Our Faith, Christ’s Power, Mark 5:21-43

Faith always drives you to Jesus.

Pleading for a Healing (21-24)

Jesus began in the synagogues preaching.  As His welcome wore out He moved out into the open with His ministry.  Now, the synagogue is coming to Him. Now back in Capernaeum, Jesus is approached by Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, was desperate.  His twelve (12) year old daughter was at home sick and near her death. There are few feelings – if any – like that of a parent watching their child die.  The fear and grief of outliving your children was about to be theirs. Their dreams since holding her as an infant were slipping away: they would not get to watch her grow up, or graduate, or walk her down the aisle, or become a mother.  


Notice what is going on:  1) Jesus arrives, 2) Jairus goes to Jesus, 3) he pleads with Jesus, and 4) Jesus answers his request.  This is the model for prayer.  

  • First, God makes himself available.  That was Jesus arriving back in Capernaeum.  Through Jesus, God has made Himself available to us.  


  • But God’s availability doesn’t do us any good unless we go to Him.  So, we must respond to God’s availability by going to Him. This is Jairus’ faith in action.  Notice that it is his faith that is compelling him to go to Jesus. Principle: Faith always drives you to Jesus.  Faith always compels you to go to Jesus. In faith you know Jesus is the answer, the power, the wisdom, the comfort; your faith makes you know that there is no where else for you to go but to Him.  So, jairus went to Him.


  • Then, in going to the Lord, we have work to do with Him:  we have to plead with Him. We have to implore Him, beg Him, pray to Him.  The work of prayer is spiritual work, it cannot be done in the flesh. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” Jesus said about prayer.  Faith drives you to pray to the Lord. To keep praying and not give up. It’s not the mechanical work of prayer, its the confidence that God can do what you’re asking Him to do.  You know He has the power. There is no doubt in Jairus’ mind that Jesus can do what he is asking. Jairus doesn’t waste Jesus’ time asking if Jesus can do anything, like the guy in mark 9.  No, jairus knows Jesus can heal his daughter and so he goes to Jesus, fights through the crowd, and gets Jesus attention and pleads with Him. This is prayer.  


  • Notice that Jairus knew what he wanted Jesus to do.  He wanted Jesus to come to his house to heal his daughter.  Jesus could have just said your daughter is healed and not made the trip.  She would have been healed simply by His word right there, a long-distance miracle.  Like the centurion said in Matthew 8, “Stop Jesus, you don’t have to come to my house.  I’m not worthy to even have you in my house. Just say the word right here and I know my servant will be healed.”  Jesus could have done that. But He didn’t. Why? I think I have two answers:


    • First, because he was answering Jairus according to how he asked.  “Come to my house and heal her”. This is remarkable.  
    • Second, because Jesus cares.  There was something very personal and touching about personally accompanying this frightened and helpless father home to heal his daughter.  How much did it show Jairus that Jesus cared about him and his daughter by re-routing His whole entourage to Jairus house? Everything stopped.  My thought would have been, “Look Jairus, I’m going to heal her right here and now, and you can go home. But, I’ve got lots going on, and I can get more done today and heal more people if I keep moving.  So, you get what you’ve asked, your daughter will live, and, I get to maximize my schedule today.” But Jesus doesn’t say that. He cares. He’s compassionate. He showed it by allowing His agenda to be interrupted and to personally be there for the guy.  


Stealing A Healing (v25-34)

Now not only has Jesus been approached by a desperate man, he is now approached by a desperate woman.  The man came openly, she snuck up secretly. She was in a bad way because of her bleeding problem.  


  • First, she lived with this bleeding problem:  it was a daily nuisance when it came to clothes, hygiene, and so forth.  
  • Second, she went broke financially looking for a cure
  • Third, while undergoing all kinds of different concocted treatments she was subjected to the most uncomfortable, invasive and painful procedures – and none helped.  In fact, they made things worse.
  • Fourthly, she was constantly on the “outside” socially.  The law rendered her unclean ceremonially so she couldnt be around people, or touch anything without making people and things unclean.  (Lev 15:25-30). She would have felt lonely and ashamed, always feeling unclean and then being labeled unclean religiously.
  • Fifthly she would have been spiritually discouraged.  She may have asked, “Why me, God?” Or, she may have felt God was justly punishing her for some sin, as Jews saw righteousness and health directly related (see John 9).
  • Lastly, what would her emotional state have been?  Desperate, hopeless, angry, afraid, lonely.  


Now, what she does is quite amazing:  She sneaks up on Jesus and steals a healing from Him.  And we start to understand why she does it the way she does it after that little review:


  • 1) A woman couldnt touch a man, let alone a Rabbi, 
  • 2) her uncleanness meant she could not touch anyone – people in the crowd, and especially not a holy man of God.


Now, we understand the reason why she did it that way, but, do we really understand yet why she did it at all?  The answer is the same as with Jairus: faith. She knew Jesus could heal her., “because she thought”, verse 28 says, “if I can just touch His clothes I WILL be healed.”  I love that. She, like Jairus, knows that Jesus CAN heal. They both know that Jesus has the power to do what they need done. Now, notice that both of them approached Jesus not knowing that Jesus would be willing.  For the last 12 years she has not been allowed to touch anyone, or be touched, otherwise SHE would make them unclean. As far as she knew, Jesus could heal her, but, she didn’t know if He would be willing to let her near Him.  Maybe He wouldn’t touch me with a 10 foot poleSo, I have to sneak up and take the healing if I’m going to get it.  


Listen, Jesus loved this.  He absolutely loved it. This is why He made her come before Him publicly.  He was going to show her not only did He have power to heal her, but, He didn’t want her to go away not knowing He cared about her.  You see, Jesus wanted her to always make the connection between His power and His compassion. His healings werent’ just done from His hands, they came from His heart.  


Jesus was also calling her out publicly in order to publicly validate her.  Everyone knew her as the unclean woman to avoid and not touch. Now, Jesus confirmed her healing, and, thus no longer unclean.  She was no longer to be avoided. Jesus healed her, made her clean. For the first time in 12 yrs she was clean. When Jesus makes you clean, you are clean indeed.


Jesus calls her Daughter…i love that.  brood of vipers, sons of hell, white washed tombs, hypocrites, blind guides, children of the devil….son, child, friend…daughter….its said with such fondness and compassion….shes part of His family, the family of those who believe, 


Application:  her faith compelled her to go to Christ…she sought Him out….judge your faith the same way:  are you going to Jesus in life? or going elsewhere? She tried everything else imaginable to get healing.  But, like the demoniac, she was beyond help. This set the stage for Jesus to demonstrate His divine power and to show that He can and He will.  Are we seeking solutions everywhere but Jesus? Do we need to find ourselves out of options before we go to Jesus? Does this sound good in the sermon but not during the week?  


Application:  Faith persuades God.  Jairus faith moved Jesus.  This woman’s faith was blessed by Jesus.  Both of them sought out Jesus. Measure your faith the same way:  are you going to Jesus? I’m not talking salvation, I’m talking about life’s troubles and problems and difficulties.  your faith…her belief that He could heal her….our faith persuades God….our faith is the single factor in moving God…


Application:  Does your faith make you bold with God?  This woman was emboldened by her faith. Check this out, there were lots of people around Jesus.  It says they were all mashing together there were so many people mobbing around Him. But only one person actually reached out for Him.  Are you just going along with Jesus? Or are you going to Jesus? Always around Him but never actually going to Him? Are you part of the group, the excitement, watching to see what Jesus is going to do next in someone’s life – all the while He never does anything in your life?  Because you were always around Him but never went to Him?


What Is Death to the Author of Life? (v35-43)

Jairus’ worst fears have just happened.  But, before he can spiral into the Abyss of grief, Jesus speaks to him in verse 36:  “Don’t be afraid. Just believe”.


Here is the key statement in the whole section – actually the whole book, actually the whole NT.  “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” “Why are you so afraid, disciples? Where is your faith?” “Your faith has healed you daughter”.  “Don’t be afraid. Believe.” It was a command, not a suggestion. To believe is a command from God, did you know that? God requires it.  


I love how Jesus undermines what Jairus’ friends tell him.  “Ignoring what they said” verse 36 tells us. They say, “Leave Jesus alone, it’s over.  There’s nothing to do now.” So many times in the Gospels we see Jesus overturning human perspectives:  “Get behind me Satan, you don’t have in mind the things of God”. “lazarus is dead for four days now, Lord, don’t open that grave.  He stinks by now….Yeah, but I’m the resurrection and the life!” “Ignoring what they said Jesus told Jairus “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”  So many times we see people laughing at Jesus or scoffing, even here they laughed at Him when He said she’s just sleeping.


Without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11 says.  In Matthew 8 we see the only way to astonish in a good way is through faith.  Jesus said in Luke 18 that when He comes back to the earth He will be looking for faith.  And Romans 14 says that anything that doesn’t come from faith is sin. Faith is .  


The reality of the Scriptures mean that God is offering us a new perspective on life and its events.  How we choose to see life and its events is ours to make. But God informs us through His Word about how things really are.  He gives us information in the Bible about who He is and what He’s like and what He can do; who we are and what we’re like – the human condition.  The explanation for our problems and the problems of the world are on the pages of the Bible. Now, will we listen to men or will we listen to God?  Will we allow God to shape how we see and react to life, or, will we allow God to shape our perspectives and thus our responses? God has not left us to human ideas and worldly wisdom.  He has given us revelation, and, in doing so He has given us the possibility to experience our experiences in a whole new way.  


So Jesus resurrects the girl:  Talithakoum! And then you know Mark is writing to Gentiles because he explains so many Jewish things to his readers.  He explains what the Aramaic word Talithakoum means, “Little girl I say to you get up!” I love that.  

  • His tenderness towards her “little girl”
  • His exclusive authority as the author of life, “I say to you”
  • His command, “Get up!”  Again the irresistable voice of Jesus compelling creation to respond:
    • To the sea:  Be quiet! Be still!
    • To the demons:  Come out of this man!
    • To the sick:  Be healed!
    • To the dead:  Get up!


And then notice the little touches that fill out the truthfulness of the story:  He has her eat….the dead dont eat…..the living eat….nourish her body…shes alive….Again here we have the theological basis for church potlucks!


Conclusion:  Take-Aways

  • Faith conquers fear.
  • Death is no match for Jesus
  • Real Faith drives you to Jesus


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