Day 10

Jairus & His Daughter

Mark 5:21-43, Leviticus 15:25-27, Revelation 21:4

BY Melanie Rainer

Stories like those from today’s passage of Jairus’s daughter and the bleeding woman aren’t just about miraculous healings. They also reveal to us what radical love for our neighbor looks like, what it means to deny social norms, and how legalism is disrupted—things Jesus embodied when He walked on the earth. Everything Jesus does is radical, but this particular passage alights something deep within my soul. I am just bowled over by the goodness of our Savior. This passage shows us how everything takes a backseat to the divinity and radical love of Christ.

A woman with a twelve-year-long menstrual discharge, which has made her ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 15:25–27), goes into public looking for Jesus, believing He can heal her—if only she can touch the hem of His robe (Mark 5:25,28).

A leader in the local synagogue (Jairus) comes looking for Jesus, begging Him to heal his daughter (Mark 5:22–23). Jesus goes to the man’s house and touches his dead daughter, and miraculously, she is healed (Mark 5:41).

He healed the woman and He raised the girl from the dead, even though in doing so, He has also made Himself “unclean,” according to levitical law. He does not call attention to Himself, shouting from the rooftops, “Look what I’m doing! Healing WOMEN! Touching the UNCLEAN! Breaking the LEVITICAL LAW! And in the house of a SYNAGOGUE LEADER!” Instead, He speaks with gentleness: “Don’t be afraid. Only believe” (Mark 5:36). He instructs those present not to tell anyone what He’s done (v.43).

Following the rules did not save Jairus’s daughter, nor did visiting the experts stop the woman from bleeding. But belief did—faith that Jesus was who He said He was and would do what He said He would do. Jairus and the bleeding woman did not let fear cover them, but rather an insistent, consuming faith.

Even as I type this, my heart is beating faster than it normally does, anxiety swelling up inside me for so many reasons. I’m worried about health, finances, my church family, the aftermath of tornadoes that touched down in our city in early spring, a global pandemic and resulting quarantine, the need for racial reconciliation within the Church and the country and around the world—and so much more. I fear death. I fear pain. I want to hunker down on the couch and never leave my house again.

But Jesus has two lessons for me from today’s reading in Mark. First, He calls me to live and love as radically as He did. Jesus denied custom and law to touch the sick and heal them. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus prioritizes the weak, the poor, the outcast, the suffering. As I seek to follow Him, I must do this too.

Second, I long for faith and love to chase away fear (1John 4:18), to trust the character of Jesus, to believe that He will accomplish all He has promised to do. I long to believe that the promise revealed to John in Revelation 21:4 is true: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” His words are my only hope in life and in death: “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”

Post Comments (45)

45 thoughts on "Jairus & His Daughter"

  1. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would live like Jesus can do anything in my life and learn to love those around me like Jesus.

  2. Lehua K. says:

    I needed to read this today specifically. I have been in a lot of physical pain recently, and just before I read this, I had taken a nap and did some EFT tapping to try and get rid of this migraine and pain but broke down in tears. God can heal me… And I believe He will. I know He does not waste pain. And though I don’t understand it, I will bring my pain and concerns to Him and lay them at His feet. I don’t know what else to do. Revelation 21:4 was comforting to read.

  3. Christine Salinas says:

    Did anyone see a connection in the woman bleeding for 12 years and Jairus’ daughter being 12 years old. I realize there is no reason to think the families are connected but it is fascinating to me the details in the Word of God! Both of them related to touch. Beautiful!

    1. Katie Goss says:

      Nolvia, that is my favorite part of this gospel story, which is one of my very favorites of Jesus. My preacher preached on that one time. Jesus looked at people like her and blind Bartimaeus whom no one else would look at or touch, and He SAW them and LOVED them. He called her daughter. It’s just wonderful.

      1. Martha Echandy says:


    2. Jennifer Anapol says:

      I didn’t notice this. Thanks for pointing this out!

    3. Maileen Puentes says:

      Wow. No! Thank you for pointing it out. Everyday you discover something new in The Word!

  4. Shelley Kniffen says:

    My friend and I were just talking yesterday about how God wants us desperate. In the context of our broken world, that may sound wrong or make us uncomfortable. Typically, those seeking desperate people are looking to take advantage of them in some way, but our God is SO GOOD! He wants us to come to the end of ourselves (our constant up keeping of the facade/pretense that we somehow have it together) not so he can take something more from us, but so he can restore us. He’s just waiting for us to get over ourselves, and he’s always right behind us when we finally turn around.
    I’m just reveling in the joy of knowing his goodness this morning. ❤️

    1. Rebecca Walker says:

      Thank you for this

  5. Rachiel says:

    Although the focus is to be Jairus and his daughter, I’m thinking more of the lady who touched His garment. She had such faith that all she had to do was touch Jesus’s clothes and she would be healed. He felt the power draw out of Him. Does He feel when He helps us too? Does He tell us to go in peace when we ask something? Is the most important thing peace and we just don’t realize it?

  6. Kristin Hanley says:

    Yes, Angela, may we rise above fear and complacency and the status quo, and reach out unafraid and boldly follow in the steps of our Jesus.

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