Jesus: Mark 5:21-43
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday May 10, 2020

In our passage today there is a Markian Sandwich, which sounds strange, but it describes a style of writing that Mark used here in telling these stories. They’re mixed together and have interesting elements that pull them all together.

There are a few specific elements that tie the stories together:

Four important elements across Mark 5 that should not be lost are that Jesus saves unclean unknown people, unloved, and unimportant people: Jesus is Powerful, Jesus is Savior, Jesus’ Love is Indiscriminate.

Mark 5:21–43 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea.

There is something not to be lost in these stories in Mark 5, Jesus was teaching from a boat because of the crowds, crossed to heal a man, came back – and the crowds are almost instantly back on Him.

Enter Layer 1:

22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet
23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “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 And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.

This Jairus, one of the rulers of the Synagogue, is one of the folks task with managing the building and any services as the Synagogue. He is respected and listened to in his community who in our verse 22 *falls at Jesus feet*. Imagine the word of Jesus that is going around that a ruler at the synagogue knows in the most needful time of HIs life – he must get through the crowds and fall in front of Jesus with his face to the ground.

We’d see that the scribes and Pharisees are plotting to kill Jesus – and now, perhaps, we get to see a view into why, people see the divinity in HIm.

V24“And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.”

This will become an important point. There is a great crowd following him, thronged about him. The word used is only used one other time in scripture, also by Mark in Mark in verse 31 where this circles back.

Jarius’ story (or plot line) is the top of the sandwich.

Enter layer 2:

25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,
26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.
27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.

I’m in the middle of watching a western series on Netflix right now, and there was a woman in frontier Cheyenne Wyoming in a town built by the Union Pacific railroad as they built the tracks connecting East to West with this very issue. I remember thinking oh man, this poor lady – no access to real medical help, people suggested she get back to NYC to get help, I remember wondering if she’d even have competent help when she got back to NYC.

I read about some of the medical advice in the life and times of Jesus. Weird stuff that you’d hear a lampooned witch making eye of a newt, legs of a toad kind of stuff…. This poor lady whatever she had was ceremonially unclean and not able to even be in the temple – even perhaps stopped before by Jarius, now Jesus stops the madness of this scene for her…

This was the world she lived in:

Leviticus 15:25–30Leviticus 22:1-9Numbers 5:1-4 does it seem harsh does it seem odd that the medical community cannot just fix what’s wrong with her? Do you have a mask in your car, are you currently avoiding work since Mach? Are there arrows taped on the the floors as stores you go to….

Leviticus 15:25-30 (ESV)
25 “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean.
26 Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity. And everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her menstrual impurity.
27 And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening.
28 But if she is cleansed of her discharge, she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean.
29 And on the eighth day she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and bring them to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting.
30 And the priest shall use one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for her unclean discharge.

Leviticus 22:1-9 (ESV)
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
2 “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to me, so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the Lord.
3 Say to them, ‘If any one of all your offspring throughout your generations approaches the holy things that the people of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord.
4 None of the offspring of Aaron who has a leprous disease or a discharge may eat of the holy things until he is clean. Whoever touches anything that is unclean through contact with the dead or a man who has had an emission of semen,
5 and whoever touches a swarming thing by which he may be made unclean or a person from whom he may take uncleanness, whatever his uncleanness may be—
6 the person who touches such a thing shall be unclean until the evening and shall not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water.
7 When the sun goes down he shall be clean, and afterward he may eat of the holy things, because they are his food.
8 He shall not eat what dies of itself or is torn by beasts, and so make himself unclean by it: I am the Lord.’
9 They shall therefore keep my charge, lest they bear sin for it and die thereby when they profane it: I am the Lord who sanctifies them.

Numbers 5:1-4 (ESV)
Unclean People
1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
2 “Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp everyone who is leprous[a] or has a discharge and everyone who is unclean through contact with the dead.
3 You shall put out both male and female, putting them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell.”
4 And the people of Israel did so, and put them outside the camp; as the Lord said to Moses, so the people of Israel did.

This woman was sick for 12 years, here is what Luke a Dr. said:

Luke 8:43 (ESV)
43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone.

Here is a point I love in this story…

28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”

She may have had rough theology, but great faith.

She knew Jesus was the key, and she was right!

29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him,[…]

Isaiah 53:3–4 (ESV)
3  He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4  Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.

Jesus took on her grief and healed her – where Leviticus 15:20-21 would say her touch would make him unclean, Jesus the God-man took her touch and made her clean.

Leviticus 15:20-21 (ESV)
20 And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean.
21 And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening.

31b immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”
31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

“who touched my garments” – I’m going to tell you what I think is going on here. I love when we have Jesus looking to people for information, I’m skeptical. Lots of folks would say here Jesus set aside His divinity and took on the form of a man, having to eat, being subjected to sickness, etc. And I agree with that, but He also still healed people and walked on water – so I give Him room to stand out.

I don’t think this was about HIS information, it was for theirs. And this is important. They needed to see that Jesus is Powerful, Jesus is Savior, Jesus’ Love is Indiscriminate. They, the crowds, they Jarius, they His disciples needed to see Jesus is Powerful, Jesus is Savior, Jesus’ Love is Indiscriminate. The disciples are VERY task oriented. I’m like that too – here is the problem in Jesus’ kingdom with task oriented people… we can see right past the people that Jesus is after. And so, in the midst of their return from healing an unclean man across the sea, now they’re rushing to a person’s house of prominence, and a woman, unclean down and out touches His garment among a throng of suffocating people – is healed how… by the power of the object of her faith… and now, everything stops.

V 30b immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”
31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

This is frustration – “you see the cowed pressing in around you” or second usage and last usage in all of scripture. Pressing around someone to as almost suffocate him, is how Luke would describe it in 8:42. They’re task oriented and on the way to do something big and Jesus is asking who touched him??! They’re annoyed. Maybe they’re hangry, maybe they want to sit and eat some figs for a bit, it’s been a rough few days – but Jesus is after God’s mission to bring mercy to the world, nothing will stop that. He is powerful, He is Savior, and his love is indiscriminate.

Luke 8:42 (ESV)
42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him.

32 And he looked around to see who had done it.
33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.
34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Please soak that in. Unclean, outcast, spending everything on snake-oil-sales doctors and in a moment of faith and humility – “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

The power, weight and gravity of those words. This is the relief of freedom. True freedom.
That statement of peace, is available to you and I too

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

OK Debbie downer.

36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Enter Layer 3:

This is the point, faith in Jesus – no matter who you are no matter what the circumstance is freedom. Faith is an anchor – they’ll laugh at Jesus, lets see…

Genesis 1:1-3 (ESV)
The Creation of the World
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.
39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.”
40 And they laughed at him. But 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.

The “laughing” they did in verse 39 is scornful and not joyful. He put them all out, in verse 40. In fact, the word used here carries the sense of “being thrown from a boat” it’s a forceful putting out think Jesus in the temple force. Paid mourners likely brought it hard. Peter (who was allowed inside with James and John) will be described as doing the same in Acts 9:40 – same word to heal a very dead Tabitha. So faced out are the paid mourners, in are the disciples,

Acts 9:40 (ESV)
40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.

41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.
43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

The literal translation is “little lamb, arise” it’s words of affection, yes little girl get up, but more like “hey sweetie, time to wake up”.

This is the bottom of the sandwich – held together by common themes, needfulness in different states, desperate and faithful my daughter is sick and dying, desperate and full of faith – touching Jesus, desperate and dead – resuscitated to life.

Jesus is Powerful, Jesus is Savior, Jesus’ Love is Indiscriminate.

What ties this together in the “sandwich” – starts with a plea from Jarius, moves to a restoration, finishes with a resuscitation to life. Two nameless females, unclean and in impossible conditions – touched by Jesus experienced complete and miraculous regeneration.

Jesus is Powerful, Jesus is Savior, Jesus’ Love is Indiscriminate.

Jesus is Powerful,
He is the Lord over even life and death. Returning from freeing the demon possessed man, he heals this woman who’d been tormented by “healers” of her day. He responds to Jarius and heals his daughter who was dead. He maintains that she’s just “sleeping” but everyone knows she’s passed. Jesus has all confidence.

Jesus is Savior,
The healing of the woman, wasn’t and don’t hear a downplaying just on her healing, hear an up-playing not he ladder, Jesus healing of the woman wasn’t just her physical healing but her restoration to fellowship.

Jesus’ Love is Indiscriminate,
Jesus is back from healing a man possessed, approach by a synagogue leader, but first – heals an unclean common woman. Then, is off to heal the daughter all while hotly pursued, described as almost suffocatingly pressed against.

Unclean and un-named, they were the focus of Jesus ministry that day. He is a Powerful, Savior who is indiscriminate. What we saw in Mark 5 is Jesus saving unclean unknown people, unloved, and unimportant people – such is the kingdom of God.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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