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Mark 5.21-43
God’s Power Can Do Big Things with Small Faith

“When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the sea. One of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet and begged him earnestly, “My little daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her so that she can get well and live.”

So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against him. Now a woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. Having heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothing. For she said, “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be made well.” Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Immediately Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’”

But he was looking around to see who had done this. The woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction.”

While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?”

When Jesus overheard what was said, he told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”

He did not let anyone accompany him except Peter, James, and John, James’s brother. They came to the leader’s house, and he saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”

They laughed at him, but he put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with him, and entered the place where the child was. Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up”).

Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was twelve years old.) At this they were utterly astounded. Then he gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and told them to give her something to eat.” (Mark 5.21–43 CSB17)

The Gift of Faith

1Cor. 12.4 “Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person. 7 A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good… 9 to another, faith by the same Spirit

  • George Mueller
  • Jairus comes to Jesus full of faith but before they can reach his daughter a woman distracts Jesus
    • Mark intertwines the story of Jairus and the suffering woman.
    • We need to compare and contrast the stories to discover the point.

The Faith of the Suffering Woman

  • Touching others would ritually defile them.
  • Touching Jesus’ garment maybe a sign she was treating this like magic.
  • Her faith (in Jesus) saves her
  • Faith is not about perfect theology but our response to the living God
  • Faith ‘grabs hold’ of God’s power

The Challenge to Jairus’ Faith

  • Jesus tells Jairus to ‘only believe’ even after news of his daughter’s death
  • The word used for taking the disciples and parents aside may imply a discipling moment (same word as the disciples taking Jesus along in the boat in Mark 4.36)
  • Is the girl dead or asleep? Dead… But Jesus is in the room

Challenge and Encouragement to Faith

  • Believing Jesus when all seems lost
  • We must grab hold of Jesus in prayer, by faith
  • We must let Jesus take us aside from the mourners and mockers, in prayer, by faith

Discussion Questions

  • Re-read the passage in a couple of different translations and retell the passage in your own words without looking at the Bible
  • Compare the two stories: is there anything that stands out to you?
  • Is there anything you don’t understand?
  • What do you think of the woman's actions? What does it teach you?
  • What about Jesus' challenge to Jairus to believe when it was too late for a healing?
  • What does this tell us about God?
  • What does this tell us about people?
  • What is God saying to you?
  • What are you going to do as a result?