As we look again at Mark, it’s good to think through what it is that Mark (and the other biblical authors) are doing.
Remember, Mark, is probably the earliest of the gospels to appear in written form. By all accounts Mark recorded teaching and preaching of Peter while they were in Rome. That was after the Ascension of Jesus.
If we keep this in mind, we’ll avoid a lot of trouble. For instance, in John’s gospel, Jesus turns water into wine. So, since that is what he did, are we simply to repeat the formula to do the same thing today? No.
Or when Jesus fed the 5,000 – should we simply do the same today? Jesus Christ, is the same, today, yesterday and tomorrow.
But, Mark wants us to know what the Lord said and did, and he wants us to apply these principles which lie behind the miracles to our situations today - not that we should simply try and do what he did.
So, today, what can we learn from 2 mighty miracles wrought by Jesus Christ in the lives of 2 different people – 2 women, as it is, one older and one younger.
Were we prepared for her death? Pretty well. Was I ready for it? You can’t be. I can’t tell whether I’m handling it well or whether I’m in shock. I hope the former.
Let's look at the first story.
This story is interleaved between the beginning of the miracle of Jairus’ daughter and its conclusion.
First – we see what has happened. A women is at her wits end with this infirmity. And as the crowds again gather around Jesus, she believes that if she can reach him and touch he garments, she will be healed.
She is able to do so, and v 29 – immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
In this great crowd, Jesus is able to sense that something has happened. And ignoring the crowd for a moment he says, “Who touched me.?” And she comes forward in fear and trembling – and she fell down and told him the whole truth.
And his response?
That is what happened. We see Jesus has authority not just over evil spirits – and those with physical abnormalities – paralytic, a man with a withered hand, but now over disease itself.
All the enemies of mankind – spiritual and physical oppression – and now – a diseased women bow before his power and his healing hand.
So what are we to take away from this miracle?
- The compassion of Jesus Christ
An unnamed woman, who only is able to brush up against him is healed. She doesn’t have a name. Nobody knew her, almost – that is, Jesus knew her need, and he could see that she was asking him for help. She was asking for forgiveness.
Just so, if you think about it, we are a few people amongst 5 billion other people on planet earth. Don’t you ever wonder how God has time for my or for your issues? Where does he get the time? Does he really know me?
We have this story. It shows Jesus’ interest, his understanding and in this case his healing power to answer this woman’s need.
So, yes, he does know each and every one of his 5 billion people he created. But it also shows his particular interest in those who love him, those who fear him, those who believe in him.
Not that he is not interested in the rest – but you have to say there is a special interest in his followers.
You might say she was superstitious – and you are probably right.
Why is she terrified – because in the OT – the hemorrhage made you unclean and you were – so all she could bring to Christ was contamination?
Archbp Wm Temple – the only thing – of my very own – to contribution to my redemption is my sin.
But, she recognizes her need – and she comes to Christ. This is what we mean by faith. People in need who draw close to Christ – and they are met by a forgiving Lord.
She looks to the Lord for help. She has nothing going for her, but she has lost confidence in herself, and in her doctors – then she looked to him.
Bp Ryle Let us mark, in the second place, how different are the feelings with which people draw near to Christ. We are told in these verses that "many people followed" our Lord, "and thronged him." But we are only told of one person who "came in the press behind," and touched Him with faith and was healed.
Point Two: Jairus’ Daughter 5.21-24, 35-43
Here, we see the Lord’s power over the final our final enemy – death itself. As Paul will later say, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and this story tells the same.
First, we have a believing ruler of the synagogue – a rarity. Second we have this agonizing delay. At the beginning, she was near death. But now, because of the delay, she is dead.
She is beyond hope – and we see the issue.
The grief of a man whose daughter has died. What hope does he have? Jesus shows him and us.
The professional wailers are doing their job, but begin to laugh when Jesus says that she is not dead, but sleeping in v 39.
He then takes only a Peter, James and John with her parents into the room where she lay.
And then, he simply takes her by the hand and says, ‘Talitha Cum’ – Aramaic and translated by Mark –
‘Little girl, I say to you, rise.’ And she does.
A few surprises.
- V 43 – As in the case of the leper he healed, he says – he charged them to tell one about this. Faith healers today want to do the opposite. They want to be known, not the Lord.
- v 39 – Is this not right? For Christians, death is but a sleep. Jesus is Lord over all – and especially death.
Apostle Paul in 1 Thess 4.13-15
1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 (ESV)
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
He is the master over all our enemies.
Two mighty miracles which we won’t see in our lives – miracles which the Lord most certainly did. But their meaning remains with us.
In one, we see a desperate women who reaches out puts her trust in the Lord – and in the second, we see the comfort we can draw from the fact that for the Christian, death is not the final word.
God’s love and concern over us even when we think he has forgotten us.
And his ultimate victory over death and the grave. Our only hope over death and the grave.
Let us pray.