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. Ashley Thomas says:

    My pastor preached about these 2 events just a couple of weeks ago. His sermon was titled “Jesus Interrupted”, but he used the same word- radical. Most everything Jesus did was considered to be radical at the time. I think we often view them as just miracles. He behaved in a way that went against the norm. Yet he wasn’t afraid. He didn’t listen to the naysayers. He continued fulfilling his purpose.

  2. Nadine Hall says:

    The beautiful image here is that while touching an unclean (or dead) person would make a normal person unclean, Jesus, the pure and undefiled God-in-Man passed HIS purity to other people making them clean without defiling himself. It’s a beautiful image of Salvation. When we believe in Christ, he takes our sinfulness on himself and we become pure and undefiled in the sight of God. His purity transfers to us without diminishing his own. Such grace, such beauty, such love. And then we are commissioned as purified people to pass the message around: come to Jesus; he will make you clean.

  3. Melissa Graves says:

    Sweet Dorothy, praying for you and your sister and all those grieving your losses. Thankful you have felt the prayer support offered on your behalf. God bless you as you move on from here. ❤️

  4. Angela Sutherland says:

    Right now, with life slowly inching back toward normal…my struggle is with fear of complacency. I don’t want to go back to the way things were in the church before this pandemic interrupted everything. I believe that God is calling his church to awaken…I guess it starts with me, and rather than fear falling back into complacency, I just need to live out what God has been teaching me over these months of isolation. Faith over fear! Reminds me of yesterday’s study on Peter too. Sensing a theme?

  5. Hannah says:

    Wow. This has to be one of my favorites that I’ve read. Thank you for this. How relevant this will always be. ❤️

  6. Diana Fleenor says:

    I barely have strength to type. My own illness is worse today than normal. I can so relate to this worn woman who was not helped by doctors. My story is similar. And though we don’t live in a culture which knows and practices the stringency of the Leviticus Laws, there is still a kind of stigma that exists. But, my hope is not in the culture, but in our Creator! I say this feeling the fear and trembling of this woman with a long-term suffering. I say this with what feels like the “little faith” of yesterday’s study. So I plead to the Lord, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” Please pray for me. Thanks!

    1. Melissa Graves says:

      Praying for you, dear Diana ❤️

  7. Keelie Ann says:

    Don’t be afraid. Only believe. >> This is a verse I will be referencing and referring to ALL THE TIME! I believe this is the truth!! ❤️❤️

  8. Laurel says:

    Fear…just another four letter word. Fear has stopped me in my tracks time and time again. Fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of rejection. Fear of abandonment. Those (rare) times I have acted boldly are not nearly as memorable as the times I slunk away—”woulda shoulda coulda” moments. Jesus acted boldly and responded favorably to others who did the same in God’s name. May I take advantage of bold opportunities to speak or act in faith.

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