Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 30th January 2024: Approaching Jesus

Mark 5 Faith Jesus Healing

Reading : Verses from Mark, Chapter 5

Jesus  in crowd

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named us came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘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.’ So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?”’ He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. Then 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. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I have always loved these two stories of miraculous healings by Jesus - the patience of the father who waits while Jesus deals with the woman who is bleeding; the covert operation of the woman to touch Jesus' cloak; and the professional mourners announcing the girl's death. However today let's look at the two different approaches to Jesus.

Jesus leaves the gentile towns and sails across the lake to the west bank, where the crowds are waiting. We don't know if the man (Luke calls him Jairus) was an administrator of a Synagogue. He is so desperate that he throws himself down at Jesus' feet to demand that he goes to his house to heal his daughter. Comparing him to the the Centurion with a sick slave (Luke 7.1-10) we see that he has enough faith to ask Jesus to lay his hands on his daughter, but not enough to ask for her to be healed from a distance.

The woman though can only approach Jesus under cover. She has been ritually unclean for 12 years, unable to live with anyone, or to worship with others, or go anywhere and meet others because she would make them unclean. She was effectively an outcast. Now she sneaks into the crowd and touches the hem of Jesus' cloak. The woman has only enough faith to touch the hem of Jesus' cloak she cannot look him in the face and ask for help.

Jesus wants us to approach him today in complete faith, humbly acknowledging our need. But he will accept the faith we offer, however little, when we put our trust in him.


Lord Jesus Christ,
give us the confidence to come to You
knowing that You will welcome us.
Give us the confidence to know that You
will forgive honest confessions of sin.
Give us the confidence to have complete trust
that our faith is sufficient for You.
Then help us to continue growing in faith.

Follow Up Thoughts

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