A little while ago, I met a young lady who is a Christian and was also raised in a Jewish home. During our conversation, she stated that her favorite story in the Bible was the account of the woman that had been healed from a 12-year-long problem of bleeding. However, what caught this young lady's attention was what Jesus told this woman when she was confronted. Jesus said, "Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace." (Mark 5:34)
While many of us have a favorite Bible story, we usually do not remember that many of those stories are usually part of a larger story. So I took advantage of this opportunity to share the full story surrounding the healing of this woman. This encounter is found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56). I personally like the account given in the gospel of Mark a little bit better because there seems to be a little bit more detail.
The account begins with a prominent ruler of a local synagogue by the name of Jarius. This man is a father of a 12 year old girl who is dying. He is desperate to help his daughter. When Jarius sees Jesus, he falls at the feet of this roving rabbi. He begs Jesus to visit his daughter so that she can be healed. And so, our story begins.
No one knows for sure how long the journey was to Jairus' home from where Jesus was. But we do know that wherever Jesus was, people were drawn to him. And this is no exception. And as Jesus is walking towards this man's house to heal his 12 year old daughter, a crowd begins to gather around him.
I wonder if the father grew anxious because Jesus may have slowed down as more people gathered around him. His daughter was dying and the longer it took Jesus to reach his daughter the less hope he had that his daughter's life would be saved. And then the worst thing imaginable happens. Jesus stops walking altogether.
Jairus must have been beside himself at this point because the reason Jesus stops is to ask a question that must have seemed so trivial to everyone, especially to the father of the dying girl. Jesus stops and asks, "Who touched me?" (Mark 5:30).
The disciples even comment that with everybody pressing up against Jesus, why would he even ask that question (Mark 5:31)? The whole situation must have seemed ridiculous to everyone. That is, to everyone except to this nameless woman.
For 12 years, this woman has had to deal with this. For 12 years she did anything and everything she could to be healed (Mark 5:25-26). For all these years this woman had been unclean. And like Jarius, Jesus was her last chance. She had run out of options. The one thing to notice is that Jesus was never the first choice of either her or Jarius. She had become obsessed with a thought that if she could just touch the healer, she would be healed. When she was finally healed, I wonder what she felt when she was healed and realized that the flow of blood had dried up (Mark 5:29). And when she confessed, she probably did not expect the words of love, compassion, and acceptance that Jesus gave to her.
But unfortunately for Jarius, while Jesus was still talking with this woman, people arrive from Jarius's house to tell him that it was too late. His little girl was dead. I can only imagine that Jarius felt crushed by that news. I wonder if he was thinking that if it wasn't for Jesus stopping for this woman that had touched his garment, Jesus might have gotten to his daughter on time. I think that Jarius was flooded with emotions of anger, rage, disappointment, resentment, and even envy. Why was this woman healed and his daughter dead? It was all for nothing. It was too late.
But wait, there's more!
Jesus turns to Jarius and said, "do not fear, only believe". That's when Jesus allows only three of his followers to follow him into the house of Jarius; Peter, James, and John. And when Jesus said that she wasn't dead but sleeping, all of the mourners just laughed at him. However, Jesus goes into the girl's room taking her parents and his three disciples to witness her being raised from the dead and start walking around.
Jarius, who had been overwhelmed with grief and anger was immediately overcome with amazement. He had been hoping that his daughter would be healed but now he was there and watched as she was raised from the dead. That was something worth talking about! However, Jesus told everyone to keep it a secret. How could they remain silent about what they just saw?
Do you remember when going to Jesus was on the bottom of your list, even if it was on your list? Jesus has done some mighty things in your life, some big and some small. Take a moment now to meditate on the blessings that are yours because of God.
Now begin to thank and worship him. And if you're still waiting for him to act, keep in mind that God's timing is usually far different than what we think it should be. His plans for you and your life are probably very different from what you think they should be. But he always completes what he starts, doesn't he (Philippians 1:6)?
Something that I was not expecting to see was that while Jesus had an impact on Jarius' testimony, it was the two women who literally had their lives radically changed because of their encounter with Christ.
A final thought. Well there is no further information on these individuals, wouldn't it be a pity to have an encounter with Christ, and your life never be different? Please do not receive God's grace to you in vain.
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 ESV
If you wish to know more about how your life can be radically changed because of Christ, please drop us a note. We would also be honored if you would share some of your personal encounters with Christ with us.
²¹And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. ²²Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet ²³and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” ²⁴And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. ²⁵And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, ²⁶and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. ²⁷She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. ²⁸For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” ²⁹ And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. ³⁰And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” ³¹And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” ³²And he looked around to see who had done it. ³³But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. ³⁴And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
³⁵While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” ³⁶But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” ³⁷And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. ³⁸They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. ³⁸And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” ⁴⁰And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. ⁴¹Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” ⁴²And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. ⁴³And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. Mark 5:21-43 ESV