Jesus Ministers Life to People

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[c] 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.


A story sandwich. We should take them together on purpose.


  1. Jesus’ Ministry of Life is for All


  1. Contrasting people

In what ways are those seeking to have Jesus meet their needs different?

Jairus: He is named, that makes him unusual in many ways. He is a known man of reputation. He is a man. He has money. He holds a position of respect and prominence. He is ritually pure, he fully participates in the temple ritual.

Bleeding woman: Not named. Female, dishonored, unclean and therefore excluded from the temple ritual, financially poor and having her hopes disappointed over a long period of time.

Their dissimilarities do not separate them from Jesus. They both have the important qualifications for connecting with Jesus and receiving His ministry in their lives:

  1. They trust in Him to help them.
  2. The come to Him for help.
  3. They do as He says.
  4. Common troubles

Both parties in the story have desperate needs. They are not able to manage the issues before them.

We have in the story of the woman what she has done. She has availed herself of all of the medical help that she believes can help her. She has exhausted her resources and is worse off than when she began. (George Washington being bled to make him stronger.) Because this woman is bleeding, there is an extra problem similar to that of the leper earlier in Mark’s gospel. She is not only unclean, if others touch her clothes, they will be unclean! It is hard for unclean people to get help! God help us if after Jesus’ ministry this is still true!!

Certainly, Jairus has sought help as well, but his daughter is near death. He has waited until he is desperate. Once his daughter has died, there are issues of cleanliness with her body as well.


  1. Faith is a requirement

They must believe that Jesus can help.  (He is)

They must believe that Jesus will help.  (He is a rewarder)

They must get to Jesus, to avail themselves of His help.


In this story, the woman with the bleeding has the greater faith in my opinion. Jairus is encouraged by Jesus, told to believe. Jairus has nothing to lose. The woman is placing herself in danger. The woman has no encouragement. The woman is truly desperate! Twelve years with this problem! Feeling weak, being outcast and a problem for others.


  1. Jesus’ Abilities Contrasted (Talking about Life Here)


  1. Jesus is the Great Physician

        The woman spent all her financial resources trying to get help from the medical community of her day. She was worse because of them.

We should assume that Jairus has availed himself of the all of the help that he could afford, which should be the best of his day. His daughter is dying.

Is Jesus still our Great Physician today? Yes He is. We should always pray for healing. Should we go to the Dr.? Yes we should do that as well. James 5: Call for the Elders. Anoint with oil. Obviously anointing with oil is a Biblical picture of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, but it is also culturally appropriate to see this a medicinal. So do both.

Drs. seek to restore health and protect life. That is what Jesus is doing. Life is in the blood. The woman who is bleeding is leaching life metaphorically. His blood gift solves life blood problems!


  1. Jesus and the mourners

After Jesus arrives at Jairus’ house there are mourners there to demonstrate respect to Jairus and his wife. The mourners have an appropriate cultural role to play. They have a ministry. It is a ministry of shared suffering. It is related to empathy. It may seem strange to us, but for those who have endured the death of a loved one, it is meaningful to know that the terrible experience is shared by others and that they will hold us up in prayer and encouragement.

Jesus’ ministry here is one of resolution, not acceptance and moving forward. Jesus heals the daughter in spite of her death. The mourners have a role, but Jesus commands the Resurrection of the dead! What is it that makes death truly manageable? Is it not that Jesus has conquered death and trusting in Him guarantees all who believe a Resurrection from the dead that is even more profound than what is experienced by this twelve year old girl? She will die again!

John 11: 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”


  1. Jesus compared to other powers

Jairus’ job, rank or position will not solve the troubles with his daughter. I am convinced that he has already gone to great lengths to see that she get the help that she needs. He finally gets Jesus, and even though he waits so long that she is dead, he gets the help that he requests.

Similarly, the bleeding woman has spent all that she has over a twelve year period and it has done her more harm than good. I think everyone who has ever had a long term medical issue can relate to this.

You may complain that you prayed for a loved one and they died. Their bodies all will eventually. But there is nothing that can separate a follower of Jesus from the will of God. And when the bodies of those who follow Jesus die, they receive a new body at the time of the Resurrection of the dead. The body that they will receive is modeled by Jesus after His Resurrection!


III. The Importance of Faith to Connection


  1. The woman believes and Jesus reveals her

This woman is healed apart from the will of Jesus. This is a remarkable event. But there is something more important than being healed and that is being connected to Jesus, knowing Who He is and receiving the life that He wants for all. Jesus is in a hurry, fighting a crowd to get to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter who is at death’s door. They are in a desperate hurry. And yet He stops.

Jesus will not let this woman leave without knowing who she is and telling her: 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Her faith in Him is very important. Jesus desires her to go in peace and be freed from her suffering! What a lovely thing to say. What is the key to living a life as far from suffering as possible? It is to trust in Jesus and obey His teaching.

  1. The mourners are excluded

The mourners can be empathized with for their confusion. They are aware that the little girl is dead. And they have come to do a job. If the little girl is not dead, but asleep as Jesus has said, then their ministry is cruel. I can appreciate their confusion. The real issue is faith in Who Jesus is and what He says. Once Jesus has spoken, respond to what He says and set the confusion aside until it is resolved. I am sure that in the course of the next few days these mourners will see the little girl and think that what Jesus has said was true. They were mistaken. It was a cruel and unfortunate mistake. And Jesus tells Jairus to keep the truth quiet. This will allow the misunderstanding to endure. If they would believe His words and obey them, then they would see what it is that He had done. As it is they are put out of the house.

  1. Enduring in faith receives an answer

When one is truly desperate, it is often easier to just be simple in         our approach to God. Trust and Obey. Only God can do what God       can do.