Summary: In the stories of Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood, we see several differences and similarities.


Text: Mark 5:21 – 43


 This scripture is part of a larger narrative from 4:35 – 5:43

o 4:35 – 41 Jesus displays His power over danger

o 5:1 – 20 Jesus displays His power over demons

o 5:21 – 34 Jesus displays His power over disease

o 5:35 – 43 Jesus displays His power over death

 Want to focus on the differences and similarities between Jairus and the woman

I. Jairus was important and influential, but the woman was an outcast of society

A. Jairus

• Ruler of synagogue

o President of Board of Elders

o Responsible for the administration of the synagogue and its services

o Had authority over who spoke and taught at the synagogue

• One of the most respected individuals in the community

B. Woman

• Not even named (“a certain woman” v. 25)

• She was a woman

o Not allowed to be taught and educated

o Considered responsible for the original sin

o Thought to be foolish and incapable of making decisions

o Not allowed to speak to Rabbis

• She had a disease that was probably either a gynecological problem or a tumor of some sort that caused her to bleed continuously

o Made her ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 15)

o Whatever or whoever she touched was unclean as well

o Jairus was the ruler of the synagogue, but she was forbidden to go to the synagogue because of her illness

II. Jairus had enjoyed the company of his daughter for twelve years, but the woman had spent the last twelve years suffering

A. Jairus

• Luke says that she was his only daughter

• “Little daughter” v. 23 = Jewish girls became women at twelve years and one day

• It would have been considered by that society a great tragedy because she died before she married

B. Woman

• Average life expectancy for women at this time was about 40 years

• No mention of husband; maybe a widow

• Had suffered most of her life

III. Jairus was wealthy, but the woman had nothing

A. Jairus

• As ruler of the synagogue, one of the wealthiest individuals in the community

• Probably servants that came to inform him of his daughter’s death in v. 35

• v. 38 implies a great many people were there (“tumult”)

o It was just Jairus, his wife, and his daughter

o These were professional mourners that were hired to grieve for the dead

o Matthew mentions musicians as well (probably flute players)

o This was all customary, but the wealthier the person was, the more mourners and musicians they could afford

B. Woman

• Had spent everything that she had had on doctors, and was not made any better (v. 26)

• What kinds of treatments did she spend her money on?

o Talmud lists 11 “cures” for this type of condition:

• Tonics and astringents

• Carry a barley corn that had been found in the dung of a white she-ass

• Carry the ashes of an ostrich egg in a linen rag in the summer and a cotton rag in the winter

• In spite of all these expensive “treatments”, Mark adds that she had gotten worse

IV. Jairus made a public spectacle of his approach to Jesus, but the woman attempted to draw no attention to herself

A. Jairus

• Could have sent servants, but came in person

• Waiting for Jesus to return

• Didn’t care about his reputation, standing in the community, or what other religious leaders thought

• Willing to sacrifice it all if Jesus would help his daughter

• Throws himself at Jesus’ feet and publicly begs for His help

B. Woman

• Knew that the customs and religious laws would not permit her to approach Jesus the way that Jairus had

• Decided to approach Him from behind, as quietly as possible

• Risked being trampled (v. 27) or reprimanded

• Jesus was on His way to help someone else; this was her only chance


• Comparisons:

o Both Jairus and the woman saw Jesus as their only hope

 What problem are you facing this morning?

• Tried self-help books, therapists, medications

• They all have their place, but why not try Jesus?

• Solomon strayed from God in his later years

o Unhappy – tried wine, women, work, and wealth

o Nothing made him happy

o Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

o Jesus took the time to help both Jairus and the woman

 Jesus cares about what you are going through

Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities…” (AMP)

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