Summary: Mark is challenging the reader’s mind. Do you need more proof that the "rule of God" has arrived in Jesus? It is the story of Jairus' daughter and a healing. When Jesus returns He will touch us and reunite our body and soul. Philippians 2:30-31
In Jesus Holy Name June 27, 2021
Text: Mark 5:28, 41 Pentecost V Redeemer
“The Touch of Jesus”
(read the text)
Each Sunday in our journey through the Gospel of Mark, we know that Mark is asking his readers to answer these questions: Who is Jesus? Does Jesus possess the power of God….or does he work miracles by the power of the devil?
In Mark 4 Jesus speaks to the storm and “it runs out of breath”. The disciples, who have witnessed hundreds if not thousands of miracles, themselves are forced to ask: “Who is this (man)(Matthew)? Even the wind and waves obey him?” So, they, like all who encounter Jesus must make a decision: “is God in our boat?”
Mark is challenging the reader’s mind. Do you need more proof? Here is what happened next…. Mark 5:21
“…. Jesus and the disciples crossed back over the lake to the Jewish side….” Another large crowd gathers. This time a synagogue ruler…Jairus
(chair-ruhs) came pleading for his daughter’s life. The other is a woman; out of respect for her health issues, the Bible does not record her name. But her illness makes her an outcast from community.
On the one hand, the family of Jairus (chair-ruhs) represented the "upper crust" of society. Jairus was the ruler of the synagogue. He was a man of substance, rich and powerful and religiously prominent. In the synagogue, he called the shots. He decided who would preach, what scripture would be read, and what hymns would be sung. He represented the Elite of Society, especially the religious world, but this day Jairus was troubled. His 12-year-old daughter was dying.
On the other hand, the hemorrhaging woman in the crowd was a social outcast. Everything in her life was forbidden. She could not cook for her family. She could not hold her children. She was considered unclean as one who was under the judgment of God and therefore not allowed to set foot in the synagogue. She had been impoverished by the doctors who could not cure her. Jesus was her last hope, her only hope. “If only I touch His clothes I will be healed.” She said.
We know that Jesus and His disciples had been going from town to town. He had been preaching the gospel and healing people. Large crowds were coming out. It was well known. People were clamoring to see Jesus and hear Him. One day this man named Jairus came looking for Jesus. You can hear the plea in the voice of Jairus’ wife: “Go find the Rabbi! Hurry!”
Falling down at the feet of Jesus, he begged Jesus to come to his house because his only daughter (who was about 12 years of age) was gravely ill and dying. Jesus agreed to go with him. There is no talk of insurance policies; no scheduling of an appointment. Marks simply states: “Jesus went with him.”
The distance is short. The crowd was close, slowing their progress. How impatient the father must have been. The clock was ticking, every moment was important. As they went, people began to press in around Jesus. The New English Bible puts it dramatically: "He could hardly breathe for the press of the crowds." The people were so excited to be near the master that they were pushing and shoving and crowding in close to Him.
Suddenly a hand reaches out and touches the tassel on the robe of Jesus. He stops, looks around and asked: “Who touched me?” What a foolish question, his disciples thought.
Jesus was not going to be put off. He wanted to know. So he waited. Finally a woman confesses what she has done. For twelve years this woman had been excommunicated from the Temple and from the synagogue, form every religious place of assembly, divorced from her husband, shut out from her family, ostracized by society.
She had endured incurable illness, social isolation, constant pain, financial poverty and personal humiliation. It is hard to imagine a more pitiful situation. In the words of one writer, she had been among the “living dead” for twelve long years. She just touched the tassel on His clothing…Her touch of Jesus brought instant healing. He knew.
Twice in this story Jesus is touched and touches someone ritually and
ceremonially unclean. Not only is Jesus not contaminated, the ones who had been contaminated to begin with are made holy and whole. Jesus has crossed the boundaries that had once defined the Jewish community, rules of pious associations, ritual purity, Sabbath rules are broken or the sake of God’s love.
That’s why Jesus said six days are made for man, one shall work on those days, but the 7th, the Sabbath, is made for God. Give Him glory on that day! “I am the Lord of the Sabbath,” He said. (Mark 2:28)