6 Feb. Mark 5:21-43

6 Feb. Two stories with a common theme

"When Jesus went in the boat back to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him there. A leader of the synagogue, named Jairus, came there, saw Jesus and fell at his feet."

"He begged Jesus, saying again and again, 'My daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so she will be healed and will live'. So Jesus went with him."

"A large crowd followed Jesus and pushed very close around him. Among them was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years... When the woman heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his coat... Instantly her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed... "

"When they came to the house of the synagogue leader, Jesus found many people there making lots of noise and crying loudly. Jesus entered the house and said to them, 'Why are you crying and making so much noise? The child is not dead, only asleep.'..."

"Taking hold of the girl's hand he said to her, 'Talitha, koum!' [meaning 'Young lady, stand up!] At once the girl stood right up and began walking."

          (Mark 5:21-43)

 

 

Jesus and his disciples sailed back across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, where they were approached by a distraught leader of the local synagogue whose twelve-year-old daughter had just died. Jesus miraculously brought Jairus’s daughter back to life, and, on the way, he healed a sick woman who dared to touch his coat in faith.

Two stories with a common theme. But what IS the theme?

Ask someone today, and they'd probably say, "They're both healing miracles of Jesus."  And that's true...

But ask a Jew in Jesus's day (and all those in today's passage were Jews) and they'd probably have said, "In both cases, Jesus put compassion before becoming ritually unclean."

In the first healing, Jesus had compassion on the woman, even though she would have been regarded by most Jews as 'ritually unclean’. Leviticus 15:19 states, "When a woman has her monthly period, she is unclean for seven days; anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening [i.e. for the rest of the day]."

This is why Jewish men rarely spoke to women outside their family - they ran the risk of becoming ritually unclean (see John 4:7-9 & 27).

Leviticus 15:25 continues, "If a woman has a loss of blood for many days and it is not during her regular monthly period, or if she continues to have a loss of blood after her regular period, she will be unclean, as she is during her monthly period."

We've never heard a sermon on this (we wonder why?) but this means that this poor woman had been 'ritually unclean' - rejected by Jewish society and an 'untouchable' - for 12 years! Just think how she felt when she dared to touch Jesus's coat to be healed, knowing that, in doing so, she would make this great Jewish rabbi 'ritually unclean'!

And when Jesus approached the dead girl before the second healing, he did so in the full knowledge that touching a dead body would make him 'ritually unclean' in the eyes of most Jewish people. This was why the priest and the Levite ignored the Jewish man left for dead in the story of the 'Good Samaritan' (see Luke 10:30-37), and why Jewish tombs were whitewashed (so you didn't bump into it at night and become ritually unclean!)

Two stories with a common theme....

The photo shows Jewish tombs in the Kidron Valley below the walls of the old city of Jerusalem.

You can read more about these two stories @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-crosses-the-sea-of…/


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