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Mark 5: 21-43 – Week 4 Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Audio Bible KJV, Spoken Word)

21 And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.
22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

It is astonishing to consider that, in all the clamour, in the midst of all the crowd of people, all begging for a piece of our Lord, there should be as it were a special cordon, a sacred space surrounding Lord Jesus, into which the clamour for attention does not pass, such that Jesus passes untouched through the chaos, inviolable – yet one poor woman has the faith to reach out and touch Lord Jesus.

The woman who has been bleeding all these years has additional faith, and respect, than this. According to Leviticus, the woman is impure (cf. Leviticus 15: 25 ff), and what she touches becomes impure. It is significant, then, that the woman only touches Jesus’ clothes. Such is her faith. She believes that even if she only touches Jesus’ clothes she can be made well. Her faith is enriched by humility.

The crowds are thronging around Lord Jesus – it must have been like people with camera phones and flash lights, a nasty mess of folk horrible to be at the centre of – yet Jesus registers, knows, this one woman.

Through all the turmoil, this one woman is known – she is significant, a human life, and worthy of healing.

Goodness flows from Jesus, once in healing and then again as Jesus and the woman acknowledge one another and speak. There is chaos everywhere, and still one human being is valuable.

As we live now, we are both that one woman suffering from her haemorrhage and asking to be healed and we are Jairus’ daughter. Pray heaven that when we meet Jesus we are truly asking for healing and not waving our camera phone.

The question is not: Can Jesus bring us eternal life? Or: Can Jesus bring us back to life? The question is this: Dare we touch Jesus’ garment?

Dare we touch Jesus’ garment? So that, no matter anyone else’s laughter, Jesus might take us by the hand and say to us: Arise. And then make sure we have something to eat.

Concluding Prayer

Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. (From: Psalm 31.)