Scripture: Mark 5:21-43
Key verses: (23, 34) and begged him repeatedly, “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.”
Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Reflection: Mark writes “sandwich stories” in his gospel. A sandwich story is where one story starts (bread), an interruption occurs (meat, cheese, veggies), and then the first story ends (second piece of bread). In today’s passage Jairus, a synagogue leader, comes to Jesus and asks for him to come and heal his daughter. On the way, a hemorrhaging woman touches Jesus’ clothes and is healed. After interacting with her, Jesus resumes his journey to Jairus’ house and heals Jairus’ daughter. The story of Jairus and his daughter is the bread, and the story of the hemorrhaging woman is the filling in the sandwich.
These two stories are woven together with wonderful similarities and contrasts. Jairus is a powerful man who comes boldly to fall at Jesus’ feet and beg him for help. The bleeding woman doesn’t even have a name in the story and she comes timidly from behind just to touch Jesus’ clothes. Jesus heals two female characters in this sandwich story, raising a little girl from death in a culture that regularly abandoned female babies after birth, and taking notice of a lowly woman who touched his clothes in a crowd of people who were pressing in all around him. A bleeding woman was ritually unclean, and anyway it was taboo for any woman to interact with a holy man in public. Jairus begs for help for his daughter and Jesus calls the woman “daughter.” The little girl is twelve years old and the woman has been bleeding for twelve years.
Jesus valued both of them. Jesus went with Jairus to his house to heal his daughter, and Jesus stopped for the bleeding woman. Jesus values each person as a child of God, a daughter or a son in God’s kingdom. Jesus responds to the heartbroken cries of the powerful and prestigious. And Jesus is willing to be interrupted by someone deemed dirty or worthless in our world. Jesus cares about hurting broken people, no matter who they are.
Prayer: You are the Great Physician, O Lord. Today bring healing to my wounds. And help me to be your disciple, valuing all people as your children and offering aid to anyone in need. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].