Summary: This message from Mark 5:21-43 deals with the healing of two women, a woman with a 12 year issue of blood, and a 12 year old girl who Jesus brought back to life.
Power to Cleanse and Resurrect
CHCC: February 13, 2011
This message focuses on two significant miracles – Matthew, Mark, and Luke all three tell about these two miracles. Both are healings of women … Both involve the number 12 - a 12-year-old girl and a woman who had suffered from a bleeding disorder for 12 years.
This was at the height of Jesus’ popularity. He had just come across the lake, and as soon as he put his feet on dry ground, he was immediately swamped with a mob of people. All of them wanted to see him. Some of them wanted to touch him. Some wanted to hear him. And some wanted to harm him.
Just before this Jesus had a run in with the Gerasene community after healing a demon-possessed man and sending a legion of demons into a herd of 2000 pigs. Do the math. A legion of demons (6,000 is equal to a Roman Legion) divided by 2,000 pigs = 3 demons per pig. We have here the first recorded instance of deviled ham.
This account seems to be especially meaningful because it is found three times in the gospels, in Matthew 9:18-26, here in Mark 5, and also in Luke 8:41-56. Each time the healing of the woman with the issue of blood is paired with the account of raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead.
Some of the crowd included religious leaders, looking for a way to stop Jesus. But one of those religious leaders had a different motivation. (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.”
It took a combination of courage and of desperation for Jairus to throw himself at Jesus’ feet and plead for help. Just the day before, Jesus and the Pharisees had a blowout. He healed a blind man who was possessed of a demon. The Pharisees accused Jesus of doing it by the power of the Devil. Jesus lashed back by accusing them of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
Application – maybe you can relate. Many people resist God until that time in their life when they are faced with something beyond their power to control. What could be more heart-rending than for a daddy to see his beautiful little girl suffering and on the brink of death. No wonder he cast aside all other considerations and cried out for help.
Jesus went with him immediately … leading a parade of people toward the religious leader’s house. And that’s when an unexpected miracle occurred.
1. The Woman’s Cleansing
While Jesus was rushing to heal a sick 12 year old girl, a woman who had been sick as long as that little girl had been alive was creeping up behind him, silently pushing her way through the crowd, trying to get closer.
The disease this woman had caused her to bleed for the last 12 years. Her bleeding disease is mentioned in Leviticus 15:25-30 where it says that a woman with this condition is unclean for the whole time she is bleeding and even 7 days after her bleeding stops. This woman had 12 years of continuous non-stop bleeding! No doubt, along with her physical weakness from blood loss and likely anemia, this woman was also forced to stay in the shadows and away from the community. This kind of a disease would have put her in the same kind of position as a leper, because she would continually be considered “unclean.” It was a disease that separated her from her family and friends … AND it had ruined her finances. She’d spent everything she had, going to doctor after doctor … and instead of making her better, their treatment actually made her get worse and worse.
I have heard of women in Africa who have this same bleeding condition and have been abandoned by their husbands and families. They would die if it weren’t for the kindness of a Christian organization that has provided a home and medical help for these abandoned women. One example of these homes is the Umoja Uaso Women’s Village, a village in Samburu district of Kenya, created by and for women who were fleeing domestic violence, forced marriages, as well as widows and teen mothers who had been abandoned by their families for various reasons including incurable illness like the lady in our story today.
But this woman believed that she would be cleansed of this terrible bleeding if she could just touch Jesus’ robe. So that’s what she did. And the minute she touched the hem of his cloak, she felt the bleeding stop. She knew immediately that she had been completely healed.