Jesus Saves

Mark 5:21-43

Two Stories in one: a girl and a woman

  • brilliant literary device
    • manages to highlight each story in a different way – parallels and juxtaposition – loved learning this word for setting opposite things together
    • parallels – threads that tie the stories together
    • both about females – another example of Jesus’ care for the least, example of how Jesus pays attention to the ones no one else will
    • the number 12 – girl is twelve, the woman’s disease has lasted 12 years
    • they are both about life/health restored through Jesus’ touch and spoken invitation to life/health
    • both highlight the faith of the persons who approach Jesus
    • the word ‘save’ highlighted (come back to that)
  • juxtaposed – not only that – the first story is interrupted by the story of the women
    • important man – interrupted by a lowly and unclean woman
    • powerful and wealthy family (can afford professional mourners, home with several rooms – woman whose money has all been spent on illness)
    • girl with family and support and care (little daughter – tender/affectionate) – woman isolated and alone, without a husband or family
    • Jairus is confident and approaches Jesus boldly – not turned away/ woman sneaks up behind
    • highlights the way Jesus speaks directly to the needs of each individual
    • heighten the drama of the story when you hear that girl has died
  • Jesus saves (think of this referring to a life after death – also here and now)
    • Jesus saves a girl who has died – not the only time that Jesus brings an individual back to life – unique that it was about a young girl
      • Jairus approaches Jesus and asks him to save his dear little daughter – daddy’s little girl
    • Jesus saves the woman with the flow of blood…nrsv say ‘daughter, go, your faith has made you well – but the word used in every other place that sozo is used equals saved
  • Save – makes sense with a girl at the point of death (save her life) – how does it applied to woman
  • Jesus does refer specifically to the healing of the women from her disease, saying ‘go in peace and be healed of your disease’ and it’s that word – peace
    • Hebrew understanding of shalom – very wholistic – my friend Twilla Epp had done a lot of work in the area of touch, healing and energy and is working on the theology of wholistic healing. she talks about shalom/the peace of God in this way:

Shalom is a state of wholeness that is witnessed both within an individual (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual), as well as within one’s communal and environmental context. It is seen in the quality and health of individuals’ relationships with people and the rest of the created world. Shalom reminds us that we do not exist as individuals in a vacuum, but rather are in a relationship of interconnectedness with all of creation. Every area of our bodies, as well as our relationships with our community and our environment, are essential components that altogether comprise the whole picture of our state of health. Wellbeing within one area promotes it within others. In this present time when creation remains in its fallen state, we struggle as brokenness in one area can lead to further brokenness in others. As God continues the healing work of mending creation, we are blessed with a healing that can reach all levels of our being and existence.

  • we know well that when we are sick in body, other areas of our lives suffer, we hurt emotionally, we lack energy to put into nurturing relationships etc
  • woman knew this all too well – how are some of the ways illness affected her
    • physical drain of illness – weak, anaemic, tired – it had gotten worse
    • psychological – been treated poorly by doctors, passage speaks of her fear
    • social isolation – ritually unclean (anyone she touches can’t worship in the temple until cleansed – yet she dares to touch Jesus)
      • unable to marry because grave sin to have intercourse with a woman who is on her period – no way to support herself, no children – where woman’s status comes from
      • spiritual – unable to worship even in the outer part of the temple
  • Jesus saves this woman’s life – by ministering directly and specifically to her needs and by offering her not only physical healing, which she gained for herself by touching his garment, but by identifying her and offering her God’s shalom
  • first of all – “immediately her haemorrhage stopped and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease” like others after her, touching Jesus has healing powers (Even now there are practitioners of healing touch – physical touch can be restorative and change energy – twilla’s work on how the energy of the Holy Spirit can heal)
    • after years of being dicked around by ‘doctors’ the woman is healed in an instant – by a force so powerful that Jesus recognizes that it has left him
  • second – Jesus addresses the woman’s fear and insecurity – identifies her
    • feels the energy leave him and he turns “who touched my clothes?” disciples are disbelieving but Jesus is aware – feminine form of ‘who’ – knows it is her but draws her out – pays attention to her and allows her to be heard and seen
  • third – identifying her new health = showing the community she is no longer to be isolated, identifies her as clean, marriageable, able to worship with other women in the outer part of the temple
  • in a different way Jesus ministered to Jairus’ daughter – little girl of privilege and wealth, loved by her parents
    • holds her hand and calls to her ‘little girl’
      • ‘not dead, only sleeping’ – death may have been considered unclean
      • sends everyone away and keeps it a secret – protects her in a way that the woman had no need of
      • gives her something to eat – nourish her body, prove to her parents that she is indeed alive
  • Jesus saves the life of this little girl. He saves the live of the woman. he offers the shalom of God to them so that they can be whole in body, mind and spirit
  • woman ‘had no life’ (sometimes I think I have no life – but I have health, a caring community, a strong relationship, family who love me, a growing life in the spirit)

a couple applications

  • recognize that the active healing power of Jesus that is still alive and moving even though Jesus is not present in body – Twilla talks about the Holy Spirit as the energy that is around us. The temptation of many faith healers and new age healers is to either put the power of healing in either the hands of the practitioner or to say that the individual heals oneself – God heals, humans are instruments for healing
  • be bold – that woman was terrified, weak, tired and rejected, yet she reached out and Jesus turned and saw her – saved her