Posts Tagged ‘determination’

MARK 5:21-43

21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 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.” 24 So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 He looked all around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.39 When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

The hemorrhaging woman, whom we are taking to represent the action-oriented aspect of faith, had great obstacles to overcome on her way to Jesus. First, the status of females in those days discouraged women from approaching men publicly with their intentions and requests.

Second, this particular woman was suffering from an issue of blood, which would have qualified her as an “untouchable” in first-century society. Her medical status as unclean therefore compounded her social status as the inferior gender to make her challenge all the greater.

Finally, add to this the further complication of the pressing crowd round about Jesus and you have a significant obstacle course for her faith, indeed!

This woman had every reason to abandon the task of getting to Jesus. Societal barriers, the burden of her illness, and the thick mob in the way – all of these together, not to mention just one of them alone, were enough to defeat her hopes of being made well. Except that her hopes were anchored in a determination to have her need answered, and that power is second only to the power of God’s determination to save.

When she had successfully achieved her goal in reaching Jesus and touching his clothes, he turned and confirmed her salvation (healing) by attributing it to her faith. True, redemption came from beyond her, but she had to reach out to make it her own.

And therein lies the lesson of the story. As the little girl who could only wait for the gift of life from beyond her, so does our salvation depend utterly on the generosity of God. And as the resourceful woman who pushed her way through every obstacle in order to reach Jesus, so it is necessary for us to make the effort and leap into God.