Read Mark 5:21-43
The two healing miracles we have in today’s reading illustrate Jesus’ authority over both sickness and death. Though the one is imbedded in the other, let us begin with the story of the woman’s healing, for it speaks to both the individual acting in faith, and the Lord’s sensitivity to that faith being exercised.
The woman knew that Jesus could heal her—she had faith. But she was unclean according to Jewish law; she could not ask Him to touch her. Mark says she knew that “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well,” and she acted on that faith. Mark also points out that, even though there was a huge crowd pressing about Him, Jesus knew that “power had gone out from Him.” He asked, “Who touched my garment?” It is easy for us to get caught up in the crowd, to allow seeds of doubt to take root. If the crowd had known the woman was unclean they would likely have shuffled her off to the perimeter. And there are throngs today who follow Jesus while pushing others away, scorning those who want to touch Him.
It is significant that this woman’s story interrupts the story of Jairus’ daughter. If the woman had not delayed Jesus, He might have arrived before the girl died. This then became for Jairus a test of faith. The crowd again could have influenced this father. “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher…” How often do we get discouraged when our prayers are not answered in a timely manner? Mark does not tell us what Jairus said in response to the news of his daughter’s death. What He does tell us is that Jesus said, “Do not fear, only believe.” Jairus did and his daughter lived!
Not even death has the power to separate us from Christ. Jesus has authority over sickness and death. Are we going to let the throng discourage us, or will we reach out and touch Jesus in faith?