The Lord Comes To Give Life

Text: Mark 5:21-43 Speaker: Festival: Passages: Mark 5:21-43

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Mark 5:21-43

Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter (Listen)

21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and 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.” 24 And he went with him.

And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For 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. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing1 what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus2 saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And 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. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.


[1] 5:36 Or ignoring; some manuscripts hearing
[2] 5:38 Greek he


Mark 5:21-23 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea.  22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.”

Jairus bows down to Jesus. Even though he is a ruler of the synagogue he shows great respect to Jesus. Such shows of respect are much more common in middle eastern culture than in our own.  Although we used to have our own customs for showing respect. It used to be that you did not call someone by their first name unless invited to do so. We are a lot less formal now as a society, and that’s fine unless it is used as an excuse to be disrespectful.

God’s word doesn’t tell us that we must bow down before one another. But it does tell us that we ought to bow down our hearts before one another.  

Philippians 2:3   3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Eph 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

The Bible is very clear that we ought to be respectful towards one another. This is doubly true when we are talking about those in authority.

Rom 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Peter even points to a lack of respect as one of the key identifications of an evil and sinful generation

2Pe 2:10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,

Ecc 10:20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

If scripture warns us to be respectful of each other how much more ought we like Jairus to come before Jesus as we are about to do in the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of humility and respect. We ought to bow our hearts before the Lord, confessing our sins, and trusting in his mercy.

Calling someone by their last name does not make us respectful but it does help to remind us to be respectful. So too there are customs that help to produce an atmosphere of respect when coming to the Lord’s Supper, the clothing we wear, the liturgical practices, coming and kneeling at the altar. These outward customs are useful, however what truly matters is that we bow our hearts before the Lord.

24-34  So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.  25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,  26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.  27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.  28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”  29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.  30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”  31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say,`Who touched Me?'”  32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.  34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

Jesus’ reaction to the woman here may seem odd to us. He feels power go out of him. He acts as though he doesn’t know who touched him. These things seem incongruent with the fact that he is true God and knows all things. It is possible that he does know who touched him and is only saying this to draw the woman out. However, we also ought to remember that this is Jesus during his humiliation. He set aside the full use of his power including his omniscience. The text indicates that he did not know who had touched him. This is consistent with his humiliation.

What we do know is that this woman comes to Jesus in faith looking for healing. Jesus makes it clear that because she comes in faith she receives healing from him.

Jesus tells her “Your faith has made you well.”

There is no doubt that it is Jesus power that has healed her, but it was by faith that she came to Jesus looking for healing. This is what makes the woman so different from the crowd. Yes, they are all touching Jesus as the disciples say but the woman is reaching out to him by faith.

In the same way we must come to Jesus in the Lords Supper by faith. He who comes confessing his faith and reaching out to Jesus by faith receives healing from Jesus, as this woman did. Not the healing of the body but the healing of the soul. Whoever comes without faith though he may touch Jesus receives nothing from him.

Luther reminds us: “Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: forgiveness of sins.”

The words Luther is referring to there are the words our Lord spoke “This is my body . . . This is my blood . . Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

Those who come without faith are like the crowd which receives nothing from Jesus. Those who come with faith are like this woman who receives healing and salvation.

35-43  While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”  36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”  37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.  38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly.  39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”  40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.  41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”  42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.  43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.

The word cemetery means sleeping place. Every time we speak of a cemetery it should be a reminder to us of what Jesus tells the crowd here.

“She is not dead but only sleeping.”

Because Jesus comes to bring life, death is not permanent but only temporary.

Jesus rebukes the crowd not because they weep for the girl but because of the manner in which they weep. Jesus reassures them that the child is only sleeping but they will not believe. It is because of this lack of faith that Jesus sends them away and rebukes them.

Although it is good and right to commemorate the dead and even to weep for them as Jesus did. Still, we ought not to mourn as those who have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

Our funerals ought to be an expression of our faith and our hope. Funerals can take many different forms, burial, cremation or putting someone in a boat and lighting it on fire. The Jews and many middle eastern cultures paid people to weep loudly to show off how important that person was. These outward customs and forms are not what really matter but the faith in Jesus words that death is nothing more than a short sleep until he comes to wake us from our rest and take us to be with him in heaven.

We express this faith by making the funeral not so much about the person who died but about what Jesus has and will do for them. We sorrow at our loss but also rejoice in his promises.

Although Jesus was a lot slower than Jairus would have probably liked, nevertheless he came to the girl to give her life. Jesus did not exactly return at a time that we would call quickly, nevertheless he is coming, and he is coming to give us life. The Lord’s supper is a celebration and reminder of that life which he brought to this little girl and will give to us as well.

Throughout this account Jesus puts Jairus’ faith to the test. First his daughter was seriously sick.

Then Jesus stops on the way. Then the daughter dies. Then Jesus tells the man she is only sleeping. All of these things would have been difficult for Jairus. Jairus has to trust Jesus’ word even though there is no evidence to prove what Jesus says, but in the end the result of trusting Jesus’ word is eternal life.

Coming to communion is a similar act of faith. We have no evidence that Christ’s body and blood are truly present. We have no evidence that this simple act is giving us the forgiveness of sins. Yet those who trust Jesus’ word receive exactly what Jesus promises, life and every blessing.

Jesus comes to give life. We ought to come before him with humble and repentant heart, trusting his promises, waiting for the day when he will say to us “Talitha, cumi,” son / daughter arise. Amen