The Gospel of Mark clearly shows us Jesus dominion over all things
By Donald Whitchard
Mark 1:29-31,Mark 5:1-20,Mark 5:21-43
Summary: Mark 5:21-43 tells of the healing of two women who received new lives when it seemed all was lost. Each one was a living testimony of the miracle-working power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark draws our attention in his Gospel to the miracles of the Lord Jesus. Thus far, He has shown His power over disease (1:29-31, 34, 40-45; 2:1-12; 3:16), over demons (1:23-28, 34; 5:1-20), and over the forces of nature (4:35-41). We will now read in our exposition of this Gospel about further demonstrations of His Divine authority and power shown to two women who are recipients of His compassion and concern and to let all who are with Him see that He will not let disease and death have their way. As we read Chapter 5:21-43, our attention is drawn towards a father whose daughter is dying, and of a woman who has been suffering with a continual discharge of menstrual bleeding, making her unclean according to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 15:19-33). Her condition left her cut off from society and to be among anyone until the flow ceased. This malady had been with her for twelve years as Luke records in his account (Luke 8:43-44) and had spent all she had on physicians and other means of being cured.
She was weak and miserable. Her family, if she had any, would by now have given up all hope of her healing. She quietly mingles in with the crowd who desire to see Jesus as He comes to town. She had probably heard of His ability to perform wondrous signs such as healings and deliverances from evil spirits, and how he had put the arrogant Pharisees in their place when they questioned Him, and of His marvelous and dynamic teachings that renewed the people’s faith in God. She knew she could not face Him in her present condition, but she devised a plan based on desperation and hope. She figured that if she could just touch the hem of his garment (which some Bible scholars say was a prayer shawl), she believed that her act of faith would be seen by Jesus and heal her out of sympathy if nothing else.
She went further into the crowd, bending down, waiting for the opportunity. She sees Jesus arriving, bends down and touches His garment and immediately feels supernatural power flowing into her body that dries up the menstrual flow immediately, healing her and allowing her to be part of society, ceremonially clean and now able to go to the priests and offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving for what had occurred. At that same time, it is Jesus who stops and asks who touched Him as He felt power flowing from Him. This statement shows us Jesus’ claim to be fully human as well as fully God, voluntarily limiting Himself as all-knowing and powerful (Philippians 2:5-11). He sees the woman, who tells Him all that has happened. How does Jesus respond?
1) He refers to her as “daughter”, a term of endearment and love. She is His now because she approached the Lord Jesus the way we should all do, with humbleness and faith.
2) She is healed and delivered for the remainder of her life, to now depart in peace (Numbers 6: 24-26) and be reunited with friends and family who will have spread the news of what Jesus did for this precious soul.
We see Jesus as the victor over disease, and now Mark tells of how the LORD is the victor over death. Within the crowd is a man by the name of Jairus, who is the ruler of the local synagogue and responsible for its upkeep and maintenance, much like the position of a deacon in churches today who take care of property and other areas of need. Jairus has a twelve year old daughter who is in the final stages of dying just as she is reaching the stages and responsibilities of womanhood with her life before her. She is stricken down and there seems little hope for her. Just before Jairus can speak to the LORD, another man approaches Jairus, probably a servant or member of the synagogue and give him the horrid news that his little girl has just died, and there is no need for the Teacher now. Preparations have already been made for the funeral and the professional mourners, musicians, and family are at the house already, about to begin the dirge and ceremony its time of sorrow.
Jesus has a different plan and will not just “crash” the funeral procession, but do as he had done for the widow of Nain (Luke 7: 11-17) and bring life out of death and grief. Jesus is giving death a foretaste of the day when he will have no power and will be of no use (1 Corinthians 2:7-9, 15:54-55; Revelation 20:14). The LORD give Jairus the word of comfort and assurance he so desperately need at that moment; to not fear anything and to believe that good will come out of this situation, and it will be Jesus Himself who will supply the good. He heads to Jairus’ house with His disciples and tells the professionals to essentially hit the road as He wanted no further chaos and sorrow to be upon the family. The professional mourners and other funeral personnel ridicule this request by Jesus ,but He ignores them as they depart and with a word brings the little girl back to life. She sits up at that moment to the parent’s surprise and overwhelming joy. Jesus then tells her parents to bring her something to eat, a sign that all is well and that she has full function in her body.
Jesus then asks Jairus and those who have witnessed this miracle to keep it to themselves for now. They do not need any more commotion and the LORD does not wish to be known merely as a miracle worker, but as the One promised in the writings of the prophet Isaiah who will bear all of the burdens brought upon humanity by the fall into sin so long ago in Eden (Isaiah 53:5-6) to include the restoration of our bodies and salvation for our souls and an eternal home where there will be no more sickness, death, or sorrow ever again (Revelation 21:1-7).
This same Jesus who provided new lives for these two women is the same Jesus who provides new life for you as well. I ask of you to surrender your life to Him as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10) and trust In Him to give you eternal life and freedom from the burden of sin that you bear even now. He is waiting for you with the love and compassion shown in Scripture and in the lives of countless individuals throughout history, all with the testimony of how He changed their lives for all time. Now is a good time as any (2 Corinthians 6:2) to join the family. Amen.
Donald was born and reared in the authentic Cajun country of south Louisiana. He is a 1978 graduate of LaGrange High School in Lake Charles. He is also a graduate of Louisiana College (B.A. in History Education, 1984), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1994) and Andersonville Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, 2000). He is an ACPE Certified Chaplain with training in Trauma/ER, NICU, and Psychiatric Pastoral Care from the McFarland Institute in New Orleans (2003). He has over thirty years of ministry service, which concluded when he was called to serve as pastor of Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma from 2017-2018. Due to health concerns, he retired from public ministry in 2020 and now devotes his time to internet evangelism through the writing of Bible studies, sermons, and articles on current issues for varied Christian webpages and ministries. He is a regular contributor to sites such as Rapture Ready and Sermon Central as well as Inspirational Christian Blogs. He and his wife Cathy are both active members of Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Muskogee. Don will often serve as a panel member of the Gospel Rescue Mission Pastor’s Round Table Broadcast, shown monthly on the mission’s Facebook page as his health allows. He has a personal evangelistic blog as well and can be contacted at his Email address.