Sermon thoughts for Sunday 062809 ~ Mark 5:21-43

In the strength of the Lord, bring hope and healing to others.
This Sunday concludes the series “On the Way”. In Matthew 28:16-20 we have a famous directive from Jesus know popularly as “the great commission.” Verse 19 is usually translated “GO therefore….” but the gramar really should read more like, “Therefore, as you go…” In otherwords, “In your going, wherever you go, throughout your life, whatever else you may be upto….” It is under this broadest of conditions then that the commission from Jesus comes, the commission to be His disciples by continuing his ministry. As such, we are to say and do the things he said and did. Our task is to continue his work, ‘doing even greater works’ according to John 14:12, not simply telling stories about the works that Jesus did 2000 years ago. So, “in the strength of the Lord, you are commissioned to bring hope and healing to others.”

Notes for reflection:

  • As you read the text, notice that there are two stories of illness and healing. Consider how they are similar and how they are different.
  • Jairus is noted as a leader of the synagogue – what do we know from the gospels about how such people tended to feel about Jesus?
  • The woman, unnamed, is sick, tired, broke, and exiled from the worshipping community because of her condition – she is completely alone.
  • What does it mean that they happen together? How does one elaborate on or comment on the other?
  • What might it mean to have Jairus’ story interrupted by the story of an anonymous woman?
  • With whom in the passage do you most relate? Who is most distant or confusing or ‘other’ to you? Why?

Mark 5:
21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 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.” 24 So he went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?’ ” 32 He looked all around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 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, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 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. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

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