Jesus again crossed over the lake, probably back to Capernaum. Through Jesus’ healing a woman and a little girl, this passage shows us how the busy servant is also a loving father. The narrative is interesting in its changing viewpoint. First, while Jesus was on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter, the healing of the woman interrupts the story. Then, while Jesus was still speaking in regards to the woman, news from Jairus’ house brings the focus back to Jairus’ daughter.
Did You Know...?
1. Rulers of the synagogue (5:22): Laymen whose responsibilities were administrative, not priestly, and included such things as looking after the building and supervising the worship. Sometimes the title was honorary, given to prominent members of the congregation with no administrative duties attached.
2. “Lay your hands on her” (5:23): The act of the laying of hands appears in the Old Testament in various contexts, one of which was during the act of blessing (Gen 48:14). In the New Testament, Jesus laid hands on little children (Mt 19:13, 15) and on the sick (Mk 6:5). In Acts, laying of hands was accompanied by prayer (Acts 6:6; 8:15; 13:3).
In the True Jesus Church, church ministers lay hands on someone as a sign of interceding for God’s power. This is often done for someone praying for the Holy Spirit or for healing.
3. “Flow of blood” (5:25): This may have been a chronic menstrual disorder or a uterine hemorrhage. Her condition made her ritually unclean, excluding her from normal social relations since anyone who came in contact with her would become unclean.
4. “Wept and wailed loudly” (5:38): It was customary for professional mourners to be brought in at the time of death. In this case, however, there might not have been time to hire them, so perhaps these were the girl’s relatives.
5. “Talitha, cumi” (5:41): Mark records the exact Aramaic words Jesus spoke. The word talitha (“little girl”) is an affectionate term, stemming from a root meaning “lamb.”
Aramaic was the language Jesus and His disciples ordinarily spoke. He probably also spoke Hebrew (to read the Old Testament writings) and Greek (the lingua franca of the Greco-Roman world).
- Jairus Pleads with Jesus to Heal his Daughter (5:21-24)
- A Woman Healed from Bleeding (5:25-34)
- She suffered for 12 years (5:25-26)
- She touches Jesus’ cloak (5:27-29)
- Jesus feels power gone out from Him (5:30-32)
- Woman tells the truth (5:33-34)
- Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter from the Dead (5:35-43)
- Men bring news that the girl is dead (5:35)
- Jesus goes to Jairus’ home (5:36-38)
- People laugh at Jesus (5:39-40)
- “Talitha cumi!” (5:41-43)
How were Jairus and the woman similar and/or different in faith?Hide Answer
1. Jairus’ daughter was too sick to come to Jesus, so he begged Jesus to go to her. The woman had faith in Jesus, and took action on her own.
2. Both were certain that Jesus could help (“she may be healed, and she will live” , “I shall be made well” ).
3. They both worked their way through the crowd to be near Jesus.
4. Jairus fell before Jesus publicly, while the woman came up behind Jesus in secret.
5. Jairus specifically asked Jesus to lay hands on his daughter, which implies some assumptions on his part (“you should lay hands on someone in order to heal her”). On the other hand, the woman’s faith was so strong that she believed she would be healed simply by touching Jesus’ cloak. Jesus Himself is the source of power; how He heals is of secondary importance.
When you pray to God for help, do you pray specifically for something to happen, or pray generally for God’s will to be done? Compare your prayer to Jesus’ prayer (Mk 14:36).
Describe a time when: a. you asked for God’s mercy on behalf of someone else.; b. someone prayed for your needs.; c. you prayed to God for your own needs.; d. How often does each type of prayers take place in your life?
What does the shift in the story’s viewpoint (from Jairus’ daughter to the woman and back) tell you about the nature of Jesus’ work?Hide Answer
It shows us how Jesus managed His pace in spite of His hectic life. With so many people around Him, with overlapping requests, Jesus still took the time to talk to those who put their faith in Him.
Describe a time when you felt like Jesus’ son or daughter.
Jairus was a respected member of the community (cf. Did You Know 1), but he humbled himself before Jesus. When other people respect you, how do you humble yourself before the Lord?Hide Answer
People respected Jairus, but he did not abuse his authority like the scribes did. Also, he was not ashamed to plead for help. The apostles set an example of humility, even though they were in a position of power. They did not pretend to know everything, but did their best to pass on their experience and understanding of God (1Cor 15:9; 2Pet 3:15-16). They also were not ashamed to admit their weakness (2Cor 12:7-8).
Why did a large crowd follow and press around Jesus?Hide Answer
Like the other times, the crowd was probably there mostly to see and experience miracles. Because Jairus came to Jesus publicly, they followed Jesus to see what would happen.
Why do you think the woman came up behind Jesus instead of asking Him for help?Hide Answer
The woman must have thought she would be hidden in the crowd; she thought she could be healed without anyone knowing about it. Perhaps she was tired from twelve years of suffering at the hands of many doctors. She had used up all her resources, yet her illness had worsened. Perhaps she did not want to bother Jesus, who was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter.
Jesus felt power gone out from Him. What does this tell you about the effort needed in His work?Hide Answer
Even though Jesus had unlimited power, He was limited in the body of a man. It was not effortless for Him to heal someone or to cast out demons. That is why he needed to rest physically and spiritually.
Our Lord Jesus paid a price to save us. Every time we ask Him for forgiveness, His blood washes away our sins. When He suffered and died on the cross for our sins, His sacrifice covered up all of our sins (Heb 13:12; 10:12). Imagine how draining that must have been.
What does the disciples’ reaction (31) say about their faith and understanding of Jesus?Hide Answer
It seemed to them that Jesus had asked a silly question. The disciples often assumed they knew the answer, when they could not have been more off base (Mt 16:5-8; Jn 4:31-34). There was a reason and purpose to every word Jesus spoke. He uses our life experiences to teach us. The teaching might not be obvious at first, but we must take the effort to find out. After all, Jesus always takes the time to find out about our situation.
Why did Jesus take the time to look around to see who had touched Him and to speak to the woman?Hide Answer
Jesus always takes the time to find out who we are and what we need. He made the woman come forward so that He could comfort her and strengthen her faith (34). Jesus shows everyone His personal attention. Today, He personally listens to our prayers. He also gives us His Holy Spirit to pray for exactly what we need (Rom 8:26-27; 1Cor 14:2).
Why did the woman tremble with fear?Hide Answer
It is human reaction to be afraid when your secret is exposed. Perhaps she was afraid that Jesus would rebuke her for touching Him. To her credit, once she realized that Jesus knew the truth, she came forth and confessed everything (Mk 5:33; Lk 8:47). This was her chance to speak with the Lord. Because Jesus helped her overcome her shame, she became a wonderful living testimony for God.
The woman was probably older than Jesus. Why did He call her “daughter”?Hide Answer
That one word must have removed the fear from the woman. Jesus is our “Everlasting Father” (Isa 9:6). He loves us even when we become like the prodigal son (Lk 15:20-24). Jesus even likened his love to that of a mother hen (Mt 23:37).
If you were Jairus, what would you be feeling when Jesus was detained on His way to heal your daughter?Hide Answer
He must have been anxious. His daughter was not just seriously ill. She was “at the point of death” (23). It would not have been surprising if Jairus became upset at the woman for detaining Jesus, or perhaps even at Jesus for stopping to talk to the woman. However, the Bible doesn’t tell us that Jairus ever became upset. After he asked Jesus to come help his daughter, he remained quiet for the rest of the story.
What does the people’s reaction (cf. 35, 38, 40) say about their faith and understanding of Jesus? Compare this to Martha’s reaction in Jn 11:32.Hide Answer
Like Martha, the men from Jairus’ house thought that God’s power is somehow limited by time. To them, there is such a thing as “too late,” even for God. The men and Martha both believed that it was equired for Jesus to get there soon because there was nothing one could do once a person has died. The men also assumed that, now that the girl was dead, it was pointless for Jesus to go.
The people in the house let their emotions overcome them. They wept and wailed, even when Jesus had arrived. They then laughed at Jesus because they thought He was out of his mind. Unlike Jairus, they did not believe in Jesus, so Jesus did not let them witness the wonderful miracle.
If you were Jairus, what would you be feeling at this time, knowing that your daughter died while Jesus was delayed?Hide Answer
Perhaps Jairus had a moment of doubt, afraid that it was too late (that might be why Jesus told him not to be afraid). Like before, he let Jesus do the talking. He just followed Jesus quietly and obeyed what Jesus said.
Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not be afraid; only believe”(36). Afraid of what? Believe in what? How does this relate to what He said in 4:40?Hide Answer
Afraid of death; afraid that it was too late; afraid that Jesus could do nothing for his daughter.
Believe in Jesus; believe what he’s believed all along, that “she may be healed, and she will live” (23).
Note that Jesus spoke those words to Jairus (and not to the men from his house). With a few words, Jesus strengthened Jairus. If we maintain our simple faith, the faith that we originally had when we decided to follow Christ, then we will never be afraid of storm, death, or anything else.
Jesus said, “The child is not dead, but sleeping” (39). What teachings can we draw from this?Hide Answer
The Bible teaches us that the death of our physical body is not final. In the New Testament, death is often referred to as “sleep” (cf. Acts 7:60; 1Cor 11:30). Jesus has triumphed over death. When we believe in Him, death no longer frightens us (1Cor 15:55).
Furthermore, Jesus promises that we shall be resurrected in a spiritual body (1Cor 15:22, 43-44). In the last days, some will not even go through death, but will be transformed in a flash (1Cor 15:51-54). All will be raised from the dead to be judged (Rev 20:12-13). Since we will all wake up again, death on earth is like sleep.
Why did Jesus take only Peter, James, and John to Jairus’ house? Why did Jesus let only the three disciples and the girl’s parents witness the miracle? Why did He give strict orders not to let anyone know?Hide Answer
Jesus initially let the crowd follow Him when He went with Jairus (24). Because people crowded around Him, they heard the woman’s testimony. Jesus used that opportunity to teach them about the power of faith (34). The crowd had already learned an important lesson through the woman. If they also had the faith of the woman, they too could be healed by touching Jesus’ cloak.
However, when He heard that the girl had died, Jesus did not let the crowd follow Him anymore. Those who were inside the house were only making the situation worse with their crying and wailing. They cried because they did not understand. They then laughed at Jesus because they did not understand. That was why Jesus had to put out everyone who had been inside Jairus’ house. Only a select few were allowed to witness the miracle.
Compare what Jairus had asked Jesus to do for his daughter to what Jesus actually did.Hide Answer
Jairus asked Jesus to lay hands on his daughter. Laying of hands was the expected way to pray for healing and blessing. But Jesus did more than what Jairus had asked for. He took the dead girl’s hand and lovingly called her “talitha” (cf. Did You Know 4). Not only was the girl brought back from death, immediately she was strong enough to stand up and walk around. We ask God for help according to the best of our understanding, but God often answers with much more. Jesus reminded them to give the girl something to eat, which shows us how Jesus does not overlook even the little details of our lives.
How has Jesus helped you beyond what you asked for?
How does Jesus pay attention to the little details of your life?Hide Answer
We can pray to God for anything. Nothing is too great for Him, and nothing is too insignificant to him. We pray to God not only for Him to raise the dead or to heal someone’s cancer or to find a job. It can be a simple matter of starting our car, finding our luggage at the airport, or even swatting a fly. God listens to every prayer, and He answers according to our faith and our individual needs.