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Lenten Devotion

March 10, 2023

All Day

Mark 5:21-43

“21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

Have you ever wondered why these two stories are sandwiched together?

Well, I think the two stories are linked together to show us what it looks like to encounter Jesus in a very personal way, to know that Jesus is the object of our faith. 

Jairus, a desperate father (a well-to-do man, who is named) and a broken woman (poor, socially outcast, religiously unclean, and nameless) were both ready to receive Jesus’ death-crushing power. Both came to Jesus with faith. Jairus approached Jesus with confident faith and asked for help for his daughter. In contrast, the woman came with fearful faith and sneakily touched Jesus’ clothes. The woman and Jairus’ daughter both experienced the touch of Jesus and as a result, both were healed. They both move from a state of uncleanness and death to a state of cleanness and life. Are you like Jairus, who came to Jesus with confident faith, but was told by others that it was too late to receive Jesus’s help?

Are you being told not to bother the teacher? If so, remember what Jesus said to Jairus: “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Or are you like the woman, afraid and fearful of being found out? Remember what Jesus said to the woman: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” 

What mattered for Jairus and the woman was not the strength of their faith, but the object of their faith. Faith is not Jesus meeting my need, faith is recognising that Jesus is my need. Faith is who Jesus is. A conviction that he is Lord of life, he has power and authority over everything. He offers us eternal life. Do we believe him, will we trust him? Will we give him our lives?

How is your faith? Where are you? Is Jesus the object of your faith? 

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