “If I can only get Jesus to touch my daughter.”

God often uses these “points of contact” to help us.
(Acts 19:11-12 KJV) And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: {12} So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

There was nothing medicinal about Paul’s sweat rags. It was all about faith in Jesus.

God even gives us today a similar “point of contact” for our faith:
(James 5:14-15 KJV) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: {1 5} And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and it he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

There is nothing magical about olive oil. But olive oil can be a point of contact to release your faith.

Do you need a “point of contact” to be healed? No. God honors faith, even if it needs some help.

:29 and she felt in her body that she was healed

she feltginosko a knowledge grounded on personal experience

was healediaomai – to cure, heal; to make whole

:30…knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said,

knowingepiginosko –personal knowledge gained by experience and which is clear. He’d felt this before.  He knew what had happened.

virtuedunamis – strength, power, ability

and said – imperfect tense, He was asking around …

:32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

The language makes it sound that Jesus knew that He was looking for a woman.  It was a woman who had touched Him.

Why does Jesus stop to find out who touched Him?

I don’t think it’s just because He was curious about who had been healed.

I think Jesus wants to find this woman because she can help Jairus learn something.  I believe that the things this woman has done will be able to be an example for Jairus.  There are too many parallels between the stories to think it’s all just a coincidence.

:33 But the woman fearing and trembling …

I have a notion that the woman is in a bit of shock after what has happened to her.  She tells Jesus all about what has happened to her, including how she has suffered for twelve years.  I wonder if Jairus’ ears perked up when he heard her mention the number twelve.

:34 Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole

Daughterthugater – a daughter; Jairus asked for help for his “little daughter”.

faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief. This woman has had faith in Jesus.  This was the key to her healing, her “salvation”.

made thee wholesozo – to save. This is the unusual word that both Jairus and this woman have used in describing their need of Jesus.  They both needed to be “saved”.

:35-43 Raising Jairus’ Daughter

:35 …Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

daughterthugater – a daughter; again the “daughter” connection

troublestskullo – to skin, flay; to rend, mangle; to vex, trouble, annoy

While Jesus is talking to the woman, these messengers from Jairus’ house show up to speak to Jairus, telling him to forget about Jesus.

Some people will try to discourage you and keep you from following Jesus.

They’ll tell you that you’re just causing trouble.

They might tell you that what worked for someone else isn’t going to work for you.

:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word …Be not afraid, only believe.

Jesus heard what Jairus was being told.  He had different advice.

be not afraidphobeo – literally, “stop fearing”.

believepisteuo – this is the verb form of “faith”; present tense:  “be believing”

Keep in mind, the woman had been “saved” because of her “faith”.

:37 … Peter, and James, and John

The only ones who are going to be allowed to see what happens are Jairus and his wife, Peter, James, and John.

:40 And they laughed him to scorn

They’re crying one moment and laughing at Jesus the next.

:41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi…

he tookkrateo – to have power. He got a firm grip on her hand.

Talitha cumi – Aramaic meaning “little lamb, arise”. Jesus speaks Aramaic to the little girl not because these words are some sort of magical incantation.  He’s simply telling the little girl in her own language to get up.

:42 they were astonished with a great astonishment.

They were totally blown away with what they had just seen.

:43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it

Why didn’t Jesus want this to get out?

I’m not sure.  Perhaps it’s because His ultimate purpose was not to temporarily raise people from the dead, only to die again.

His purpose was to die on the cross so people could live for ever.

Perhaps He didn’t want to be kept from His ultimate goal.


Learning from others

The woman with the bloody issue had to push through the crowd.  She was healed because she believed.
Now Jairus is told to do the same thing – push through and keep believing.
Jairus’ situation was very likely something that had just recently happened.
Yet this woman had been living with her situation for twelve years, and she kept going until she found Jesus.
We have a lot to learn from each other.
Jairus was a religious leader, and this woman was an unclean outcast.
Yet she proved to be the example of what it means to push through the crowd to get to Jesus.


Don’t stop trusting Jesus

People will tell you that it’s too late.  They will tell you that Jesus let you down.  They will tell you that it won’t work for you.
You need to keep going and push through the crowd.
You need to get to Jesus and trust Him.