Grace, Mercy, and Peace be yours from God the Father, God the Son, and
God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
21 “When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a
large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. 22
One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing
Him, fell at His feet 23 and implored Him earnestly, saying, ‘My little
daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her,
so that she will get well and live.’ 24 And He went off with him; and a
large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him. 25 A woman who
had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the
hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not
helped at all, but rather had grown worse— 27 after hearing about Jesus,
she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28 For she
thought, ‘If I just touch His garments, I will get well.’ 29 Immediately the
flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was
healed of her affliction. 30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that
the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the
crowd and said, ‘Who touched My garments?’ 31 And His disciples said
to Him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, “Who
touched Me?”’ 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done
this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had
happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole
truth. 34 And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go
in peace and be healed of your affliction.’ 35 While He was still speaking,
they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, ‘Your
daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?’ 36 But Jesus,
overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, ‘Do
not be afraid any longer, only believe.’ 37 And He allowed no one to
accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
38 They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a
commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in,
He said to them, ‘Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not
died, but is asleep.’ 40 They began laughing at Him. But putting them all
out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own
companions, and entered the room where the child was. 41 Taking the
child by the hand, He *said to her, ‘Talitha kum!’ (which translated
means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). 42 Immediately the girl got up
and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they
were completely astounded. 43 And He gave them strict orders that no one
should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.”
(NASB) Mark 5:21-43
From the moment of His baptism in the River Jordan, Jesus occupied three
Old Testament Offices– the offices of prophet, priest, and king. The Israelites were
ruled by a king. The priest presided over the worship services and sacrifices in the
temple. The prophet was the one who spoke for God.
In the stilling of the wind and the waves in last week’s Gospel lesson, we
saw that Jesus even ruled over nature. When He order the wind and waves to be
still, they became still, thus showing Jesus was and is the King of creation.
This week, we see Jesus fulfilling the office of prophet. By the Old
Testament definition a prophet is one who speaks for God. Since Jesus was the
Son of God, fully divine and fully human, every word that came out of Jesus’
mouth was in fact God’s word.
Now when most people think of the word prophet, especially when it comes
to the Old Testament, they associate the word with foretelling the future. It is true,
God gave some of the prophets the ability to “predict” what God and some men
would do in the future. In such cases, we call it a prophecy or say the this or that is
a fulfillment of a prophecy. But speaking or writing prophecies about future
events was a very small part of what an Old Testament prophet did.
Prophets spent most of their time calling people’s attention to things that
they should have already known, but had chosen to ignore or reject. There is a
common theme to what the prophets preached and wrote about. The Lord God
(Yaweh Elohim) had given a promise. He would come as the anointed
Messiah–the Christ to save people from sin and death. The Lord God had adopted
the Hebrew people, gave them the promise that the Messiah would be born of their
bloodline, gave them the Torah (the Law and Gospel), and would make them a
great nation. Out of love for them and the the world, the Lord God would protect
His people from anything and anyone that threatened their existence, from famines
and natural disasters and invading armies looking to wipe their race from the face
of the earth.
You know the story of the Old Testament church. Most of Israel’s leaders
and most of the people ignored what God had said to and done for them. Most had
turned away from the Lord God and His words and turned to the pagan religions of
the day. God sent one prophet after another to call the people back to Himself.
Prophets were usually met with hostility and mocking. To put it in modern terms,
they had very frustrating careers. They spoke God’s words and reminded the
people of God’s salvation, but no one wanted to listen to them.
The Old Testament prophets were also the men who performed miracles in
the name of the Lord God. Moses parted the Red Sea, caused water to spring forth
from a rock. Elisha healed Naaman of leprosy. [2 Kings 5:1-14] and brought the
Shunammite woman’s son back from the dead. [2 Kings 4:18-37]. Miracles could
be great works of salvation or seem rather small and unimportant, like the miracle
of making an iron axe head float on water. [2 Kings 6:1-7]
Jesus not only followed in the foot steps of the Old Testament prophets, He
was the ultimate Prophet and His miracles demonstrated that fact. He was the
prophet who had been prophesied. He was the prophet whose doctrine came from
God because He was God.
Every miracle of Jesus was unique. Some of the Old Testament prophets
performed a miracle here and there. But Jesus’ ministry went from one miracle to
another under every conceivable circumstance. Sometimes, Jesus went to
someone’s house. At other times He healed from afar. Sometimes, He simply
spoke a word. Other times, He incorporated means such as making a mud pack
from dust and his own saliva and applying it to the eyes of the blind. Many times
He touched the untouchable.
The miracles of a prophet were part of his teaching ministry. They not only
brought comfort to the sick, dying, and dead, they served a object lessons. They
teach us about the nature of our God. The miracles in this morning’s Gospel are no
The first miracle deals with a woman who had been dealing with a bleeding
disorder for twelve years. There was a set of ceremonial regulations that dealt
with people who had this disorder. Leviticus 15:25 declares such people were
ceremonially unclean – like lepers. The woman in the Gospel lesson had to keep
her distance from other people. Keeping her distance meant she could touch
anyone either. She certainly shouldn’t push her way through a crowd to touch a
man. Yet, her only hope of healing was to make her way through the crowd and to
touch the teacher she had been told about.
She hoped to infiltrate the crowd, touch Jesus, then escape without being
noticed. She was risking a great deal as she quietly made her way through the
The woman’s plan seemed to work. She made it through the crowd. She
touched Jesus’ garment. She felt the healing within and knew that the bleeding
stopped. She was about to make her escape when Jesus stopped, turned, and said,
“Who touched my garments?”
The crowd was packed in so tight and there was so much pushing and
jostling for position going on, the disciples thought Jesus’ question was rather
silly. “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
But no one can hide from God. The woman knew who Jesus meant and He
looked around until He saw her. The text says, “The woman fearing and
trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him
and told Him the whole truth.”
Why was she in fear? She had violated the Law. She could be beaten and
driven far away. The text says she told Him the whole truth. That is, she confessed
everything. She threw herself on the mercy seat of Christ. Not only was she
unclean, she had stolen the miracle, taken it from Christ without His permission.
She knew she was unworthy to be in the presence of Jesus.
Think of her relief and joy when she found out that this prophet was a
prophet of grace and mercy and not a prophet of the unforgiving law.
“Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of
your affliction.” He did not scolded or punished her. Instead, He freed her from
sin and sickness.
A miracle was visible evidence that the preaching and teaching of a prophet
was true. It showed the people that this man had been sent by God and spoke and
taught what God sent him to do. This miracle is a miracle, but it is unique and
unlike all the miracles of the Old Testament prophets. Jesus didn’t speak or do
anything toward the woman. She simply touched him and the power that healed
her went out from Him, thus showing that there was something divine about Him.
Not only in what He preached and taught and said, but in His very nature. He was
the Son of God.
Some make a big deal out of the words, “your faith has made you well,”
believing that the healing was accomplished by the power innate in faith. But that
is a misreading. It was faith that brought her out of seclusion. It was faith that
caused her to tell the whole truth. It was Christ Jesus who had the power to heal by
the mere fact of His incarnation.
All this played out was Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house to heal his
daughter. As Jesus talked to and dealt with the woman, Jairus didn’t say a word.
He didn’t try to push Jesus and the crowd along to get to his daughter.
During the entire exchange between Jesus and the woman, Jairus doesn’t
say a word. He seems to simply trust Jesus that He knows what He is doing. He
seems as well to know that He is not entitled to anything. He is a beggar just as
she was.
“While Jesus was still speaking, they came from the house of the
synagogue official, saying, ‘Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher
We all know the saying, where there is life there is hope. Jairus asked for
healing. “Please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and
live.” Jairus had just heard his daughter was dead and with her death, hope died
too. But Jesus doesn’t speak condolences. He says the strangest thing. “Do not be
afraid any longer, only believe.”
As He entered Jairus’ home Jesus said to the mourners, “Why are you
making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” They
knew death when they saw it. There was no question about it. The girl was dead,
not asleep. They found Jesus’ statement ridiculous under the circumstances.
“They began laughing at Him.” He didn’t know what He was talking about and
as far as they were concerned He was only going to make things worse for the
father and mother.
But where unbelief saw only death, the Savior who came into the world to
overcome death, saw a child He could awaken from death with the speaking of His
Word. Last week’s reading saw the wind and waves obey at the mere speaking of
His word. This week death itself has to stand aside.
With a few words, “Talitha Koum! which means, Little girl, I tell you get
up!” Jesus called her back from the dead and gave her own resurrection.
Here the prophet performs the greatest of all miracles. He takes back what
sin and death takes away. Notice this little girl did not bring herself back from the
dead. The dead can’t do that. She got up, but only after life was restored. The
same is true of spiritual life. People do not will themselves to be Christians. They
do not will themselves a new nature. God’s will and Word do that. God creates
new life. God creates the new nature. God will give us the resurrection. He will
speak and all the dead bodies will come forth from their graves.
May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your heart and mind
together in Christ Jesus Amen.


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